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Horse Headliners 2015 – Western wins make memories…


From News Releases and Staff Reports - December 17th, 2015 - Cover Story, Feature Article
Phil Hanson

Phil Hanson


The first big headliner of the year with California roots was National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame rider Phil Hanson, who closed 2014 by winning NCHA Futurity on Classy CD Cat with a 228. Now based in Weatherford, Texas, Hanson is the brother of Temecula-based cow horse trainer Brenda Brown and of Clements-based reining trainer David Hanson. Classy CD Cat, who picked up a $200,000 paycheck for the Futurity win, is a mare owned by Dottie St. Clair Hill of Texas.
California reiners also made news with their late-year accomplishments, as Golden State competitors took their momentum from strong West Coast campaigns into the NRHA Futurity and Adequan North American Affiliate Championships.
After finishing close behind highly regarded Robin Bond in the last two of Charles Wilhelm’s Ultimate Super Horse competitions, Don Moore put it all together Jan. 29-Feb. 1 at Horse Expo Pomona and scored a decisive championship with his partner, Nic-O-Lena.

Moore, who along with wife Janet have operated Reed Valley Ranch in Hemet since 2005, gives all the credit to his support team — and also to “Nic”, an 8-year-old gelding he bought in an out-of-state auction as a 2-year old.
“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse, and I waited 50 years for him,” said Moore, a Northern California native who was a cowboy in Montana and Idaho for three decades before moving to Reed Valley Ranch. “And it’s been worth the wait.”
Moore received a custom saddle designed by Charles Wilhelm for the title, as well as a championship buckle provided by Horse Expo, Pomona, clippers from Andis, supplements from HorseTech, and other sponsor prizes.
The Reserve Championship went to Mary Rose Anderson on Boot Scootin’ Stats, owned by Susie Johnson.  She received $500 cash along with sponosr prizes, and in third was Kelly Baker on Boonshakalaka.
The competition, spread over four days at Expo Pomona, featured different segments watched by three judges from the panel of Barbra Schulte, Larry Whitesell, Brandi Lyons, Dr. Robert Miller and Bond.


In Fort Worth, Texas, Corey Cushing won the 2015 Kalpowar World’s Greatest Horseman competition on PRF Spoonful Of Gold, and California riders and horses also made their respective marks at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions, held Feb. 13-21.
PRF Spoonful Of Gold (Hes A Peptospoonful X Sons Miss Sprat) is a 2008 sorrel stallion owned by Cathy Corrigan. The reserve championship went to Phillip Ralls of Paso Robles on Dom Dualuise (Dual Rey X Smart Little XX), an 8-year-old gelding owned by Christian Larson of Park City, Utah. Jake Gorrell took fourth place on Smooth N Cash, owned by the Roloff Ranch in Temecula.
Other California stars at the NRCHA Celebration included Nicolas Barthelemy on Sheri Jamieson’s All That Boon, winners of the Aaron Ranch Intermediate Open Derby and also Reserve Champions in the Aaron Ranch Open Derby to Chris Dawson riding Shiney Nu Annie.
Doug Williamson captured the Open Hackamore title worth $9,062 riding High Brow SHiner, owned by the Belle Meade Ranch, and he was Reserve Champion in the Open Two Rein aboard ARC Sparkin Chics, owned by the Rocking J Ranch.
The West Coast Reining Horse Association kicked off 2015 with its Afiliate ` show Feb. 5-8 at the Murieta Equestrian Center, and Mike Boyle rode Vicki Dias’s I Spook to the respective Open and Prime Time Open titles, marking a 73 that tied for the event’s high score with Intermediate Open champion Raney Fichtner on her BP Gallardo.


Something new was something popular at the first Southern California Reined Cow Association event of the year, the Pot-O-Gold Show held at Casner’s Ranch March 14-15. Ranch riding classes, tested in a pair of SCRCHA events the previous fall, made the line-up for 2015, and the classes attracted numbers.
“They’re are a great complement to the regular working cow classes,” said SCRCHA Past President, non-pro Laura Edwards. “Pretty much all the working cow horse skills are brought into it. The actual pattern itself is pretty much ‘everything slow and easy.’ But it’s a lot harder than it looks!”
The Amateur Ranch Riding class had 17 entries, with Sarah Bradley winning on her Very Smart And Sure. Darleen Wood took her Wimpys Sassy Shiner.
Roy Rich won the AQHA Senior Ranch Riding title on Janet Minehan’s Skeet Shootin, with  Rick Hoffman took the Junior Ranch Riding title on his Dry Sugar Chic, with Rich in second on Sadie Naskiia.


