Western Showing 101 - Barrel Racing

History
Barrel racing is a rodeo event dating back to the 1930's, starting as a sport for women. At that time the event alternated between a cloverleaf and figure-eight pattern and speed was not key. It wasn’t until 1949 that barrel racing was judged by the shortest time and not of the appearance of the girl and her horse.

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In 1948 the Girl's Rodeo Association (GRA) was formed, and Barrel Racing started to look more like the fast and thrilling event we see today. The Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) replaced the GRA in 1981. The sport now attracts prize money that competes with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

Modern barrel racing is open to both women and men with associations such the Nation Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) and others welcoming women and men into their membership and competitions.  

The IBHF (International Barrel Horse Foundation) are now responsible for the development of barrel racing around the world. There are NBHA’s in over 20 countries around the world including Brazil, China, Italy, the Netherlands, Venezuela, Canada and France.


The UKBHA has been set up to promote barrel racing and increase participation in the sport. Aiming to provide coaching and riding opportunities for barrel racers around the UK and to provide a support network that enables an increase in the quality and quantity of riders, horses and competitions in barrel racing.


Barrel Racing Basics
There are three barrels which are set up in a cloverleaf pattern, and each rider must turn each barrel as fast as they can. Riders may choose to run a pattern that requires one right-hand turn, and two left-hand turns or vice versa. The rider must complete the required pattern and number of turns.  The pattern is essentially a series of straight lines and quick, tight turns. 

Remember, you and your horse won't be able to compete at speed without first working at slower gates, as with any competition accuracy is critical, and in this case, accuracy will save you seconds when you are ready to compete. Per the International Barrel Racing Association, “The horse’s athleticism and mental condition and the rider’s horsemanship skills are crucial.” Practice riding your horse in a figure eight pattern and circles to help your precision. You should consider stamina and conditioning work (for you and your horse!). 

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Getting Started advice from UKBHA
Working at a walk, as you head across the start line you should be roughly in line with the third barrel and gradually curve towards the first barrel. About 2 metres before each barrel you should stop your horse, this is to teach them to slow down before you turn. Once you start to ask for more speed, it is important that your horse has the understanding that you must slow down to make the turn accurately. If you go into the turn with too much speed, then you risk overrunning the turn, and then you will be out of position going on to your next turn. 

When making your turn, you want it to be a smooth circle around the barrel. When working slowly, it’s important to stay around 6 feet from the barrel, and as you build up the speed, your horse will bring you in closer to the barrel. Start too close when you are working slowly, and once you add the speed you risk that your horse will start to turn too early and run you into the barrel and remember, the most important rule of all, have fun with your horse. 
Facebook: UK Barrel Racers/UKBHA or email ukbha@outlook.com

Judging and Scoring
Rules may vary by association so be sure to read the rule book!
The first and second barrels are spaced 90 feet apart with 105 feet to the third barrel. 

Barrel racing is a speed event, so as you would expect penalties are dealt in seconds and in a class where seconds can mean the difference between winning and losing a five-second penalty can be significant. Many associations will use electronic timers and sensors to ensure accuracy when recording the start and finish time.

To be successful in this class, the competitor must complete the pattern without knocking over any barrels. Tipping a barrel may result in a five-second penalty and deviating from the pattern results in a zero score.

Tack:
Sports boots to help to protect the horse’s legs against injury.

Barrel racing saddle, these tend to have deep seats and short skirts. A barrel racing saddle will position the rider to be able to “sit deep” and “step out” through fast, tight turns with the rider’s legs slightly forward. Any saddle used should fit properly.

Apparel
Western hat or safety hat, long sleeved western shirts or blouses, riding jeans, western boots, and a western belt is considered a standard dress code. 

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Showing 101 - Reining

Reining is a pattern class and each horse and rider are judged on the accuracy of the pattern, to be completed from memory. The National Reining Horse Association have 10 patterns and AQHA events have 11 patterns.

