When a month is packed full of horse shows, I usually try to put them all into one column. August was that kind of month, with two Quarter Horse world shows and the AQHA/PCHA Classic Championships show. I had planned to cover all of them in my last column, but the more I heard about the Classic Championship, the more I knew it would take an entire column to talk about this particular show.
Billed as the “Pink Show” the Classic Championship was held Aug. 14-17 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. Track One Events offered this show as a combination horse show and fundraiser for the City of Hope’s cancer research and treatment. The City of Hope is one of the top 10 cancer treatment centers in the nation.
“We all have a touch point—whether a friend, family member or acquaintance—who’s coping with a cancer diagnosis,” said Poncie Gimple, show secretary and part owner of Track One. This was a way to celebrate the survivors and raise awareness in the horse community.
One survivor who is celebrating is Emily Jungers. An avid horsewoman since her high school days, Emily has been riding for many years, mostly for pleasure. For the past seven years, she has been helping in the horse show office and is a familiar face to many AQHA, PCHA and NRHA competitors. Her bright smile and uncanny ability to remember every face that walks in the door, makes a trip to the office pleasant for everyone.
Last year, Emily was on a cattle drive when she got a back ache. It hurt badly enough to see her G.P., who ordered blood tests. Before she knew it, she was having a tumor removed from her spine and was receiving chemotherapy for myeloma, a type of blood cancer. Eventually, she had a stem cell transplant, and new hope for a long life, all courtesy of the City of Hope.
“The worst part was the doctors weren’t going to let me ride,” she told me. “Lucky for me, there was a doctor who had horses and said, ‘I don’t see why you can’t ride a horse.’”
For Emily, the Pink Show was a wonderful weekend of sharing with other cancer survivors. “There was such a different attitude by the competitors, and everyone came into the office to show off their ribbons and bandanas and share their stories.”
Pink bandanas were given to the exhibitors, white to those who had survived cancer. Wristbands in pink and white were also given to the public. Everyone found a clever way to display their pink or white bandanas, whether on their saddle horns or around their dogs’ necks. Even the ribbons handed out to the winners advertised the show’s theme.
The show was very successful in raising funds and more. The silent auction raised over $6,000 for the City of Hope, prizes were purchased from the American Cancer Society and the blood mobile had many donors. The leftover ribbons were given to the dressage show that was held the following weekend; they were happy to continue to spread cancer awareness throughout the
As far as winners, the big winner of the show was Kathy Copus and her horse, Gunball Machine, who won the Jack and Linda Baker Reining Classic. This event is the culmination of a year of qualifying rounds at various PCHA-sponsored shows. Kathy won almost $5,000 in prizes, including a beautiful Broken Horn trophy saddle. After competing in this event for 13 years, this was certainly a highlight for Kathy and her trainer, Tom Foran, who won $300 as the winning PCHA registered professional trainer. Congratulations Kathy and Tom!
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