Boom Shernic & Schmersal Win the NRBC Open Derby

Saturday night saw a dramatic close to the NRBC Open Finals. Craig Schmersal and Boom Shernic (Boomernic x She And Chic Dunit) posted a 228 for the win. And wouldn’t you know it – I was making a food run as Schmersal was making his $75,000 run…

So I don’t have a picture to share with you. But I do have one of the tied second place winners – Jordan Larson and Stop Like A Dream. This duo marked a 227.5.

Jordan Larson and Stop Like A Dream.

And the other tied reserve champion pair, was Shawn Flarida and Wimpys Little Chic. Both Co-Reserve Champions took home checks totaling $53,500.

Shawn Flarida & Wimpys Little Chic.

And here are a couple of other shots I snapped during the finals performance…

Marco Ricotta & Hollywoodtinseltown win 4th & $39,000.

Jay McLauglin & A Shiner Named Sioux.

Abigayle Mixon & Julgun win the Int. Open Finals.

Whizs Lil Step.

And here are a couple of other characters. Yes, honestly there are times when Andrea (Anderson) and I have to split our husbands up…

And just because I’ve been receiving emails from people (namely one of my best friends – and my mother) stating that apparently, I am the only one not making an appearance in any of my blog entries – here you go…

(L to R) Myself, Mary-Anne Van Degna & Marcy Ver Meer, following Marcy's great run!!

Friday Night Lights

Today saw an exciting close to the NRBC Non-Pro Championships as Samantha Griffin and Dun Playin Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Brennas Dunit Fancy) took an early lead in the finals. Scoring a 222.5, the DeWinton, Alberta duo maintained that lead until Kim Dooley and Country Custom (Custom Crome x Calatrava) tied Griffin’s score. As the rest of the non-pro competitors completed their runs and the scores came in, only Griffin and Dooley remained at the top.

After an exciting run-off, it would be Dooley and her “Charlie” horse who would walk away with the championship and the $40,908 cheque. They had bested their original score with a 223.

Griffin and Dun Playin Tag were awarded a cheque worth $24,901 for the reserve championship.

Congratulations also goes to Shelley Gunderman and Wimpys Little Boss (Wimpys Little Step x Topsail Boss Missie) of Oxbow, Saskatchewan for making the finals of the Limited Non-Pro!

Matthew Palmer & Whale Of A Whiz.

In the CRI-2*/USEF Reining (the last CRI event for American riders to qualify for the July USEF Reining Championship), Matthew Palmer and Whale Of A Whiz scored a smokin’ 224 for the gold. Whale Of A Whiz is sired by Topsail Whiz, out of the mare Pappita Sunrise and owned by Palmer’s parents. The pair was awarded $2,725 for the win.

Jordan Larson and Out Shinin Wimpy.

The silver was awarded to Jordan Larson and Make It With A Twist (Dun It With A Twist x SR Mischief Maker) for their score of 223.5. Larson also won the concurrent $25,000 NRHA Open Reining aboard Out Shinin Wimpy (Wimpys Little Step x Shinaka) and won $7,155.

Craig Schmersal and Mister Montana Nic.

Taking the bronze was Craig Schmersal and Mister Montana Nic (Reminic x Mollie Montana), owned by the Mister Montana Nic Syndicate. Together they won $1,618.

Stay tuned for tomorrow when Jesse Beckley and Mizzen Whizzen will make a run in the Limited Open Finals!! The Intermediate, Limited, Level 1 and Prime Time Open Finals starts tomorrow at 11:00 am Texas time. <grin>

Going Green

The scores are in. And the bubble is high.

“The Green Man cometh and the Green Man taketh away…” A quote I overheard while sitting in the stands Wednesday, watching  Shawn Flarida and RC Fancy Step mark a 227.5 to take the lead in the open preliminaries.

How true. I had a good chuckle. Then I quickly wrote the quote down in my blog notes so I wouldn’t forget to share it with y’all.

Another great quote overheard was – “The interesting thing about increasing the degree of difficulty is, it actually becomes more difficult!”

We’ve been having a great time at the NRBC. Clay had a few too many penalty points, which prevented him from making it into the L1 or Limited Open finals. However he felt it was a great learning experience in respect to understanding how to show his new mount. Since I do not yet have my hands on his show video or photographs, here is a clip from his warm-up the night prior to his class…

Congratulations to Jesse Beckley of Cranbrook, BC, and Mizzen Whizzen owned by Marilyn Copeland for making it into the finals of Level 1 and the Limited Open finals!

The prelim scores are all in now and competitors at the NRBC in Katy, TX, are anxiously waiting for their turn in the finals. Tomorrow will showcase the Non-Pro finalists who made “the bubble” and at 5:00 pm, the $25,000 Open CRI and USEF Competition will start.