Reining is often described as the western form of dressage as it requires the horse and rider to be in tune with each other in order to perform the movements, without the rider aids being seen.

Reining originates from cattle work as the work required responsive horses that could change direction quickly and “stop on a dime”. These horses needed to be ridden with leg aids and weight and only a light rein so that the cowboy’s attentions could be on the task at hand.

Manoeuvres

Each pattern includes the following manoeuvres, which the horse and rider should must perform smoothly and accurately, which includes controlling speed.

360-degree spins
The horse should turn around a full 360 with the inside hind leg stationary, in other words pivot around the inside hind leg. Spins are judged on correctness, smoothness and cadence.

Flying lead changes
To complete a flying change, the horse switch the leading front and hind legs during the lope during the moment of suspension in the lope gait. The transition is judged on precision; early or late changes will have points deducted.

Small slow circles and Large fast circles
Circles should be perfectly round and the change of pace between small slow circles and large fast circles should be without any difficulty.

Roll-backs
Without hesitation, the horse will perform a 180 turn after a sliding stop and immediately lope off (on the correct lead).

Sliding stops
The horse stops by driving his hocks underneath him and sliding on his hind feet, while the front legs continue to walk. The stop should be in a straight line. Before a sliding stop is the ‘rundown,’ this is where the horse runs along the side of the arena building up speed before the stop.

Back up
Back up quickly, but in a straight line for at least 10 feet. Judged on speed, smoothness and straightness.

Scoring
Each riders starts the pattern with a score of 70, the judge will then either add or subtract points for each manoeuvre, the points range from -1.5 to +1.5. 

-1 ½ for an extremely poor execution

-1 for very poor

– ½ for poor

0 for correct with no degree of difficulty

+1/2 for good execution

+1 for very good

+ 1 ½ for excellent

A final score of 70 is a good score and one that reiners aspire to achieve. A manoeuvre that is correct, with no degree of difficulty, will nether gain or lose points.

Equipment and Attire

For protection, horses usually wear splint boots on the front legs and skid boots on the back. Reining horses often have special horseshoes known as sliders, these shoes have wider plates which are smoother than regular shoes.

Riders must wear a long-sleeved shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots. In most competitions, they also wear chaps.

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Have a go at …

Showing

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A new year means it is the perfect time to try new things. Some horse owners would love to have a go at showing, but either don’t know where to start or don’t feel they can. Some simply believe it isn’t for them. Here, we cover some of the basics so those who want to can have a go. For those who don’t think they want to: Give it a go, you never know!

But I’m not competitive
There are many more reasons other than winning prizes to attend a horse show. Some of us just aren’t competitive and don’t feel the need to compare ourselves to others – and that is completely fine. However, that doesn’t mean there is nothing horse shows can offer you. Showing under a judge offers you the chance to get valuable feedback on your and your horse’s progress. You can practise refining your training and get an expert opinion, without worrying about where you will place. Shows also offer a fantastic opportunity to socialise and make new friends. There is more to shows then rosettes and winning, but, equally, you never know where the journey may take you.  

Unaffiliated and All Breed
Unaffiliated and all breed classes provide something for everyone. These classes are great for those starting out or who don’t want to spend out on membership fees. It also means you don’t have to have a particular breed of horse to enjoy showing. They are the perfect opportunity to have a go. An unaffiliated class is not affiliated to a particular breed, association or organisation. This means your horse does not need to be a particular breed, does not need to be registered and you don’t have to be a member. However, unaffiliated classes can often still be found at affiliated shows, opening it up to more people. Often, they may be run under the rules of a particular organisation, as far as judging is concerned. They are also a great stepping stone for those who wish to compete affiliated, but want to have a go first. 

