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Susie and Woody soaring high and fast.

Susie and Woody soaring high and fast.

Photo courtesy Susie Hutchison

SAN DIEGO — Twelve years to the day after his passing, Samsung Woodstock, the chestnut gelding who won scores of show jumping honors and the hearts of fans worldwide, received the California Professional Horseman’s Association Equine Lifetime Achievement Award.

The presentation, made to his career-long partner, Susie Hutchison, was a highlight of the Jan. 5 Awards Banquet held this year at the Manchester Grand Hyatt on San Diego Bay.

“There was never a course I walked that looked too high or too wide — that I didn’t know we could do it,” said Hutchison, who is competing at the HITS Coachella circuit.

Her first win on the 16-1-hand “Woody,” in the 1987 Derby in Pebble Beach, came just days after the German-bred Westphalian had arrived from Europe. Their final victory at the 1997 Los Angeles National Grand Prix capped a career that featured 20 grand prix wins, plus qualifications for the World Equestrian Games and three World Cup Finals, the 1990 PCHA Horse of the Year Award, and the 1992 AGA Rider of the Year honor. In 1997, Breyer Animal Creations issued the Samsung Woodstock model horse.

SCRCHA’s best buckle it up

Reined Cow Horse club celebrates a great year and looks ahead to `18

- February 1st, 2018
Roy Rich hauled in the SCRCHA Year-end riches with four champion and three reserve champion buckles to go along with Top 5 and qualifier awards.

Roy Rich hauled in the SCRCHA Year-end riches with four champion and three reserve champion buckles to go along with Top 5 and qualifier awards.

SCRCHA photo

TEMECULA — The Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association honored its 2017 winners at Journey’s End on Saturday, Jan. 13, wrapping up a successful year and setting the stage for an exciting 2018.

The club honored recipients competing not only in cowhorse classes but cutting/herd work and ranch riding as well.

Roy Rich brought in the riches, earning four Champion and three Reserve Champion buckles, as well as Top 5 and qualifier awards. The Temecula-based trainer ended the year with SCRCHA titles on threee different horses owned by Rocking J Ranch, including RJ Wheres My Sock (Junior Ranch Riding), Very Smart Luck (Open Herd, Open Bridle) and Soula Shining Star (Open Two Rein). His three reserves came aboard Very Smart Luck (Open Two Rein), RJ Wheres My Sock (Snaffle Bit) and another Rocking J Ranch horse, Cat From Ipanema (Open Hackamore).

The Comeback Trail

Rebuilding areas charred by December wildfires is under way

- February 1st, 2018

SUNLAND — The trauma of December’s wildfires — and subsequent mudslides a month later in some areas — is far from forgotten in communities from San Diego County to Central California, and in many places, victim needs still outstrip supplies. But signs of recovery are appearing, slowly.

While the toll of the terrible trio — the Lilac Fire in Bonsall, Creek Fire in Los Angeles and Thomas Fire in Ventura County –is still being calculated, groups are forming both formally and informally to mutually support and educate neighbors in respective communities.

Deer Springs Equestrian in San Marcos, a few miles due south of the Lilac Fire, conducted a two-hour equine microchip clinic on Jan. 13, where Dr. Emily Sandler of Pacific Coast Equine Veterinary Services micro-chipped and registered horses.

The local advocacy group, the Twin Oaks Valley Equestrian Association, sent out a comprehensive self-evacuation guide that could be a difference-maker in preparation for a future event. The guide is rooted in the Cal Fire Volunteers in Prevention campaign after the June 2008 Lightning Strike Fires in Tehama County. (A link to this guide is at the end of this article).

In the area struck by the Creek Fire in Los Angeles, equestrians are working together to educate, plan and communicate using lessons learned from the Dec. 6 firestorm, which devastated longtime equestrian centerpieces in their community like Middle Ranch and Gibson Ranch.

Horse Expo Pomona coming March 11 — get with the program!

