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Rancho California Assoc. spotlights the Arabian Horse at Fall Show, exhibition

'Night of the Arabian Horse' draws audience of both equestrians, non-horsemen

By DANIEL K. LEW / Horsetrader staff - October 1st, 2009 - Cover Story

Sarah Jayne Johnson, JSN Johnnie B Good, trainer Tracy Fincher, Madison W., Madison Scarbrough

Sarah Jayne Johnson, JSN Johnnie B Good, trainer Tracy Fincher, Madison W., Madison Scarbrough

TEMECULA — Rancho California Arabian Horse Association made efforts to both serve its members and outreach to non-equestrians at its “Night of the Arabian Horse” Sept. 19 and annual Fall Show Sept. 20 at Casner Ranch.

“Night of the Arabian Horse” was an exhibition and included freestyle reining, costumes, dressage freestyle and a liberty class, in addition to having raffles and food available.

As an outreach program, the Rancho California AHA hoped to have both equestrians and non-horsemen enjoy the event and make more people aware of the beauty of the Arabian horse.

Prior to the evening, Rancho California AHA President Kathy Callahan-Smith said they outreached to the local community, schools and businesses. “We were hoping to get 50 percent of the audience as people who had not been around horses before and it worked out really well,” she said. “We had around 300 people show up, so we considered it a great success and were very pleased with the turnout.”

Bleacher seating was filled and it was standing-room with people watching along the arena’s rails. “Hopefully, a few of those people will continue take lessons or own a horse,” Callahan-Smith said.

Kirk Aguilera, Grace Gonzales, Lauren Aguilera, Jena Aguilera and Taylor Story attend the RCAHA show.

Kirk Aguilera, Grace Gonzales, Lauren Aguilera, Jena Aguilera and Taylor Story attend the RCAHA show.

One of the night’s highlights was the Liberty Class, accompanied by music, for purebred or half-Arabian horses. It had a $100 entry fee with a 50 percent payback to the winner. Alan and Janice Tavener earned the $300 prize payback with their 2-year-old chestnut colt, AJ Vittorio, winning the Liberty Class.

The following day’s Fall Show on Sept. 20 also had a good turnout with around 100 horses competing. In two rings, the show offered a variety of classes, including sport horse under saddle, sport horse in hand, trail, reining, Western, English, equitation and hunter pleasure–to appeal to appeal to exhibitors and showcase the versatility of Arabians and Half-Arabians.

Rancho California AHA’s Fall Show was one of their slightly smaller shows for this time of year “to hopefully involve some of our newer members or horse owners. There were some national champions competing as well, but our goal with that show was for 50 percent of the people who come, maybe it was their first Arabian show–or in their first year,” said Callahan-Smith, who added the club wanted to have the show be cost effective and a starter place for riders.

Amanda Marcus and Dream Daaner win this HA/AA Hunter Pleasure Championship.

Amanda Marcus and Dream Daaner win this HA/AA Hunter Pleasure Championship.

Among the many riders who did well at the show was 16-year-old Jacque Phan of Temecula. Riding her 7-year-old gray Arabian gelding, Valerian Fantasy+/, Phan won classes in Arabian Hunter Pleasure JTR 14-17 and Arabian Hunter Pleasure JTR Championship.

She had been showing Valerian Fantasy+/, also called “Larry,” for three years. “I bought him to show and he’s become our favorite horse in the barn–he’s the best,” Phan said. “We usually do very well at shows; I took him to Youth Nationals this year and went Top 10.”

Phan described her favorite horse as goofy and too smart for his own good. “Sometimes, he’s smart for the wrong things–he knows how to open gates,” Phan laughed. “But he’s really sweet. We have little kids ride him sometimes and he takes care of them.”

At the Rancho California AHA Fall Show, Phan also won classes aboard PKA Chippendale in Arabian Sport Horse in Hand 2 & Over Geldings, Arabian Sport Horse Under Saddle Open, and Youth Showmanship-Handlers 14-17. They also took second place in Arabian Sport Horse Under Saddle ATR.

Krista Williams and WW Flashpoint win a HA/AA Hunter Pleasure JTR class at the Rancho Calif. Arabian Fall Show.

Krista Williams and WW Flashpoint win a HA/AA Hunter Pleasure JTR class at the Rancho Calif. Arabian Fall Show.

“PKA Chippendale has really good conformation,” Phan said of the 17-year-old horse she has owned for six years. “Even as an older horse, he can still go into a class with 2-and 3-year olds and win, so that’s why we show him in sport horse classes.

Phan started riding when she was 8 years old and has been training with Brie Yhlen of Caboray Ranch in Temecula since then. She considers Yhlen and many of the other riders there her second family. “I train with her and there are lots of moments at shows when I need to listen and take her advice on my horse, but Brie is also like a sister, said Phan, who added she and everyone in the “horse-show family” travel together and share activities outside of the ring. “So, it’s a lot more than just training and shows. We all enjoy showing; horse shows are a good excuse to hang out with friends.”

When it comes to horses, she enjoys riding for both pleasure and competition. “Pleasure is a main reason for why I ride, but going to horse shows and seeing your hard work be rewarded is a great feeling. With riding, it’s good to have goals–come back from a horse show, know what you need to work on, and target to do better next time.”

Brittney Yehling and Soldier Field win HA/AA Country English Pleasure Open and Saddle Seat Equitation 17 & Under.

Brittney Yehling and Soldier Field win HA/AA Country English Pleasure Open and Saddle Seat Equitation 17 & Under.

After a few more years in high school, she wants to attend college and major in international business. “I plan to continue showing horses, and maybe doing some light training,” said Phan, who was also thankful to her parents Trung and Carolyn Phan, trainer Brie Yhlen and other members of her horse-show family for their support.

Next, Phan said she plans to compete in November at the Fall Festival Arabian Horse Show in Scottsdale, Ariz., followed by regional shows and the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show in February 2010.

For information and complete show results, visit: www.rcaha.org and www.horsenumbers.com

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