Walk jog
Walk jog classes are a fantastic way to get into showing. Walk jog classes are completed entirely in two gaits, either walk or jog. These classes provide an environment in which people can feel confident to have a go. Whether it is because you or your horse are new to showing, inexperienced, young, green or simply lacking in confidence, a walk jog class could be perfect for you. There are also those, both equine and human, who may not physically be able to do more and these classes mean they don’t miss out. They provide a great entry point for many, and those who don’t feel they wish to progress to more advanced classes can still take part. 

Breed Associations and Organisations
Breed associations and organisations have a lot to offer. There are various associations; those for different breeds, those for all breeds and those with a more specific purpose or discipline. These shows can often be larger and have more classes at different levels. Also, they sometimes offer the chance to show under some high-profile judges, giving the potential for some very useful feedback. However, these shows often require a greater financial contribution. Associations and organisations often provide high point awards, which reward consistency as much as winning.   

Breed associations and organisations have a lot to offer those who want to step up their showing or take it more seriously. Equally, don’t be intimidated. There is still something for everyone. There is competition ranging from entry level for novices and beginners (including walk jog), to the open classes at which you can see the best riders show their skills.

One of the main things associations and organisations have to offer, and something that is appreciated the most by their members, is community. Socialising with like-minded people is an attraction for many and lifelong friends can be made. Don’t be intimidated. You will often find people are excited to welcome newcomers and offer help and support.

  • Some of the associations and organisations in the UK are:  
    Western Equestrian Society (WES)

  • American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)

  • American Paint Horse Association (APHA)

  • British Reining (BR)

  • Nations Reining Horse Association (NRHA)

  • UK Barrel Horse Association (UKBHA)

  • Western Horsemans Association (WHA)

Basic Equipment
Different organisations may have different rules on equipment and attire and you should always be sure to check which rules you are competing under before attending a show. This can also depend on the level of competition. However, there are some basics that are a common theme at most shows and if you just want to have a go, attire rules aren’t restrictive. Show holders want to encourage everyone to have a go and would hate to think people weren’t because they don’t have a top dollar show wardrobe. Although you don’t need to splash out on expensive equipment to show, try not to sacrifice safety for economy. 


Some basic attire/equipment includes:

  • Hat – either a western hat or hard hat

  • Heeled boots

  • Long-sleeved shirt

  • Jeans or show pants -- many also like to show in chaps

  • Usually western tack – there are some exceptions; for example, the hunter classes and some unaffiliated shows may be more lenient

Class Overview
The wide range of classes means there is usually something for everyone. These include:

  • Halter

  • Showmanship

  • Horsemanship

  • Trail 

  • Western Pleasure

  • Ranch Riding

  • Western Riding 

  • Reining 

  • Hunter Under Saddle

  • Hunt Seat Equitation

  • Barrel racing and speed games 

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34th Anniversary as The premier WESTERN RIDING CLUB

It seems like yesterday, the Western Equestrian Society (WES) were celebrating their very first year as the premier Western Riding Club here in the UK, and here they are, many years later, planning a huge celebration for the 34th anniversary. WES members participate with a vast variety of breeds such as Highland ponies, Welsh ponies, traditional cobs, cobs, Haflingers, Arabians and not to mention various western breeds. Looking at it realistically you name breed, and WES probably have a member out there riding in a western saddle.

 

Every year WES hosts a national show at the Moreton Morrel College in Warwickshire which over the years has been the one show to have exceeded all expectation, showcasing some of the best photographic material captured to date. This is all thanks to the Charity Pleasure Class where Members dress themselves and their steeds up in some of the most Incredible costumes, and all in the name of raising money for nominated charity’s, including Macmillan, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and many others.

 

This year WES have decided to nominate a charity close to their hearts. This being said, the Horseback UK charity has been chosen. They are a very deserving charity, dedicated to supporting Mentally and Physically disabled Ex-service Men and Women by introducing them to the beauty and physicality of horses.

And of course, one of the highlights of the event is the announcement of this year’s fancy dress theme. Officially confirmed that this year WES will be celebrating Military through the Ages, so far entries include a Viking, a Musketeer and I did hear some mention of a Tank so this leaves so much open to the imagination. Over the years they have been fortunate enough to see some outstanding representations.