The Bunny Slide, the California Reining Horse Association’s first competition of the year, hopped into the Los Angeles Equestrian Center April 5-7, attracting established regional talent along with some newcomerslooking to enjoy the popular sport.
With 175 horses competing for payouts over $12,000, this was no Easter egg hunt, as reiners vied for the payout and a variety of points. Not only were CRHA year-end and Reiner of the Year points at stake, so were points for respective NRHA Affiliate and AQHA qualifications, as well as PCHA points for the popular Jack and Linda Baker Finals event.
A tie with respective 72s made co-champions in the NRHA Affiliate Finals Slate 1 Open, where Pat Wickenheiser rode Whiz N West Coast, owned by Chuck Arnold and Carla Meyer, to a deadlock with CRHA President Tom Foran on Gail Hutcherson’s Wimpys Whiz Steps. In Slate 2, Tanya Jenkins rode Tricked Out Spook to a 74.5 in a decisive win. Jenkins also won the Slate 1 Intermediate Open competition in the NRHA Affiliate classes, riding Monica Leavitt’s Cash To Diamonds to a 71 and the title.
What do you get when you take a premiere facility in a central location, mix in weekend dates that are scheduled just prior to a large regional cutting, and add a fund-raiser for a heart-felt cause?
You get success, something that the El Rancho Spring Classic, presented by Carol Ward, enjoyed in spades during its four-day run April 22-25 at the Murieta Equestrian Center. Ward, owner of Carol Ward Cutting Horses and also of the MEC, went to great lengths along with her crew to provide another fun-filled show that included tough competition, too.
Competitors from throughout the region participated in El Rancho, many of them appreciative of the chance to get some work in before the 6666 Ranch National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships 140 miles away in Reno a week later.
Catlena Rey made headlines at both shows, as the 8-year-old High Brow Cat gelding, bred by John Harrah out of Miss Reylena, a Smart Little Lena mare, captured the 50,000 Amateur Non Pro title at El Rancho with owner Lauren Cooper of Shingle Springs riding. The following week, Steve Schlesinger took Catlena Rey to a  223 that won the Open finals for Lauren and Ted Cooper, pushing the horse’s earnings past $99,000.
When the California Cow Horse Association puts on a show, you can count on competition.
The Central Valley is the cradle of reined cow horse, the root of the National Reined Cow Horse Association, so when the local club competes, there’s a round-up of all-stars.
“You know, even just for our weekend shows down there in Bakersfield, we get the ‘big dogs’ because there are so many in this area,” says CCHA Board Member Lance Johnston, himself one of those big dogs. “Doug Williamson, Jake Gorrell, John Ward, Jon Roeser and Teddy (Robinson) comes over the hill with Tucker and Tina, and Ron Emmons comes down.
“You would think that our club would put on a nice little weekend show, where we go, have a little fun, and back the horses off a bit,” added Johnston. “But you really don’t get to do that if you want to place at all, or win. You still got to run pretty hard and compete. There are no freebies down there in Bakersfield.”
The “big dogs” as well as a large group of non pros brought the Sundance Arena to life April 24-26 Lifeline California Horse Trials, Derby and CCHA Show No. 4.
With the NRCHA Hackamore Classic relocated to Colorado, this CCHA event has proved attractive for Californians coming off NRCHA Stakes competition in Las Vegas.
One such competitor was Phillip Ralls of Paso Robles on Estelle Roitblat’s Call Me Mitch (Metallic Cat X Miss Hickory Hill), who followed a good showing in the $56,600-added NRCHA Stakes Open, earning $18,461, before heading to Bakersfield to win the Lifeline Derby Open Championship, earning $6,348.
In Elk Grove, the thrill of the Derby and the excitement of the derbies collide at Brookside Equestrian Park, home of the Rein For The Roses. For five days, included Saturday’s Kentucky Derby interlude that features mint juleps, a hat contest and a pause for all to watch the race, the Rein For The Roses lived up to its formidable reputation.
This year’s fifth edition of the show, held April 29-May 3, marked the 25th anniversary of the venue under owner Bill Madden, and both the weather and attendance could not have been better. Four days of West Coast Reining Horse Association Affiliate ancillary classes were featured, as well as the Derby on the Derby, the Maturity and NRHA Green Reiner classes.
It was all business in the show pen, and competition once again proved stiff. Tied atop the Open Division were Mike Boyle on Jill Ramleth’s Spooks Eclipse and Ollie Galligan aboard Margaret Daly’s Skeets Tricked Out, both with 72s. Galligan and Skeets Tricked Out’s 72 also finished in a tie for the Intermediate Open title with Ricky Nicolazzi on Julie Ridgeway’s Designed With Shine.


