October 2018 - Founder’s Notes
Written by CRM
Thursday, 27 September 2018 17:58
Watching the FEI World Equestrian Games on FEI-TV, from the safety and comfort of typically lovely Southern California September weather, it’s been a big reminder how lucky we are to be equestrian enthusiasts in California.

In dressage and show jumping, there’s a long list of riders competing who we’ve been lucky to watch and learn from as clinicians or competitors on our coast. Dressage silver and bronze medalists, the U.S.’s Laura Graves and Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin have presented clinics here in the last few years. Germany’s long reigning dressage queen Isabell Werth earned team and individual gold at WEG, making it all the more exciting to have her in San Diego Oct. 13-14 for a clinic presented by Scott Hayes Productions. Jumping competition was just getting started as we went to press and it’s equally fun to watch several foreign riders compete that we are familiar with thanks to World Cup league competition and our big money classes. Thanks to all organizers for staging shows that have given us a glimpse of these international contenders.

Exciting as it is, the WEG isn’t the only intriguing competition going on. Our show circuits are chock full of medal finals and year-end championships. This issue includes lots of news from those already completed, with features on several riders who are early stars of the fall season. Hope you enjoy meeting Jaime Krupnick Geffen, Emma Pacyna, Gracie Friend, Amber Pearson, Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Helen Bouscaren’s Ebay in this issue.


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altADOPT ME! Santa Claus is a Quarter Horse gelding up for adoption at FalconRidge Equine Rescue in Valley Center, California. This poor gelding was rescued after his owners had been murdered.
We were told he was an ex roping horse. He was evaluated under saddle by our trainer and found to ride easy and well under saddle. He is in his 20s, but acts way younger than his age. Santa is healthy, sound, and full of vigor. Stout 15.2 hands tall. Santa’s adoption fee is a $500 donation. See Santa on the website at www.falconridgerescue.org under Horses For Adoption.

October 2018 - A Damn Fine Hand
Written by by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018
Thursday, 27 September 2018 00:12

A story of women riding for their lives. Installment #3

by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018


The last horse to train was the mighty Invictus. Ann and Enrique liked to wait until later in the morning when there were less horses on the track. The colt’s nasty habit of attacking other horses on the way to exercise was legendary by this time.

His massive body and brittle hooves don’t thrive on the hard new synthetic surface of the main race course. He preferred to gallop on the dirt of the training oval located on the interior of the main track. Enrique would bring him out of the stall equipped with blinkers and a chain over his nose. He’d give her a quick leg up while the red colt was walking. She’d land softly on his back and quietly take the reins, careful not to pick them up with much authority as the colt’s job for now, would be to focus on the man leading him.  


Enrique was as strong as he was quiet. He’d had a long and successful career in this barn. He and Jude had been through a lot together, from the dregs of the County Fair tracks to the royal sands of Dubai and he knew that this horse could be their ticket to fame and fortune. He also knew the fragility of a racehorse that could be injured or worse tomorrow. Enrique was more quiet than usual and Ann asked him if he was okay.


“It’s that Panamanian groom we hired.  He’s useless!”

“Efrain?  I thought he was good?”

“No, that’s his cousin that works for Delacroix.  He’s the one I wanted. Instead we get an idiot.”

“Is he taking care of Mercy Street? She’s not eating again.”

“Yeah, I noticed,” he says. “I’m gonna fire that stupid cholo as soon as he schools that filly in the 8th race today. That okay?”

“Your call amigo. Do you have someone else in mind?”

“I heard the youngest Diaz kid is out of jail. He’s a hell of a groom. He’ll be on probation, so he’ll have to stick around.”

Quick as lightening, Invictus stood up on his hind feet screaming and striking the air with his forelegs. A terrified rider and horse coming their way scurried around the corner for safety.

“Sonofabitch!” both she and Enrique cried. This was nothing new to either of them and Enrique managed to keep a hold of the leather lead shank and Ann managed to stay aboard the colt’s broad back. Hustling the horse forward in unison they knew what all race trackers know, that a horse going forward has a harder time misbehaving.

