Page 1


2018

US NATIONALS PERFORMANCE

Tulsa Expo Center · Tulsa, OK

October 19-27, 2018

The View from Center Ring by Gary Dearth

photos by Rob Hess and Schatzberg

E

very year we expect to see great horses at the U.S. Nationals. And this year didn’t disappoint. “I have judged the U.S. Nationals four times, and I am struck by how the good the horses are, and how much they continue to improve. In most of the classes, it would have been easy for several different horses to be National Champion,” said judge Edwin Sutton. Along with that consistent ascension in quality, there has been criticism the last number of years about the staging of the U.S. National horse show. “I was impressed that after many years of the U.S. Nationals not feeling like a national championship, the atmosphere was more like a National show again,” said judge Susan Witte. “Center ring was beautiful, and the green shavings for the last couple nights was nice.” Virginia Godwin was the “newbie” on the judging panel, as it was her first time judging Nationals. “It was a very emotional moment for me when Juan Stuckey walked up to me Friday night and said, ‘Your honor, it’s your time.’” she said. “When I stepped onto those green shavings, my

U.S. Nationals Halter coverage, along with complete results and Leading Sires research, will appear in the January 2019 issue.

A H W > 20 < 1 2 . 1 8


top:

Champion English Pleasure, for the second time HEIRS NOBLE LOVE (Afires Heir x Noble Aphroditie), owned by T. Karlton Jackson, Atlanta, Georgia, and shown by Joel Kiesner.

bottom left:

Champion English Pleasure Maturity AAOTR RC IRON MAN (Black Daniels x DA Lady Tiffany), owned by Debra Hines, Macon, Georgia, and shown by Brooke Hines.

bottom right:

Champion English Pleasure Junior Horse INCEPTION (IXL Noble Express x Bonita Afire), owned by Maroon Fire Arabians Inc., Castle Rock, Colorado, and shown by Joel Kiesner.

“When I stepped onto those green shavings, my eyes welled up. A wave of emotion came over me. I love this breed and all of its people. It hit me what an honor and privilege it is to judge the U.S. National Show.”

eyes welled up. A wave of emotion came over me. I love this breed and all of its people. It hit me what an honor and privilege it is to judge the U.S. National Show.” “We all are very stoic as horse trainers. You learn to put on a facade of strength and confidence, whether your life is in ruins or you are having the greatest day of your life. There is this medium hum that all horse trainers know how to do so you can exude professionalism. Only on rare occasions do you get to let your guard down in public and that was one of those moments for me. I haven’t been judging that long, and I felt like a kid in the candy store.” I am always impressed with the commitment and dedication of our Arabian judges. “There is a responsibility that judges have to guide where the standard is going,” said Judge Duane Esser. “The English classes have become riders thinking that more is always better, which is not true. I tried in every one of those classes to do the right thing to help protect the integrity of the division. I’ve never felt that way when judging a

A H W > 21 < 1 2 . 1 8


2018 US NATIONALS

top left:

Champion English Pleasure AAOTR 40 & Over and Reserve Champion English Pleasure Maturity AAOTR MOVIN ON HEIR WA (Afires Heir x The Way She Moves), owned by Joseph Kinnarney and Bradley Marlow, Greensboro, North Carolina, and shown by Joe Kinnarney. Champion English Pleasure AAOTR 19-39 SD GRACELAND (Vegaz x Empress Of Bask), owned and shown by Lindsay O’Reilly French, Springfield, Missouri.

SCHATZBERG PHOTO

top right:

bottom left:

Champion Ladies Sidesaddle English and Champion Ladies Sidesaddle English AAOTR CW KNOXVILLE RUSH (Navajo Moun x Shetaxa Bay), owned by Phillip and Johanna Sheehe, Miami, Florida, and shown by Christy Clements and Johanna Sheehe. bottom right:

Champion Country English Pleasure NOBLE RENDEZVOUS (IXL Noble Express x Renee Afire), owned by Conway Arabians Inc., Chatfield, Minnesota, and shown by Leah Beth Golladay.