From the Horsetrader Sales Staff - February 1st, 2018

InGate graphicThe 2018 Western States Horse Expo looks to be more super than ever, as the Horse Expo team brings this first-class event to the L.A. County Fairplex in Pomona March 9-11. There are lots of exciting innovations ramping up for the event, and you’ll get to plan early this year as the March 1 California Horsetrader magazine will have the official Horse Expo Program inside! Founder Miki Nelsen is thrilled to have the program delivered early — in print and online, as it will put the program into the hands of horse people everywhere more than a week before the event. Folks will be able to see the great lineup and plan early. It’s a win-win! Deadline is Feb. 20 for this special edition, so call 760-546-1184 to place your ad today, or email lori.wilson@horsetrader.com!

Popular clinician Craig Cameron will host his crowd-pleasing “Extreme Cowboy Race” at this year’s Western States Horse Expo Pomona, lighting up the Expo on Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. The Freedom Arena will explode each night with 15 contestants as they challenge 13 tough obstacles. The top 10 from Friday and Saturday will once again confront obstacles with grit and determination at the finals on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. “This race is a great test of horse and rider and it takes a great team to compete in a winning way,” says Cameron. “Both the audience and competitors love this race. As a matter of fact, I’d venture to say that it’s the fastest growing sport in the horse industry.

Horse care and the internet

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM - February 1st, 2018

AskTheVetAnyone who knows me knows I use and enjoy the internet. It has improved many things in our society. In veterinary medicine, it is used for telemedicine, sharing radiographs, and quick, easy access to continuing education and research work, just to name a few things. With that being said, there are situations that come up where horse owners turn to the internet for their equine needs, and I wanted to give some warnings on a couple of common situations.

Social media. It is a part of a tremendous number of people’s lives. People often turn to social media to ask questions from their online friends from all over the world. I even try to help out where I can with people asking questions in different groups online. This arena is a difficult one to navigate as a professional trying to help horse owners. We as professionals are required to have a valid veterinary client-patient relationship to offer a diagnosis or treatment recommendation. If we have not examined the animal, we do not have this. Some people may get frustrated with ambiguity or even lack of answering certain things because we can’t. We have not seen the horse. We should not be expected to put our necks out there to open ourselves to the liability if something does go wrong.

Horses matter

The bond between an 11-year-old girl and her petite Arab mare changed lives

By Angie Campbell / for the Horsetrader - February 1st, 2018
Jenna Campbell and "Atty"

Jenna Campbell and “Atty”

Courtesy photo

If someone would have told me that Arabian horses could help people, I might have thought they were crazy.

I mean, how can the labeled “hot headed” Arabian help people, right? Wrong! They totally can — and do.

I have discovered Arabians bond with their owners on a deeper level than any other breeds I have encountered. I can say that because a little Arabian mare did just that for our 11-year-old daughter.

We adopted our daughter at a young age from a neglect/abuse social services situation. We maintained contact with two of her siblings (and still do), and even took in her younger brother who was born later on. However, due to a social services mistake, her younger brother returned back to the care of the department. Then, a week later, my mother died of breast cancer, and three months later my father died.
My daughter was caught in a storm of grief and loss, so much so that she was not able to fully comprehend it. How can you explain loss of this level to a child?

Smokey: A study of heart

By Sheryl Lynde / Horsetrader columnist - February 1st, 2018

Trainer TipsSmokey is a 3-year-old Quarter Horse gelding. The owner needed my help with some fear-related issues that Smokey had. Although he had been started, the owner had some concerns and didn’t feel comfortable riding him.

He had quality breeding that showed in his natural athleticism, but his moves were bigger than necessary and unpredictable. When he first arrived, I put him in the round pen just to let him get acclimated to his new surroundings. I stood in the distance and watched as he spooked at something, lost his footing and actually fell over — all by himself! The owner’s concerns were well-founded, and I had to get Smokey’s behavior corrected not only for the owner’s safety, but for Smokey’s well-being, too. Horses don’t want to live in fear any more than we do. They are looking for someone whom they can draw confidence from, someone to show them a better way to handle their emotions. If he didn’t get help with his fear at this juncture, then his reactions would have continued to escalate. He couldn’t resolve this on his own.

