Canadian Supreme Turns 40!

Canadian Supreme action this week in Red Deer. Photo by Krista Kay Photography.

Canadian Supreme action this week in Red Deer. Photo by Krista Kay Photography.

The Canadian Supreme is marking 40 years, as it showcases and promotes the training traditions of the western horseman in the cutting, reining and working cow horse events. Offering $400,000 in prize money, the show has attracted nearly 600 entries from across western Canada and the northern U.S. states. The skilled competitors will be at Red Deer’s Westerner Park for six days of action, September 27th-October 2nd.

Red Deer area breeder and competitor Jim Dobler sees it as a key show for his business.

“For 40 years, it has been the fall showcase for really, really nice horses. I know many people that became Cow Horse competitors and even trainers, just because of coming to the Supreme,” said Dobler.

Innisfail trainer Geoff Hoar agrees.

“The Supreme is bigger than a lot of the shows we go to, and has a different feel. What I see, too, is that it shows off the sport to people who maybe haven’t seen it before. It gives exposure, and people may end up saying ‘that looks like fun, how can I get involved?’” noted Hoar.

Young trainer Travis Rempel brings over horses from his barn in Fort Langley, B.C.

“The Supreme was a huge career builder for me,” acknowledged Rempel. “It was somewhere to go that’s relatively close to compete against the best in Canada and from the northern U.S. That’s who you want to play against.”

“The Canadian Supreme is a show we believe has made its mark in the western horse world,” said Show Chairman Jeff Robson.  “As we celebrate 40 years, we want to give a big shout-out to our hard working committee members. Without their dedication, we wouldn’t have a show. They’re the backbone of it.”

“We’re so encouraged to see our sponsorship higher than ever this year, which is quite a feat given our current economy.”

Longtime exhibitor Dennis Nolin has stepped up to become the overall show sponsor this year with his company MTE Logistix.

Along with the exciting competitions, and the trade fair of horse-related products and services, a highlight is always the Saturday night feature performance. This year, a key component will be the induction of the Robson family into the Canadian Supreme Hall of Fame.

“The leadership of Dave Robson and his family is really behind the show’s great success,” related Les Burwash, of the Horse Industry Association of Alberta.

Dave Robson served at the helm of the show from 1982 until 2013, when his son Jeff Robson took over the leadership. Dave’s late wife, Val Robson, was a real spark of light for the show for many years, and son Kurt continues to be a big part of the show’s organization as well.

“The Canadian Supreme has been great for the sport, and that was our intention all along,” commented Dave Robson.

The one program change this year at the Supreme sees the Western Horse Sale on hiatus.

“It was a very hard fought decision to cancel it,” explained co-Sale Manager, Ron Anderson. “But we recognize the current state of the economy and the industry, and will review the fees associated with the sale, to reflect that for 2017.”

Replacing it on the Friday night will be the first ever Invitational Barrel Racing Trainers Challenge, where you can cheer on your favorite trainers or lopers as they tackle a barrel course for the top prize and bragging rights. Then it’s a ‘blast from the past’ with the fan favorite fence work done by some of the top trainers from years gone by, all as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations.

Once again this year, the public is invited to take in the show free of charge. The live webcast of the classes is back, which can be accessed, along with daily schedules, on the website www.canadiansupreme.com.

Freeze Frame – Equipped to Work

Travis Rempel runs TR Performance Horses, based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, specializing in working cow horse, reining and cutting horses. He is charging onto the scene, claiming limited open and open victories in all three disciplines across western Canada. When Rempel steps into the show pen, he is there to win and these are the products he relies on to get him to the pay window.

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1.) HAT. “It is an American Hat Company straw. These hats look good, hold their shape well and are durable.”

2.) SHIRT. “This shirt is made by CR Ranchwear out of Texas. They are 100 percent handmade shirts, made in Texas. They have a really nice cut to them and nice patterns – really sharp and crisp.”

3.) CHAPS. “These chaps are made by Diane Olsen of Armstrong, B.C. They are a toast colour with tooled belt pieces. Diane’s chaps are super comfortable and look great.”

4.) BOOTS. “My boots are Tony Lama. They are kangaroo tops, which make them soft, comfortable and I like the look of the lighter bottoms.”

5.) BIT. “The bit in this photo is made by Frank Principe. It is a handmade cow horse bit with lots of tongue relief, balance and feel. Also, Frank does beautiful silver work. Horse really work well and take to this bit.”

6.) HEADSTALL. “By Cowperson Tack, I like their tack because it’s stylish and affordable.”

