November 2016 - CPHA Spotlight: A Year in Review

Busy season brings many benefits to members and the West Coast sport as a whole.

by CPHA president Jeni Brown

The California Professional Horsemen’s Association has been very busy this summer and fall. We have had amazing support from our professional community for our programs and wonderful attendance at our events from the junior and amateur riders. We are trying to offer valuable services to all our members, we appreciate their support and always welcome their participation and input as to how we can improve.

CPHA Amateur Final winners with the trainers. Photo: Mike Keener

Enzo earned the CPHA Pre-Green Championship, ridden by Nick Haness. Photo: Mike Keener

We have been raising money to help our professional members in need and provide scholarships to children of professionals, hard-working young professionals or working students who are furthering their education. We have staged some impressive medal finals for our junior and amateur members and the professionals who train and support them.

Quality events, in great venues, presented by excellent show management make for meaningful experiences and memories for so many of our members.

Our busy season began in Northern California in June with our Regional Finals for the CPHA Horsemanship and the CPHA Child/Adult Medal at a venue that’s new for us, the HMI June Classic at the Sonoma Horse Park. It was a great success and we are looking forward to these classes and the finals growing in the North in the upcoming years.

Down south, we had an impressive group of horses and riders competing in the CPHA Junior/Amateur Medal Final at the Blenheim Summer Classic in August. This 3’6” Medal Final, with separate sections for juniors and amateurs, is held in the indoor ring, with some of the rounds going at night. Sixty-four riders were challenged to a very difficult competition, and demonstrated some inspiring riding.

The CPHA moved next to Del Mar for the CPHA Foundation Equitation Championships at the Showpark Summer Classic. There, 124 riders contested the final in their respective age groups.   The courses were great, the tests were difficult and the best riders rode to the top of their classes.

Pre-Green Progress

CPHA Foundation 21 and under Winner Grady Lyman.

CPHA Foundation 14 and Under Championship, Elli Yeager Champion, Julia Stone Reserve Champion, and Kaitlyn Lovingfoss, third. Photo: Mike Keener

Although it’s only two years old, the CPHA Pre-Green Incentive program is growing strong, so we were excited to offer $30,000 in prize money for the championship class held at the Blenheim Fall Tournament in September. The two-round competition took place on the beautiful grass field.  Plus, CPHA also divided up the incentive money between the top three owners and the top three riders who had earned points thoughout the year.

We are thrilled how this program enables West Coast Pre-Green horses to earn significant prize money in California. As more show managers offer the classes, more horses will join and the incentive program will grow even more, benefitting our professionals and owners. Please check out the new specifications for 2017 and be sure to join your 3’ and 3’3” Green Hunters early in the upcoming year.

The CPHA has been helping the CPHA Foundation with some great fundraisers this year. Thanks to the success of our annual Mega Bucks Raffle, we were able to give young and hard working professionals a boost to their budget.  Nicole Husky received the biggest check with a much-appreciated $2,000!

The CPHA Foundation hosted a wonderful weekend at the West Palms Events Flintridge Autumn Show at the end of September. Popular VIP packages included tickets to Friday evening’s wine and cheese party and a lovely ringside dinner during Saturday’s Grand Prix.

Our sponsors’ support helped make the whole event a huge success. We are so grateful to Equine Insurance (Joe and Donna Chopp), Patrick Spanton, Anne Marie Mueller, Lori Johnston, Georgy Maskrey-Segesman, Chris Warner, Gelson’s Market, West Palms Event Management and the Flintridge Riding Club. We are honored and grateful to be able to raise these much needed funds for our professionals.

Seven $2,000 scholarships were awarded to some very deserving applicants this year. We are so thankful to The Heidegger family on behalf of Dr. Nicolas Karazissis, for their generous contribution. These scholarships help make it possible for these students, who work so hard, to continue their higher education. The recipients are Kayla Lott, Erick Suarez, Luis Gonzalez, Willow Daniels, Lauren Franco, Brooke Goddard and Stephanie Santana. All are children of professional CPHA members, young professional members or working students in our industry.

CPHA Foundation 22 and Over Championship Winner Tonya Johnston.

Awards galore. Photo: Mike Keener

As the show year is winding down we had our Southern California Regional Finals for our Child/Adult and Horsemanship riders at the Oct. 20-23 Gold Coast show. CPHA will also be heading to the Las Vegas National, Nov. 15-20, for the CPHA Foundation WCE Medal Final, an always popular and exciting event.

All year long our CPHA members have been enjoying our new Style of Riding class. This innovative format has received a lot of positive feedback from trainers and riders. It’s a fun class that emphasizes riding clean and efficient tracks in the jumper ring while maintaining a smooth and effective equitation ride. Check it out at the next show, or read up about it on our website. More shows will be hosting the class next year so soon everyone will be doing it!

In January we will be back in Las Vegas for the PCHA Convention and our annual CPHA Awards Banquet on Friday, Jan. 6. This is always a great event to celebrate the legends, heroes and special achievements in our sport, both equine and human. We have already selected some wonderful honorees and hope many of you will come to celebrate them with us at the banquet. It is sure to be an emotional and memorable evening.

About the California Professional Horsemen’s Association: the CPHA provides a forum, voice, and many valuable programs and benefits for equine industry professionals throughout the region, including those who live elsewhere but compete and/or work within it regularly. Members can be trainers and anyone else who earns at least half their income from working with horses. CPHA also hosts prestigious medal classes and finals for juniors and amateur members. For more information on the organization’s good works and getting involved, visit

Find Out More: For more information on any of the California Professional Horsemen’s Association programs, visit, call Ruth Frazier at the CPHA office at 818-955-9500 or talk to a board member at an upcoming show. The current CPHA board is comprised of Jeni Brown, James Hagman, Nick Karazissis, Jr., Beverly Jovais, Quinn Partridge, Kathryn Burdett Griffiths, Kathy Hobstetter, Vanessa Brown and Dianne Grod.