Once the colt was on the track, he was all business. Enrique cut them loose and they loped away on a loose rein. They would have to do three laps on the small training track to get a workout in. In her element, galloping along with giant, loose strides, the wind whipping through her helmet, her knees snug along the tiny saddle, feeling and breathing along with this animal that’s the sum total of 60 generations of selected breeding of running prowess, her mind wandered.

Getting close to 40 years old, she worried. The truth is, how many people did what they love doing every day? She was doing what she dreamed of when she drove out of the Sacramento suburb four months before her 18th birthday and six months before she was supposed to graduate high school.  She’d spent the summer working for an old man with a few broken down racehorses that would compete at the County Fair tracks during the summer.

Tiny, strong and determined, she’d beaten all the local girls in the rodeos and gymkhanas, had started her own baby horses at her parents’ barn and was known in all three local counties as a very good young horsewoman.

She was also known as a hell-raiser. With a penchant for older boys and vodka, she caused her parents enough worry to convince herself that they were better off without her. She took the small pick-up her dad had given her from his construction company, stole a carton of cigarettes from her older brother and set out for any track that would turn her into a famous jockey. 21 years later, she was at one of the most prestigious tracks in the country galloping brilliant horses. What could be better?

But that wasn’t the question bothering her.  The real question was: what next? At 39, she’d had her share of wrecks. It was just a matter of time before one of these injuries ended her riding career. The last two should have. Everyone told her that. The natural progression would be training her own barn. She had as much smarts and experience as just about anyone on the track of her generation. 

But having your own barn means playing the game. Stealing clients from other trainers that you had dinner and drinks with last week, and having them take your clients, too. It meant running horses when the owners want you to and not when you know they are ready. It meant being ultimately responsible when you send a horse out to race and he doesn’t come back.

Nah, she was pretty sure she wasn’t trainer material.

Last year, she thought she had a shot at her own barn when a prominent owner asked her out to dinner to talk over an “idea.” When he showed up without his trophy wife, she should have smelled trouble. When he reached under the table to slide his hand up her thigh, she felt neither anger nor resentment, just shame that she didn’t see it coming. After he explained to her that there would be a lot more horses in the Boss’s barn if she would play along, she excused herself to the bathroom and snuck out the door. She walked the two miles home in hot tears. Not because she was surprised, but because she went to dinner expecting him to give her horses which she would have been stealing from her Boss. That made her no better than the rest of them.

No, training probably wasn’t it.

Meanwhile, Invictus had taken a mighty hold of the bit in his mouth and was galloping wildly down the track shaking his head between his knees. He was feeling good and he’s wanted to play this morning - hard.

“Easy son.” she laughed.

She took a steady breath and used her back muscles to bring his head up to a manageable place. It was just what he wanted. With his face looking down the track, he accelerated in four giant leaps. She had one shot to take charge of him before he was running off with her completely out of control. The trick was not to give in to the natural reaction and pull the reins - but instead, loosen the reins, exhale and shift your weight ever so slightly back. It’s a skill that takes years to cultivate and it’s different with every horse. It works. It almost always does, unless you are on a scared horse. Invictus was not scared - of anything.  

Invictus exhaled and galloped the rest of his workout lazily, like a chastised child who folds his arms, pouts his lips and performs his chores dutifully, without enthusiasm. He pulled up easily and dropped his head to walk back to the barn, still pouting. If she didn’t know better, she would have thought that he was getting sick. He plodded through the tunnel that connected the inner training track to the barns by burrowing under the main race course glaring at the oncoming horses, but he didn’t attack. She met Enrique at the end of the tunnel.

“What’s the matter with him?” he asked.

“He’s just mad because he didn’t buck me off playing or run off with me galloping.”

“Great, now he’s gonna kick the walls all afternoon.” Enrique laughed again as he patted the horse on his copper neck. The horse rewarded him with pinned ears, an icy glare and a nip towards Enrique’s exposed armpit that was meant to warn, not to harm. Both Enrique and Ann chuckled and the three walked back to the barn lost in their own thoughts.

