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From posh World Championship competition at South Point in Las Vegas to simple backcountry riding, California associations offer rich experiences – on a horse and next to friends. Here are some of the best groups, events and venues.

From Horsetrader sales staff - January 15th, 2015 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

1501BwpcoverAndalusian World Cup

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The Andalusian World Cup is the largest Iberian horse event in North America, scheduled this year for Sept. 24-26 at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. A one-of-a-kind event, it is open to registered Iberian Horses from all registries.

Each year, these horses gather to compete in halter, performance, working equitation, dressage and dressage sport horse classes, which culminates on the evening of Sept 26 when most of the Supreme Championship classes are held. Horses and spectators travel from around the globe to compete and watch the event, with international competitors and guests from as far away as Egypt.

Those who cannot be there to watch the World Cup in person, can watch via live broadcast. Last year’s event attracted close to 30,000 viewers in 67 different countries over the course of the three-day event.

Arabian Horse Association, Region One

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Region One of the AHA is a vibrant, fun group comprised of eight local Arabian clubs that encompass parts of Southern California and Hawaii. Throughout the year, there are plenty of events, and whether showing, endurance, competitive trail riding or recreational riding, Region One has something for everyone.

One of the annual highlights is the Region One Championship Horse Show, scheduled in 2015 for May 27-31 at Del Mar. Classes and events for both the Arabian and Half Arabian horses in Western, English, hunter, trail, reining and dressage are available. There are also lots of other activities, including a Fiesta, a wine tasting, and a Youth Judging contest. Region One invites you to come for some fun in the sun!

For more information on qualifying your horse and the events you can attend without a horse, contact secretary Nancy Harvey via email at nharvey440@aol.com. Also, check calendar listings for local club events.

California Cow Horse Association

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The California Cow Horse Association (formerly known as the Valley Cow Horse Association) is a well-established affiliate of the National Reined Cow Horse Association, and offers classes for everyone from the open trainer to the novice rider in the “Green as Grass” classes. The CCHA is one of the fastest-growing reining cow horse associations in California, offering eight show dates in 2015 as well as many incentives for its members -including perfect attendance awards, year-end saddles and year-end buckles in each of the CCHA classes. The club strives to meet the needs of all its members in the areas of class diversity and lower entry fees, and its leaders are excited with the new year, looking forward to a fantastic show season with a warm welcome of all returning — as well as new — members!


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The California Show Horse Organization has evolved over the past several years into an organization that is promoting horse showing among many breeds of horses. It has been adding classes to include Andalusian, Lusitano and Friesian, Saddlebred, Plantation Walking Horses and gaited horses. CALSHO supports youth of all kinds, having several breed youth classes as well as open breed youth classes. Also included are many “Opportunity Classes” for all breeds of horses, a high-point awards program, and an end of the year banquet. The first show will be Rainbow Royal, scheduled for March 28-29 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. For premiums or additional information, contact CALSHO Show Secretary Roxanne Hood at (831) 637-8510, or Show Committee Chairman Joanne Asman at (818) 842-8444.

California Western Dressage Association

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Why is Western dressage growing so fast? It certainly helps when successful trainers recognize the positive affect of Western dressage on both horse and rider. In a 2014 article by Jennifer Forsberg Meyer, two well respected trainers, Al Dunning and Lynn Palm, outlined the value of Western dressage in developing the four critical aspects of a winning Western horse-and-rider team: horsemanship, control, suppleness and versatility.
2014 was the inaugural year of the California Western Dressage Association’s Statewide High Point Program and 2015 promises to be even bigger. The program was developed to promote the educational aspects of Western dressage and get riders in the saddle. Riders of all ages and skill levels can enjoy competing in the sport. Competing in Western dressage gives riders the opportunity to learn and to test their skills, while earning recognition for their accomplishments — and winning some Western bling along the way! For more information about Western dressage in California, visit the website.

