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- September 28th, 2020 - Show & Event News

Smoke and ash doesn’t deter WCRHA reiners in finale

RANCHO MURIETA — A blood orange sun and smokey, ash flurries from nearby wildfires welcomed exhibitors driving in to the Murieta Equestrian Center show grounds Aug. 20. Little did they know that such would be the norm for all four days of the West Coast Reining Horse Association Year End show.

As the NRHA Show Rep Kain Emmons stated, pulling up his face mask, “We don’t know if people are wearing masks due to COVID-19 restrictions or because of the smoky air!” Either way, exhibitors, trainers, and other folk adhered to current California state restrictions by wearing masks, social distancing, and having their temperatures taken daily at the entrance gate.

A full slate of ancillary classes as well as Futurity and Derby classes, judged by Nick Baar and Reid Fady, gave everyone ample opportunities to show off their talented horses. Gorgeous, Vaquero buckles are presented to class champions, and beautiful, silver pocket knives went to the reserve champions.

There were also special awards given at this show. The NRHA Rookie Professional class was recently renamed the NRHA Becky Hanson Rookie Professional class in honor of Becky Hanson, a beloved member of WCRHA and NRHA who passed away May 25 at age 48.

Becky, the winner of the NAAC Rookie Professional class at the NRHA Futurity in 2006, coached and trained many reining competitors over the years from Rookies through Non Pros. Her heart, however, was for the Rookie riders. Dave Bunfill of Plymouth won the class on his Custom Whizett. “Biscuit,” as she is affectionately called, is a 5-year old mare sired by Conquistador Whiz and out of Custom Crome mare.

Dave Bunfill earned the NRHA Becky Hanson Rookie Professional Award on his Custom Whizett. (John O’Hara photo)

Dave, who just started showing reining about a year ago along with his wife, specifically entered the class because of Becky. Although he never met her, he knows a lot about her story.

“It meant a lot to me to win this class — it is a real honor,” said Bunfill, who received championship class buckle as well as a specially designed Becky Hanson buckle.

In addition, in remembrance of Becky, the winner of the Prime Time Rookie class was presented with a beautiful, hand-tooled Becky Hanson memorial leather photo album made and sponsored by the Ricotti Saddle Company of nearby Clements. Jennifer Fisher riding Midnight Whizkey Run was the happy recipient. Becky was well-known for her beautiful photography, and many WCRHA members have more than one of her metal prints in their homes.

Another special award was the Gary Van Hoosen Perpetual Memorial Green Reiner trophy presented to Cindy Laver, winner of the WCRHA Green class. Cindy rode Revolutionic to the win. Revolutionic is one of those reining “war horses” that has carried his various riders to many wins over the years. Gary Van Hoosen was a long-time member, trainer and competitor at WCRHA shows. He was a strong supporter of the emerging reiner, and could always be counted on for an encouraging word and smile.

Cassandra Kindle was thrilled to receive The Topsail Cody Memorial Perpetual Trophy. This large trophy is presented each year to the champion of the Limited Non Pro class. Cassandra’s name plaque will be added to all the other winners since 2002. Cassandra’s ride for this class was Ill Be Smokinum.

On Thursday, five hours of open competition began at 7 a.m.. With scores of 73.5, David Hanson and Mike Boyle laid down what were to be the highest scores of the show. They each shared championship honors in the Open Maturity and David rode Lisa Dentoni’s Smart Little Dunnit, and Mike showed Betty McHugh’s pretty Palomino, Chics Dream.

In the Intermediate Open and Limited Open classes, Gabe Davide showed Mister Smartypants to championships of both classes with a 72 score. “Smarty” is owned by Gordon and Eileen Maxinoski. Liz Rammerstorfer was close behind Gabe in both classes with a 71.5, riding Like Madd, owned by Kelly Staley. Mike Boyle was also the Champion in the Prime Time Open class on Chics Dream as well as the Reserve Champion on Pale Of Gold, owned by Laetitia Loubser, scoring a 70.

Winning six Non Pro classes was Cam Essick and her gelding, Loveya. (John O’Hara photo)

Championing six of the Non Pro classes was Cam Essick and her (as Cam says) “plain, bay” gelding Loveya. Leaving their mark in the arena with a 73, Cam emerged victorious in the Non Pro Level 4 and Prime Time Maturity as well as the Non Pro and the Prime Time Non Pro classes. The duo also went on to win the Non Pro and the Prime Time Non Pro Derbies. Loveya is a proven reiner with LTE earnings of over $130,000. Two reiners shared the Reserve Championship honors in the Level 4 Maturity. Cassandra Kindle showed her Ill Be Smokinum and Betty McHugh showed her Chics Dream to scores of 72.

Concluding the second day of showing, the Non Pro Futurity allowed six riders to show off their 3-year olds. Bill Coburn reined his My Skill Your Luck to a score of 137.5 to take away the awards and monies given to the Champion of the Level 4. Caitie Moulding was Champion of the Level 1 Futurity riding her PS Ice Queen with a 138.

Nineteen Non Pros were eager to show their reining horses of ages seven and under in Saturday’s Non Pro Derby. Essick and her Loveya gathered their fifth and sixth Championship buckles of the show by earning a score of 144 in the Level 4 and Prime Time. Level 1 was won with a score of 142.5 by Stacy Hamilton and her Whizzen The Dream.

Five entries in the Open Futurity closed out the third day. PS Ice Queen won her second Futurity championship of the show, first with Non Pro Caitie Moulding on Friday, and secondly, with trainer Jason Richards on Saturday.

The last day of the show dawned early again but still a bit smoky and ashy. That didn’t deter the Open Derby riders, though. Running first in the draw was Eric Laporte on Michell Kimball’s Sugar Baby. Eric showcased his talent by earning a score of 143.5 which proved too tough to beat by the rest of the field. They took home the Championship of both Level 4 and Level 1.

Sugar Baby is by Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Smart Sugar Rose. Eric says of the 4-year old gelding, “He is so laid back and such a dream to show and get ready.”

Sugar Baby now has a new owner, Megan Meyerdick, who looks forward to showing him the Green Reiner classes.

More online: https://bit.ly/010wcrha

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