Vaya Con Dios Ties Up

Invictus was the last to gallop. Training hours were officially over and what Ann wanted was run back home for an hour’s nap and shower to get ready for the races. They were running in the 2nd and the 7th race this afternoon. All she had to do was to untack Invictus and hand him off to the grooms. Turning the corner to the barn, the new vet’s truck was suspiciously parked in front. Their usual vet, cranky Dr. Conner, didn’t usually check back in until 11am or so.

“Oh shit, I’ll bet Vaya Con Dios tied up,” Enrique said.  

Sure enough, the old campaigner was standing in the shed-row, his eyes glazed over with pain with sweat soaking his dark brown coat.

“You go check, I’ll take this bad hombre.” Enrique gestured Ann towards the vet and the distressed horse.  

Ann vaulted off Invictus’ back and ran.

“That prick liked to pull my guts out on da track,” said Sullie.

“Did you back jog him to the half-mile pole?”  she asked.

“I tol’ you I ain’t got time for no joggers girl!”

“So you just took him right out to gallop?”

“Old horse like that don’t need no warmin’ up, he needs to GO!”

“Well, now he’s tied up and we have to scratch him out of the race this weekend. Thanks for all your help.” She glared at him with hands on her hips.

Throwing his still-lit cigarette butt down inches from her boot, Sully replied, “I don’t need this” and stormed away.

“That’s two riders you ran off in one morning.  This could be a record. Don’t worry, I already gave him his last check, so you don’t need to cut him one.” They both watched Sullie storm back to the track kitchen.

She thought about telling Jude that she’d already paid Sullie in cash from her own pocket this morning. But she didn’t have the energy. She ventured back to the horse who had begun to relax from the tranquilizer drugs the vet had administered to release the massive kinked up muscles in his back and hindquarters. She patted the sweaty neck and apologized.

Author Joell Dunlap lives in Half Moon Bay with her husband, some smelly old hound dogs and 19 rescued and donated horses - most of them OTTB’s. She is the founder and executive director of The Square Peg Foundation (www.squarepegfoundation.org). You can subscribe to read weekly installments of A Damn Fine Hand here: https://adamnfinehand.com, or follow along in upcoming issues of CRM as we serialize her compelling novel.

“I’m sorry old boy, I had to let someone else get on you today. I thought it would be okay.”

The tranquilized horse ignored her and she felt that she’s deserved it - deserved to be ignored for not looking out for his gallant soul. A veteran of 50+ races in his career, his next race was supposed to be his last. The owners promised that they were going to donate him to her best friend’s ranch up north. Now he’d be around a few more weeks and the owners might change their minds and drop him in for a claiming tag and hope that he ended up in somebody else’s barn and they would have the prize money and the claiming cash, too. 

It was a tricky deal. She’d worked for weeks to get the owners to agree, to find him a free van ride up to Northern California and to sneak into the van a few bags of grain for the rescue ranch as well. Now she’d have to cancel and hope another race would come up for him soon. But it didn’t look good. The old man couldn’t run more than five furlongs anymore. Most of the sprints were six or 6 1/2 furlongs and he could no longer go the distance. This race set him up perfectly and he caught a fairly easy field. The owners would be happy, she would catch a little gamble on him and the old horse would go out in the glory he deserved - if his knees held. 

And now this.

Tying up Syndrome, or Exertional Rhabdomyolysis, is a human athlete’s side-ache multiplied by a factor of 10 or more. When the waste products of energy burned in the muscles don’t flush away properly, the muscles cramp and knot up painfully. It’s a metabolic conundrum that happens mainly in nervous fillies or horses that have eaten too much protein and then are asked to do more exercise than they are ready for.

Nervous or scared horses tied up more often. Vaya Con Dios loved his pre- gallop jog every morning. Stepping out, pointing his toes like a ballerina stretching his massive corded muscles and watching all of the action on the track along the way. When it was time to turn around on the track and gallop, he liked to stop and watch the gallopers for a minute or two with his curious, intelligent ears pricked. He wore no blinkers to narrow his field of vision, nor did he wear a fluffy shadow roll over his nose to keep a nervous horse from throwing his head in the air.  He was a professional who knew his job and behaved well.