Normally, a rising fever is a bad thing, but the California Reining Horse Association was excited to have its Fiesta Fever show on the increase.
Club secretary Marilyn Scheffers reported the event was twice 2014 turnout, as more than 100 Southern California reiners flocked to Tucalota Creek Ranch for over 150 goes judged by Monica Albair.
The big guns were on hand and meant business, and Tom Foran claimed the Open Championship on Taylor Sheridan’s Crome Plated Step. In non pro action, Lisa Hernandez was champion on Easy Otie Buckles, and Sally Kadison took the Intermediate, Limited and Primetime Non Pro titles on Whiz It On Sunday.
Southern California’s biggest reined cow horse competition once again provided thrills at Casner’s Ranch in Temecula.
The Ninth Annual Sherri Gilkerson Memorial Bridle and Hackamore Spectacular complemented the Wine Country Classic event that expanded to four days this year, featuring AQHA cutting as well as NRCHA, SCRCHA and AZRCHA cow horses classes. Jointly managed by the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association and the Arizona Reined Cow Horse Association, the competition’s signature event is in memory of Sherri Gilkerson, who died in 2006 at age 36 after a horse accident.
This year’s $5,000-added Open Bridle Spectacular featured a showdown between venerable veterans Randy Paul and Lyn Anderson. Paul, riding Linda Katz’s LenaLilToTheWright, wrestled the title from two-time defending champion Anderson on David and Barbara Archer’s Tuckers Smart Cat by a half-point margin.
While the Open Division gets the limelight, non-pro rider Mary Tamme earned some glory — and cash — by virtue of a glowing performance with her horse, Im Bratman. The pinnacle of her weekend was her victory in the $5,000-added Non Pro Bridle Spectacular, a competitive class that she won with a 220 score — a full two full points beyond reserve champions Deah Hessian-Ruple on her Irish A Shine and Laurie Ward on No Chic Flicks.Tamme also picked up $1,290 for winning the $1,000-added Intermediate Non Pro Bridle Spectacular, and she finished atop other classes including the SCRCHA Non Pro Bridle, the SCRCHA Intermediate Non Bridle, and NRCHA Intermediate Non Pro Bridle classes. She took second behind Ward in the NRCHA Non Pro Bridle class.
Team sorters from two clubs rode for cash May 17, as the Riverside Rancheros and Anaheim Hills Saddle Club members competed in their Ranch Sorting Buckle Series Finale.
The two-club series featured six series sortings — three at the Riverside Arena and three at Anaheim Hills Saddle Club. Kathy Aparacio of Norco, riding her 13-year-old marethat she has trained for 11 years, took the title.


