Archive » June 21, 2012
On the ranch
By Nancy Crawford-Hall, Publisher
NRCHA DerbyThis past week we attended the Derby in Paso Robles. It was a mixed show, with some wins and some disasters colored by enjoying visiting with friends and trainers that we only see at the shows. This is an event for 4- and 5-year-old horses and also features a full slate of horse show classes such as the Hackamore, two-rein and a Bridle Spectacular sponsored by Holy Cow Performance Horses.
My trainer, Jake Telford, brought a number of my horses from Idaho but had to leave behind a couple of them due to foot and leg injuries. Fortunately, those injuries can be fixed, though the timing for them was not so good.
Stacy Hanson, who works for Jake, rode a couple of my horses, one in the Level 1 Open Derby, Sheza CD Survivor, and the other, Sheza Roo, in the Limited Open Bridle. She is beginning her training career and every time I see her show, she is more skilled and more confident that is shown by her increasing wins in the show pen. She won the Limited Open Bridle on “Norma,” Sheza Roo, and clearly enjoyed her run. She had a tough cow after performing a beautiful reining pattern and managed to successfully work that cow into the best score of the class.
Jake had mixed results. He was without his best Derby horse, Hes Shinettes CD, who was recovering at home with a bruised foot and subsequent abscess. Although he showed other customers’ horses, a variety of bad luck happenings prevented him from reaching the Finals. This is a very rare occurrence, but it does happen to the best of them sometimes.
The Two-Rein class with Nabisco Roan, “Triscuit” was quite a different story. He had just come off of a win in the previous show in Colorado last month. Rumor had it that he was unbeatable. While it is fun to think that is possible, one never wants to actually believe something like that because as many horse people are somewhat superstitious, it might jinx the horse or rider. Furthermore, anytime cows are involved, one can never predict the results.
In the Two-Rein class, the horse wears both a hackamore plus a bridle as this is the one-year transition class between the two levels. First, a reining pattern is performed, followed by fence or cow work. While doing his usual beautiful reining, after all, he was originally trained by a reiner, I noticed that while doing the second small slow circle, Triscuit broke gait for one step. That is a two-point penalty per judge. After working his cow extremely well, he was given a very high score. He was third out in a set of 13 competitors, so we had to wait to see if his score held up. Also, it was tagged with a review by the judges so we figured they had seen the break in gait as well.
When all was over, Triscuit lost four points because of the break, but he had scored six points higher than the nearest horse and so he still won the class.
Saturday night was the Holy Cow Performance Horses Bridle Spectacular that featured the best of the best bridle horses in the nation. Originally, we had intended to have two entries, Once A Von A Time and Shady Lil Starlight but “Von” was unable to come due to an injured muscle in his leg. So it was up to “Bentley” to represent us. He was unable to last year as he was recovering from a hurt ankle, so I was thrilled to see him here.
The event started with herd work and Bentley did a good job. While he wasn’t in the lead, the next two events he excelled at and would easily be able to make up the difference. The reining went as expected and he scored a 220. When the fence work started, it was clear that the cows were going to be tough, and while it makes for an exciting show and the potential to score big comes with it, it is also more dangerous for horse and rider.
Bentley was sixth out of 24 horses, not the best draw but if successful would set the standard to beat for the rest of the field that was full of potential winners. As the work started, it was obvious that we had gotten a very tough cow but one that was going to be able to be handled by Jake and Bentley. Sometimes you get a cow that simply won’t honor the horse, and there is not much you can do about it. The cow was worked along the end of the arena to show the horse’s control of the situation. Then the cow is allowed to go down the long end of the arena where it goes very fast usually, the horse must turn the cow in both directions and then bring the cow out into the middle of the arena and circle it in both directions.
The run was going great, the cow was being controlled at a very fast speed that was thrilling to watch. It was a terrific run that was going to win huge points and perhaps the whole class until, while circling the cow, Bentley slid onto his side and flung Jake off to his right side. We were all terrified and while holding our breath, we watched Bentley and Jake rise to their feet. Jake reached out for the reins as Bentley stood still, obviously just as stunned by what had just happened as Jake was. They walked out of the arena to the applause of the audience, grateful that they were not seriously hurt.
I am sure they both were a bit stiff the next day and maybe sore as well but pretty much OK. While it was a disappointment to end the class that way, I was happy that they weren’t both hurt.
Meanwhile, the Holy Cow Performance Horses LLC Bridle Spectacular was won handily by Todd Bergen of Eagle Point, Oregon riding Smart Luck owned by Cable Creek Ranch. Todd is a Million Dollar Rider in both NRCHA and NRHA. It was a pleasure to present him with the CD Survivor Perpetual Memorial Trophy.
ElectionsI read an interesting article in the New Times from San Luis Obispo about how the County Clerk Recorder’s office in that city has started an investigation with the Secretary of State over 900 registration cards that were rejected because, though they had been signed prior to the deadline before the election, they had been held over the limit of three days following collection.
These cards were collected by several people on the Cuesta and Cal Poly campuses. Does this sound familiar to you? So if San Luis County is convinced that this three-day law is important and that turning in those cards after the deadline was “a serious violation,” how come Santa Barbara County doesn’t consider their several thousand, several week overdue cards “serious violations” of the law?
I wish San Luis Obispo County Clerk Julie Rodewald better luck in getting results from the Secretary of State than we did. I am not sure that honest elections are really a priority in this state.
In fact, I am beginning to wonder why the highest law enforcement officer in the land seems bent on destroying the voter photo ID laws of 13 states and is suing to prevent any more voter photo ID laws from being passed. When every poll across the country shows 80% of people support a voter photo ID, why do so many major Democrats oppose it? Don’t they want honest elections? It seems to me that there is a dedicated effort in this county to avoid dealing with the clear evidence that we have serious issues in our voting system here. Most media also continues to repeat misinformation about the litigation concerning the 2008 election. One of the worst examples of this is the fact that after six hours of review of the actual evidence presented to the editor and staff of the Nexus, the UCSB paper, they hid this from the student population and gave a tepid nod to Farr.
What kind of evil behavior does that show? Was the editor pressured to do that, or was she promised some cushy NGO job when she graduates? This has happened before where the person in charge ended up with a job on “K” Street in Washington, D.C. Makes you wonder what the connection is, doesn’t it? We may know.
FireIt’s fire season and I am sure you are aware of that. For those of you who may not be that familiar with life in rural areas, most precautions are pretty obvious and I wouldn’t insult you with repeating them. There is one thing that all of us often forget about and that is the danger of parking our cars or trucks in dry grass. It doesn’t even have to be tall, because the modern car is equipped with a very adequate fire starter in the catalytic converter that runs well over 1,000 degrees.
We have been very lucky in recent years that we have been somewhat limited in the Valley as far as major fires go. It is always a scary time for farmers and ranchers because of careless cigarettes thrown from car windows and other flammables being used carelessly. There are also the occasional fire bugs that seem to disappear into the ether as soon as they do their damage. This is one reason we have our cow crew go around and eat off first all of the grassy areas near the roads.
So, please be careful with fire this summer until we have a good rain in the fall. All of life in this beautiful Valley depends on it.