7.) REINS. “Romels by Steve Guitron. Well-built, affordable and durable for everyday use and showing.”

8.) SADDLE. “This saddle is made by Vaquero Saddlery. There aren’t many around here, but it’s a super soft, comfortable saddle and fits this mare great. A lot of feel to the saddle, I can really feel the horse under me when I ride in it.”

9.) CINCH. “By Weaver, it is an affordable wool cinch. I believe wool fleece is best for pads and cinches.”

10.) SHOW PAD. “This pad is made by Yucca Flats. Like all Yuccas, it has a great pattern and they always turn a horse out nicely.”

11.) UNDER PAD. “I use a Diamond Wool Pad Co. under my pad. I think soft wool fleece is the best thing to have on a horse’s back. It is the most comfortable for them and doesn’t burn or rub like rubber or hard felt can.”

12.) HORSE BOOTS. “I use polo wraps by Classic Equine, they are inexpensive and easy to keep white. When they are wrapped properly, they can supply good support for the horse’s legs. Bell boots and skid boots are by Classic Equine, I like their products because they are durable and tough.”

30 Years of Canadian Supreme

If there’s one enduring stream to what we’ve always strived for at the magazine, it’s championing the western way of life, and central to it, our competitive horse sports. This week, the pinnacle event for cutting, cow horse and reining happens at the Canadian Supreme in Red Deer, Alberta, running today through Sunday.

It’s tough to find a competition that has successfully showcased these three disciplines anywhere in North America, never mind one with the tenacious band of volunteers behind the scene, especially when you consider the factors that go into running a show of this caliber across three disciplines – the ground, cattle management and all of the various individual sport demands. Throw in a horse sale on the Friday night, a trade show, and special event on the Saturday night (by the way, Western Horse Review will be presenting a special award on this night, one close to our hearts!), and you can’t come away with anything but respect for the longevity and success of the event.

Core to the competition are the horses and people we’ve come to admire and look forward to cheering on each year. A decade or so ago, the organization gifted me with dozens of CDs of old photos. Since the event is just shy of 40 years I thought it’d be fun to look back at some of the highlights of the past sets of decades – 1985, 1995 and 2005. Enjoy and see you at the show.

2005. . .

trainers

paulismith jim&heather gary&dave brad&clay batty&hook

1995. . .

Bonnie Becker

Bonnie Becker

Gerry Hansma and Genuine Sand Flake.

Gerry Hansma and Genuine Sand Flake

Carl Gerwien and Got Pep

Carl Gerwien and Got Pep

Rick Hook and Genuine Ime Sure

Rick Hook and Genuine Ime Sure

1985. . .

Bill Speight and Lees Quest

Bill Speight and Lees Quest

David Hansma

David Hansma

Duane Latimer and Stylish Major

Duane Latimer and Stylish Major

Gerry Hansma and Docs San Badger

Gerry Hansma and Docs San Badger

Jason Grimshaw and Diamond Tiara

Jason Grimshaw and Diamond Tiara. Dave Robson presenting.

Jim Paradis and Fintry Mission

Jim Paradis and Fintry Mission

lestimmons_urbancowgirl_pres_1985

Les Timmons and Urban Cowgirl. Bill Collins presenting.

Canadian Supreme in Growth Mode

NEWS RELEASE

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Red Deer – It’s easy to say a long-standing successful show is ‘bigger and better’ each year, but it can be harder to achieve. Yet the Canadian Supreme has managed to do just that, in a time of economic uncertainty.

“Our entries have climbed ten per cent this year,” related Canadian Supreme Chairman Jeff Robson, about the event coming to Red Deer September 29th to October 4th. “We’ve got over 600 entries, with horses coming from as far away as Texas and California coming to compete.”

For almost 40 years, the Canadian Supreme has celebrated the equine disciplines of Cutting, Cow Horse, and Reining. All of the contests showcase the working cow horse of the western world. Trainers demonstrate how much these cow-savvy horses can learn, even at a young age.

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Another healthy growth sign for the Canadian Supreme is the addition of two new classes, to go along with the four added last year. All of them are designed to encourage newcomers to the sport to enjoy the thrill of competition.

“We reached out to competitors last year and asked them ‘what are other shows doing? Are we missing anything?’ They suggested we add more mainstream classes for less experienced competitors. We did, and have gotten a good response,” explained Robson.

As well this year, the Canadian Supreme debuts a bigger size for the main competition arena at Red Deer’s Westerner Park.