Clinician Richard Winters competed at the 2015 NRCHA Derby in Paso Robles June 15-20, and he won the Limited Open Championship on his Bugs Boony (Peptoboonsmal x Shiney Tari). The Finals weekend turned out to be a family affaire, as son-in-law Chris Dawson won the Derby Open Championship worth $31,408 on Carol Rose’s Reys A Shine (Dual Rey x Lil Miss Shiney Chex). The 33-year-old Oklahoma-based trainer, who married Sarah Winters on Nov. 4, 2014,  took Carol Rose’s Reys A Shine (Dual Rey x Lil Miss Shiney Chex) to the
“It was so fun to sit there and watch all of them,” said Richlard’s wife, Cheryl. “We are so proud of Chris and Sarah — and of Richard. With this being his hobby, he goes out there and gets something done while he works full-time teaching horsemanship clinics. That’s pretty cool!”
Richard says Dawson’s big win made him happier than his own title, in which Dawson played a role, too. Early in 2014, Winters had acquired “Bugs” from Dawson, who had started and trained the gelding through his futurity season that included a trip to the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Open Finals.
“We could see the horse had some potential, but Chris felt like the horse still needed some work,” said Winters, who enjoys working and showing the hackamore horses. “It’s taken me over a year to kind of figure him out and get together with him. Chris and Sarah have both been a help to me in regard to that — sometimes long distance help.”
Sarah voiced her pride for her dad.
“I think it’s awesome that he puts himself out there like that,” said Sarah. “He’s coming in from the clinic world where he’s a hero everytime he goes out there. In the horse show world where he doesn’t have as much experence as a lot of these guys, he puts himself in what could be a very humbling situation. Not very many of the guys who do these clinics are willing to do that. They may try to compete for a year, maybe two, and then they realize that it’s a lot more difficult than it looks. You can go from hero to zero.”
It was in the Intermediate Open division where Ramona-based trainer Nicolas Barthelemy dominated.
Riding another Dual Rey offspring, Sheri Jamieson’s Sonita Lena Rey (Dual Rey x Sonita Lena Chick x Smart Chic Olena), Barthelemy won the Intermediate Open title and the Open Reserve behind Dawson. The 2011 stallion scored a 644.5 composite, including the high score of the finals herd work, a 223, and the high score of the finals cow work, a 225. His dual paychecks totaled $29,685.
“My horses were awesome — I had a blast,” said Barthelemy, who also rode another Jamieson-owned entry, All That Boon (Peptoboonsmal x All That N Cat x High Brow Cat), to a top 15 finish in the Derby Open and top 10 in the Intermediate.

With $11,500 in added money, a pair of National Reining Horse Association Affiliate-qualifers, and added APHA classes to accompany PCHA and AQHA ones, the Reiner Shine Horse Show in Burbank June 4-7 had a lot going for it.
Not to mention those talented reiners.
Elaine Davis went home with a pair of Circuit Championships with her Custom Made Nic, taking the Limited Non Pro title along with the Novice Horse Championship.  Another dual-circuit champion was Taylor Sheridan riding Crome Plated Step to titles in both Rookie Level 1 and Rookie Level 2 Divisions.


In Elk Grove, the WCRHA celebrated Independence Day in patriotic style with their Star Spangled Slide show, the fifth and last NRHA Affiliate show of 2015. Gary Van Hoosen of Sanger received the WCRHA 2014 Horseman of the Year award, presented in honor of long-time WCRHA and NRHA supporter, Dick Randall.

Stars come out at Woodside each year for the popular Reining By The Bay, and few were brighter than Dana Avila in 2015. Avila took her mare, One Smart Pepto (One Time Pepto x Smart Little Margie) to the Non Pro Maturity L4 and the Non Pro Intermediate Maturity wins en route to her claiming the High Point Non Pro.


In Paso Robles, entries, purses and prizes all increased at this year’s National Stock Horse Association Futurity, and one rider in particular seemed to be in a zone. The Zane Zone.
Idaho-based Zane Davis, who had his breakthrough year in 2009 when he won the NSHA Futurity Open on Reymanator (Dual Rey x Savannah Hickory), did it again this year aboard Michelle Cannon’s Shiney Outlaw (Shiners Nickle x Mereyda), topping a long list of quality 3-year-olds to earn $15,900.
Davis also brought west Reymanator, who thrilled the Paso Robles Events Center crowd in winning the 2015 World’s Richest Stock Horse competition, sponsored by Hearst Ranch Winery, to become the first NSHA Triple Crown Champion — winner of its Futurity, Derby and World’s Richest events.
This year’s NSHA Futurity felt the absence of Jimmy Flores, Sr., who missed the NSHA Futurity for the first time when he was diagnosed with cancer Aug. 12 . The cow horse community rallied with a heartfelt fund-raiser at the show that raised the Flores family $14,000 in two days to assist with their ravaging medical expenses. Flores died Sept. 7.
“I would like to thank all the people,” said Dilday. “We put on that benefit, and everybody helped, raising the money in a couple days when we went in not even knowing it was going to happen. Not just the money, but all the great items in the auction.
“Jimmy Flores was a good person who worked hard and treated everyone very, very well,” he added. “He will be missed bigtime.”