Seven Steps To Big Stops

Les Vogt for the Horsetrader - February 1st, 2018

More With Les graphicNow, I’m going to introduce you to the whole stopping program so you’ll know where we’re going with this. Although we’ll only cover the basics – the collected stop – in this level, this will give you an idea of where we’ll be headed as you advance in this program. We’ll call the stopping program the “Seven Steps to Big Stops.” The seven steps are sequential, and you have to pass each step, and get a good grade in each phase, or you can’t go on. I guess you could but you’re going to get an “F” in the next one. It will take time, but you will get it, and like everything else, you have to work at achieving perfect form at each step so that you can get perfect performance.

We might say that a horse stops well, but there is really so much more to it. Stopping means to cease forward motion, but the stop itself is really the least of my worries. First, the approach has to be good, the form has to be perfect, and there can be absolutely no resistance – if any of these elements aren’t great, the stop won’t be great either.

Reining reiners

The region's best square off at LAEC in season-ending CRHA Challenge Show

From Horsetrader staff reports - January 1st, 2018

1801A CoverBURBANK — The California Reining Horse Associations capped off its 2017 year with good competition and good times, as competitors brought the Los Angeles Equestrian Center to life for its year-end Challenge show and the National Reining Horse Association Affiliate Qualifier.

One of the association’s great fall traditions is the CRHA Reiner of the Year, and the 2017 winner, Micki Quinn, had quite a show. Riding her Jacs Electric Velvet, Quinn brought home hardware after winning the Non Pro, Limited Non Pro, Maturity classes, and she also got to take home the Becca Goss Memorial Foundation trophy, Gatolotto Memorial buckle, Topsail Cody Memorial trophy — and a hrose trailer from All American Trailer. That is your 2017 CRHA Reiner of the Year!

A new CRHA award, the Rick Flathers Sportsmanship Award, was presented this year to trainer Penni Gerardi of Agoura Hills. The award honors a person who has distinguished herself or himself by demonstrating acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. Donated by his friends and family, the award memorializes a favorite colleague who passed March 7, 2016, on the trail behind his home in Orange Park Acres following an accident on horseback. The award was presented by Nancy Flathers, whom Rick met in 1972 at the El Toro Stables in Orange County and later married. The couple were supportive, positive, and generous members of the CRHA, and along with his wife, Rick was an early club member and an enthusiastic presence at the CRHA shows. Rick was always encouraging not only to his wife, who was an avid competitor and successful Non Pro, but to his barnmates, fellow showmen and peers, setting an example of sportsmanship and goodwill that was infectious. A member of the CRHA since its inception, Rick was not only a financial supporter, but was also happy to give his time to the CRHA Board of Directors for several years, adding value not only as a competitor, but as a businessman, helping to shape what would ultimately become the flourishing association that CRHA is today.

Five days, home

As the fallout from recent tragic wildfires continues to be assessed, writer Elizabeth Kaye McCall shares the evacuation of her beloved stallion, RajaliKa, from the Lilac Fire

By ELIZABETH KAYE McCALL - January 1st, 2018
At the Del Mar Fairgrounds duruing evacuations, trainer Manny Calvario with RajaliKa

At the Del Mar Fairgrounds duruing evacuations, trainer Manny Calvario with RajaliKa

Elizabeth Kaye McCall photo

There’s an advertisement in horse magazines that always gets my attention. It says something like, “your horse has never colicked until he does.” Something like that. It came to mind as I thought about the Lilac Fire in northern San Diego County that erupted with the same “until it does” urgency on Dec. 7, a day already infamous as Pearl Harbor Day. On a more personal level, also my late father’s birthday.

I was rushing to leave for an appointment at the Apple Store in Temecula, late as usual, when a friend from the barn called to tell me about a fire a couple miles from where I live in Fallbrook. The Santa Anas had depleted the air of any humidity a day earlier. I’d noticed my horse’s tail electric when I’d brushed it the night before. But fire? I turned on the TV as the friend suggested. It was close, but with little sign beyond the TV news coverage of getting urgent. I was packing a suitcase, already had my laptop out, and got dog and cat food ready as well as the carriers. I wasn’t really thinking about the barn at that point –only that I’d get a few things together in case. Two hours later, when a mandatory evacuation alert reached my street, I set off with a crying cat and worried dog, in the car, thinking I’d gotten things handled pretty easily on short notice.