Gettin' ready for the FEI jog test.

Considering open classic preliminary money, open rider Todd Sommers officially became an NRHA Million Dollar rider by making it into the Open Finals. Abigayle Mixon and Julgun (Playgun x Julie Christie) are leading the Intermediate Open division with a 223.5. And former Canadian, Sean McBurney sits in a three-way tie at the head of the Limited Open and Level 1 Open, riding Tin Top Kat (High Brow Cat x Moms Stylish Pepto).

The Open finals will be featured on Saturday.

We are excited to see how everything will play out! But before I log off for the evening, I wanted to share the photo I took of the sweet lady who looks after the sponsor seating area. All I can say is there are some amazing goodies to snack on here, courtesy of her!

For full results, check out: www.nrbc.com

Shootin’ Stars at NRBC

Yesterday, April 12, things started heating up in Katy, TX. And I’m not just talking about Houston humidity. In the Non-Pro preliminaries, Kim Dooley of Scottsdale, AZ, turned up the heat and scored a 220 to take the lead.

With another section and a finals round left to go, the champion of the Non-Pro division remains to be seen. But in the meantime, I thought I would post behind-the-scenes shots I’ve been collecting a little differently.

If a picture’s worth a 1,000 words, this video should total at least 39,800…

Enjoy. And as always, let me know what you think!

NRBC Behind the Scenes

Tracer Gilson, Al Kuenzli and Matt and Ryan Mills enjoy a sushi and tepanyaki dinner. Photo by Tricia Hamilton.

So things are well underway at the 2010 NRBC in Katy, TX. And despite the fact that the world’s best of the best reining horses and riders are here and there’s a lot of money up for grabs, there’s one thing that’s abundantly clear – this show has been designed to provide a fun and amiable atmosphere for all. Even newbies like myself!

Dell Hendricks.

Competitors are offered ample arena and warm-up time, which allows for a less rushed atmosphere. (I am ecstatic about that part, as I am now all caught on my sleep!)

Cheryl Mitchell works on turns with Duane Latimer.

Watching the warm-ups are half of the benefit of being here. There’s lots that can be learned from the sidelines. Many people to watch and possibly, absorb some tips from the world’s elite.

Andrea Fappani - 2009 NRBC Open Champion.

There are a lot of happenings in the warm-up pen…

What’s going on Lance? Why are you on the ground? <grin>

There’s also an opportunity to take a peak at some fine up-and-coming prospects.

Or, if you’re like me, you might get a kick out of watching some cutie-patooties!

Classes officially start tomorrow and each day this coming week, the NRBC Show Committee has scheduled fun activities to take part in. Today for example, features Reiner’s Golf at Cinco Ranch Golf Course. (My golf record is on the green in 1, 9 puts to get it in the hole, so I didn’t sign up…) Tonight there is a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament and on Tuesday evening, Randy Paul will perform at the Platinum Performance NRBC Welcome Party. On Thursday night, McQuay Stables are sponsoring the Open Draw Party where all Open Finalists will draw with a NRBC commemorative finalist wine glass and vote for their finals judges!

You can also join NRBC on Facebook or subscribe to the NRBC Slide Street E-Journal by sending your e-dress to Savannah Howell at:  savannah@nrbc.com

Enroute to NRBC

So we headed out over 24 hours ago from Phoenix, Arizona, to Katy, Texas. And honestly, I can’t even tell you how long the actual driving part was – I tried very hard to sleep in the truck. Unsuccessfully, I must admit. And I am so bagged at the moment that you will have to forgive any spelling errors you find in this blog entry. For some reason I’m not getting any sympathy from my husband – who did most of the driving. Or from Jim and Andrea Anderson of Strathmore, Alberta, Canada – who drove 54 hours to get to Katy.

Regardless, while it’s all fresh in my mind, I figured I should upload and share the trip with you. In and amongst my regular scheduled blogging, I’ll be back throughout the coming week with updates and pictures from the 2010 National Reining Breeders Classic.

All horses traveling from Arizona to Texas require health papers. So early in the morning on April 7, Clay and I picked up the papers that would allow Clay’s show horse “Bob”, aka Whiz N Starlight, to head towards the NRBC. Then towing a trailer full to the brim of hay and show supplies, we headed over to pick up friend, Tricia Hamilton and her horses. We left Scottsdale, AZ, at approximately 1 pm. Our trip took us through Tucson and Dragoon and past a strange tourist attraction called “The Thing.” Unfortunately we had no time to stop. Even though I would have loved to see a mummified body… <smile>

In addition to spare tires and a roadside emergency kit, something we now also travel with is our EquiPass membership. Since we spend so much time on the highway, EquiPass gives us peace of mind on long hauls. Providing AQHA members with 24/7 emergency roadside assistance, EquiPass is now available in Canada, as well at the USA and offers unlimited towing, tire assistance, delivery of fuel or emergency fluids, locksmith service and unlimited mobile mechanic dispatchment.  Plus, we can put both of our trucks (a Mini-Freightliner and a dually) and all of our trailers (ours range from 2-8 horses) on the plan.

