California Riding Magazine • November, 2008

Winners Circle

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California rider Katie Jarve won both her qualifier and the World’s Championship Juvenile Show Pleasure Three Gaited aboard CHA Magic Spell at the World’s Championship Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville this August. With three judges in the ring, Katie and “Blondie” were unanimous winners each time. Katie trains with Jennifer Dixon of Dixon Stables in Menlo Park. Congratulations to Katie and Jennifer!

West Beats East in USEF Junior Jumper Championship

Mavis Spencer of Santa Monica was the last to go in a field of 30 riders competing in the first phase of the Adequan/USEF Junior Jumper Championship. She piloted Winea Van’t Vennehof, a dark bay with a truncated tail, flawlessly around Michel Vaillancourt’s course to claim the blue and $5,000.

At the end of her round course designer Vaillancourt exclaimed, “There is a God! I had expected more clean, but it’s quite satisfying to see a late round that’s clear. They are coming in confident, but are making little mistakes. They need to change strategies from fast to clean.”  Only three riders managed the 15-obstacle course without knocking down a rail.

Second place finisher, Kellinefonroy with Clementine Goutal had a faster time than Spencer, but dropped a rail on the fifth fence. Despite the difficulties, which included two eliminations, five different geographic zones were represented by the top five finishers.

Tammy Chipko and All That Shine at the WCHR National Championship

Tammy Chipko of Westlake Village won the World Champion Hunter Rider National Championship in the Amateur Division aboard All That. The World Champion Hunter Rider National Championship was held at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, MD.

The pair also competed in the WCHR Amateur Challenge, where they placed third, and were Reserve Champion in the Amateur Owner Over 35 division. This was the second year that Chipko has shown at Capital Challenge with All That. “He’s always fabulous,” Chipko remarked. “That was the toughest competition we have ever shown against. We scored a 90 in one class and were still in second place! Even to get a ribbon is pretty remarkable. I couldn’t have asked him to go any better than he did.”

Chipko rides with Karen Healey Stables and said winning the championship was a year-long goal for her. “I’ve never won anything like that. It was neck and neck to the wire in points. They do a super job with the prizes and presentations through the WCHR at Capital Challenge. They gave my groom, Herman Garcia, a check for $500. He was so excited, and I couldn’t do this without him.”

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Hannah Selleck, winner of the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals West.

Hannah Selleck Wins USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals West
The Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals West concluded with the stadium jumping phase and the ride-off among the top four riders. The track proved challenging and a number of riders were eliminated for refusals and falls.

“The five-stride to the four-stride to the bank caused problems for lots of horses,” said eventual winner Hannah Selleck. “I think that there was a lot going on and a lot for the horses to look down at in parts of the course.”

However, the riders who were well prepared put in lovely rounds. Adrienne Dixon produced the highest score of the stadium phase (95) and secured herself a berth in the final four. Lucy Davis also put in a very strong ride and her score of 89 meant that she too would be in the final four. Although Selleck received an 80 for her stadium round, her overall score was high enough to keep her comfortably in the final four, and Michelle Morris rounded out the quartet.

In the final ride-off, each rider performs over a shortened course on her horse, and then they each ride the other competitor’s horses for a total of four rounds for each rider. Selleck proved unbeatable and she was thrilled with her win as well. She recalled her first Talent Search Finals when her horse would not jump the liverpool in the gymnastics phase. “I’ve ridden in this class six times and I’ve been in the top four twice. This has been a goal of mine since I first saw the Finals. Winning is a culmination of my dreams.”

Selleck’s mount, W.C. Swing, owned by Carol Bird, was named Best Horse by the judges and the four riders concurred. Both Selleck and Morris ride at Karen Healey Stables, Archie Cox trains Davis and Dixon works with both Benson Carroll and Buddy Brown.

Equitation Riders Shine at Woodside Fall Finale

Equitation was the main theme at the Woodside Fall Finale, the final show of the seven show series at the Horse Park at Woodside. The show featured medal finals and equitation championships. The California Professional Horsemen’s Association has two of their medals, the CPHA Child/Adult Finals North and the CPHA Horsemanship Finals North at the Woodside Fall Finale.

Morgan Finegan (Kelly VanVleck, trainer) of Sacramento took the lead in the CPHA Child/Adult Medal Finals North on her own Captain Jack, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding and never looked back. Finegan commented on her experience, “The last line in the second round was the hardest for me, because I was so nervous. But before I went in, my trainer had told me that no matter what happened I’d done really well already.” Finegan proved that her first round win was no fluke by posting an 84 in the second round. “I was so excited to win, and just to ride with everyone in the class,” said Finegan of her victory.