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 One such example was a horse dressed as a John Deere Tractor and this year is already promising some exceptional creativity. There is a huge excitement around the photographs that will be taken on the day highlighting the best moments.

The events are always ones to be remembered and this year WES will have a professional photographer on site, making sure every moment is captured and nothing is missed or left out. Throughout the weekend, the photographer will be working his magic and rest assured all the photographs will be made available a few days after the event.

WES is beyond excited and looking forward to the energy and creativity this show will bring.

The show dates are confirmed for 24th to the 26th August and the ever long awaited for Fancy dress pleasure class will be on Saturday the 25th. 

AMERICANA 2017 - News and Results

Results from 2017 AMERICANA, all pictures courtesy of ©Dead or Alive

 


World Cup Non-Pro Bronze Trophy Champion: Tina Künstner-Mantl & Gina-Maria Schumacher become Co-Champions

The $10.000-added World Cup Bronze Trophy Non Pro final ended with a tie for first place between Gina-Maria Schumacher riding Gotta Nifty Gun (Dun It Gotta Gun x Custom Nifty Nic) and Austrian Tina-Künstner-Mantl riding Nu Chexomatic (Nu Chex To Cash x Tejons Little Lena), who posted a 223.5 each for their runs. The two decided against a runoff and became Co-Champions.


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Bernard Fonck & What A Wave claim World Cup Open Trophy

Bernard and his stallion had had the second best score of the go round. And then the big show arena exploded with cheers when the two presented a brilliant performance in every manoeuvre. What a Wave melted into his last stop, backed up fluently – and left the arena with a 231! Grischa Ludwig and Nu Chexomatic placing second and Ann Fonck and Made in Walla placing third.


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Martina Annovazzi and Highbrow Time claim World Cup Cutting Open

The World Cup Cutting Open Championship was claimed by Martina Annovazzi aboard Highbrow Time (Highbrow CD x One Time Soon) who posted a 154. The 32-year-old Italian professional had already dominated the go round with this horse and also managed to earn the Co-Reserve Championship with her second horse Imminent Cat


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ERCHA Reined Cow Horse Futurity Open Champion: Giovanni Campanaro & Bet Command Rey.

In front of 5,000 visitors, Giovanni Campanaro claimed the ERCHA Reined Cow Horse Futurity Open Championship aboard Bet Command Rey (composite score: 864) and also became reserve Champion aboard WR Smoke Time (862). In fact, the 25-year-old Italian had four horses in the final and placed fourth aboard SJR Sumkinda Reydar and fifth aboard DG Little Rey Merada.


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Gina-Maria Schumacher takes Lead in World Cup Bronze Trophy Non Pro Go round

The final of the World Cup Bronze Trophy Non Pro on Sunday should be a sight to see after this great go round! Ten riders in a field of 37 made it to the final, the minimum score being a 214.5. FEI World Champion Young Riders and NRHA World Champion Non Pro Gina-Maria Schumacher took the lead aboard her 7-year-old stallion Gotta Nifty Gun (Dun It Gotta Gun x Custom Nifty Nic) scoring a 221.5 with their fine, smooth run.


Lena Wolf and Luke Phillimore claim Bronze Trophy Int. Non Pro Co-Championship

The Intermediate Non Pro Bronze Trophy was run class in class with the Non Pro. Two riders tied on first place becoming Co-Champions:  Lena Wolf aboard her Maganic (Magnum Chic Dream x Show Tennic) and Luke Phillimore aboard his 7-year-old mare Tin Whizin (Tinsel Nic x Whizin Off Sparks). Maria-Theresa Ottillinger and her 9-year-old gelding Magnum Brut (Magnum Chic Dream x Rosaline Chex) placed third scoring a 216.