EquiPass also guarantees that your horses won’t be left behind on the highway – they will dispatch a qualifed service provider to tow a truck and trailer unless it cannot be safely used to transport horses. In which case alternative transportation arrangements for the horses would be made through EquiPass’s Equestrian Concierge line. This, and the fact that EquiPass now operates in Canada were our 2 biggest reasons for getting a membership.

So back to our NRBC trip. Next we went through El Paso. And we dipped very low, almost touching the Mexican border.

Our GPS showed us exactly how close we were to Mexico. According to an '09 article in the Houston Chronicle, Juárez is "the most violent zone in the world outside of declared war zones."

Then we came through a mandatory truck stop. At first we thought it was a regular weigh station, but something about this one seemed different…

Once at the inspection station, border guards with dogs stopped our rig and ask us where we’re going. They asked us if we had identification to prove our nationality and since we did, we were sent through.

Clay didn’t think it was appropriate for me to take pictures of the guards…

By the next morning, we had hit San Antonio. And while it would have been pretty awesome to stop in a take a look at the Alamo, we had horses on board. Plus a show to get to.

It truly was a beautiful morning but after so much time on the road, the horses were ready to get into stalls, Clay was ready to set up our tack stall and I was ready for a nap.

With rigs like this everywhere you look, it can only mean one thing: a reining is about to happen!

The NRBC is held at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX. The facility is phenomenal and features many riding and exercising areas. During its 7-day stint, the show offers several varying classes occurring simultaneously in two separate arenas.

The NRBC has become an integral event for reiners because of the opportunities it presents for 4, 5 and 6-year-old horses. It also gives riders and owners international exposure and a chance at top prize money.

In fact, in its first 11 shows, the NRBC has paid out over $10 Million to competitors. The Breeders Classic has always strived to offer rewarding purses to competitors that also pay deep into the placings and as such, the NRBC is the largest added money reining event in history.

Tracer Gilson of Gilson Performance Horses, Scottsdale, AZ.

Since this was my first time attending the NRBC, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. However, the friendliness and accommodating nature of show organizers absolutely blew me away. Chris Potter of Pro Management helped me get our entries organized, find a hotel and answered every single question I had – altogether there were probably about 50 in separate emails and phone messages.

Clay aboard Whiz N Starlight and Andrea Anderson, with her adorable "Socks" puppy.

And upon arrival, we met up with some familiar faces…

Jim Anderson in one of the beautiful outdoor warm-up pens.

Jesse Beckley of Cranbrook, BC & Cheryl Mitchell of Edmonton, AB. Cheryl was trying very hard to get out of my picture!

Brad Giesbrecht & Clay chat in the warm-up ring.

But that’s not all. Check out www.nrbc.com for more information about the show. Please note, I am not an official NRBC show coverage representative, however I will do my best to blog various results and post scenes from the event throughout April 12-18 – in addition to regular blogging. Stay tuned and good luck to all exhibitors!

Northlands Farm & Ranch Show

NORTHLANDS FARM & RANCH SHOW, APRIL 8-10, EDMONTON, AB

Taking place in the recently completed Edmonton EXPO Centre, this year’s Farm & Ranch Show will almost take over the entire building. The Edmonton EXPO Centre, which officially opened in December 2009, is 522,000 sq feet of contiguous space – making it the largest tradeshow venue in Western Canada.

While the building may be new, this year’s Farm & Ranch Show has some familiar favourites such as the Envirotech Showcase, Women in Agriculture and Alberta Grows as well as new features such as expanded equine programming, a Seeding Technology Clinic and Farm/Ranch Management workshops.

For 44 years, the Northlands Farm & Ranch Show has been serving the western Canadian agricultural community. Dave Fiddler, Show Manager notes, “Northlands is pleased to offer a broad cross-section industry events, displays and seminars. With over 400 exhibitors, new programs and clinics, there’s something for everyone.”

The equine programming includes Tina Kaven, World Champion Western Pleasure and Western Riding with a horsemanship Clinic that will run all three days of the event. An opportunity not to be missed – Northlands is pleased to be hosting someone of this calibre in Alberta.

Terri McKinney from Wild Deuce

Other activities include round pen demonstrations with Stephanie Clarke and Backcountry Packing and Adventure Tourism with Wild Deuce Outfitters and Packers.