Shaw’s Saddlery helps sponsor the Woodside Equitation Championships by providing gift certificates to the top junior, amateur and pony riders. Riders qualify for these championships based on their finishes in various medal classes throughout the year. 

Amateur rider Jennifer Parker of Sacramento rode a borrowed horse to win the Woodside Amateur Equitation Championship with first and second round scores of 84 and 81, respectively. The second round included a tight roll back to an oxer to a halt, followed by a half turn on the forehand and a canter transition to a single oxer. “I was thrilled, of course, to win the class, especially on a horse I’d ridden only once before. I was very proud of myself and especially grateful to Land’s Boy’s owner, Danielle Claeyssens, who lent him to me,” commented Parker. “Definitely the turn on the haunches was the hardest part of the course, and I’d like to thank my trainers, Lenny Marconi and Joey Pedroni, who coached me in the class.”

Mackenzie Drazan took home bragging rights and prizes when she topped a class of 12 to win the Woodside Junior Equitation Championship. Drazan, who also placed first in the Onodarka Medal class, trains with Jennifer Davis of John Bragg’s Bridgeport Farms in Woodside.

Lindsay Ramar was the one to beat in the big jumper classes at the final show of the season. Not only did she and Puma capture the $1,000 Welcome Stake, but they came back to win the $7,500 Woodside Jumper Classic. Not content with her dual wins, Ramar also rode her NTEC Dance and Jump to the red ribbon in the $7,500 class.
In a jump-off that saw one rider go faster than the previous in the $1,500 Junior-Amateur/Owner Jumper Classic, Peggy Munkdale put the pedal to the metal and flew around Jamie Alder’s course aboard her Toetsie to take the win.

Finally, the Woodside Fall Finale saw a race to the finish line for the trip to Maui, awarded to the professional who accrues the most points in the Woodside Trainer Incentive Program. Jeni Davis, Beverly Jovais, and Jan Pearce traded off the lead throughout the four day show. In the end, Jan Pearce is Maui-bound, and the top five trainers all receive cash prizes from Langer Equestrian Group. 

Woodside’s 2009 show series will begin again next April. For complete show results visit

This show report was provided by Marnye Langer.

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Russian Roulett+ at age 20 with rider Fede Mantaras.

Russian Roulett+ Honored by AHA

Congratulations to Russian Roulett+ and his legendary Grandsire *Muscat. Through Arabian Horse Association (AHA) membership voting, Roulett+ and *Muscat have been awarded a place of honor in the AHA Centennial countdown of horses, people and/or events that have shaped the AHA over the last 100 years.

Only 33 horses were voted to this prestigious list. Russian Roulett+ was the only Arabian Sporthorse at number 65 and *Muscat was number 35. *Muscat was imported from Russia and was the first AHA triple crown winning stallion. Named to the top 10 was * Bask+++, the Polish import some believe the greatest Arabian Saddle Seat horse of all times, and great Grandsire to  Russian Roulett+.

Russian Roulett’s career spanned five years on both the Arabian circuits and the open hunter and jumper circuits. He was awarded his Legion of Honor in 2005 and the Ambassador Award in 2006. He was retired at the 2008 Memorial Day Classic at LAEC at the age of 22. 

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Wr Luxor Wins Championship

Wr Luxor, a grey Arabian stallion owned by Janet J. Johnston, of Winters, won the Western Pleasure Championship at the Diablo Arabian Horse Association’s (AHA) class A show held in Elk Grove on Sept. 28. Wr Luxor also won first place in two Western Pleasure classes which qualified him to compete in the championship class.
He is now eligible to compete in the AHA’s region three show, which will be held in Reno, NV next year. Johnston’s 5-year-old black Arabian filly, Keystones Fortune, also won first place in the Western Pleasure junior novice class.

“I am truly amazed that both my horses did so well, especially since this was the first time they’ve ever been shown and they were in competition against horses that have been competing all year,” says Johnston. “I am very proud and excited about Luxor’s accomplishment. It’s almost unheard of for a horse to earn, in one show, enough points to be qualified for the regional show.”

Both horses are trained and shown by Todd Hickerson of Hickerson Arabians in Vacaville. Johnston adds, “Todd deserves a lot of credit in light of the fact that he’s only had my two horses for less than two months. What an amazing accomplishment for both Todd and my horses.”