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World Cup NCHA Non Pro Champion: Damiano Avigni & Highbrow Time

Damiano Avigni and Highbrow Time (High Brow CD x One Time Soon) had already dominated the World Cup NCHA Non Pro and they did even better in the final. The two posted a 152 with their remarkable run in a field of 12 finalists. This was the World Cup NCHA Non Pro Championship 2017.


AMERICANA 2017 Show Schedule

AMERICANA publish their 2017 show schedule, including live demo by Pat Parelli, Cow Horse Nations Cup, World Cup ERCHA, Reining Festival, World Cup Ranch Riding, World Cup NRHA, World Cup NCHA Cutting, Freestyle Reining, ERCHA Cow Horse Futurity, World Cup Trail all ages and that's just a few of the classes! AMERICANA also attracts numerous retail pop-up stores to satisfy your shopping needs. 

http://www.americana.de/en/home.html

Jaton Lord - Legacy of Legends Mentor

Carrying on the traditions of Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt

The legacy of Legends is a scholarship program co-founded by Carolyn Hunt and Buck Brannaman and aims to pair students with horsemen and women who are carrying on the teachings of Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt.

In our series of articles, we meet the Legacy of Legends Mentors that are travelling to the UK to teach clinics; these articles will appear in both of our magazines; Western Horse UK and Horsemanship Journal and posted across our websites. To make sure you don't miss any of these articles sign up to our mailing list and we will let you know when we publish anything new.

Over the summer we will get to know: Jaton Lord, Tom Wolter, and Buck Brannaman.

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Jaton Lord: Legacy of Legends Mentor

Jaton is the grandson of Ray and Carolyn Hunt, travelling with them and riding under Ray’s tutelage from an early age. Jaton also worked on the family ranch in southern Idaho, competed in High School Rodeo and started colts for the ranch along and worked with clients.

After finishing school, he went to work for Reined Cow Horse trainers Annie Reynolds and Doug Williamson. Then starting out on his own as Jaton Lord Performance Horses. Among the futurity horses he now has in training are several Colts started at the Legacy of Legends Gathering. 

Ray Hunt was Tom Dorrance’s protégé; he had a way of explaining Dorrance's teachings in a way that people could better understand. In a 2014 interview with Horse and Rider Jaton spoke of the things he learned from his Grandpa and his early memories of Tom Dorrance:

“Grandpa always said to use your brain,” he says. “Think about stuff. Even when he signed his name, he put ‘Think’ next to it. When you stop using your mind with a horse, that’s when stuff doesn’t go well.”

“Tom had a way of lightening a mood and bringing out the best in horses and people. He particularly wanted to make things interesting for the horse so that the animal would feel part of a team—and therefore work with you.”

Jaton is holding three clinics in the North of England this summer, organised by Clive Johnson Horsemanship. “Riders will learn what horsemanship means, and what is best for them and their horse." says Clive, "They will also learn how easy it is to have a functional, successful relationship with their companion, using techniques used by some of the best horsemen in the world.”

Jaton Lord UK Clinics 2017

11-12 August - Cumbria

14-15th August - Doncaster

18-19th August - Richmond

To book: http://clivejohnsonhorsemanship.tictail.com/

 

Look out for future issues of Western Horse UK where we will chat with Jaton, if you have any questions that you would like us to ask please go ahead and put them in the comments. 

Quotes: 

http://horseandrider.com/training/changing-train-26619
Changing the Way We Train - Horse&Rider | Western Training ...
 

Bob's Comment - March 2017

Bob's Comment - March 2017

I'd forgotten that moving house was so stressful, but was quickly reminded when we were given two weeks’ notice. Thankfully, with the help of friends, family, and our excellent removal team — Move Fast, aka, Steve Hart, former owner of Quarter Horse Rio — it was successfully completed on time. Twenty-seven years of successful breeding, shoeing, and training came to an end on the 24th February. Wye Oak Quarter Horses finally closed its doors.

