Son of 7-time Open champion Ted Robinson wins on San Juan Ranch's Stylish Little Oak
RENO, Nev. — Tucker Robinson, 32, Oak View, Calif., skillfully piloted Stylish Little Oak (Playin Stylish x Shiners Little Oak x Shining Spark), owned by San Juan Ranch, Shandon, Calif., to a 224 score in the fence work, rewarding him with his first National Reined Cow Horse Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship and a $100,000 paycheck.
Robinson and his father, 7-time NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion and NRCHA Hall of Fame rider Ted Robinson, became only the second father-son duo to claim the prestigious title.
“It means so much. I had seen my dad, Jon Roeser, Bob Avila, Greg Ward and John Ward all win it when I was a little kid – and now my name is going on that list with them,” he said. “It is really, really special to me.”
Robinson has ridden Stylish Little Oak since she was a 2-year-old. “John and Brenda Stephenson send my dad and me a handful of 2-year-olds every year, and she and I just fit each other. I really appreciate them giving me the opportunity to ride such great horses,” noted Robinson, who said he knew the mare was special, and that belief in the mare never wavered.
First, the Madera, Calif., trainer won the Ladies Championship at the 2010 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity with Tuckers Smart Cat (WR This Cats Smart X Smoke Time Tuck), owned by David Archer. Because Tuckers Smart Cat is NRCHA Stakes eligible, was a yearling purchase at the NRCHA sale, and paid into the Fairlea Ranch/Silver Gun Yearling Sale incentive, Tuckers Smart Cat received an additional $14,500.
Americans tally 8 medals at first games on 'home turf'
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The equestrian sport of vaulting has a new Team Gold-medalist – the FACE Vaulters of the United States. In a move that will forever change the interest level of the sport in the U.S., a sold-out crowd witnessed as the first ever Team Gold was won on a freestyle score of 8.779 and a final composite of 8.029.
Led by California’s Devon Maitozo of Woodside, the team consisted of Blake Dahlgren of Santa Clarita, Mary Garrett of Seal Beach, Emily Hogye of Ben Lomond, Mari Inouye of Redwood City, Rosalind Ross of Aptos, and Annalise VanVranken of Mays Landing, N.J. Their horse, Palatine, a 12-year-old Westphalian gelding, was lunged Carolyn Bland.
“This is an opportunity for us to put vaulting on the map in the United States,” said Maitozo. “People actually now know that this sport exists. They’ve seen it in small towns across America and in the paper. This is exciting for us.”
LEXINGTON, KY. — As Kentucky Horse Park unravels from the experience of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games that ended Oct. 10, the scope of the event begs for a look:
According to the sponsor, more than a half-million people from all 50 states and nearly 60 countries attended over the 16 days. Competitors from 58 countries went head-to-head for world championship titles in eight equestrian disciplines, drawing more spectators than any U.S. sport event since the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah. On one peak day, eventing cross-country on Oct. 2, an unprecedented 50,818 spectators filled the Kentucky Horse Park. Alltech also estimates that, globally, more than 400 million followed the action on television.
First visit to L.A. Int'l a winning one
BURBANK — Rich Fellers came to the Los Angeles International Jumping Festival for the first time, and based on his success at the Sept. 22-26 event, he’ll return.
On Thursday night, 39 entries challenged the $30,000 L.A. International Welcome Stake scored under FEI Table C, and it was a case of fast, faster, fastest. Richard Spooner was fourth to contest Leopoldo Palacios’ course and with Pariska 2 (C&S Partnership, owner) he was fast at 66.9 seconds. On his heels, Ali Nilforushan on Pegasus went 66.4 seconds.
Going next, Fellers and Flexible (Harry and Molly Chapman, owners) were even faster in 63.53 seconds. It looked like the top three places were settled early on and everyone else was left to battle it out for fourth, until Fellers returned again on the venerable McGuiness. Hunkered down in his characteristic style, Fellers flew around the course and stopped the clock in 62.05, there was stunned silence and then uproarious applause.
BURBANK — While the stars were out in the two FEI classes at the LA International, future stars were making their presence known in the Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search Finals West. This is the only national equitation championship held on the West Coast, and there was no shortage of talent in the 45-entry class.
Taylor Ann Adams made the trip from Florida to ride in the West Coast version of the Finals. “My trainer, Don Stewart, always goes to Capital Challenge, and that conflicted with the East Coast Finals, so we decided to come to California,” explained Taylor, who leased El Toro (Lindsay Anderson, owner) and had Karen Healey step in to coach the talented rider.
SAN DIMAS – Anne Meredith, the tireless visionary who turned an 8-acre undeveloped plot into the bustling San Dimas Equestrian Center 37 years ago, passed away Sept. 2. She was 87.
Meredith, born in 1923 in Bowling Green, Ohio, into a non-equestrian family, once recalled that from age 3 she was insistent to own a horse. Her love of animals went beyond economic considerations.
Her friend, Michelle Campbell, recalls a story Meredith told from the Depression era, when her father – who normally didn’t pay too much attention to his daughter’s horse — started to wonder why his feed bill was so high. “I was feeding my friends’ horses for free, because I couldn’t bear to see them get rid of them,” Meredith once told her.
Arbuckle, trained by Karen Healey, showed mastery of the course and rode her mount with style and poise, earning her a spot in the top ten of the flat phase.
Finding training opportunities in your riding
Next in a series
Last issue, we reviewed the benefits of pattern exercises in general and serpentines in particular. This issue, let’s take a step back to look at the dynamics and communication of “steering.”
A very simple concept that can be easy to forget is this: If you’re not telling your horse to turn, he should be going straight. Too many riders let the arena fence do their steering for them, and when they come off it they, and the horse, can really get lost. So get off the rail, look up, then pick a point and trot toward it. What happens? Odds are your horse will start drifting toward what interests him, and you get an excellent training opportunity for him and yourself!
Five days of top hunter/jumper competition return to the Del Mar Arena Oct. 20-24 when Jump Del Mar presents the 2010 Del Mar International Horse Show. Special classes will include a $5,000 Prix de Nations, a $5,000 Hunter Derby and the $30,000 California Horsetrader Grand Prix on Saturday, Oct. 23. For more info on this well-run, exciting event that is great both for spectators and exhibitors alike, go to http://www.jumpdelmar.com.