“This is a major step forward in both our development and in our partnership with Westerner Park,” stated Robson. “Expanding the cutting and cow horse arena to 110 feet wide and 226 feet long keeps us in step with the arena size competitors and their horses experience at other elite shows. This has long been a priority for the Supreme Board of Directors.”

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Last year, two of Alberta’s best in the western horse world managed to dominate their competitions at the Canadian Supreme, picking up both top prizes. Shawna Sapergia of Cochrane took two horses to the NRHA Open Reining Finals championship, splitting first with herself by posting two identical 147 point runs. Cayley based trainer Dustin Gonnet did much the same in the Open Classic Challenge Cutting Finals, when he rode two different horses to first and second place. Both those competitors will be back and eager to defend their titles. Others who are no strangers to the winners’ circle are Lacombe’s Brad Pedersen, Vince Kaglea of High River and Suzon Schaal of Calgary. Central Alberta’s own Kevin Baumann and Michelle Lund are hometown favorites, along with Geoff Hoar of Innisfail, Jim Dobler of Delburne and Bill and ElaineSpeight of Rocky Mountain House; while Dale Clearwater of Hanley leads a strong Saskatchewan representation. Keep your eyes on Clay Webster of Okotoks and young Austin Seelhof of Cochrane, as well as veteran Locke Duce of High River in the reining.

Friday night’s signature Western Horse Sale will see over forty horses offered, ranging from prospects to competition-ready mounts. More information on this year’s sale is available at www.thewesternhorsesale.com.

Cash and prizes totalling well over $410,000 will be paid out after the six days of competition, making the Canadian Supreme the event where every contestant wants to excel. For fans, it guarantees some exciting fence runs, daring equine dances with determined cows, and the sizzle of fast spins and sliding stops. Plus, the Saturday Cinch Night at the Supreme is back, with some of key Finals, as well as the popular Bridleless Cutting and last year’s big hit, the Team Doctoring contest. The Trade Show returns with a wide range of horse related and western lifestyle products, as well as western art. It opens daily Thursday-Saturday at 10:00 am. Best of all, admission to the Canadian Supreme is again free.

Enthusiasts can also keep up with the action thanks to the live webcast, which can be accessed, along with daily schedules, on the website www.canadiansupreme.com.

For further details contact Betty Kunka at 403-313-8673.

Smart Showmanship

NRHA Professional Jordan Larson gives insight and tips on how to prepare your horse for the “big day” and how to show smart.

By Deanna Beckley

Larson believes the key to success in the show pen is preparedness in your home arena.

Larson believes the key to success in the show pen is preparedness in your home arena.

Becoming a good showman is an art that takes time, practice experience and feel, with a dose of confidence and a little “natural talent”. When you watch someone have a good run, it looks effortless and smooth – the movements flow into one another for a seamless performance.

That’s exactly how it looks when reining horse trainer Jordan Larson rides into the pen. Larson has worked and shown his way to many championships, and has earned the title of NRHA Millon Dollar Rider – the youngest among his peers. He has become known as one of the industry’s greatest showman – showing his horses to the best of their show ability and sometimes even beyond.

Home Preparation

Good showmanship and having good runs starts long before you ever enter the pen. The quality of preparation at home will be a factor in how well your horse shows. Larson practices each maneuver how he expects his horse to perform in the pen so they are comfortable with the pressure of the show pen.

“Practice the maneuvers like you expect them to show, but not every day,” explains Larson. “I do a lot of work at plus half speed in order to build their confidence and keep them relaxed. It is much easier to as a horse for a little more everyday then it is to have to back off if they become scared. Focus on the correctness of the maneuver and mental confidence before adding speed.”

“I try to realistically know my limits. I teach a horse how I want it to show by going to small shows and not asking him for his life every time. I make a game plan for each horse and how it need to be prepared.”

No matter what arena you are competing in, showing horses take a great deal of concentration and preparedness.

“I think about showing everyday while I am riding,” says Larson. “By the time a show rolls around, it should be second nature for all of the preparation that took place at home.”

Show Time

The level of competition today makes the reining discipline very challenging. Riders are expected to do things very quickly and crisp, while maintaining absolute control.

Larson builds up to showing by first visualizing each part of the pattern he is about to run. “Know your weaknesses and strengths and try to never take anything for granted,” explains Larson. “A great leaded horse doesn’t always change leads. It is your job to make sure your horse is in the correct position to be successful.”

Patterns that flow freely are those that are ridden every step of the way – not just from movement to movement. It’s all in the details.

