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Ready for Scottsdale

Sierra Empire Arabian show gears up regional talent going to desert

From Horsetrader staff reports - February 7th, 2013 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

Rob Hess photo

Katherine Rich rides Green Acres Appollo, owned by Mona Nicole Belts at the 38th Annual Sierra Empire Arabian Horse Association show held at the Fairplex in Pomona Jan. 25-27.

POMONA — Rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the region’s Arabian exhibitors who filled the Fairplex Jan. 25-27 for the 38th Annual Sierra Empire Arabian Horse Association show. The venue attracted top talent looking to start a new show season and prepare for the upcoming Scottsdale Arabian Show this month.

Once held in April, the SEAHA event moved to January three years ago when the venerable Whittier Lions Horse Show ended its 48-year run.

Temecula-based trainer Katherine Rich-Elzig, the granddaughter of Whittier Lions Show founder and leader, Dr. Harold West, looks forward to the January competition.

“Sierra Empire Arabian Horse Association is a great club, and I was glad that the show officials and exhibitors alike decided, whether rain or shine, we would have a horse show,” said Rich-Elzig. “Every January is very nostalgic for me. The timing of the show is also important in that it serves as a perfect warm-up for the much anticipated Scottsdale Arabian Show in February.”

Rich-Elzig’s barn enjoyed success at the Sierra Empire show. Green Acres Appollo won the Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure Junior Horse, marking success to a third generation in the breeding program at Rich-Elzig’s Green Acres.

Rob Hess photo

Wizard of Roz and owner-rider Keeley Bullard celebrated a remarkable comeback at the Sierra Empire Arabian Horse Association event.

“His dam line is linked to mares my grandfather bred in the early 1960’s,” she said. “Green Acres Appollo demonstrates the strength, quality and trainability that my grandfather sought after more than 50 years ago.”

Also celebrated was the performance of Wizard Of Roz, a 14-year-old Half-Arabian owned and ridden by Keeley Bullard in a true comeback story.

“He beat all odds and was able to show again,” Rich-Elzig said of the gelding, who for 18 months had been stricken with an unrecognized metabolic disorder that ultimately led to laminitis and founder. “Wizard had the advice and assistance from four veterinarians and three farriers, all of which were baffled by his symptoms and were not confident he would or could pull through.”

After 20 months of extensive care, diet change and endless love from his owners, he persevered.

“Not only did Wizard persevere, he placed second in a large hunter pleasure class,” Rich-Elzig added. “He was so happy to be back in the show ring it brought tears to my eyes and everyone else’s that knew what he had been through.”

Rob Hess photo

Karsyn Patterson and Savior, a gelding by Psymadre owned by Debbie Price, takes the Hunter Pleasure JTR 13-under title at the Sierra Empire show at the Fairplex in Pomona Jan. 25-27.

San Dimas trainer Debbie Price of Priceless Arabians watched a pair of her students claim victories in preparation for Scottsdale — and then the Arabian Horse Association Youth Nationals.

In her first show in the 14-18 Division, Crystal Garcia of Glendora and DA Twilight Zone looked ready for the age-group jump, dominating Hunter Pleasure junior to ride competition.

“This first show of the year has always been incredible for us because it kind of gives us an idea where we stand with the California horses before we hit Scottdsale and go against the kids from out of state,” said Price, who will take six clients to Scottsdale.

Garcia also won the Reining Seat Equitation Class on PA Raptor+.

“I think one of the things that made Crystal so incredible is that she’s now riding reining horses with me,” Price added of Garcia, who’ll also show PA Raptor+ in Scottsdale. “She competed for the first time in a reining class and did exceptional — doing that type of work and going faster has taught her confidence. That has probably been the biggest help in trying to get her to be a better rider for the 14-through-17 group, riding that reining horse.”

Another Priceless Arabians youth, 12-year-old Karsyn Patterson, made her mark in the 13-under division with Savior VF+, owned by Price, winning her division hunter pleasure title as well as a hunt seat medal class.

In his preparation for Scottsdale, trainer Jonathan Ramsey of Stachowski West in San Marcos had three champions at the Sierra Empire show, including TD Shockstar with Bridget Atwood in the AOTR Country Pleasure; TD Smooth Criminal in the Half Arabian Country English Pleasure AOTR with Atwood; and Harper Stanley in the Walk/Trot and the UPHA Saddleseat Equitation class on Hucks Berry Best.

Atwood also went Reserve in the Junior Hunter class with Crown Julleyn, and fellow Stachowski West barnmate Michelle Harris went Reserve in the AOTR Country Pleasure with SV Justajoy.

The Whole Shabang+\, owned Hauna Krekemeyer of Glendora, was chosen as the Judge’s Choice award, and the purebred stallion GiacomoIA was named the Supreme Halter Champion.

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