Nathalie Manning is at home in San Juan with first grand prix win
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Folks have been expecting Nathalie Manning to record her first grand prix victory for some time, perhaps none longer than Nathalie herself.
At age 2 (“before I was walking”, she says), her legendary horseman grandfather, Morton “Cappy” Smith, would lead her around his Middleburg, Va., farm. By age 7, she was riding almost any horse on the property, and as an 8-year-old, she conceived her future barn name: Acorn Farm, “where every little acorn turns into a great oak.”
“My grandfather would put me on just about anything,” she smiles. “He had a lot of sale horses, and I was fearless.”
WCRHA's fifth (and last) 2015 NRHA Affiliate event shows off regional talent
ELK GROVE — The West Coast Reining Horse Association celebrated Independence Day in patriotic style with their Star Spangled Slide show, the fifth and last NRHA Affiliate show of 2015. Red, white, and blue decorations were all over Bill Madden’s Brookside Show Park in Elk Grove, California. Winning exhibitors happily packed home red, white, and blue flip flops, backpacks, spur straps, and other patriotic themed awards.
The weather was quite accommodating this year with temperatures in the low 90s, thankfully disputing the local weatherman’s predictions of 105+ degrees. If that was too warm, exhibitors put on their swimsuits and cooled off in the Brookside pool.
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — The competition continued after the Grand Prix with the $5,000 Pony Derby, also presented by Markel Insurance. A unique opportunity for this division, the classic and handy rounds were held on the grass. With an overall total of 175, Augusta Iwasaki rode Ava Peck’s large pony Kingston to a decisive win.
In her classic round with Kingston, Iwasaki received an 87 and in her handy round, scored an 88. “I’ve been riding him since Thermal. He’s actually owned by Ava Peck and I’m very lucky to get to ride him,” Iwasaki says of her win. “I like the hunter derbies since they’re different. It’s something new and fun.”
The headliners were Lane Clarke, who rode MH War Dance to victory in the $25,000 GGT Footing Grand Prix, and Jamie Taylor, who took Caroline Eliades’s Jager to the $2,500 Grand Prix Hunter Derby title.
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Clinician and teacher Richard Winters puts on a winning Derby demonstration
PASO ROBLES — While open competitors tuned their show horses in the two weeks before the National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby, Richard Winters was working in Parkfield.
Without pause, there was the all-women’s horsemanship retreat he and wife Cheryl conduct each year at the V-6 Ranch, followed by a pair of “ultimate horse” clinics — back-to-back-to-back — and then a haul straight to the Mid State Fairgrounds where he “got into horse show mode.”
“That’s the tough deal for me, knowing that I’ve got to compete against guys who have not been sitting out here talking to the average clinic participant about their horses,” said Richards, who loves his 25-year work as a popular clinician and teacher and who also has had a lifelong passion for reined cow horses. “They’ve been schooling their cow horses. They are getting ready to compete, and here I am out here. You just do what you can do.”
What injury?! Hutchison earns two Blenheim wins
You could call June 14 “Susie Sunday” after the Temecula-based star rode to wins in both the afternoon $30,000 June Classic Grand Prix and the $7,500 CashCall Mortgage Futurity earlier in the day. She rode St. Bride Farm’s Ziedento to the grand prix win over Francie Steinwedell-Carvin aboard Lapsus du Lavoir, and she took 8-year-old SIG Firecracker to the futurity title.
From the hilltop VIP tent to the grassy knoll, there was a sizable crowd soaking up the Southern California sun while watching show jumping at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at San Juan Capistrano. Mexican course designer Javier Fernandez designed the track, with standout challenges in the first round, including a short turn to the Michael & Kenzie vertical line in five strides to the open water jump and an oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination going away from the in-gate towards the end.
Ten-year-old Augusta Iwasaki had her work cut out for her, riding seven ponies between the open and green divisions. After the two days of competing were complete, Iwasaki and her medium pony Somekindawonderful garnered a model score of 88, under saddle of 92 and another 88 over fences for a total of 268 points and the Overall Grand Champion honors.
Overall Reserve Grand Champion went to Small Addition, piloted by Juliette Joseph and owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, who finished with scores of 90, 92 and 82 for a total of 264.
Southern California reining hits full stide at LAEC with 2015 CRHA Reiner Shine event
Not to mention those talented reiners.
Good crowds and good times filled the weekend June 4-7 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, as the California Reining Horse Association hit its mid-year stride with a competition that boosted members’ campaigns to qualify for year-end opportunities.
From youth to non pros to open, competition was sharp. Ryan Kali and Ben Balow were judges.
Elaine Davis went home with a pair of Circuit Championships with her Custom Made Nic, taking the Limited Non Pro title along with the Novice Horse Championship. Finishing reserve to Custom Made Nic in the respective classes were Rebecca Armour on San Cielo Rey in the Limited Non Pro competition, and Taylor Stephens in the Novice Horse.
California's first 2015 Regional Championships reveal Arabian versatility -- and fun
DEL MAR — From reining to park horse, young exhibitors to the not-so-young, the Arabian Horse Association’s Region 1 Championship Show brought the Del Mar Fairgrounds to life May 27-31 in an energetic showcase of versatility.
Entries were up in the regional finals — always a good gauge of the state of the industry — and so were the moods of exhibitors and trainers.
“It was a good show,” Region 1 Director Mary Ann Hughes said of the five-day weekend that featured a “Pre-show” Wednesday and Thursday, followed by the Nationals-qualifying Regional Championships Thursday night through Sunday. “Two things. Regionals are where a lot of them qualify for nationals. “Regionals are where a lot of competitors qualify for Nationals, but there are a lot of people who don’t intend to go to Nationals, and the Regionals is the big show for them for the year.”
2015 Zone 10 NAYR and NAJR Teams named; "I could hear my dad saying 'whoa' as I came to the last fence -- but I saw it, so I just went for it." -Josephina Nor Lantzman
With a talented field of riders, including Thursday’s Markel Insurance Grand Prix winner Nayel Nassar with two horses, veteran Susan Hutchison also with two mounts, Josephina Nor Lantzman, Michael Endicott, Harley Brown and more, the Grand Prix had eighteen quality horse and rider combinations performing for a sizable group of spectators enjoying the beautiful Southern California afternoon. Course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany ensured a display of scope and skill from riders with a twisting track of 16 elements in a time allowed of 90 seconds.