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2016 AQHA UK Championship and Breed Show

Show report first published in November/December 2016

The 39th American Quarter Horse Association UK Championship and Breed Show took place at The Oakridge Arena from the 1st to the 4th September; 81 horses took part, entering 897 classes in total.

Competitors started to arrive on the Tuesday prior to the show. The Oakridge Arena looked amazing, a credit to the Oakridge Team, as another show had just pulled out that morning and there was not much time to turn the arena and stables around.

The Championship Show was run as 2 x split/combined AQHA Shows. Shows 1 and 2 were judged by Mai Brit and Rick Lemay from Sweden, while Shows 3 and 4 were judged by Ralph Hesselsschwerdt from Germany and Elizabeth Baker from the USA, on her first trip to the UK. The show also encompassed a full slate of National Reining Horse Association and Bieman Riding classes. These classes were hotly contested, with the highlight being the $1,000 NRHA Open class generously sponsored by Oakridge Arena, won by Lee Rutter, riding Lita Pocock's Little Nic, and a $500 NRHA Non Pro, also generously sponsored by Oakridge Arena, won by Fiona Howard, riding her own Gun Chic Nic.

It was encouraging to see large class entries, particularly in the Ranch Riding, Trail, Hunter Under Saddle and Halter Classes.

The Halter classes were extremely competitive, with Fiona Howard's Gun Chic Nic, shown by Lee Rutter, winning the UK Stallion Hi Point Championship. Jane Wallace's Make Me Invited won the UK Gelding Hi Point Championship and, making a welcome return to the show ring, David Teideman's Jays Dene took the Mare Championship. These three horses then went through to the AQHA UK Supreme Championship, with Gun Chic Nic taking the honours.

Sadly, the halter futurity classes were poorly supported, but Jayne Lerwill's stunning grey Fifty Shades of Jay took the 2-year-old Gelding Futurity Champion, and Joanne Clark's beautiful mare Fashioned in Blue was the 2-year-old Mare Futurity Champion, each winning the much sought after Bling It On Futurity Rugs. The ridden Futurity and Maturity classes were well-supported, with Alan Payne and Hot Steppin Leaguer winning the Trail Futurity on Friday. Tammy Greaves had a clean sweep on the Hunter Futurity and Maturity classes, winning the Futurity on Debbie Burns’ gorgeous black mare, Lady Sudden, and Rebecca Holt’s consistent gelding Jack Te Higgins winning the Maturity. The Western Pleasure futurity and maturity classes were showcased on the Saturday evening, with Sally, Alan and Helen Payne's Hot Steppin Leaguer winning the Futurity Class, shown by Alan. The Maturity class was well-supported and all the exhibitors turned out in their best 'Bling', which sparkled in the evening lights of the arena. The champion of this round was Jane Wallace's Make Me Invited, ridden by Jess March. The reserve champion was Evelyn Dash, riding her own Certainly Immortal.

The last classes on Saturday evening were the Futurity and Maturity Reining Classes. These were hotly contested, with competitors also wanting to earn points for the prestigious British Bred Hi Point Futurity/Maturity Trophy. Tammy Greaves and Mary Larcom were both in close contact going into these classes and interestingly both were riding horses bred by Mike and Jane Roberts from their Stallion Sean Dillon. Tammy finished ahead of Mary and the Champions were Alan Payne, riding Mary Lungenmuss’ This Remedys Smart in the Futurity and Lee Rutter riding Fiona Howard’s Custom Remedy, taking the Maturity Championship.

The final class to determine the British Bred Hi Point Champion was the Trail Maturity, held on Sunday morning. Evelyn Dash, riding her own Certainly Immortal, was the champions, but Tammy Greaves and Rebecca Holt's Jack Te Higgins picked up enough points to win the enormous British Bred Hi Point Trophy. It is interesting to note that "Jack" is a full brother to last year’s Champion, Seans Little Te Boy, both bred from Mike and Jane Roberts’ Stallion Sean Dillon.