Fiesta Charity Spectacular

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The Fiesta Charity Horse Show and Spectacular, presented by Asman & Associates LLC, is dedicated to raising awareness and much-needed funds for cancer research and the Wounded Warriors Project on Mother’s Day weekend. Many local and national organizations have benefitted from funds raised through Fiesta, including USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Fiesta brings together the special healing power of horses and people. The Fiesta Charity Spectacular will once again be held on Saturday, May 9. The Spectacular features an enchanting “Broadway Style” equestrian and musical spectacular. The performance is a dazzling display of inimitable magnificence, elegance and agility of Spanish and other horse breeds highlighted with music and dance. The evening will also include a wonderful variety of celebrities, vendors, foods, silent auction and a raffle. Fiesta, now in its 17th year, continues to show the important role it plays in integrating communities by honoring horses, music and people steeped in rich history and tradition. The Fiesta Charity Horse Show will once again have horses competing during the day from Thursday, May 7 to Sunday, May 10 (Dressage, Andalusian, Friesian, Lusitano, Paso Fino, Peruvian Paso, P.R.E., Plantation Walking Horses, Saddlebred and Open Classes) in a horse show competition that is free during the day to the public.

Fullerton Recreational Riders

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Fullerton Recreational Riders is an association organized for the purpose of promoting the recreational advantage of the community and its general welfare through interest in good horsemanship. Fullerton Recreational Riders are affiliated with the California State Horseman’s Association, a statewide organization whose purpose is to sponsor, cultivate and foster interest in fine horses and good horsemanship, and to give aid and support to every type of activity concerning horses.  

Fullerton Recreational Riders schedules trail rides, camp-outs, horse shows, gymkhanas, and various social events during the year, stressing total family participation. Most of the planning for the programs takes place during the monthly meetings, and the result is a line-up of events that are highly educational and also a great time for all who attend. The trail coordinator plans regular group rides that discover new places. Fullerton’s Recreational Riders’ arena is located at Laguna Lake Park, and from there, riders can enjoy the 26-plus miles of dedicated recreational trails connecting numerous city parks, creating many hours of enjoyable riding. New members are welcome.

McCoy Equestrian & Recreation Center

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The Frank B. and Helen McCoy Equestrian and Recreation Center is a 20-acre facility that Helen McCoy generously donated to the city of Chino Hills in 1997 to preserve the equestrian and rural heritage of the community. The McCoys were well-known throughout the world for their famous Arabian horse breeding program. The property now features amenities that are perfect for horse shows and other types of livestock events, weddings, banquets, parties and more. This year, the facility will add Ranch Horse Pleasure to its class list. The fun, all-breed horse shows start in March.

Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association

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The sport of reined cow horse is fascinating, where three events – reining, herd work (cutting) and cow work — combine with a rich vaquero history. One of the fastest-growing reined cow horse associations, the SCRCHA, has a friendly membership that is passionate about their horses and the reined cow horse discipline. The purpose of the SCRCHA is to improve the quality of the western reined stock horse, as well as to perpetuate the early Spanish traditions of highly trained and well-reined working cow horses; to promote exhibits and cow horse events and contests in expositions and shows; to promote the training of reined cow horses and to promote interest in reined working cow horses among the younger horsemen in the Southern California region; and to use and encourage the use of standard rules for holding and judging contests of the reined working cow horse.
The Temecula-based club puts on seven or eight quality events each year, including the Sherri Gilkerson Memorial in May and its annual Saddle Shoot Out in October. Events are held at various facilities in the Temecula area by this fun organization that is known for its welcoming of new participants. Check the schedule and attend a show and talk with the list of trainers or others involved.

West Coast Reining Horse Association

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The West Coast Reining Horse Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the reining horse. The association was formed 32 years ago, in 1982, with the goal of bringing reining horse events to the West Coast. WCRHA is the largest affiliate of the National Reining Horse Association and provides a forum for exhibitors, trainers, breeders, and anyone else interested in the sport of reining.

This family-oriented club is for horse lovers and showmen who are interested in sharing their love of the reining performance horse with like-minded people. WCRHA prides itself on providing a venue in which reining equestrians can build long-lasting friendships and working relationships between themselves, their trainer and their fellow competitors. The competition is very supportive and friendly with everyone, from beginners to the veterans. Whether a seasoned showman with great aspirations, or a beginner who wants to learn to “ride the slide,” WCRHA provides a host of options to meet everyone’s needs. Shows usually include sponsored BBQs or breakfasts where competitors and their families can enjoy the environment that is uniquely “horse oriented.”

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