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Year of big accomplishments…

From Horsetrader staff reports - December 18th, 2014 - Show & Event News

1408BCoverJANUARY: From start to end, 2014 was a good year for Nicolas Barthelemy and owner Sheri Jamieson. The Ramona-based Barthelemy kick-started his season at the Horse Expo Pomona, winning the inaugural Toyota California Classic aboard Jans Rey Cuatro, edging Marjie Robinson on MH Its Only Boon.

FEBRUARY: California stars shined in Fort Worth, the new home of the NRCHA Celebration of Champions and World Championship Finals events. Doug Williamson took the Celebration Open Derby on Short And Smart, owned by Rocking J Ranch, and Phillip Ralls was reserve on Estelle Roitblat’s Jackies Sparkle. Tish Wilhite rode her Smokin My Cash to the NRCHA Non Pro Two Rein World Championship.

Damp weather didn’t dampen spirits of the West Coast reiners who launched their year at the WCRHA Affiliate 1 show. TessaLIndberg and Chicaderowere sharp, taking the Intermediate Non Pro, Limited Non Pro and Youth 14-18 titles.

MARCH: In the year’s first Southern California Reined Cow Horse event, the Pot o’ Gold Show, up-and-coming Tressie Childs took Dick Hershman’s Tuff Sliding Peppy to a Limited Open Bridle win at Casner’s Ranch, where Aaron Brookshire took the Open Hackamore win on Judith Young’s Miss Soula Cee. Ingrid Vangelos was a newsmaker in the Non Pro Two Rein, winning on her Smooth As A Diamond.

California reiners returned from the Cactus Reining Classic with wins – and winnings — led by Cam Essick’s $9,887 performance with Who Loves You in the $42,000-added Protect the Harvest Non Pro Derby Level 3 and Prime Time titles as well as a share of the Level 4 reserve championship. Marilyn Scheffers of Riverside and “Tink” (This Belles Smokin) claimed the Non Pro High Point Championship.

APRIL: By a wide 10-point margin, Jake Gorrell and his longtime partner Smooth N Cash, owned by the Roloff Ranch, clinched the Holy Cow Performance Horses $25,000-added Bridle Spectacular at the NRCHA Stakes in Las Vegas. Afterward, Gorrell said “Gadget” is “the best horse I’ve ever had.”

Meanwhile, Barthelemy continued his winning ways, riding Jamieson’s mare, Very Red Remedy, to the Open Novice Horse title at the Stakes.

Also in April, the U.S. World Equestrian Games Reining line-up was determined, and Spooks Gotta Whiz, owned by Michell Kimball of Escondido and ridden by Shawn Flarida of Ohio, led the field of qualifiers by more than 3.5 points.

The Valley Cow Horse Association, based in the Central Valley cradle of reined cow horse, officially changed its name in 2014 to the California Cow Horse Association. The newsmaker at its three-day California Horse Trials event was Lance Johnston on his Cee Me Too, winners of the Open Derby and the $5,912 payout.

MAY: It’s not every day that a non pro reiner can catch-ride someone else’s horse and compete against other non-pros in a major venue – and for cash, too. For the fifth year, that’s just what the WCRHA Shootout is all about. Jennifer Gilliam took the Non Pro title on Janiene Borror’s Hick A Shine. The big winner may have been a thrilled Tina McClanahan, who rode Rebeca Martin’s open horse, Show Me The Buckles, in what she later called, “the ride of my life!”

Lyn Anderson is keeping the boots for another year, as the Madera-based trainer returned to Casner’s Ranch with Tuckers Smart Cat and won her second straight Sherri Gilkerson Open Bridle Spectacular title.

JUNE: In Paso Robles, Randy Paul won the NRCHA Intermediate Open Derby on Mister Olena Chic, and a pair of Californians shined in the NRCHA Derby Bridle Spectacular: Phillip Ralls took Christian Larson’s Dom Dualuise to to a $14,325 payout with a 663.5 composite, and Nicolas Barthelemy rode Sheri Jamieson’s Jans Rey Cuatro to the reserve.

The mid-year point for the CRHA was the Reiner Shine Show at the L.A. Equestrian Center, and while Tom Foran took the major open wins on Crome Plated Step and Timber Winner, June Tabor was the Open Circuit Champion on A Smokin Enterprise.

The SCRCHA Summer Slide is a June event, not near February, but the show was a bit of a President’s Day as current club president Laura Edwards on her Dun Leanin and past president Cindy Mendoza on her TMC Cielo Solo both came away with titles in respective classes – Edwards in Non Pro Bridle classes and Mendoza in the NonPro Hackamore.

As Northern California reining heated up with the Star Spangled Slide, Eric LaPorte of Pleasant Grove led the way, continuing his strong year with Linda Hardy’s mare, Whiz N Steady, and winning titles in Open, Novice Horse and a pair of derby titles.

Temecula-based reiner Bill Norwood continued his preparation for the WEG as a member of the Australian team, as Tucalota Creek Ranch owners Alan and Kay Needle hosted a fund-raiser that also raised, well, fun. In addition to $11,000 in donations, a highlight was watching cutter Tim Smith and Norwood himself clear 4-foot fences on jumpers. Norwood’s WEG horse, Peggy Aldrete’s Quinberry, was on hand, too.

JULY: Familiar faces and new ones, too, starred at the Reining By The Bay. Kelly Moran of Laguna Beach rose to the head of the class with her 5-year-old mare, Wimpy’s Mega Step, to pull off a clean sweep of the Level 4 and 3 divisions of the Non Pro Derby, earning $7,798.

AUGUST: In a dominant performance, Michell Kimball’s 7-year-old Spooks Gotta Whiz, ridden by Shawn Flarida, captured two Gold Medals – both individual and team — at the World Equestrian Games. They were the only two Golds earned by the Americans.

Phillip Ralls was at home in his hometown, as Paso Robles hosted the National Stock Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity. Ralls won both the Open Futurity on Estelle Roitblat’s Call Me Mitch, and the Protect The Harvest/Lucas Oil World’s Richest Stock Horse event on Christian Larson’s Dom Dualuise.

SEPTEMBER: In a classic Open Finals duel at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, Corey Cushing and Good Time, owned by Lynne Wurzer, outdistanced Phillip Ralls and Call Me Mitch. After being neck-and-neck through the herd and rein competitions, Ralls and Call Me Mitch incurred penalties and wound up with a 202 in the cow work when the cow took them around the corner on their second turn.

Between the American Team and two other reiners representing their native countries, the High Roller Reining in Las Vegas featured eight riders from the 2014 World Equestrian Games. California’s big headliner, though was Cam Essick, who clinched the Triple Crown of Reining that is awarded to the same horse and non pro rider combination with the highest earnings of all three reining conducted by the Brumley Management Group. Essick, of Clements, rode her homebred Who Loves You to almost $14,000 during the three shows.

OCTOBER: Adina Valenzuela serves in the U.S. Navy, and when she is deployed in January to the Pacific Ocean for three years, she knows she’ll miss Zen Master. The duo put all they had into their last show together at the CRHA Challenge, and they came away with the 2014 CRHA Reiner of the Year Award. She says she’ll get another reiner when she her deployment ends, “and whoever it is, he’ll have big shoes to fill!”

NOVEMBER: In Temecula, Sandy Miller and her Dual Ya Luv Me concluded a year-long comeback from injury by winning the SCRCHA Non Pro Derby title at the club’s Triple Crown event. She and trainer Roy Rich are looking ahead to the two-rein in 2015.

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