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Sierra Empire kicks off Arabian show season

SPECIAL TO THE HORSETRADER - March 3rd, 2011 - Cover Story, Show & Event News
David Garrett with halter champion Midas VF, owned by Nedra Johnson of Hidden Hills.

Photos by Debbie Tabb

David Garrett with halter champion Midas VF, owned by Nedra Johnson of Hidden Hills.

POMONA — With such nationally known trainers as Sheila Varian, Jim Lowe, David Garrett, Cynthia Burkman and Lou Roper, as well as many fine local Southern California trainers and others, the Sierra Empire Arabian Horse Association started the 2011 show season Jan. 28-30 at the Fairplex.

Show officials were pleased: Entries were up to 190 horses from 130 horses last year at the same show, and the weather was perfect for Friday and Saturday’s events with clear skies and 70 to 80 degree weather. Sunday afternoon, however, brought some rain that threatened snow in mountain passes, forcing several exhibitors to pull out early to beat the snow before major highways closed to traffic.

The SEAHA Group is dedicated to bringing the fun back into showing horses with the addition of a number of “fun” classes including “Simon Says”, “Egg & Spoon” and the infamous “Barn Dog Races”. They also included a great slate of Carriage Driving classes that were open to horses of all breeds. The carriage driving classes drew exhibitors with very fine rigs and several National Champions in their own breeds to compete against each other. They were exciting classes to watch and SEAHA plans to continue offering these classes next year. They offered enough classes for the points earned showing at the SEAHA show to count toward year-end totals in the driving associations.

Photos by Debbie Tabb

Spectators line the rail on Saturday.

SEAHA also awarded a special trophy this year, the Judge’s Choice Award. Judge Richard Petty chose one horse that struck him for any particular reason, and he selected Ms. Stella Brown and her horse, Hoku Alii+//. Alii, a 21-year-old chestnut gelding, and Stella have been buddies since Alii was a youngster. He’s a former National Top 10 Trail Horse and won the Amateur Trail Class at the show.

Petty said the difference was Alii’s performance in the “Simon Says” class. “He was the most honest horse I’ve seen” at this show, the judge said. The trophy itself, a lovely solid metal Arabian horse atop black marble on a mahagony base, was created and sponsored by Debbie Willis of John Arnold Trading Company.

Cavalia, the grand-scale equine spectacle created by Normand Latourelle, one of the original founders of Cirque de Soleil, also sponsored the show and donated tickets to one of their performances. These tickets were raffled off and won by Vandy Reeves of El Camino Ranch. Guillaume Paquette from Cavalia was on hand to present the tickets to Vandy and the Championship Trophies in the Arabian Western Pleasure AOTR Championship and HA/AA Country English Pleasure Championship Classes.

A portion of the proceeds of this show will go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Loma Linda.

Upcoming ACTHA ride
SEAHA is sponsoring an ACTHA (American Competitive Trail Horse Association) Ride April 30 in West Cajon Valley. Ride information and registration can be made at www.ACTHA.us The ride, open to all breeds, and is another way to get out there an enjoy your horse in a fun competition where each horse and rider are judged on their abilities to negotiate various “obstacles” encountered on pleasure rides. Obstacles may be riding down an incline, going through a water crossing, opening/closing a gate, maneuvering over/around a log, etc. The rides are six to 10 miles and take 2½-3 hours, starting with breakfast and ending with lunch and awards. The SEAHA ride will start at Windwitch Arabians Ranch and go into the hills on the back-side of Wrightwood.

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Photos by Debbie Tabb

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