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SCRCHA continues to honor trainer
at Gilkerson Memorial Spectacular

Lyn Anderson and Lil Time To Smoke win Open Hackamore

From Horsetrader staff reports - June 4th, 2009 - Show & Event News

Lyn Anderson and Lil Time To Smoke win the Open Hackamore Spectacular.

Kat Rodgers photo

Lyn Anderson and Lil Time To Smoke win the Open Hackamore Spectacular.

TEMECULA — Working hard is the path to achieving greatness, and Sherri Gilkerson inspired all around her to accomplish their best. Naming a show after Sherri was the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association and Arizona Reined Cow Horse Association’s way to memorialize its treasured member. Held at Casner Ranch in Temecula, Calif., from May 15-17, the 3rd annual Sherri Gilkerson Memorial Bridle and Hackamore Spectacular combined with the Wine Country Classic Show was once again popular with both riders and spectators.

Sherri Gilkerson died October 2006 from injuries sustained in a horse accident in Cave Creek, Ariz. An accomplished horse trainer and coach, Gilkerson won both the Open Bridle and Limited Open Bridle at the 2005 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, among her long list of accomplishments. More than that, many who knew Gilkerson say she was a good friend, an ethical business woman, a wonderful partner to her husband Marc, and a good representative for the reined cow horse industry.

One of the special awards for the Open Spectacular Champion was a unique trophy Marc Gilkerson and his friends created. The perpetual trophy, a bronze of Sherri’s actual boots and spurs, immortalizes the great work ethic it takes to win. Marc commented: “Sherri once said, ‘Training horses doesn’t define me, it’s what I do for a living.’ Anyone who met Sherri knew she wasn’t in it for the money. She was a trainer to help people do their best.” He adds: “In the past year and a half, I’ve learned that life can make you bitter, or it can make you better. It’s all in your outlook and how you accept it.”

The Open Hackamore Spectacular (with added money of $5,000) was won by Lyn Anderson of Madera, Calif., riding Lil Time To Smoke, owned by Kathryn Schaefer. They scored 221.5 to earn a payout for $3,372. Anderson said she would not miss this show out of respect for Sherri, Mark and their families. “This show is a wonderful way to honor Sherri’s life and it means a lot to be able to come together to remember Sherri,” said Anderson, who has also been the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s President for the last few years. “It’s a great show, and they continue to add classes, have more prize money and to rearrange the schedule so everyone can get shown at a decent hour.”

Taking the Open Hackamore Spectacular Reserve honors was Jason Hershberger aboard Bridge Canyon Miss, owned by Mike Oden Cattle Co., with a 218.5 score earning $2,810.

The Limited Open Hackamore Spectacular (with added money of $1,000) was among the new Spectacular classes this year. There was a tie in the class for co-champions, who both scored 214.5. Jeff Veitch rode Smarty Boonlight, owned by Coal Creek Ranch, to earn $1,240. Also winning the shared title and $1,240 was Brad Barkemeyer aboard Zipper Nic, owned by Allan Kaplan.

Another highlight class was the Open Bridle Spectacular (with added money of $5,000) won by Bob Avila of Temecula riding Docs Soula, owned by Docs Soula Partners, earning a 217 score and $3,664. Jason Hershberger took another Spectacular reserve in the Open Bridle Spectacular; this time riding Barnies Bro, owned by Jon and Peggy Hershberger, with a 215.5 score for $2,748.

In the Non Pro Bridle Spectacular (with added money of $5,000), Dema Paul rode Primos Bob Acres for the championship. Dema was also the Non Pro Bridle Champion for the third year in a row. Dema reflected: “Sherri came to Arizona to take lessons from Jim and Jimmie Paul from Colorado and never left. She was always trying to improve, working hard and consistently got better.”

Primos Bob Acre (Teninas First x Bob Acre Angelena), owned by Jim and Dema Paul of Cave Creek, Ariz., has been creatively tagged “Border Collie” by Ted Robinson because of the way he works a cow. “He does it all by himself, I just have to stay out of his way. He can read a cow better than any person. He’s one in a million, I’ll never have another horse like him. He and I are kinda a team, we get along so well.”

Dema was also an inspiration to horsepeople since she recently recovered from an injury and came back as a reigning champion. “I have a phobia about stopping (in the rein work) and managed somehow to get all of my horses to not like it, but we got through it good. His favorite is the cow work, even though he’s good in the herd. Going down the fence, he gets to the cow and all I have to worry about is pushing him by,” Dema said. “He takes his head and wraps it around the cow somehow. It’s something you can’t teach a horse, either he has it or not.”

SCRCHA President Cindy Mendoza explained the origin of the show and its collaboration between the Southern California and Arizona affiliates of National Reined Cow Horse Association. “We’d been talking about doing a big show together. The idea of a memorial show went into play. Originally, the plan was to trade years, one year in California and one Arizona,” Mendoza said.

The first year simply ended up in California because of date conflicts in Arizona and the available seasons. “You can pretty much show all year in California, whereas Arizona gets too hot in the summer time,” Mendoza said. “So they asked us if we would have the show concurrently with our Wine Country Classic show we hold every May. At our first show, we were so excited to have a great turnout and everyone just loved the facility. With such a huge turnout, Dema and Debbie came up to me during that show and said: ‘Cindy, you know, we have to keep the show here, your team is doing a fantastic job with the show and we couldn’t pick a better place to have it!’ Between the two clubs working together as a team and wonderful volunteers that stepped up to the occasion, we had another successful show,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza added that Casner Ranch is a beautiful facility and Craig Casner keeps it in top notch condition. It has enough space for 200 horses with plenty of RV parking. “It boasts three arenas, all with superb ground, which enabled us to have two arenas going at the same time,” Mendoza said.

In addition to the annual show, the two associations have created a scholarship fund in Sherri’s name. Any NRCHA Youth member with the desire to go to college and good grades is eligible. Donations and profits of the show go toward the scholarship fund. Donations are accepted. Information about the Sherri Gilkerson Memorial Scholarship is available at  www.scrcha.com  or www.azrcha.com .

For complete results, visit:  www.scrcha.com/4Results/4Results.html

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