The Next Steps to Great Spins

Foundation Training With Les Vogt

Andrea Fappani’s Advice On Circling

Published in the June, 2007, edition of the Western Horse Review


Arizona Western Go-Sees

By far one of the most prominent horse events in February is the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show & Shopping Expo, beginning February 14 and running through to February 24. It’s held at the beautiful WestWorld facility and whether Arabians are your breed of choice or not, this show is a must-see if you’re in the area.

This year, the 58th edition of the show will host more than 640 colorful classes, which will collectively pay out over $1 million dollars in prizes. Check back to my post in 2011 for a few photos and words about the show. From the tradeshow, to the stall fronts, to the many classes, It truly is an amazing show.

One of the highlights of the show and a significant draw for western riders is the lucrative reining division. Watch for a Canadian representation in the Reining Futurity Classic, which offers a full and part-bred division and pays out $150,000. In addition there is a Non-Pro Derby and a Limited Futurity division.


Currently ongoing and through to Feb. 3 is the Arizona Sun Circuit, a fantastic Quarter Horse circuit which we featured in our Getaways section of the Jan/Feb issue of the magazine, and I believe a number of Canadians are competing at as well. There’s a number of excellent free clinics over the course of this show, definitely worth the entry gate admission.

Still in January, western lore aficionados can meander down to Mesa, Arizona and take in the massive High Noon Western Americana Collectors Weekend, Jan. 26-27. Covering all genres from antiques to cowboy chic, I’m guessing there will be interesting collections of both saddles and spurs, amongst other treasures.

Fan of horsemanship and cow sorting? Trainer Paul Dietz is hosting a horsemanship clinic Jan. 26 and a cow working clinic Jan. 27 at his Desert Hills facility. Team sorting practice is every Sunday afternoon.

Looking for something new to do with your horse for 2013. Western Dressage is taking off at Carefree Dressage in north Scottsdale.

Finally, we’ve been driving by these tents on our sojourns into Scottsdale. If you happened to miss Cavalia when it was in Canada, I imagine experiencing it in the desert would be equally magnificent. It’s running from now through to the end of Jan.


There’s a Blue Ribbon Horse Show Feb. 10 at the Arizona Horse Lovers Park. 

If you

haven’t experienced the town of Wickenburg, their annual Gold Rush Days, Feb. 8-10, might be a good time to take a drive there. The town celebrates it’s ranching and gold-mining heritage with a parade, rodeo, dance, arts and of course, a staple of Arizona’s Wild West – gunfighter’s shootouts.

If you are hankering for some desert riding, hook up with the Arizona Fox Trotter Gaited National Trail Ride, Feb. 28 to March 3. Held at the historic Boyd Ranch, near Wickenburg, this ranch is nestled in the gorgeous Sonoran Desert. The trails are said to pass magnificent saguaro cactus’s and historic sites from the 1800s along the Hassayampa River. I don’t believe it is a full 5 day ride, but rather day rides with hitching rails for horses, and showers and restrooms for riders. Saturday features a dance., contact Clare Ross at (928) 925-6595 or [email protected]

Dunn’s Arena, at Litchfield Park is a roper’s and sorter’s paradise with weekly events in both sports, as well as barrel racing. Check out the link for a full calendar of events.

The Scottsdale Saddle Club, Arizona’s oldest and one of its most active saddle clubs, has a Western Show on Feb. 17, more details at the site.

Cowboy mounted shooting offers up a vibrant culture in Arizona. Head down to the Ed Hooper arena in Casa Grande on Feb. 25-26 for what’s headlined as “not your Gramma’s shoot!” –  The Gunfight in Arizona.

In Germany, I happened to have a chance to attend a medieval jousting festival. Held on ancient castle grounds, it was a completely unexpected and fascinating side trip, learning and experiencing this vibrant equine sub-culture, which exists surrounding the Middle Ages and the sport of jousting.

Arizona also has it’s own Renaissance Festival. It runs every Saturday and Sunday from Feb. 9 to March 31, held near Apache Junction.

Finally, this year’s Carefree Indian Market and Cultural Festival, Jan. 25-27, features a rich display of native American art, music and dance.

NRHA's Third Six Million Dollar Sire

Smart Chic Olena

Earlier this year, Smart Chic Olena sadly passed; but, his legacy lives on through his progeny as they helped him earn a new milestone – National Reining Horse Association’s (NRHA) third Six Million Dollar Sire. Whether in Reining, cutting or cow horse, Smart Chic Olena has been a known name in the show pen with proven success passed onto his offspring. The stallion’s official NRHA Offspring Earnings are $6,022,000.

This achievement was accomplished during the 2012 NRHA Futurity when Shiners Chic (owned by NRHA Million Dollar Owner Rosanne Sternberg) became the $100,000-added NRHA Open World Championship Shootout Co-Champion ridden by NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani. NRHA Futurity Level 3 Open finalist Millionchic (ridden by Trevor Dare and owned by NRHA Million Dollar Rider Rocky Dare) and NRHA Futurity Level 4 Non Pro finalist Shesa Kachina Chic (ridden by Samantha Griffin and owned by NRHA Million Dollar Owner Lance Griffin) were also contributors earning a combined total of over $38,000 to close the gab to becoming a Six Million Dollar Sire.

The 1985 stallion was the 1993 Open Reserve World Champion under NRHA Million Dollar Rider Craig Johnson. The 2004 NRHA Hall of Fame inductee was owned by Jim Babcock of Valley View, Tex and is also a National Reined Cow Horse Million Dollar Sire. In American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) competition, Smart Chic Olena was the only horse in history to earned world championships in Senior Reining and Cutting.