National show before. I’ve never judged so cautiously from that viewpoint. I hope that people will reflect on this, because it will help the breed in the future.” Judge Edwin Sutton is especially committed to avoid the influence of exhibitor’s promotional efforts. “For the whole year before the show, I don’t read any of the magazines, and I delete all of the promotional emails I receive before reading them,” he said. “I go into the horse show with a totally fresh eye. I don’t know who any of the horses are when they come through the gate. I just choose the best ones.” Like the rest of us, the U.S. National judges are fans of great Arabian horses and exceptional classes. When they are not judging, they are interested spectators. “I didn’t judge the Arabian Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse, but it was extraordinary to watch,” said Judge Virginia Godwin. “Caralyn Schroter, riding PA Cassara Dancer (Sundance Kid V x Cassandra GA), Justin Cowden on Royal Maestro (Pershahn El Jamaal x Aria Marchestra) and Wendy Potts with WC Ciao Vitorio (Vitorio TO x WC Ciao Bella) were

A H W > 22 < 1 2 . 1 8

“She is a textbook slam dunk country horse.”


top left: bottom right:

Champion Country English Pleasure Maturity AAOTR NORMAN ROCKWELL (Baske Afire x My Norma Jean EA), owned and shown by Lori R. Foster, Kankakee, Illinois. Pictured with Reserve Champion SHF ALL AMHEIRICAN (Afires Heir x MHF Appoljacks), owned and shown by Elizabeth Moore, Mound, Minnesota.

top right:

Champion Country English Pleasure Futurity CF FULL OF GHRACE (Black Daniels x HA Ghrace Under Fire), owned by Curtis, Tess and Cynthia Bailey Piotrowski, Lenox Township, Michigan, and shown by Gabe DeSoto.

bottom left and right: Starline Arabians LLC, Rancho Santa Fe, California, own both the Champion Country English Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over and Champion Country Pleasure Driving AAOTD SA GISELE (IXL Noble Express x Rumina Afire), shown by Lori Lawrence, as well as SA Gisele’s son, Champion AEPA Equine Athlete $50,000 Half-Arabian Saddleseat Futurity NUTTIN BUT CHROME (Undulata’s Nutcracker x SA Gisele), shown by Joel Kiesner.

battling it out. It looked like a NASCAR race. It was amazing to see the precision and the talent and the thought. Every movement was calculated. It was a ballet that also showed great horsemanship and great sportsmanship. Rarely is a hunter class that exciting, but that one stood out. Ultimately Caroline won with PA Cassara Dancer, but it could have gone either way. The horsemanship and showmanship was second to none. And they were polite about it.” Owner Nan Harley felt the same way about the class. “Watching Carolyn and Justin Cowden showing their horses in that class was almost like watching NASCAR,” she said. “They were riding at each other going back and forth. Even though I loved Cassara Dancer when I purchased her as a yearling, I had no idea that she would turn out so well. Except for the fact that she isn’t the western horse I hoped I was buying. I later told my trainers, Rob Bick and Carolyn Schroter, that if she was going to be a hunter, then let’s make her a National Champion hunter.” “The Arabian Country English Pleasure National Champion was incredibly special.

(continued on page 26)

A H W > 23 < 1 2 . 1 8


2018 US NATIONALS

top left:

Champion Country English Pleasure AAOTR 36-54 MD TSUNAMI (SF Specs Shocwave x Amberr Fyre), owned and shown by Leslie Goryeb, Gladstone, New Jersey.

HESS PHOTO

top right:

Champion Country English Pleasure AAOTR 19-35 and Champion Breeders Sweepstakes Country English Pleasure AAOTR CP MANIFESTO (H Mobility H x Afire Charmm), owned by Kirby Arabians LLC, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and shown by Katherine Kirby. Champion Park COLTRANE SS (IXL Noble Express x Brassmis), owned by Conway Arabians Inc., Chatfield, Minnesota, and shown by Joel Kiesner.

middle:

bottom left:

Champion Show Hack DRAKO AFIRE (DS Major Afire x BZ Seyyida Liena), owned by Carol Ann Corsi, Oak Point, Texas, and shown by Kathleen Stevens.

bottom right:

Champion Show Hack AAOTR CP RUMOR HAS IT (CP Sequoia x CP Jasmine), owned by Highland Pride Arabians Inc., La Habra Heights, California, and shown by Sarah Esqueda.

HESS PHOTO

HESS PHOTO

“There is absolute honesty to the performance.”

