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Back-to-back SCRCHA events gets regional talent back on track

From Horsetrader staff reports

TEMECULA — After three event-less months, cow horse competitors enjoyed back-to-back summer shows put on by the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association. Green Acres Ranch hosted both events, the SCRCHA July Jubilee Show on July 10-12 and the Jimmy Flores, Sr. Memorial Aug. 7-9.

Classes were well-filled, attracting entrants from throughout the southwest, and there were plenty of inspiring stories from the two weekends. Here are three of them:

Danielle Stanton and ‘Miss Piggy’

Like everyone else, Danielle Stanton was eager to get back to the show pen, but when her Go Tell That Fox sustained a leg injury weeks before the show, her plans changed. Stanton would take her “No. 2” horse instead, her beloved practice horse, her 16-year-old Elanaboonsmal.

“I wanted to go support the club and I wanted to show, so I took Elanaboonsmal (Peptoboonsmal x Elana Lena), and she was just fantastic!” says Stanton, who trains her horses at her East San Diego County ranch. “I hadn’t really been showing her — she is my back-up practice horse. “

The duo won the $1,500-added Jimmy Flores, Sr. Memorial Non Pro Bridle Spectacular — by two points over reserve Debby Sanguinetti on Chelano.

“We do practice on cattle, and she’s in shape — I’d been riding her,” adds Stanton, who acquired the full sister to 2005 NCHA Non Pro Futurity Champion Blue LeBoon as a 3-year-old. “But show-shape and show-mentality — that’s a different story, for sure. For her to rise to the occasion was just fabulous.”

Go Tell That Fox will rehabilitate until January, says Stanton, who’ll show “Miss Piggy” at the next SCRCHA show Sept. 18-20 at Green Acres Ranch.

“She is a very smart horse and she is so special — and loved,” Stanton adds. “You know, that’s a really big deal for a horse at that age to do that — especially at the last minute.”

Sarah Bradley and ‘Lil Rey’

Sarah Bradley and her RR Rey To Stylish took the Circuit Non Pro Hackamore titles at both the July and August shows. (Danger Dingo photo)

Another “turning lemons into lemonade” story this summer has been non-pro rider Sarah Bradley, a longtime client of trainer Roy Rich at Green Acres Ranch who entered 2020 with excitement and a new hackamore horse, RR Rey To Stylish (Stylish Rey Gay x Miss Reys Hickory). Just as show season was kicking in, Covid-19 hit the brakes on their campaign.

“We were kind of getting the rust off and getting used to her, then the pandemic hit,” says Bradley, who brought her mare home for two months while she also worked from home. “For me, being able to ride her every day — even though I don’t have a huge arena and we weren’t necessarily working cows — I think that solidified my bond with her. Just being able to ride and connect with her and just do other stuff like a little trail riding, a little obstacles. “

She trailered to a couple lessons during the lock-down, then returned full-on in June. By July, they were rocking — winning the Non Pro Hackamore title at the July Jubilee. At the August Jimmy Flores, Sr. Memorial, they won the Non Pro Hackamore a second time.

“When we hit that July show, that was when it really started like clicking,” she says. “Each day in the pen, she just kind of got a little bit better. The more I asked, the more she gave.

“Then it seemed like with each show, she was even a little bit better than the previous one,” says Bradley, who then went on to the NRCHA Stakes in Las Vegas and won the Non Pro Hackamore class on Aug. 26. “It’s good feeling that each time you go, you’re getting better and you feel like there’s even more in there. That’s exciting for me.”

Bradley, who enjoyed non pro success for years aboard her now-retired gelding, Very Smart And Sure (Very Smart Remedy x Shirley Mclain), acquired Lil Rey early last year after a good search.

“We went to Oklahoma, Arizona — I tried quite a few because I was kind of going back and forth between getting a young prospect or a little bit more of a finished horse, like my other gelding was,” she says. “After trying several horses, Roy kind of came by and said ‘maybe try this filly out again — she’s really coming along nicely.’ So, I tried her out and I liked her.

“We fit one another,” adds Bradley, who is 5-foot-1. “She’s barely 14 hands, if that. She’s a little thing.”

Susan Carter and Von Halo Nic

Susan Carter and her Von Halo Nic shined in non pro action, winning Select Non Pro Limited and Non Pro Limited classes en route to the NPL Circuit title. (Danger Dingo photo)

When Susan Carter received the Jimmy Flores, Sr. Memorial Non Pro Limited Spectacular Reserve Champion buckle Aug. 9, feelings ran deep. Jimmy, Sr. sold Carter her first set of romel reins 24 years ago.

“I loved him,” she says. “He had so many stories and was such a part of the industry. He would always grab me and he’d say, ‘I have some bits for you to look at!’ because he knew I was interested. When he had a really rare one, I’d get all excited with him.

“It really means a lot to me that I won the award that has his name attached to it.”

Carter’s accomplishment was one of several she has enjoyed this summer on her Von Halo Nic (Von Reminic x Shottys Halo), a 7-year old she has brought along into the bridle under trainer Becky Holman at Black Diamond Performance Horses in San Juan Capistrano. At both the July and August SCRCHA shows, the duo won circuit championships in the Non Pro Limited and Select Non Pro Limited divisions.

“He has always been a laid back and mellow guy,” Carter says. “Initially, we questioned whether he had enough get up and go to compete in cow horse. He has proven himself a gritty competitor, and I enjoy not having to warm up for hours!”

Carter has been with Holman, whose string of non pros consistently finish at or near the top, since she arrived at the trainer in 1990 with an Arabian for reining lessons.

“Then, when I wanted to go into cow horse, I did that on him for a little bit, but we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. That’s when I got Halo — the dam, Shottys Halo.”

Halo was Carter’s first show horse, but the mare’s career ended abruptly in a freak stall accident that resulted in a broken leg. The mare never showed again, but was bred to the 1997 stallion Von Reminic (Reminic x Von Freckles) in New Mexico. Von Halo Nic began training with Holman in 2016.

“I think with Von Halo Nic, I have a good combination,” Carter adds. “I have awesome reining and he’s got the grittiness of his cutter mom. Kind of putting it together.”

More online: https://bit.ly/scrcha

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