Sullie was in a hurry to get three horses galloped this morning and he rushed the old horse through his workout without a warm-up jog or relaxing loose rein back to the barn. The horse was paying the price. Or maybe he tied up because his knees hurt. A tough old horse doesn’t always limp when he hurts. If only they could talk.

Enrique laid his rough hand on her shoulder. It smelled like salt and warm oats. “Don’t worry, I take care of the Old Man. You go home and sleep a little.”

“I knew better than to let Sullie take him out.”

“No you didn’t, Sullie can be bueno, and he can be no bueno, just like any of us - no?”

“Yeah, I’ll see you at the receiving barn for the second race.  Don’t forget, front and hind bandages for that mare.” She shook her finger.

“No me digas eso chica.”  He smiled and pushed her toward the parking lot.

Tune into the next installment at www.adamnfinehand.com, or read it in the next issue of California Riding Magazine.


October 2018 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Thursday, 27 September 2018 00:01

Stanley Webb

Farmer, rancher and longtime owner of Webb Ranch in Portola Valley, Stanley Webb passed away in early September at the age of 98. Webb Ranch has been family-owned since 1922 and is home to a riding school, boarding and equestrian events, the Stanford polo team and an animal-based therapy program.

Bethany Wallace and Sunsplash. Photo: McCool Photography

Bethany Wallace


Dressage trainer Bethany Wallace of Dreamtime Sport Horses is pleased to announce that she is now accepting clients at Petaluma’s Hawkwood Hill Farm in Sonoma County. In addition to a beautiful barn with outdoor paddocks and pastures, Hawkwood boasts a spacious covered arena, two outdoor arenas, quality footing maintained daily, miles of trails on site including conditioning tracks and hills, and a cross country course complete with a water complex. Bethany is a USDF Bronze Medalist and A.R.I.A. certified. While her focus is on dressage she cross trains with jumping and eventing and welcomes clients in those disciplines as well. For more information visit www.sporthorsetraining.com.

Flying Changes welcomes your submissions. Please tell us about what’s happening in your life and/or at your barn: births, deaths, engagements, job changes, new hires, marriages, new management and barn moves. Send your reports to Kim F. Miller at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Photos welcome!


September 2018 - Founder's Notes
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 29 August 2018 22:02

Our annual September issue focus on “education” winds up being a broad topic. This year, we’ve covered everything from a recent dressage clinic with George Williams and an upcoming session with Elke Potucek-Puscha to an update on Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s ongoing expansion of its equestrian center and the remarkable growth of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association competition in the West.


I guess it’s to be expected that education is broadly defined in an equestrian context because horses facilitate so many different types of learning and enlightenment for us humans.


We are excited about the World Equestrian Games starting Sept. 11. An update to our WEG preview article arrived as the presses rolled: United States Equestrian Federation members receive a 50% discount on FEI.TV’s annual pass, including the WEG Pass, bringing the price down to $29.99. The streaming service is a terrific way to watch all major equestrian competition and this is an awesome price and a great incentive to join USEF if you’re not a member already.  WEG content will include live action, replays and archived material. Coverage is also expected on NBC and affiliates, but it will likely not be anywhere near as extensive.

Eventing and fall fashion & apparel are the special focuses of our October issue, plus the usual mix of features and news from the hunter/jumper, eventing and dressage worlds. October will also include our first of three Gift Guides to get you set for the holiday shopping season!

Given that fire season seemed to start even earlier this year, here’s hoping it will end earlier, too. Our continued thoughts to all who have been affected by these seemingly endless fires.

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Letter to the Editor


Enterprise Farms has been grateful for your recommendation of our riding school and has worked very hard to retain your trust and support.  However, until the recent (June) article which appeared highlighting our programs, we had no idea how many people read and value your publication!

We have been overwhelmed with positive comments from current and previous students and from equestrians  as well as new students and campers who recognize the value of sound riding basics and are seeking a location to develop them..