A H W > 24 < 1 2 . 1 8


top left:

Champion Western Pleasure and Champion Western Pleasure AAOTR 36-54 MONACO JULLYEN V (*Jullyen El Jamaal x Misti Morn V), owned by Shamrock Farms LLC, Mansfield, Texas, and shown by Joe Reser and Leslie Sommer (pictured).

top right:

Champion Western Pleasure Maturity AAOTR and Champion Western Pleasure Junior Horse CROWN JUELL XX (SF Veraz x Beautiful Juell V), owned by Lesley Farms LLC, Ashland, Oregon, and shown by Carolyn E. Lesley and Abram Cotton.

middle left:

Champion Western Pleasure Futurity KHALLAGHAN A (Kharismatic PGA x Psyanne A), owned by Richard, Gail and Anne Whitaker, Burleson, Texas, and shown by JT Keller. Champion Breeders Sweepstakes Western Pleasure AAOTR and Champion Western Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over RD HABANERO (Bey Ambition x NW Siena Psyche), owned by Silver Aspen Ranch, Auburn, Washington, and shown by Rod Powell.

Champion AWPA Arabian Horse World $100,000 Western Pleasure Futurity WGA ROKHAN (PA Kid Khan x MFA Roseof Tralee), owned by Laura C. Koch, Warner Robins, Georgia, and shown by Jody Strand.

HESS PHOTO

bottom:

SCHATZBERG PHOTO

“In fact, he has never been beaten in an amateur western class anywhere, at any level.”

HESS PHOTO

middle right:

A H W > 25 < 1 2 . 1 8


2018 US NATIONALS

top left:

Champion Western Pleasure Select Rider AATR FAMES GEM (*Sir Fames HBV x Country Gem EA), owned by Equine Design LLC, Anaheim, California, and shown by Don Bundrock.

top right:

Champion Ladies Sidesaddle Western and Reserve Champion Western Pleasure KHABERET PGA (*Khadraj NA x RA Kela), owned by Robert and Nancy Risen, Murrieta, California, and shown by Liz Bentley.

HESS PHOTO

HESS PHOTO

bottom left:

Champion Ladies Sidesaddle Western AAOTR BEYSTARRS KADANCE (ATA Bey Starr x OFW Dark Dancing), owned by Fadwa and Shahar Lawrence, South Jordan, Utah, and shown by Shahar Lawrence.

bottom right:

Champion Working Cow Horse AAOTR KHEMO KOPY (Khemonada x Tiffany GF), owned and shown by Kelly Harmon, Beggs, Oklahoma.

That horse was extraordinary,” said judge Duane Esser of Noble Rendezvous (IXL Noble Express x Renee Afire) ridden by Leah Beth Golladay for Conway Arabians, Inc. “That horse raised the bar for country English pleasure. And not because of the way she moved, but because of her conformation and saddle type with tons of quality.” Owner Lori Conway explains that country is easy for the mare. “She is always bright-eyed and ready to go to work. She is a textbook slam dunk country horse. She has motion, but not too much. And she is beautiful, with balance and cadence.” Edwin Sutton points out that, “It is hard to differentiate between country and English. These days at the Nationals all the good horses are trotting the big way. So, what are you going to do? I can’t use a horse of lesser quality just because they aren’t trotting too high. I tried to pin horses that were cadenced and beautiful. But they were all trotting high. They are too aggressively ridden. In so many classes the riders are trotting their horses off of their feet, both in amateur and in open. The horses are practically running away at

A H W > 26 < 1 2 . 1 8

“l absolutely love the Arabian Western Pleasure National Champion. I’ve loved him since the first time I saw him.”


top left:

Champion Herd Work AATR SH ELECTRIC GUN (Nobles Top Gun x Khaarmin Electra), Wesley and Maddi Larkin, Nipomo, California, and shown by Maddi Larkin. Champion Reined Cow Horse, Champion English Trail, and Reserve Champion Trail Select Rider AATR WA MIDNIGHT MARQUIS (Midnight Magnum x MI Black Duchess), owned by Thomas R. and Kay D. Wright, Newcastle, Wyoming, and shown by Jim Hitt and Mignon Stetman.

HESS PHOTO

top right:

bottom left:

Champion Reined Cow Horse AATR and Reserve Champion Working Cow Horse AAOTR CVA SERCE (Hearrts On Fire x Poseja Parada), owned and shown by Eric Roschen, Guinda, California.

bottom right:

Champion Cutting and Champion Cutting Non-Pro VG TSATINE (Broadway Tstar x Lads Amelia), owned and shown by Wesley and Maddi Larkin, Nipomo, California.

