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Spectacular to the finish

Bob Avila takes Shiners Rojo to Open Bridle Spectacular title at Gilkerson Memorial

From Horsetrader staff reports - June 2nd, 2011

TEMECULA — For Danielle Paskowitz, this year’s Sherri Gilkerson Memorial Bridle Spectacular will be remembered as the Year of Changing Horses.

For the last eight years, the San Juan Capistrano non-pro had been partnered with Smart Tom Tucker, her first cow horse that she acquired from Bob Avila and then rode to a staircase of success. Her new horse, Shiners Rojo (Shining Spark x Little Lena Lady x Smart Little Lena) made his California debut under Avila May 13-15 in the $5,000-added Open Bridle Spectacular at the Gilkerson event, and they won — just three days after Paskowitz had sold her 14-year-old “Tucker horse” to a new home.

A California takeover at the Makeover

Don Douglas and Bay Joe capture top Mustang crown at Norco

Special to the Horsetrader - June 2nd, 2011

Don Douglas of Paicines and Bay Joe show off their working cow horse skills in the Finals of Extreme Mustang Makeover in Norco May 13-15.

Rhonda Hole photo

Don Douglas of Paicines and Bay Joe show off their working cow horse skills in the Finals of Extreme Mustang Makeover in Norco May 13-15.

NORCO — The Extreme Mustang Makeover returned to Southern California and showcased the Mustangs’ superior ability to navigate the trails in the foothills of Norco and the urban obstacles around town. On Saturday night, Don Douglas of Paicines and his Mustang Bay Joe were crowned champions of the event.

After a stellar performance of displaying incredible working cow horse maneuvers, Douglas and Bay Joe received a combined score of 249.5 from judges Sheila Varian, Vickie Bass and Ken McNabb. Their score bested reserve champs Joseph Misner and Mustang Rio Bravo by two points.

Gold Coast thrives despite EHV-1 scare

Special to the Horsetrader - June 2nd, 2011

Jenni Martin-McAllister and Glados clinch the 1.20M championship at the Gold Coast 3 show May 20-22 at the L.A. Equestrian Center.

Flying Horse photo

Jenni Martin-McAllister and Glados clinch the 1.20M championship at the Gold Coast 3 show May 20-22 at the L.A. Equestrian Center.

BURBANK — Entries to the Gold Coast 3 were at an all-time high, but then fear about the EHV-1 infection among cutting horses that attended one of two events began spreading faster than the disease itself. To be sure the show would not put horses at undue risk, the Langer Equestrian Group staff did their homework, talked to area veterinarians, and got information from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health. Although a few trainers decided to stay home, the show came off without a hitch and classes had strong entries from Opportunity to 1.35 meter jumpers.

“We evaluated the situation carefully,” stated Show Manager Michael Roy Curtis, “and given all the information we went ahead and ran the show.”

Strong showing for Canadians at Woodside Spring Dressage

Special to the Horsetrader - June 2nd, 2011
Canada's Dominique Culham Buckland and "Utango DG" enjoy two CDI class wins at Woodside.

Jennifer M. Keeler photo

Canada's Dominique Culham Buckland and "Utango DG" enjoy two CDI class wins at Woodside.

WOODSIDE — Canadian dressage riders made themselves at home at the Dressage at Woodside CDI*/Y/J May 19 – 22, dominating the small tour and earning moving one step closer to their Pan American Games dreams.

As a valuable qualifier for the Northern California region, horses and riders competed for coveted qualifying scores from judges Axel Steiner (FEI 5* USA), Hilda Gurney (FEI 4* USA), and Brenda Minor (FEI 4*CAN). Despite ongoing concerns with a recent EHV-1 outbreak among cutting horses in the western United States, organizers worked with state officials to closely monitor and make the best of a difficult situation.

Alexandria Smith rides Blenheim wins to honor

From the Newstrader - June 2nd, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Alexandria Smith, a Canadian rider who caught fire in the Southern California hunter-jumper circuit this spring, has been named the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Rider of the Month for April.

Smith competes in the West Conference Junior division of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series aboard Calira. The month of April was successful for the pair, as they earned first place honors in a Series class at the Blenheim Spring Classic II, as well as third place during the Blenheim Spring Classic I, for a total of 215 points.

Prized saddles stolen in May 19 tack room theft

From the Newstrader - June 2nd, 2011

Stolen saddle

Stolen saddle

VISTA — A cash reward for the return of items reported stolen from Rancho Dos Palmas in North San Diego has been made by the owner in an attempt to recover a prized De Berge saddle.

Since the May 19 burglary in her personal tack room, ranch owner Ann Laddon has not recovered two saddles and two bridles despite diligent announcements online and via email.

Backing: More cue than pull

By LES VOGT /Horsetrader columnist - June 2nd, 2011

Next in a series
After last issue’s wrap-up of the importance of hip control, let’s take a detailed look at backing your horse.

Your goal when you back is to not have to pull back hard on the horse’s mouth to get him to move backward, but to be able to use just enough contact with the bit to tell him to not go forward – kind of like shifting him into reverse – and then using your legs, like the gas, to move backward. Yes, you might have to tug a little to get him started, but your goal is to take it from an active rein cue to an active leg cue as quickly as possible.