A new class for this year was the introduction of 2- and 3-year-old longe line classes. The overall champion was Jayne Lerwill's Fifty Shades of Jay, finishing off a very successful first year of showing with Jayne.

On Saturday, the arena was really buzzing, not just with the competition, but also due to the great turn out of spectators who, despite the rain, had turned out in good numbers to come and see the UK's best Quarter Horses and western riders. AQHA UK took the opportunity to parade the successful Youth World Cup Team, which had competed in Australia. Outgoing Youth Director Sheila Fitzpatrick presented them all with medals to acknowledge their success as a team.

Olivia Lochead, a youth team member, took the Novice Youth Hi Point Championship, riding Carrin Herrick's Wimpys Smart Chex, and Karen Coleman, riding her own Jays Diamond Heiress, won the Oakridge Western Riding Club Hi Point Championship.

The AQHA UK Championship classes were highly contested, with all champions winning a Montana Silversmith Buckle and Champion Rug. The buckles will be awarded at the AQHA UK Awards evening to be held at the Garden of England Spring Show on the 27th May 2017. All of these awards were generously sponsored by some very kind and generous individuals and companies whose details are listed on the photographs. AQHA UK would like to pass on their grateful thanks to all of the sponsors. Without them, none of the awards detailed above would have been presented.

Alan Payne had a successful show, winning both the Open Hunter and Western Pleasure Championships. Gill Parker and Gregory Pep won the Open and Amateur Trail Championships. Lee Rutter, riding Lita Pocock's Little Nic, won the Open Reining Championship and perhaps the most competitive open Ranch Riding Class was won by Lucy Adams with Caroline Goodwins Lady Magnebellum.

Avril Wilson, riding her father's RS Hermes Olena, was the most successful Amateur and Novice Amateur competitor, winning two Amateur Championships and four Novice Amateur Championships. Evelyn Dash and Certainly Immortal won the Amateur Horsemanship and Western Pleasure Championships. Jane Wallace and Make Me Invited were the Amateur Hunter Under Saddle champions for the third year running. Other amateur champions were Liz Shaad and SS Smokin Jesse, Ranch Horse Riding Champions, and Carrin Herrick and Smart Wimpys Chex, winning the Showmanship Championship.

Other novice amateur champions were Karen Shaw and Juicy June winning Ranch Riding, Sue Gardner and A Pro But Shy, won the Western Pleasure Championship and, finally, Gemma Taverner and KB Give Me The Top were the Reining Champions.

Katie Willis and Protecturinvitation were the most successful youth competitors, winning four championships, Emily Sands and This Chicks Smokin won two championships, and Olivia Plum, with CS Texas Cat, won the Youth Ranch Riding Championship.

All competitors and spectators were superbly fed in the amazing Oakridge café -- the food on offer is excellent and the menu varies on a daily basis. A special thanks must go to Chris and Craig who worked tirelessly throughout the whole show. Including an absolutely delicious barbecue on Saturday evening, which must have taken an incredible amount of time to organise.

The other hard-working team was LRG Photography, who captured the most amazing photographs and videos and covered every single class and presentation. The photographer is an integral part of a championship show and the whole team worked incredibly hard over four long days. A huge thank you to this amazing professional team.

It takes a huge team to coordinate and manage a show of this size and a massive thank you must go to the following people: Jane Wallace, Jane Muir, Charles Graylan, Mick Carder, David Lloyd, Rob Painter, Chris Valle, Helen Payne, Jane Mead, Tracy Haynes, Anna Kerslake, Michelle Mcquire, Mike and Jane Roberts, Nick Mason, Karen Coleman, Lucy Adams, Ruth O'Reilly and David Deptford.

Last, but not least, a huge thank you to Lita, Graham, Becky and Lee and the rest of the Oakridge Team for hosting a very successful show and giving a very warm welcome to everyone in attendance.

Next year’s 40th Anniversary show will be held at Bodiam International Arena, with dates to be confirmed. 