“I tried in every one of those classes to do the right thing to help protect the integrity of the division.”

the trot, and they don’t need to. They could back it down a couple of notches and be more impressive.” But there were exceptions. Double Or Nuttin (Undulatas Nutcracker x lngennue) ridden by John Rannenburg for owner Linda Musso won the Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure. “That horse was beautiful because John shows it like a true country English pleasure horse,” said Duane Esser. “That horse stands out because it has tremendous quality, and John did not step over the line. He kept that horse as an honest country horse every step of the class. It made me like the horse even more because of the way he showed her. The horse covers ground beautifully and does it with ease.” Owner and breeder Linda Musso also appreciates the way John shows her horse. “I love that John shows Double Or Nuttin off, but doesn’t overshow him. I think country English pleasure should be pretty and look enjoyable. John makes it look effortless.” The Arabian Western Pleasure division was dominated by two horses. For the

A H W > 27 < 1 2 . 1 8


2018 US NATIONALS

Champion Trail ZEE FIRE BALL (Hesa Zee x Fire Musc), owned and shown by Sharon Connelly, Somis, California.

top left:

top right:

Champion Cutting Novice Horse BSJ GOOD AS GOLD (AM Good Oldboy x Gai Patina), owned by Barbara Steinberg, Stacey Turner, and C. and P. Dabella, Norco, California, and shown by Stacey Turner.

bottom left:

Champion Trail Junior Horse and Reserve Champion Trail Futurity MIRALUNA LADY (Mirage V x CDB Aluna), owned by Connie E. Arnold, Otis Orchards, Washington, and shown by Deb Witty.

bottom right:

Champion Trail Futurity and Champion Half-Arabian Trail Junior Horse WHIZKEY BLUES (Whizkey N Diamonds x Valarita), owned by Jonathan Ramsay, Mantua, Ohio, and shown by Jill Mitchell.

second year in a row Monaco JuIIyen V (Jullyen EI Jamaal x Misti Morn V) was both the National Champion Western Pleasure winner with rider Joe Reser for owner Shamrock Farms, LLC, and also National Champion Western Pleasure AAOTR 40- 54 with rider Leslie Sommer. “l absolutely love the Arabian Western Pleasure National Champion. I’ve loved him since the first time I saw him,” said judge Shannon Armstrong. “He was the clear standout from the start to the end. It is so easy for him because he is built to do his job. And on top of that, he has the quality. He is the perfect combination of quality and conformation. He is such a cool horse.” Owner and rider Leslie Sommer explained why Monaco is different from any other horse she has ever shown. “The minute you get on Monaco, he is one hundred percent focused,” she said. “He does it all for me, which leaves it up to me to screw things up. He knows his job and takes it very seriously. I must be dialed-in because he is very dialed-in.” Duane Esser felt that the class was so good he could have had a Top Fifteen. Dominant in the Arabian Western

A H W > 28 < 1 2 . 1 8


top left:

Champion Trail Derby ABILENE MAC V (Maclintock V x Ames Perfection), owned by Susan G. Cavanagh, Bakersfield, California, and shown by Lou Roper.

top right: Champion Trail AAOTR, Champion Trail Select Rider AATR, and Champion English Trail AAOTR LEGACY FIRE DAMMAGE (Flame Ison x CSP Mamazing), owned and shown by Kathie Williams, Terrell, Texas. bottom left:

Co-Champion Ranch Horse Riding, Reserve Champion Reining Horse Primetime Non-Pro AAOTR NSPIRING FORTHE TOP (Nobles Top Gun x Nspiring Jazz), owned by Ingrid Bentzen, Auburn, Washington, and shown by LaRae Fletcher-Powell.

bottom right: Co-Champion Ranch Horse Riding and Champion Ranch Horse Riding AATR TA EUROSTAR (*Kordelas x *TA Europecjka), owned by Cynthia J. Elias and Amber R. Collier, Tucson, Arizona, and shown by Scott Scheyli and Amber Collier.