“I have an idea of what position I need my horse to be in for each part of the pattern. I am more concerned with the little things like lead departures, approaches to stops, waiting to rollback, starting the turn-arounds, steering and setting up my horse for lead changes. If your horse is broke, the big maneuvers will take care of themselves. Take each maneuver and make it the best it can be for each horse.”

When it comes to showing, Larson puts emphasis on being in a positive mind frame. “Try not to react to a maneuver while showing, instead prepare for the next one. You will lose focus if you are thinking about what you just did, good or bad. Let the judges judge you; your job is to show your horse in the most effective manner possible.

“Stay relaxed and focused. I am very critical of myself, but I use that to drive me to get better. We have to learn from our mistakes and move forward. I have missed so many finals by half a point, but I let that inspire me to keep learning and use it as an incentive to get better. Trusting your horse is the key to a great run – you must have faith in your horse to be successful. Do you best and trust what you have worked for.”

Jordan Larson’s top 9 tips for showing horses.

1) Know your pattern.

2) It’s the little things that count. For example, a great stop is nothing without a great rundown, rollback or back-up.

3) Understand what the judges are looking for.

4) Don’t overlook pattern placement.

5) Don’t be scared to learn from other trainers.

6) Watch your videos and be optimistically critical of yourself.

7) Preparation is important.

8) Horsemanship. Learn to recognize lameness, sickness, scratches, etcetera.

9) Don’t be afraid of failure.

Next Steps for Reining

Massimiliano Ruggeri (ITA) on Spat Split And White, silver medallists at the FEI European Reining Championships 2013 in Augsburg (GER). (Photo: FEI/Action Images/Henry Browne)

Massimiliano Ruggeri (ITA) on Spat Split And White, silver medallists at the FEI European Reining Championships 2013 in Augsburg (GER). (Photo: FEI/Action Images/Henry Browne)

A cooperation agreement has been signed formalizing the Fédération Equestre Internationale’s (FEI) relationship with the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), which has been in place since Reining became a FEI discipline in 2002.

“Since Reining became an FEI discipline in 2002, we have worked closely with the NRHA and the AQHA to grow the sport worldwide, and the expansion has been huge, with 115 Reining events last year compared to just five in 2002,” said Bettina de Rham, FEI Director Reining, Driving & Vaulting.

In the agreement, which covers areas of common interest including horse welfare, FEI Rules and Regulations, FEI Clean Sport, Stewarding, education and FEI recognition; the FEI will have sole jurisdiction over Reining competitions for horses seven years and older, and the NRHA and AQHA will manage all competitions for horses younger than six years.

However, an exception has been made where six-year-old horses will be eligible to compete in the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy.

“FEI Reining will again be under the global spotlight this summer at the world’s biggest equestrian event, the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, in the heart of Normandy. Just one month before, the FEI European Reining Championships for Young Riders and Juniors will take place in Switzerland at the beginning of July. Our busy Reining event calendar is a true reflection of just how popular Reining has become amongst athletes of all ages, and we’re looking forward to continuing our work with the NRHA and the AQHA to foster growth of Reining worldwide,” said de Rham.

The NRHA which is based in Oklahoma City (USA0) was formed in 1966 brings together over 19,000 members.

The AQHA, which is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organization and is located in Amarillo, Texas (USA), was created in 1940. They first recognized Reining as a sport in 1949.

“The FEI, NRHA, and AQHA, while separate and distinct organizations, have recognized as the major stakeholders in the Reining world that together they can foster the growth of our sport globally, and this agreement is a major milestone in the expansion of Reining,” said Bob Thompson, FEI Reining Committee Chairman.

Both the NRHA and the AQHA are excited to have a partnership with the FEI and are looking for other new ways to grow the sport of Reining globally.

“The NRHA is very excited to be moving forward with its relationship with the FEI, and to grow the sport of Reining worldwide,” said NRHA President Beth Himes.

Executive Vice President of the AQHA Don Treadway elaborated. “Since Reining became an FEI discipline in 2002, we have seen the sport introduced to several new countries, and we look forward to working closely together with the FEI to advance the worldwide growth of Reining well into the future.”

Another Milestone for Smart Spook

smartspookSmart Spook reached another milestone in his career by becoming the National Reining Horse Association’s (NRHA) 13th Two Million Dollar Sire. Helping him reach this milestone was Colonels Smart Spook, owned by Sally Amabile and shown by NRHA Professional and Million Dollar Rider Jordan Larson. Colonels Smart Spook’s first place finish in the World Championship Shootout held during the NRHA Futurity helped push his sire, Smart Spook, over the two million dollar mark.

