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Lords of the Ring

Peters inspires on both Legolas, 'Rosie', as Southern California dressage in bloom

Releases and Horsetrader Staff Reports - April 2nd, 2015

1504A CoverSAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Southern California sunshine cast dressage in full bloom during March, filling Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park with back-to-back events on successive weekends that proved 2015 will be an exciting year.

With the Pan American Games in Toronto this July and the Olympics a year away, intensity is raised as competitors jostle for attention and qualifications.

Top American rider Steffen Peters cemented his top stature across both weekends. At the California Dreaming Productions’ Capistrano Dressage International CDI-W/Y/J/U-25 on March 19 – 22, Peters successfully punched his ticket to next month’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Las Vegas by not only winning the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle with Legolas 92, but doing so with a new personal-best score of 80.925%. The following weekend, at the California Dreaming Productions’ Festival of the Horse CDI 3*/Y/J/U-25, Peters took his young star Rosamunde to her first Grand Prix Freestyle performance, and the Rheinlander mare affectionately known as “Rosie” looked like a seasoned veteran, earning a unanimous win under all five FEI judges with an impressive 77.750% final score.

Back to the Ranch

Ranch classes are big at first 2015 SCRCHA competition

Special to the Horsetrader - April 2nd, 2015

It was hats-off to Erica Vincent and Raygun at the SCRCHA Pot-O-Gold Show March 14-15. They won the NRCHA Youth Limited in Ranch Riding.

It was hats-off to Erica Vincent and Raygun at the SCRCHA Pot-O-Gold Show March 14-15. They won the NRCHA Youth Limited in Ranch Riding.

Jeff Lynch photo

TEMECULA — Something new was something popular at the first Southern California Reined Cow Association event of the year, the Pot-O-Gold Show held at Casner’s Ranch March 14-15.

Ranch riding classes, tested in a pair of SCRCHA events last September and October, made the line-up for 2015, and the classes attracted numbers.

“They’re are a great complement to the regular working cow classes,” said SCRCHA Past President, non-pro Laura Edwards. “Pretty much all the working cow horse skills are brought into it. The actual pattern itself is pretty much ‘everything slow and easy.’ But it’s a lot harder than it looks!”

Ranch riding is one of five categories of the American Quarter Horse Association Versaility Ranch Horse competition, designed to promote the horse’s athletic ability and versatility. This class shows the horse’s ability to move at a working speed with a rider chiefly in three gaits ­- walk, trot and lope — in each direction. According to AQHA, the horse’s performance should simulate a horse riding outside the confines of an arena and that of a working ranch horse. Responsiveness of the horse while performing requirements and the horse’s quality of movement are primary considerations.

Road opens to Vegas

Exciting Blenheim season-opener launches Markel Insurance series

Special to the Horsetrader - April 2nd, 2015

Nayel Nassar and Acita win the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix March 22, the first of 12 2015 Markel Insurance GrandPrix Series qualifiers.

Nayel Nassar and Acita win the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix March 22, the first of 12 2015 Markel Insurance GrandPrix Series qualifiers.

Amy McCool photo

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — An idyllic spring afternoon played host to the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix, the first showcase show jumping event of the season at Blenheim EquiSports. Twenty-five entries competed for the top prize in this first of twelve 2015 Markel Insurance Grand Prix Series qualifiers. The Series culminates with a Final event at the Las Vegas National.

The track was another inaugural feature of the event, as it was course designer Rob Gage’s first time designing at Blenheim EquiSports. With 16 efforts in a time allowed of 96 seconds, the weaving track required stamina from both horse and rider.

Difficult elements included an airy double combination and a liverpool vertical, designed to challenge but not frighten the competitors. “I expect since this is the first grand prix in a series of four weeks that I’ve got a lot of young horses that are just trying, and a few experienced ones that are warming up,” Gage explained. “I don’t want to make this too hard; I don’t want to scare anybody… I want them to have a challenge, but a good experience.”

Rancho del Rio Stables at the Anaheim Equestrian Center has been sold to longtime Orange Park Acres residents Bill and Fran Klovstad.  Starting this month, the Klovstads will operate the 150-stall boarding facility along with the tack and feed store.  In 2005, Bill and Fran purchased Thrifty Horse in Norco, and 10 years later the plan is to set up a satellite store in the Anaheim location. Bob and Jayne Jones, who have been active in the communities of Anaheim and East Orange, will be retiring once the Klovstads are comfortably running the business.  It’s truly a family-run enterprise, including Buddy and Allison Klovstad, Jason and Madison Miner, and some of the current Thrifty Horse employees and their grandchildren. Improvements are on the horizon at the equestrian center , which hosted a “meet and greet” held March 27 attended by both current patrons and East Orange friends.