Pleasure amateur division was RD Habanero (Bey Ambition x NW Sienna Psyche). He was unanimous National Champion in both the Western Pleasure 55 & Over and Western Pleasure AAOTR Jackpot. In fact, he has never been beaten in an amateur western class anywhere, at any level. Shannon Armstrong identified what the rest of us have been thinking. “Habanero and Rod Powell seem to have a special relationship that transcends everybody else,” she said. “They are the perfect example of suitability of horse to rider.” “Heirs Noble Love (Afires Heir x Noble Aphrodite) is extraordinary,” said Virginia Godwin. The beautiful mare was the unanimous National Champion in English Pleasure for the second time, shown by Joel Kiesner for owner Karlton Jackson. “She is so malleable. She stays soft no matter where she is and no matter what Joel asks of her. You never see tension. When they reversed at the trot right in front of me, Joel and the mare were on a collision course with another horse, and they were able to navigate

(continued on page 32)

A H W > 29 < 1 2 . 1 8


2018 US NATIONALS

top left:

Champion Hunter Pleasure TS VIRTUOSO (C A Hermoso x BJ Outragous Girl), owned by Terra Sano Ventures LLC, Austin, Texas, and shown by Wendy Griffith.

top right:

Champion Hunter Pleasure Maturity AAOTR and Champion Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over JAGGER JULLYEN BV (*Jullyen El Jamaal x Adelaida V), owned by Katie and Joe Russell, Pasadena, California, and shown by Katie Russell.

HESS PHOTO

middle:

Champion Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse PA CASSARA DANCER (Sundance Kid V x Cassandra GA), owned by Nanette P. Harley, Newnan, Georgia, and shown by Caralyn Schroter.

bottom left:

Champion Breeders Sweepstakes Hunter Pleasure AAOTR and Champion Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 19-35 LORD HAVE MERCY (The Firelord x Hi Passion), owned and shown by Erin Swanson, Eugene, Oregon. Champion Hunter Pleasure Select Rider AATR RA GAIME TYME (Pyro Thyme SA x Gaillye), owned by M. Sue Davis, Reno, Nevada, and shown by Jennifer Strake-Davis.

HESS PHOTO

bottom right:

A H W > 30 < 1 2 . 1 8

“It was amazing to see the precision and the talent and the thought. Every movement was calculated. It was a ballet that also showed great horsemanship and great sportsmanship. Rarely is a hunter class that exciting.”


top left:

Champion AHPA Royal Arabians $75,000 Hunter Pleasure Futurity TAMAR DARK VADER (Afterdark H x Tamar Mais Tango), owned by Tamara K. Hanby, Weatherford, Texas, and shown by Josie Gillespie.

top right:

Champion Half-Arabian English Pleasure Junior Horse RGT MERCURY RISING (Afire Bey V x Styling Time), owned by Joseph Kinnarney and Bradley Marlow, Greensboro, North Carolina, and shown by Joel Kiesner.

middle left:

Champion Half-Arabian Ladies Sidesaddle English FLASH FIRE APA (Afire Bey V x Eternal Love), owned by Phillip and Johanna Sheehe, Miami, Florida, and shown by Christy Higman-Clements.

middle right:

Champion Half-Arabian Ladies Sidesaddle English AAOTR and Reserve Champion HalfArabian Show Hack AAOTR MR BOOMBASTIC (Clout x La Quintina), owned by Lauren, Jena and Kirk Aguilera, Upland, California, and shown by Lauren.

Champion HalfArabian Country English Pleasure and Reserve Champion HalfArabian Country English Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over DOUBLE OR NUTTIN (Undulata’s Nutcracker x Ingennue), owned by Linda T. Musso, Birmingham, Alabama, and shown by John Randenberg and Linda Musso.

HESS PHOTO

bottom left:

Champion Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure Junior Horse and Reserve Champion HalfArabian Country English Pleasure Maturity AAOTR MISS CENTRAL PARK (Baskghazi x I’m Miss New York), owned by Penny and Laura Carrington, Atlanta, Georgia, and shown by Vicki Humphrey and Laura Carrington.

HESS PHOTO

bottom right:

A H W > 31 < 1 2 . 1 8


2018 US NATIONALS

top left:

Champion Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure Futurity NIRVANAS FIRST DANCE (Nutcracker’s Nirvana x Dancing Rain X), owned by 6D Ranch Ltd., Austin, Texas, and shown by Jim Stachowski.