In addition to the equine programming, there are a number of activities for the beef sector with seven different manufacturers offering live demonstrations of the cattle handling equipment. There is also a Ranching for Profit Workshop and several business management presentations, relating to livestock operations.

Returning once again is the Northlands Performance Horse Sale which features performance horses geared to ranch work, rodeo arena, and other arena events.

Also new this year, Northlands presents 4- H day on Saturday, April 10.  Members will receive complimentary admission to the show by showing their membership card at the door and will have the opportunity to take part in a great selection of beef and equine activities. Fiddler notes, “Northlands is committed to mentoring youth in the agriculture industry and is excited to present these informative and dynamic sessions for 4-H members as part of the Farm & Ranch Show.”

Admission to the Farm & Ranch Show is just $5 and children under 12 are free. Download either a $2 off admission coupon or the Farm & Ranch Show Value Pack at farmandranchshow.com.  The value pack includes the cost of parking and two admissions for just $16 – a six dollar savings. Or pick up coupons at participating AMA, UFA and Federated Coop locations.  Redeem the value pack coupon at Northlands parking gates (coupon is good for one vehicle only).

After a day at the Farm & Ranch Show be sure to catch Canada’s up-and-coming rodeo stars at the Canadian National College Finals Rodeo (CNCFR). Advance CNCFR tickets are $10.50 and $12.50 plus service charges and includes Farm & Ranch Show admission. Ticket prices at the door will be $16.50 for both the Lower and Upper Bowl. After the show and before the rodeo, Canadian country music stars, Hey Romeo will also be performing twice daily in the Edmonton EXPO Centre Gallery.

The Northlands Farm & Ranch Show runs from 10am – 6pm daily, April 8-10.

For more information about the 2010 Northlands Farm & Ranch Show or CNCFR, visit farmandranchshow.com or call 1-877.471.7472.

New Equine Expo launches in June

With Ontario home to an estimated 350,000 horses and almost 80,000 horse owners, it makes sense that there should be a place to gather and share the newest innovations in horse management. So, on June 4 to 7, 2010, a new tradeshow called Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo is poised to bring all breeds and disciplines together in the middle of this immense horse hub.

Hosted by Canada’s Outdoor Shows Ltd. in partnership with the University of Guelph’s Arkell Research Station and Equine Guelph, Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo will offer attendees indoor and outdoor trade show exhibits, interactive displays, expert speakers, professional networking, youth education and much more. This outdoor demonstration-oriented equine event will provide horse owners, riders and businesses with access to key resources in a one-stop buying environment.

“The equine industry in Ontario is very significant but the number of educational opportunities does not reflect the economic impact the industry brings to the province,” says Canada’s Outdoor Shows President, Lorie Jocius. “Visitors to Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo will experience first-hand equine research translated into practical applications through hands-on demonstrations, clinics and exhibits.”Part of the greater Canada’s Outdoor Shows family, Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo will join the ranks with the nation’s largest agricultural trade show – Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show – held each September in Woodstock, Ontario showcasing 700 exhibitors and drawing almost 44,000 attendees. Heading into its 17th year this September, Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show has become a world-class agricultural event with a focus on showcasing new technologies and innovative research through live demonstrations. Using this same philosophy, Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo plans to address the needs of today’s equine industry on a business-to-business basis.

Over four days, attendees can browse indoor and outdoor exhibits, learn from interactive clinics hosted by top-tier experts and watch young horse lovers enjoy Equine Guelph’s interactive EquiMania! education area. Monday will be designated as “Race Day” with a heavy concentration of racing-specific professional programming and clinics with emphasis on thoroughbreds, standardbreds and quarter horses.

“The University of Guelph is a leader in equine programs, both research and education,” says Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph, the outreach arm of the University of Guelph. “This is a unique opportunity to demonstrate how the latest equine research can benefit the horse owner – from the trainer of the fastest racehorse horse to the newest Pony Club member.”

Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo will be held at the Arkell Research Station, part of the University of Guelph’s vast network of research facilities across Ontario. “It makes sense to locate this show at Arkell in close proximity to the equine owners, researchers, veterinarians, trainers and coaches in the area,” added Lorie Jocius. “These are all very busy professionals. In order to best serve this group, we want to be in their backyard.”

Committed to offering a well-rounded and inclusive event, Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo will target elite professionals all the way to young riders. This premier equine experience will cap celebrations during Horse Week when it opens the gates June 4 to 7 for all breeds and all disciplines to access the experts and businesses that can help them remain on the leading edge of their industry.

For more information, visit www.EquineExpo.ca or call Canada’s Outdoor Shows at 1-800-563-5441.  Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo will be held June 4 to 7, 2010 at the Arkell Research Station near Guelph, Ontario.