The CRHA has a fool-proof formula for putting on the summer’s coolest reining shows: Hold them at the beach.
That’s what it did Aug. 1 for its annual Slide On The Beach at the Huntington Beach Central Park Equestrian Center, and the raves — like the waves — came in.
“This is definitely our ‘coolest’ annual event,’ said CRHA board member Lisa Anderson, who also enjoyed success in the show pen, winning the Non Pro title with her Easy Otie Buckles. The Open championship went to Tom Foran on Crome Plated Step, owned by Taylor Sheridan.


If intensity was the theme of this year’s National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity, then California cowgirl power was the melody.
California women riders were at the top of their game, led by Lyn Anderson, whose epic 229 cow work on Tuckers Smart Cat (WR This Cats Smart x Smoke Time Tuck x Doc Tom Tucker) clinched an Open Bridle Championship for the ages.
In the Bridle Open finals, Anderson topped 12 contestants who gave it their all, piloting “Tucker” to score a 216 in the rein work and a sweet 229 in the cow work, giving the duo a composite score of 445.
“I’ve wanted to win the bridle here for quite a few years and now I finally got it on Tucker,” Anderson said.
Laurie Ward captured the prestigious Non Pro Futurity Championship, topping a 19-horse Futurity Non Pro finals.
“It just feels surreal and amazing,” Ward said after she and Kiss Me A Lot (Master Getta x Kiss Me A Little x Smart Little Pepinic) scored a 216 in the herd work, 214.5 in the rein work and a 218.5 in the cow work for a composite 649. “I won the [NRCHA Snaffle Bit] Futurity in 2002 on Justa Hot Chic, and it’s taken me this long to do it again. It’s not easy.”
Everything also went right for LaDona Emmons and Anuther Mister 505 (Mister Dual Pep x Anuther Olena), both in the Non Pro Limited and $5,000 Non Pro Limited class, as they captured dual championships with an untouchable 297 composite score – 147 in the rein work and 150 in the cow work.
In Las Vegas, the 2015 Las Vegas High Roller Reining Classic pulled out all of the stops Sept. 11-20, with 2,478 recorded draws, and nearly all divisions at this year’s show were up over 2014.


It all came together at Casner’s Ranch for trainer Tony Mendoza of Eastside Ranch and his homebred colt, Shining Trubador, with a spectacular cow work run that earned him the 2015 SCRCHA Shotout title. The popular event was open to riders who had competed in at least five SCRCHA events in 2015, and it was held on Sunday after the full slate of weekend show classes. A fund-raising Cut For A Cause was held Friday, too.
“Trube” is a homebred product by Tony and wife Cindy’s stallion at Eastside Ranch, Cielo Hickory (Gallo Del Cielo x Okie Paul Hickory), out of a leased mare.
“We focus on breeding our own horses — success starts with the breeding of the horse,” said Tony. “I feel lucky that we’ve been able to do what we’ve done. We’re going to keep going forward and try to accomplish even more.”
Tony plans on showing Trube in the two-rein next year, and he’ll again be on the scene at the SCRCHA events.

When the dust had settled at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center from the 2015 CRHA Challenge reining weekend, the club’s top awards came into focus.
Katie Cachet, riding Wimp Daddy, won the coveted CRHA Reiner of the Year award, while Jon Gilbert on San Cielo Rey repeated for the second time his win of the Gatolotto Memorial Buckle.
In the inaugural CRHA Amateur Futurity limited to riders with Lifetime earnings under $25,000 and with no immediate family relationships to trainer/professionals, Cynthia Bias took home the win on Handsome Little Cat.


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