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California invasion

Golden State Arabs, exhibitors shine brightly in Scottsdale '16

Special to the Horsetrader - March 17th, 2016 - Feature Article, Show & Event News
Katie Russell of Pasadena was one of trainer Cynthia Burkman's 28 Scottsdale Champions, taking Lightning McQueen CRS to the Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure AATR 40-over Championship.

Katie Russell of Pasadena was one of trainer Cynthia Burkman’s 28 Scottsdale Champions, taking Lightning McQueen CRS to the Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure AATR 40-over Championship.

Schatzberg photo

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The world’s finest Arabian and Half-Arabian horses and trainers come to Westworld here each year to, among other things, test the waters for the new season. And while their miles traveled may be less than their colleagues from other parts of the continent, the prospects of California competitors proved great again this year.

The 61st annual version of the show ran Feb. 11-21 and drew more than 2,400 horses in a myriad of disciplines and events. Among the thousands of entries were the likes of venerable show barns like Stachowski Farms, established in both Ohio and San Marcos, Calif., as well as individuals and smaller operations.

California champions hailed from all types of barns — big, small and in-between, and clearly the Golden State continues to be an influential force in the breed.

“This year’s show was a huge success,” said Katherine Rich-Elzig, a longtime veteran trainer who enjoys having this world class venue for her students. “The AHAA show commission was on point from beginning to end. They have a diligent, hard-working group that does a nice job catering to the exhibitors.”

She added that in addition to the well-run show this year, the weather was outstanding, the competition was deep and, as usual, it was a blast to attend. “This year I had the pleasure to introduce three new families to the event, and, trust me, they will be back,” she said. “Once you’ve attended the Scottsdale Show, it’s hard to not to revisit year after year.”

Among the Scottsdale winners from her KRE barn were Keeley Bullard, who rode her Black Primo +/ to a unanimous title in Half Arabian Ladies English Side Saddle AATR and a Reserve Championship in Half Arabian English Showhack AATR; Savannah Cullen who took a Reserve Championship in Purebred Country English Pleasure JOTR Select Rider 14-under on KD By The Bay; Saylor Weidauer, who rode her EVG Quintahn to a pair of Top Tens; Olivia Diorio, who enjoyed three Top Tens on her Cape Crusader+/.

I Meanto Show CF, owned by Terhi Weber, took Top Tens in three classes with Molly Donth riding, and also was Top Ten in the large Top Ten Half Arabian Country Pleasure Open with Rich-Elzig riding.

California riders from the now Arizona-based Burkman Centre enjoyed an epic show this year, as trainer Cynthia Burkman and her team accumulated 28 championships and seven reserve championships. Jenni Lavallee of Moorpark, Susan Azad of La Canada Flintridge, and Highland Pride Arabians of La Habra Heights and Katie and Joe Russell of Pasadena are all Californias from the Burkman Centre who returned with top ribbons.
“IT was a fantastic Scottsdale for me, personally, as well as for Cynthia and the Burkman Centre,” said Katie Russell, the Half Arabian Hunter Pleasure AATR 40-over Champion with her Lightning McQueen CRS as well as the Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 55-over champion on her Ariya Encore, a.k.a. “Corky.” Burkman also showed him to the Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse Championship in the Open.

“I’m still pinching myself!” Russell said.

Another thrilled Californian, home with championship ribbons, was Jan Roeder of Santa Ana. Her Aristocrat CD, ridden by Amy Miller of Fullerton, shined in the sport horse division, taking the Half Arabian AA Sport Horse Under Saddle Championship as well as the Reserve Championship in Second Level Dressage. Miller also rode Ed Dodd’s AUR Mystic Illusion to the Second Level championship as well as the Arabian Sport Horse Under Saddle title.

MORE ONLINE: Http://bit.ly/603B_Arab

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