Smart Spook, a 2001 stallion, owned and bred by Million Dollar Owner Rosanne Sternberg, is by Smart Chic Olena and out of Sugarplum Spook (by Grays Starlight). With $403,150 in NRHA lifetime earnings, it’s safe to say Smart Spook had a successful show career including the following wins:

2004 NRHA Futurity Level(L) 4 Open Champion with Shawn Flarida

2005 NRHA Derby L4 Open Champion with Shawn Flarida

2005 AQHA Junior Reining World Champion with Shawn Flarida

Earner of six gold medals in FEI World Reining Masters competition

His top-earning offspring include:

Custom Spook (out of Custom Spinderella): $184,400 NRHA LTE, owned by Million Dollar Owner Rancho Oso Rio LLC; 2010 NRHA Futurity L4 Open finalist, 2011 NRHA Derby L4 Open finalist, 2012 NRBC L3 Open finalist, 2013 NRBC L3 Open finalist

Red Stripe Spook (out of Ms Red Capri): $175,800 NRHA LTE, owned by Bonnie Hippensteel; 2010 NRHA Futurity L4 Open Reserve Champion, 2013 NRBC L4 Open finalist

Spook Off Sparks (out of Setting Off Sparks): $142,300 NRHA LTE, owned by Silver Spurs Equine; 2011 NRHA Cowtown L4 Open finalist, 2011 Scottsdale Classic Futurity L4 Open Champion, 2011 NRHA Futurity L4 Open Reserve Champion

Spooks N Sparks (out of Whizicle): $100,700 NRHA LTE, owned by Tamarack Ranch LLC; 2011 NRHA Futurity L3 Non Pro Champion and L4 Non Pro Champion, 2012 NRBC L4 Non Pro finalist, 2012 NRHA Derby L4 Non Pro finalist

Jacs Lil Spook (out of Miss Whoa Jac): $94,700 NRHA LTE, owned by Ruben Pacheco Cuevas; 2010 NRHA Futurity L1 Open finalist, L2 Open finalist and L3 Open finalist; 2011 NRBC L1 Open Champion, L2 Open Champion, L3 Open Reserve Champion, and L4 finalist; 2011 NRHA Derby L1 Open finalist and L2 Open finalist.

The Road Less Saddled

My husband hit the road recently to attend a little event you may have heard of – the AQHA World Championship Show held in Oklahoma City, OK. With his steed safely tucked into the trailer, his luggage plunked on the back seat and his hat carefully placed in a hat can, Clay set out for the 2,785 kilometer drive.

This year, he took a buddy with him as well.

(L to R) Glenn Stewart, our assistant Brooke and Clay discuss training strategies over dinner.

Some of you might recognize the fellow on the left as Glenn Stewart, a professional in the horse industry with over 25 years of experience teaching students across the globe. Both Glenn and Clay come from different walks of life in the horse industry but both men have a common view on horsemanship in general.

Knowing Glenn is always up for experiencing something new in the horse world, Clay asked him if we would like to come along on a road trip to attend the AQHA World Championship Show held at the Oklahoma City State Fair Park.

Glenn jumped at the opportunity. He then jumped on a plane from Fort St. John, BC, and flew down to meet my hubby in Calgary, AB.

Glenn arrived on time for their journey to begin. His luggage, did not.

 

The next morning, both men were up early to get Clay’s horse loaded up and to hit the road. Glenn’s suitcase still had not caught up with him, but luckily the airline he had flown with offered him a consolation payment to help replace his required jeans, clothes and personal goods needed immediately. His luggage was promised within the next day or so.

Fast forward to 4 days later – Nov. 13. Glenn’s luggage has still not arrived.

However, Clay and Glenn (and the 2 pairs of pants that said airline “allowed” him to purchase in lieu of a suitcase) – are making the most of their time touring around the area and seeing the sights. So far, they’ve eaten at Trappers Fishcamp & Grill. An absolute must if you’re ever nearby the Oklahoma State Fair Park! Trappers has become the “Horsemen’s and Horsewomen’s Headquarters” for over a decade. Fan favorite dishes include their signature mesquite grilled seafood, blackened prime rib, mesquite grilled steaks, quail, and prime pork chops.

Trappers features a dining room dining room filled with game trophies, authentic Indian canoes and a live alligator tank.