HESS PHOTO

top right:

Champion Half-Arabian Breeders Sweepstakes Country English Pleasure AAOTR and Reserve Champion Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure SAL MINEO BF (Mamage x Clover Hill’s Blazing Luck), owned by Boisvert Farms LLC, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and shown by Amanda Purdin Standish and Joel Gangi.

bottom left:

Champion Half-Arabian Country English Pleasure AAOTR 19-35 and Reserve Champion HalfArabian Country Pleasure Driving AAOTD THE TRASHMAN (Allience x Petra C), owned by Burrline LLC, Temecula, California, and shown by Katie Burr.

bottom right:

Champion HalfArabian Show Hack and Champion Half-Arabian Show Hack AAOTR MEGATROPOLIS BF (Nobilistic BF x Clover Hill’s Blazing Luck), owned by Ellis Arabians LLC, Beaumont, Texas, and shown by Diane Louw and Sarah Ellis.

through what could have been a disaster. That reverse at the trot was exciting, and fortunately, everyone got out of it unscathed.” Heirs Noble Love’s owner and breeder, Karlton Jackson, was thrilled with her big win. “I thought this year’s U.S. National English Pleasure class was one of the best I have seen, and we were incredibly proud for Heirs Noble Love to be able to repeat as National Champion,” he said. “As her breeder, I have observed that she has always wanted to please. She has such a good attitude. She seems to love what she is doing. The combination of her talent and Joel Kiesner’s talent has produced a great combination.” Virginia Godwin also loved the Half-Arabian AAOTR 19-39 English Pleasure class. “That class was phenomenal,” she said. “In the preliminaries there were four horses that looked like they could step up and win. In the final, it sorted itself out. It was certainly one of the most exciting classes at the show. I had Emperors Fire (Afire Bey V x Ritida) shown by Nicole Chapparone for Starline Arabians, LLC, winning while the other two judges had Davincis Reflection

A H W > 32 < 1 2 . 1 8


Champion AWPA Equine Athlete $50,000 Half-Arabian Western Pleasure Futurity and Champion Half-Arabian Western Pleasure Maturity AAOTR CEA COMFORTABLY NUMB (Poco Van Star Two x SL Capaccinos Charmm), owned by Shamrock Farms LLC, Mansfield, Texas, and shown by Joe Reser (pictured) and Leslie Sommer.

HOWARD SCHATZBERG/SARAH PHOTO

top left:

top right:

Champion Half-Arabian Western Pleasure Futurity WE WILL ROCK U (Poco Van Star Two x Im Bringin Sexy Back), owned by Angela M. Daugherty, Blacklick, Ohio, and shown by Jody Strand. “That was the bestest Birthday EVER!” says Angela Daugherty. “Hung out with Annie, Thunder, Sharon and Ernie. Ate Red Velvet cake. And my little guy, that OSU recommended having his shoes pulled — he’s done for the year— and had never been to a show, WINS. It was the perfect day! He truly has an amazing story from this year ... he’s a great guy, and I’m proud to say I bred and own him.”

bottom left:

Champion Half-Arabian Breeders Sweepstakes Western Pleasure AAOTR and Champion Half-Arabian Western Pleasure AAOTR 19-35 RUMOR HAS IT BC (Santa Fe V x TR Moondrops), owned and shown by Ryan Dunn, Del Norte, Colorado.

bottom right:

Champion Half-Arabian Western Pleasure Select Rider AATR KERSPLASH PR (SJ Mikhail x Gradie), owned by David and Debra Kohler, Pasco, Washington, and shown by Jennifer Bowe.

(SF Afershoc x The DaVinci Code) shown by owner Kendyl Peter as their winner. As a result, DaVincis Reflection won and Emperors Afire was Reserve National Champion. That class was a crowd favorite. I couldn’t hear myself think it was so loud.” In spite of some great individual performances, Duane Esser expressed his concern for the English Pleasure division. “The Arabian English pleasure horses are ridden too hard,” he said. “The beauty of the gaits is being compromised because the horses are over ridden. The last time I judged the English pleasure at U.S. Nationals, four or five years ago, I was so bothered by the English pleasure final I watched the year before, that we, as judges, asked that it be announced in the paddock and in the ring, that ‘extreme speed and loss of cadence would be severely penalized.’ I wish we had done that this year. When we did it four years ago, it really helped keep the class beautiful. A lot of the horses, especially in the English pleasure division are pushed beyond their means. They physically can’t do what the riders are pushing them to do.”

