California Riding Magazine • November, 2012

Winner's Circle

Que Sera, Sera!

The International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA) World and National Championships were held Oct. 10-14 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The show featured classes for both Purebred and Part Bred Friesian Horses, as well as USEF All Breed Classes, in all varieties of disciplines including halter, english, western, dressage and driving classes. Horses and riders came from as far away as upstate New York this year to attend. The World show is bicoastal with Lexington, VA, where the show will be held next year.

Basksera Knight ("Sera"), owned by Darcy Edwards of San Diego, earned the coveted Part Bred High Point award. The 8-year old Friesian/Arabian cross mare was ridden by a number of Darcy's friends in pursuit of that prize. Sera competed and won six World Champion titles, five National Champion titles as well as five Reserve World and National Champion awards. Sera was awarded the Leoness Sport Horses Part Bred Friesian High Point Perpetual Trophy and the Jeff Wonnell Memorial Versatility High Point Trophy. The Versatility Trophy is awarded to the All-Around High point horse which competes in at least five different disciplines.

Sera's World and National Champion titles were awarded in; Part Bred Friesian Trail In-Hand (handled by Dr. Kip Johnson), Part Bred Friesian Working Trail (ridden by Tynan Morely), Part Bred Friesian Senior Mares Halter (handled by Darcy Edwards), Part Bred Friesian Walk/Trot Pleasure Amateur (ridden by Melinda Nelson), Part Bred Friesian Sport Horse In-Hand Mares 3 & Over (handled by Darcy Edwards), Part Bred Friesian Walk/Trot Pleasure Open (ridden by Melinda Nelson), Part Bred Friesian Western Pleasure Amateur (ridden by Louis Santiesteban), Part Bred Friesian English Pleasure Junior Rider (ridden by Hannah Diverde), Part Bred Friesian Western Pleasure Open (ridden by Darcy Edwards), Part Bred Friesian Country English Pleasure Saddle Seat Amateur (ridden by Nicole Bankhead), and Part Bred Friesian Walk/Trot Pleasure Open (ridden by Anaiah Richter).

Edwards does not plan on showing Sera in 2013, as she plans to breed her to the beautiful Friesian stallion Sjoerd, who was awarded the 2011 USEF Horse of the Year Award. Sjoerd is proudly owned by Xena Vimercati of Three Day Ranch in Wildomar. Sjoerd also won numerous World and National titles this year, as well as the Anita Mellott Memorial Driving High Point Perpetual Trophy.

NorCal Noteworthies

Carly Bechtel (Matthew Sereni, trainer) has dreamed of winning the Nor Cal Senior Medal Final ever since she was on ponies, and years later, after four attempts at this final, she finally won it at the 2012 Nor Cal Medal Final show held Oct 10-14 at Leone Equestrian.

"I was so excited and so relieved," she gushed. "I've wanted it so bad, and I finally got it. In past years, I catch rode horses and one year I even ended up in the hospital. This year, I rode my horse Walk This Way. I've had him since he was 3 and he's 9 now, so we know each other very well. He's actually my hunter, and I'm very comfortable with him. That actually put more pressure on me because I knew it was all on me—my horse wasn't going to do anything wrong."

Tylor Nowell (Nina Alario, trainer), won the Nor Cal Junior Medal Final, putting a bright spot on what had been a rough year. Tylor broke her collarbone in a bad fall (from a different horse) in May and then suffered from an infection, and she has only been back to jumping since the end of August. She also had another reason to celebrate. "This weekend was my one year anniversary with my horse, Askaban, so it was super special to win. He's my rock."

West Coast Talent Galore

Karen Healey had not just one but six clients earn top spots in tough competition in late September at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. In the 2012 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals West, first, second, third, and fifth places went to Karen Healey students Samantha Harrison, Olivia Champ, Kilian McGrath, and Savannah Jenkins. Hannah Von Heidegger took the USEF Zones 8,9,10 Hunter Seat Medal Regional Finals win.

After three challenging phases, flat, gymnastics and jumping, over three days, the clincher in the USEF Talent Search is the work-off. Similar to the final at the World Equestrian Games Final Four, the top four scoring riders all switch and ride each other's horses, and all start with a clean slate zero score.

Samantha Harrison (20, La Canada) and Santika, who also won the Best Horse Award, had a high score of 94 and were sitting on top going into the work-off. Harrison showed poise and confidence on all four horses. Her consistency and scores in the eighties as well as the nineties paid off with a victory. She finished with a final total score of 350.

Kudos To Letrado 15

Congratulations to Christine Martin of Lake Forest and her PRE gelding Letrado 15 on an amazing 2011-2012 show season. Some of their accomplishments this year include: USPRE high point amateur at the Del Mar National Horse Show and Cool August Nights dressage show, USDF Region 7 Reserve Champion First Level Freestyle and USDF All Breed awards USPRE Champion for both First Level and First Level Freestyle Amateur. Christine and Letrado 15 train with Jennifer Reynen of White Horse Training at the Coto Valley Equestrian Center in Orange County's Coto de Caza.

Jeanne Rosenberg accepts the John Varble Sportsmanship Award during the 22nd Annual Jack and Linda Baker Reining Classic Finals, held in late September at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center (photo by Naismith Images). The Finals took place during "the Pink Show," the Classic Championship Show, which emphasizes cancer awareness throughout its four-day run.

Additionally, this year's competition honored the late horseman John Varble, the first winner of the Baker Reining Classic. In one of several emotional special awards presentations, Jeanne received the coveted Sportsmanship Award from John Varble's son, John, Jr., plus last year's winner Sherry Richter, Penni Gerardi and Larry and Poncie Gimple.

The Finals enjoyed another strong turn-out, with 31 of the qualified 38 horse/rider pairs giving the two-round reining competition a go. Kirsten Booth and her stallion Lil Ruff Hollywood were the champions and took home the Classic's trademark huge haul of wonderful prizes. Jeanne Rosenberg and JR Chicadease were the reserve champs.