At Trappers, a 12-foot tall Kodiak bear greets customers as they enter. Glenn sent me a picture of the bear:

Glenn and Clay have also visited Pieper Ranch in Marietta, OK.

Playgun stands quietly with Brenda Pieper.

If you ever get the chance to see Pieper Ranch, it’s beautiful. And Brenda is a walking encyclopaedia of horse knowledge. You might also get a glimpse of one of these…

(Glenn sent me the following image he snapped while they were there:)

What IS that…? Came my text in response.

“A funny cow,” Glenn wrote back.

Of course, the two guys have had several opportunities to take in some sights at the World Show too…

Whether it’s watching a warm-up pen or contestants in the big arena, Glenn and Clay have been soaking it all up.

“I’m really enjoying all of it so far,” reported Glenn. “The different styles of Quarter Horses are as varied as the styles of riding.”

Some of the magnificent stall fronts seen at the AQHA World Show.

The behind-the-scenes action is pretty cool too. And on a trip like this, there have been several occasions for the guys to swap training ideas and discussion about equine behavior.

“The topic hasn’t changed since we left,” said Glenn. “How do we create the things we need with a horse? And how it comes back to their minds and the body will follow. Both Clay and I agree that it is so much more challenging to come at things from a psychological viewpoint than from a physical one – but the results are much better.”

I’m happy to report that Clay’s horse, Whiz N Starlight traveled well and is feeling like he is in tip top shape for his upcoming run on Friday in the Senior Open Reining. Wish them luck!

Glenn snapped this image with his camera phone and sent it to me with the word “WOW!!” attached to it.

Mane Event Wrap-Up

Trainer’s Challenge champion Kerry Kuhn (center) with Australia’s Paul Clarkson (left) and BC trainer Cayley Wilson.

The first decade of The Mane Event ended on a high note in Chilliwack, British Columbia, on Sunday, October 27th, after three successful days of non-stop activity at Heritage Park. Over 23,000 spectators, participants, attendees and shoppers came through the doors over the weekend.

Everything from the sunny skies, to the incredible clinicians, to our happy exhibitors, and all the spectators who attended, made this a wonderful show to celebrate our 10th anniversary,” said show organizer Gail Barker. “Everyone really enjoyed the little extras at this year’s event, including the door prizes provided by our very generous exhibitors.”

As usual, one of Sunday’s highlights was the Trainer’s Challenge final which ended with Kerry Kuhn of Kansas being named the champion after a count of the final scores revealed that they were extremely close.

Everything can change with this obstacle course, and it really did,” said judge Miles Kingdon. “This has been the toughest judged final session that we’ve ever done.” Judge Mark Grafton agreed, saying, “It was a real fun challenge because all three of those trainers really shone at different points.”

It was really about the horse and I’m just thankful that I didn’t get in his way any more than I did,” said Kuhn, after accepting the championship. “I don’t really want to say that I was competing against these guys, maybe just hanging out with them, learning from them,” he said, referring to Paul Clarkson of Australia and BC trainer Cayley Wilson.

The stands were filled to capacity for the reining and cow work clinics presented by Al Dunning, a major force within the AQHA as a competitor, a judge and as the 1996 Professional Horseman of the Year. “I had a great crowd here at The Mane Event,” he said. “I don’t remember a better crowd than I had here; it was really an educated crowd.”

Dressage clinician Anne Gribbons, who is one of a very small select group of FEI 5* judges, also commented on the knowledgeable audience. “They were very tuned in and they really listened,” she said.

Show jumping Olympic gold medallist and renowned trainer Joe Fargis talked about the focus of his training sessions. “If I had to narrow it down to one thing I would say it is to be clear to the horse about what you want. The horse is a very generous creature, and many of us riders / humans give conflicting signals to them,” he explained. “If every person agreed with just one thing I said over this weekend, and took it home and practiced it, I would be very, very happy.”

A presentation was made to the Barker family, recognizing their efforts over the past ten years, from the conception of The Mane Event as a comprehensive, equine specific educational event to the major horse expo that it is today with events in both Chilliwack and Red Deer, Alberta. “It is hard to believe that an event of this magnitude is put on by only the four members of the Barker family, with a very small core group brought in to help on event weekends,” said media consultant Jan Mansfield. “The Mane Event is so well run and such a great environment that the international clinicians they bring in regularly ask to be invited back, and exhibitors sign up as soon as the weekend is over to ensure they have a place in the trade fair for the next one.”

We are well underway with planning for next year’s events to begin our second decade,” said Gail Barker.