Nov/Dec 2016
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Bob's Comment - October 2016

Bob's Comment - October 2016

As winter now approaches and our show season is over, it is time to appraise your efforts for this year. My suggestion is to take time out and write down all or any of the problems that you have had in low-scoring rounds so that you have a master plan to work on before next season. Remember, spring is only a few months away and if we take out Christmas, and bad weather days, we have probably got only six weeks left to get into shape for next year’s show season.

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Bob's Comment - September 2016

Bob's Comment - September 2016

There is no doubt that the growth of western riding, the Quarter Horse and Paint Horse Associations, and British Reining Horse Association would never have been so prolific, save for the efforts WES has made and continues to make. The many trainers and instructors would not be around, and the enthusiasm to ride western would not be so buoyant if it wasn't for WES members putting the “1860s cowboy movie ghost” to rest.

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Summer of Reining at the CS Ranch in Givrins, Switzerland

Summer of Reining at the CS Ranch in Givrins, Switzerland

Givrins (Switzerland), June 10, 2016 - This coming August contains a firework of high class reining sports. Two weeks at the CS Ranch in Givrins,  from August 4-6 and August 11-13. Under the patronage SVAG, CS Classic and organised by the experienced team of the CS Ranch. The NRHA SVAG CS Maturity & NRHA Show, the SVAG FEI European Reining Championships Young & Junior Riders 2016 and – the highlight - the SVAG FEI World Reining Championships 2016.

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Bob's Comment - June 2016

Bob's Comment - June 2016

I feel very privileged to be accorded the honour of judging the 25th anniversary WES championship show. I hope as many of you as possible will put the date in your diary and attend, either astride or on foot! I am sure a large proportion of you readers started western riding through the efforts of WES. Over the years, the society has probably been ‘responsible’ for a lot of sales of the American Quarter Horse as during the early days there was only one annual Quarter Horse show and three major WES shows.

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London New Years Day Parade 2016

London New Years Day Parade 2016

On New Years day rather than staying home and watching more Only Fools and Horses reruns we instead headed into London to meet the AQHA UK riders who were taking part in the New Years Day parade. We walked from Oxford Circus down to Green Park where they were getting ready. On the way every side street had participants of the parade getting reading, steel bands, dancers, mini steam engines, marching bands and giant inflatables. The noises were loud and varied, not conditions I would like to ride in!

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Bob's Comment - November 2015

Bob's Comment - November 2015

It’s that time of the year – no not Christmas – it’s time to appraise your efforts over the last ten months and set your goals for next year.

Take a notepad and jot down all of the things that went wrong at shows you attended. Was there a regular problem cropping up that you missed? Or were there many various problematic scenarios? Then put down what you did to try to correct these.

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European Championships 2015

European Championships 2015

In he came, walking well, around the corner and lost a back leg, my heart lurched but he didn’t break. The rest of the pattern was a smooth blur; his extended jog was sublime as was his pole work. Fast walk after the poles, don’t forget to back up—he didn’t. I had written all the previous scores down and was listening hard for his, it came and it was the highest.

I stood and clapped and cried. Sarah beckoned me over and said in the smallest voice I have ever heard: “Did I hear that right?” She had and we cried some more.

David Deptford and Heir To A Jay, owned by Eleanor Deptford, European Junior Ranch Riding Champion 2015. It was the first time that the British National Anthem had been played since 2010. What a result!

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Top Score 152 for Denis Pini and All About Pep in Bio S.I. World Cup NCHA Cutting Open final

Top Score 152 for Denis Pini and All About Pep in Bio S.I. World Cup NCHA Cutting Open final

Latest from Americana 2015: The winner of the BIO S.I. World Cup Cutting Open final was Denis Pini aboard his 7-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion All About Pepwho scored a 152 in front of 4,800 visitors at AMERICANA.

Denis Pini last won the prestigious cutting in 2013 aboard Playlite (owner: Michal Popov), whom he rode to third place in this final scoring a 148.

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