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“V” Sheila Varian 1937-2016

From Horsetrader staff reports - April 7th, 2016

cover1604AARROYO GRANDE—California’s horse world lost a giant March 6 when Sheila Varian, whose passion, thoughtfulness and drive influenced a generation, passed away after a battle with cancer. She was 78.

Varian’s impact on the world of Arabian breeding in the U.S. is diffi  cult to exaggerate—70 percent of show horses winning today carry Varian blood, according to her ranch website, and according to Arabian Horse World magazine’s statistics, Varian Arabians is the alltime leading breeder of English horses as well as the alltime leading breeder of Western horses. Nine generations of Arabians have been bred by Varian Ranch since it imported *Bachantka from Poland in 1961.

Raised on the Central Coast with a strong horse interest, she was introduced early on to the vaquero, or “Californio”, tradition of western riding. A major infl uence was Sid (Mary) Spencer, owner of a ranch in Lopez Canyon where Sheila, in her teens, learned from Sid about training hackamore horses and spade bit horses and how to work cattle in the mountains.

With the assistance of her parents in 1954, she started her horse ranch. By 1963, she was raising and training horses full-time, drawn to use the vaquero-infl uenced methods of training on Arabians, a breed she thought required a smart yet gentle approach.

Show Jumping Hall adds Susie Hutchison

From releases and staff reports - April 7th, 2016
Susie Hutchison and Cantano in 2010

Susie Hutchison and Cantano in 2010

Horsetrader photo / Warren Wilson

LEXINGTON, Ken. — While continuing to win grand prixes (related story below), Susie Huchison received word last month that she will be a 2016 inductee into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.

The announcement came March 29 from the SJHF, which will induct its newest members in a June 2 ceremony at the Devon Horse Show before the start of the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon. Joining Hutchison as 2016 inductees will be Elizabeth Busch Burke and Katie Monahan Prudent.

Induction into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed annually upon select individuals whose contributions to the sport have set them apart and whose influence has had a significant impact on the sport of show jumping and the equestrian community. It is because of their talents, efforts, accomplishments, and what they have brought to the sport, that the Election Committee, comprising some of the nation’s top riders, trainers and officials, voted them as the inductees for the 2015 election.

What can be done for horses with dreaded ‘navicular’ issues?

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM - April 7th, 2016

AskTheVetNavicular disease is an ugly term in the equine world. It is a dreaded condition that makes people cringe, and if they are looking to buy your horse, they will turn and run at the first mention of the term. Before we discuss the disease, we should talk about what the navicular bone is.
The navicular bone is a small bone in the hoof. Its function is to act as a pivot point for the deep digital flexor tendon. This tendon is what brings the hoof back when the horse is moving. This little bone is not meant to bear any weight in the horse, just make it easier for that tendon to slide around the curve of the lowest part of the digit.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — An announcement on Tuesday that she was a 2016 inductee into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame didn’t mean there was no work to be done four days later on Saturday.

Susie Hutchison continued a solid year — and legendary career — with a win on Ziedento in the the $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix, as the second week of the Blenheim EquiSports Spring Classic series wrapped up.

With 38 entries in the class, FEI course designer Manuel Esparza designed a track that worked for varying levels of competitor experience and produced 10 clear rounds. Of the five double-clean rides, Hutchison and Ziedento, owned by St. Bride’s Farm, took charge. Also at 1.40m in height, the first Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifier of the season ran simultaneously, with Santiago Vallarta and Go For Me earning the blue ribbon.

Top names, top money at HITS AIG Million

Special to the Horsetrader - April 7th, 2016

THERMAL — Two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward and Sagamore Farms’ Rothchild, rose to challenge a top-notch field of 33 riders, including Ocala’s 2015 Great American Million winner Charlie Jayne, to claim a prestigious victory by going double-clear on a challenging course in the first Jewel in the HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping, the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix on March 20.

It is Ward’s third HITS Million Grand Prix win, the first coming with his long-time partner Sapphire in Saugerties in 2010 and the second in 2012 on Antares F.

The 2016 HITS Desert Circuit was in its final week of the season as an electric crowd descended upon HITS Desert Horse Park to witness the grand finale of the winter show circuit. A large spectator crowd filled the grandstand, as well as a sold-out VIP club and thousands more viewing a live United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Network webcast.

Reverse Arc: Leading with the shoulder

36th in a series

Les Vogt for the Horsetrader - April 7th, 2016

More With Les graphicOnce your horse is moving his shoulders on a diagonal line both ways (without much work or effort on your part or his), we’ll add to the level of difficulty by asking him to actually step around in a circle with his shoulder leading—a movement commonly referred to as the reverse arc.

You’ll want to start as you have in the past, however, now you will tighten up the cues even more until you start doing about a 30-foot circle instead of just your diagonal line. At first a quarter circle is fine, then a half, and finally the horse should be able to continue this way as long as you ask him to. One of the great things about this exercise is that as you go around, you are actually teaching the horse to step across with his front legs, just like he will do in the turnaround. Only now, with the reverse arc, you have much more control of his shoulders.

Juniors, Amateurs vie for titles, too

Special to the Horsetrader - April 7th, 2016

THERMAL — Junior and Amateur riders rode for the win and a piece of the prize money, as they competed in the March 19 $25,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic of HITS Desert Circuit VIII. Along with the purse, the equestrians who are between 13 and 21 years of age were also vying for points as a class was a selection trial for the North American Junior & Young Rider Championship (NAJYRC).

Tom ForanFor almost two decades, Tom Foran and Foran Performance Horses have dedicated themselves to producing exceptionally trained horses and riders. Tom is an AQHA World Champion (Jr. Reining) and has coached an AQHA Select World Champion. In previous years, he has achieved Top 20 Rider Status and has won multiple NRHA North American Affiliate Championships. Moreover, he has made the finals at every major NRHA event as well as having won multiple regional futurities and derbies.

FPH covers every aspect of performance horse training from colt starting to keeping an older show horse sound, happy, and performing at its best. The same is true for riders. FPH maintains several fantastic lesson horses and are happy to teach riders of all levels – from people who have never ridden before to world champion amateur riders.