NRHA's First Nine Million Dollar Sire

Topsail Whiz national reining horse association

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) has announced their latest top producing sire.

The sky is the limit for the record-breaking Topsail Whiz, as he becomes the first, and only, NRHA Nine Million Dollar Sire. His offspring at the 2012 NRHA Futurity made this feat possible by earning over $72,500 to push his Offspring Earnings to new heights. Those money-earners include: CC Chica Whiz (owned by Brent Loseke), CJ Whiz (owned by Euro-Vets Inc.), Hot Chic Whiz (owned by Bob Loomis), USS Whiz (owned by St-Onge Reining Horses Inc.), Whiz Starbrite (owned by Amabile & Strusiner), Whizen Starlight (owned by Robert Peterson) and Whizzer Whiz (owned by Xtra Quarter Horses, LLC). Topsail Whiz’s official NRHA Offspring Earnings are $9,030,000.

Bob Loomis Reining Horses’ Topsail Whiz (Topsail Cody x Jeanie Whiz Bar by Cee Red) is an NRHA Hall of Famer who earned $49,865 in the NRHA show ring. His successes included an All American Quarter Horse Congress Junior Reining Championship, 1991 NRHA Lazy E Classic Open Championship, a third place finish in the 1990 NRHA Open Futurity, and a fourth place finish in the 1991 NRHA Derby. In 2009, the reining community mourned the loss of this great stallion when he was humanely euthanized at Loomis’ ranch in Marietta, Okla.


Results From The AQHA World Show

Lokota Chic

Photo by K C Montgomery Photographics

Lokota Chic, a 2004 AQHA reining stallion (Smart Chic OLena X Mizzen Topsail) of Bar K2 Ranch in Langley, BC,  has made his mark at the AQHA World Show in 2012. With a score of 213.5 the talented stud spun a AQHA World Show Intermediate Amateur Bronze title (missing the champion’s score by point five points) and was a Amateur Reining Top Ten Finalist. Here is an interview with owner and rider Gaylene Sawchuck, following her run for the metal in Oklahoma City.

Lokota’s trainer Randy Paul: What can I say about Randy, he taught me so much about the show pen, and the mental part of the game… ‘It’s just another show, go out and do what we practiced.’  He just keeps it really simple and makes it such a pleasure to show with.

What is this horse like to show?
Lokota is a dream to show and a unique horse in his character! Any mistakes that are made are typically mine. This horse is so intuitive and a joy to ride, he often is the guide. It is unique experience to see a horse perform as he does, being a amateur rider and just out of the Rookie Ring two years ago. Lokota is a plus half horse in every manoeuvre. Overall he is a great show horse with a lot of personality and character. My favorite manoeuvre that I personally love is circling him, he locks in so nice.

How many times has this horse shown at the worlds? 
This is the second time Lokota has been at the AQHA World Show. During our time at the World Show this year we showed him in the Amateur and The Sr. Reining divisions. Lokota made the finals in both divisions. In the Amateur division we placed Bronze and in the Intermediate we tied for third. We missed the World Champion by a mere .5 points.

I am been waiting and dreaming of this special day since I was 15 and being the only ‘Canadian’ competitor in these particular classes made it all more precious and rewarding for me!  So, I wish to say a Big Thank You to my partner, ‘Lokota Chic’ and Brian Knutson for believing in us enough to let me have Lokota to show for the last two years to achieve this goal.

How well has he showed this season?
This has been a remarkable year for Lokota Chic who was shown by Randy Paul, Trainer in the ‘Open’ and Gaylene Sawchuk in the ‘Amateur.’ Lokota showed and qualified for the World Show along with Cactus Reining Classic Res. Maturity Champion along with several other Non- Pro Wins.

Jacs Electric Spark NRHA Million Dollar Sire

Jacs Electric Spark National Reining Horse Association NRHA

With the sad passing of Jacs Electric Spark in June, his legend lives on as he is now inducted as one of the prestigious National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Million Dollar Sires. At the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity in Ardmore, Okla., on Saturday, Oct. 20, Electric Jac (owned by Turnabout Farm Inc.), Shock Star Groupie (owned by Mary Sellers), Smart Sparklin Chic (owned by Carri Visser) and Electric Sparks (owned by Kim De Windt) collectively won $10,100 to push Jacs Electric Spark’s unofficial Offspring Earnings over $1,000,000.

Owned by NRHA Professional Troy Heikes, Jacs Electric Spark was shown by Heikes during the sire’s show career to earn a total of $86,000 NRHA LTE. “Sally (Brown), Buck (Hazledine), Andrea and I have dreamt of this day since he was a baby. To experience the journey and now the accomplishment of this special horse is a dream come true,” Heikes said, expressing his joy for the achievement.

Jacs Electric Spark was sired by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire and NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Shining Spark and was out of Miss Hello Hollywood by NRHA’s very first Million Dollar Sire and NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Hollywood Jac 86. Some of Jacs Electric Spark’s notable accomplishments were:

  • • 2001 Kansas Reining Horse Association Sunflower Slide Futurity Level 4 Open Champion
  • • 2001 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open division finalist
  • • 2002, 2003, 2004 NRHA Derby Level 4 Open division finalist
  • • 2002, 2003, 2004 National Reining Breeders Classic Derby Level 4 Open division finalist
  • • 2003 and 2004 Canadian Reining Breeders Classic Derby Level 4 Open division third place

The First Cold Day