A H W > 33 < 1 2 . 1 8


2018 US NATIONALS

top left:

Champion Half-Arabian Ladies Sidesaddle Western AAOTR TIARRA DE ORO (Fancy King Goldmaker x Wda Hyapatia Lee), owned by Lisa Jensen, Benton, Arkansas, and shown by Brooklyn Jensen.

top right:

Champion Half-Arabian Reining Junior Horse, Champion Half-Arabian Reining Horse Futurity, Champion Half-Arabian Reining Horse AAOTR, and Reserve Champion Showmanship AATH 1949 SS A NOBLE STAR (Starlights Starbrite x Al Aleen), owned by Michelle Pease-Paulsen, Lake Tapps, Washington, and shown by Skylar Powell and Michelle Pease-Paulsen.

bottom left:

Champion Half-Arabian Reining Horse Intermediate and Champion Half-Arabian Reined Cow Horse SURE IS A WHIZ (Gold Card Whiz x HF Seralee), owned by Dennis and Sally Douglas, Spring, Texas, and shown by Jim Hitt.

bottom right:

Champion Half-Arabian Reining Horse Intermediate Non-Pro AAOTR LJ MARSHALL (Al-Marah Matt Dillon x Mild Beauty), owned and shown by Theresa Spencer, Vancouver, Washington.

“Park horses used to be the peacocks of our breed,” said Virginia Godwin. “The park class was the pinnacle of the saddle seat division. The U.S. Nationals used to end with the Arabian park class, and it was the class to see. This year it was a delight to see a real park horse.” The Arabian park horse class was won unanimously in dominating fashion by SS Coltrane (IXL Noble Express x Brassmis) shown by Joel Kiesner for Conway Arabians, Inc. “There is absolute honesty to the performance,” said Duane Esser. “He is a true park horse. And he is truly brilliant at all of his gaits. We rarely see that in a park horse anymore. It is a real positive that he is strong enough behind to raise his front end up and carry himself the way he does.” Virginia Godwin concurred when she said, “I love that SS Coltrane has four balanced wheels that all do the same thing. He’s got a good hind end along with a park horse front end. This horse has loft and agility coupled with the brilliance we like to see. When you look at him you say, ‘That is a park horse.’ Coltrane and Noble Rendevous were purchased by Lori and

A H W > 34 < 1 2 . 1 8


top left:

Champion Half-Arabian Reining Horse Primetime Rookie NonPro AATR and Reserve Champion Half-Arabian Reining Horse Rookie Non-Pro AATR HEY HOLLYWOOD (Hollywood White x Cassels Myczestua), owned and shown by G.L. Wiley, Alamogordo, New Mexico.

top right:

Champion Half-Arabian Working Cow Horse AAOTR COCO POLENE (Shahcolate Bey MA x Hema), owned and shown by Maddi Camacho-Larkin, Nipomo, California.

bottom left:

Champion Half-Arabian Herd Work/Ranch Cutting and Champion Half-Arabian Reined Cow Horse AATR SMART LITTLE ALEX (The Smart Smoke x HF Farena), owned by Carol W. Roberts, Billings, Montana, and shown by Anita Dublin and Michelle Roberts.

bottom right:

Champion Half-Arabian Ranch Horse Riding KHAARGA ESCOBAR SLIK (Kharga Asal Sukkar x Beckie), David and Jessica Bein, Scottsdale, Arizona, and shown by Jessica. Pictured with Reserve Champion Half-Arabian Ranch Horse Riding TWYLITE ZONE (Basic Four x JB Dos Jalapenas), owned by Ashlye Daniel, Scottsdale, Arizona, also shown by Jessica Bein.

Peter Conway as youngsters. “I bought Coltrane and Rendezvous on the same trip to Tim and Marty Shea’s,” said Lori. “They were both two-year-old babies. My initial attraction to Coltrane as a youngster was that he was pretty, and short backed with low hocks. He appeared to have all the right parts and luckily they all came together as he grew up. It was very cool that they were both unanimous U.S. National Champions on Friday night at the same U.S. Nationals.” While a measure of good fortune was certainly involved, it was the skilled eye of a horseman that picked them out at that age. Edwin Sutton is concerned with the trend in the Hunter Pleasure classes. “The hunters need to back off,” he said. “Hunter Pleasure used to be the most beautiful classes. We are now seeing what we used to see in the country classes years ago, where they are trotting a little higher and going faster. Luckily by the second direction they wear down some and have to slow down a little. There was big difference in what I have seen in the past. Faster isn’t better.” Duane Esser agrees. “Hunter Pleasure across the board

A H W > 35 < 1 2 . 1 8


2018 US NATIONALS

Champion Half-Arabian English Trail AJ SENSATIONAL MAGNUM (MR Sensation x WS Magnifikette), owned by Meadow Rose Arabians, Cedar City, Utah, and shown by Lou Roper.

