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Full classes, international flair start season

Special to the Horsetrader

Tzvika Knaani and Xtra Goodstep tied for wins in the Non Pro and Prime Time Non Pro classes at the WCRHA season-opener. (John O’Hara photo)

CORNING—Weather was the concern heading into the first affiliate show for the West Coast Reining Horse Association held March 1-3. Record amounts of snow over the Sierra Nevada had resulted in road closures, which made it impossible for eastern members from Nevada to attend. However, massive rain and high floods in the northwestern part of the state didn’t impede competitors from coming—it just took them a little longer than usual to make the drive to the show, held for the third year at the Rolling Hills Equestrian Center.

Classes were full as riders were eager to start the show season. In addition to the regular slate of NRHA- and WCRHA-approved reining classes, the show offered AQHA-approved reining and ranch riding classes, providing a little something for everyone.

WCRHA shows always have had a bit of international flare, as trainers and members from all over the world have relocated to Northern California—including from Austria, France, Australia and Germany. Unique to this event was the participation of Tzvika and Amira Knaani, who flew in from their Double K Ranch in Sharon, Israel, to compete in the show. The Galilee area residents say that reining is very popular there. In fact, the whole family—dad, mom, and the kids—all ride and show, although Dad was the sole exhibitor at this event.

As the open slate of classes kicked off the first day, the weather was mostly cooperative. A covered warm-up pen and covered show arena kept extra moisture from accumulating on riders and horses. Winning the Open Championship with a 73.5, the highest score of the show, was Jordan Larson riding Heritage Farms’ Gunjacker. Jordan recently moved his training business from Texas to the Ione area.

The Intermediate Open Championship went to Ollie Galligan riding Reddy Aim Shine On, owned by Elizabeth Atkins, with a 71.5. Reserve was Mister Smartypants, scoring 71, shown by Gabe Davide and owned by Eileen Maxinoski. In the limited open, Mister Big Gun, shown by Torri Sims and owned by Danica Caravetta, bested a field of 12 with a 72.5. Torri also won the Rookie Pro class on Mister Big Gun. In the Prime Time Open class, Mike Boyle showed Chics Dream, owned by Elizabeth McHugh, to the win with 72.5.

Torri Sims claimed first and second prizes in the Rookie Pro class—first on Mister Big Gun and second on Carla Odetto’s Wimpchester 73—with 71.5. In the AQHA Open Reining, the largest class in the Open slate with 20 entries, Mike Boyle and Chics Dream took first, with Christian Rammerstorfer and Maddox in reserve.

With a 70.5, Cassandra Kindle, on her own Ill Be Smokinum, won the Rookie 1 class and the WCRHA Green class as well as finishing second in Rookie 2.

In Ranch Riding, Dreamin About Wimpy, ridden by Jennifer Ray and owned by Richard Boer, won the AQHA Open, with Stepanie Munzinger showed Aces High Whiz to the win in the amateur class.

More online: http://bit.ly/905A_WCRHA

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