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Adina Valenzuela looks ship-shape in winning CRHA Reiner of the Year

From Horsetrader staff reports - November 20th, 2014 - Show & Event News

2014 CRHA Reiner of the Year Adina Valenzuela (holding buckle), along with her mount Zen Master, strike a championship pose with friends and associates.

2014 CRHA Reiner of the Year Adina Valenzuela (holding buckle), along with her mount Zen Master, strike a championship pose with friends and associates.

John O’Hara photo

BURBANK – When she’s in the saddle, Adina Valenzuela of the U.S. Navy has no other care in the world. That’s why, when her shore duty ends in January and she is deployed to the Pacific Ocean for three years on the USS Paul Hamilton, she’s going to miss her Zen Master.

Plus, she just loves the 5-year-old gelding that carried her to unexpected heights this year, winning the California Reining Horse Association 2014 Reiner of the Year. Valenzuela, an Orange County native who learned to ride at the Ortega Equestrian Center, earned the award at the CRHA Challenge show Oct. 22-26. After qualifying for the special class by virtue of her success in her division at CRHA shows this year, she went head-to-head against other club members of all divisions – non pros, novice non pros, and all – and finished on top.

“I’m still in shock that I actually accomplished that,” says Valenzuela, who also claimed the Southwest Affiliate Reserve Championship in her Rookie Division.

Since March, she had ridden Zen Master three times weekly under trainer Bill Norwood in Temecula.

“She rides really well and listens really well,” says Norwood. “She knew going into the Challenge that it would be her last horse show with that horse, and it was great to see her finish up with a good show like that.”

She loves riding, and she’ll miss it. Still, her chin is up as duty calls.

“I’m just going to save up until I can come back from my deployment and get my next horse,” she says. “And whoever it is, he’s going to have big shoes to fill.”

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