top left:

Champion Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse and Reserve Champion AHPA $75,000 Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure Futurity OH SUPREME DELIGHT (Pryme Thyme x ZZ Supreme), owned by Stephanie N. Roberts, Livermore, California, and shown by Wendy Potts.

top right:

Champion Half-Arabian Breeders Sweepstakes Hunter Pleasure AAOTR and Champion Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 19-35 EC CAUSE TO CELEBRATE (A Noble Cause x EC Brass Motion), owned by Debra and Maggie McCarthy, Palos Verdes, California, and shown by Wendy Potts and Maggie.

bottom left:

bottom ight: Champion Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure Maturity AAOTR, Champion Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 36-54 and Reserve Champion Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure Junior Horse JUST LIKE FIRE CF (Allusion AOF x SA Heyhallelujah Nite), owned by Jim and Christine Simmons, Spokane, Washington, and shown by Christine.

is unbelievably competitive,” he said. “But I am concerned that many of them are now being pushed very hard. We are not allowing the hunters a loose enough frame that they can cover ground easily in both the trot and the canter. We don’t want the horses to become trapped in their bridles and tight in their movement. I see that trend creeping in. As a result, the hunter pleasure horse is being recreated. We are headed to a dangerous place.” There is no question that our U.S. National Show is taxing. “The first couple times I judged U.S. Nationals we had eighteen-hour days and it was exhausting,” said Shannon Armstrong. “Going back to six judges made it grueling again. The first four days are dominated by ten and twelve horse cuts making the show longer and more drawn out. It uses the horses up and is hard on the exhibitors, grooms, judges and all of the show personnel. The last time I did the show I just judged the western. I was excited and fresh every day. It was a nice schedule that created a whole different mindset. If they are going to rotate the judges, I don’t know why they don’t

A H W > 36 < 1 2 . 1 8


top left:

Champion Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure AAOTR 55 & Over SRC ALEXANDER (Loki x Alexsandria), owned and shown by Jill Contreras, Simi Valley, California.

top right:

Champion Western Horsemanship AATR 19-49 Allison Edwards, Exeter, California, showing PA SHANDTILLY LACE (PB Najeebey x BA Shandra). Champion Western Horsemanship AATR 50 & Over Ginny J. Johnson, Kirkland, Washington, showing LONE STAR DESPERADO (RR Star x Lolita V). “Although I just celebrated my 75th birthday on my flight to Nationals this past October,” says Ginny Johnson. “I am actually a second-generation client of Jeff and Melody’s, as my daughter, JeNell, now 50, began her showing career with them when she was only 12. Hauling her horse from show to show with brushes and headstalls in tow, I was a horse show Mom. Though Jeff encouraged JeNell to get back in the saddle again after she retired from showing to pursue a teaching career, she just smiles and says, ‘It’s Mom’s turn now!’ “Jeff and Mel are not only my trainers, but they are like family to me. And now that Edward Higbee has joined Jeff Lee and Company, he has also become like family. Thanks to Jeff, Mel and Ed, (and a fabulous barn staff back in Lake Stevens, Washington), Lone Star Desperado, aka, ‘Cowboy,’ and I are fortunate to have the best possible team of trainers. It is their leadership, expertise and patience that made our National Championship possible. We just can’t thank them enough! I would encourage equestrians of any age, if this is the hobby you love, don’t give up! This was my third trip to U.S. Nationals ... Maybe the ‘3rd time’ really is the charm!’”

HESS PHOTO

bottom:

use seven or eight. When you are that tired, numbness sets in.” Judge Susan Witte shared her concern. “The length of the show and the scheduling is a problem,” she said. “It is not only difficult, but it leaves no time for other interactions at the show. It’s a marathon. It also concerns me that we saw many horses come back time and again. When you know a horse’s number as it comes through gate, you’ve seen it a lot. That raised an eyebrow to me. And it troubles me that that we may be going through our good young horses.” As we age it is comforting to see the next generation of horsemen and horsewomen taking over. “I liked seeing some new young great horses shown by some new faces that I hadn’t seen before,” said Judge Susan Witte. “The number of young trainers coming up was encouraging. I’m grateful that we have some young blood and they are doing a great job.” There is no doubt that next year’s show will feature beautiful horses expertly presented by their riders. We can’t wait for the show to begin.

A H W > 37 < 1 2 . 1 8