We will continue to maintain  our high standards as a U.S. Pony Club Riding Center as well as a riding  school and horse  camp  and thank you again for your recognition and support!
Gene Gilbert
Owner and Manager
Enterprise Farms




Sterling is an approximately 8 yr old paint gelding up for adoption at FalconRidge Equine Rescue in Valley Center, CA.

He was rescued from auction and is currently in training with Heather Suto in Poway.

He is 15 hands high and been previously trained, but needed restarting due to some confidence issues.

He is currently doing well in training.

A very special and unique guy, Sterling is looking for an experienced adopter who knows horses well, loves to bond and spend a lot of time with their horse, and one who will be sensitive to him but lead him well.

Gorgeous horse with a great personality.

Adoption fee $1,000.

Read about Sterling on our adoption page and procedures at http://falconridgeequinerescue.blogspot.com

September 2018 - A Damn Fine Hand
Written by by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018
Wednesday, 29 August 2018 19:08

A story of women riding for their lives.

by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018

Chapter 4 - Cocky Gallop Boy

By the time the track opened, the barns were abuzz with activity.  Hot walkers in hooded sweatshirts shuffled quietly as their charges danced at the end of a leather and brass ribbon. The sounds of aluminum clad hooves prancing around the soft dirt mingled with the ringing of brass chains as the hot walkers expertly contained the exuberance of half a ton of sinew and muscle. Buckets of hot water steamed as grooms prepared baths for sweaty racehorses. Scents of liniment, cooking oats, medicated shampoos, sweet straw and the acidic tang of warm racehorse manure wafted through cool morning air.


Cocky Gallop Boy showed up late and looked nervously at the schedule board. She hated it when riders were late and he knew it. As usual, the morning’s workout schedule was penned out neatly on a giant white board, color coded for each rider and groom. Ann made sure the board was clear and exact. She kept things running to the minute.  Cocky gallop boy barked “darse prisa” to the new groom to hurry up and bring his horse. Just as he was at the apex of his shouting, she rode up on his assigned horse, fresh from his gallop.


“Where the hell were you? You were supposed to ride this horse first.  I had to take him!” She demanded.

“Wilson had a filly that he needed me to take, she had to jog two miles and it took longer than I thought,” he lied.

“Funny, I didn’t see you out there.”  She was mad and grooms were scurrying out of the way.  “Look, you are either galloping for us or Wilson, but not both. Decide now. We’ve got to work the French fillies in company before the track gets all chewed up. Are you coming or not?”

Cocky gallop boys are not amenable to being bawled out by women. But she was different and everyone knew it. She’s the best. She could out-ride any of them and she’d never put you on a crazy horse. She’d ride those herself. He fought the urge to tell her to f*ck off, mustered as much self-confidence as he could and sent the groom for the next horse on his list. By the time he’d mounted and adjusted his stirrups, she was on the other filly and on her way to the track. He needed to hustle to catch up. Trotting up alongside her she didn’t say a word to him. She was dealing with the long line of trainers, journalists, and owners who were on the rail and greeting the other riders exiting the track. Naturally shy, she didn’t make much conversation. But the Keenan barn was hot these days and everyone at the track loved a winner.

The fillies they were riding arrived from France a couple of weeks ago. In Europe, horses live at quiet training centers and exercise in large groups on mostly grass gallops with hills – covering several miles at different paces. American racehorses live at the track and generally follow a pattern of galloping alone or with one other horse for about 1.5 miles daily. The excitement of being passed by galloping horses and meeting trotting horses coming head-on as well as up to 80 horses on the track at any given time, takes getting used to – some European horses never did. Ann’s filly didn’t travel well and she wasn’t taking to American style training. But Ann was masterful with the nervous ones. She was quiet and confident and reminded them gently that all they’d have to do is go forward. She’d ridden the most rank, the strongest, the crazies and the babies. Soon, both fillies were galloping down the track with easy, ground covering strides.

They would gallop for 3/4 of a mile and then, for 660 yards, the horses would be allowed to run. The idea is to get a horse to use her stride as efficiently as possible. The best horses have always been the ones that run efficiently. Any nervousness, anger or fear costs in shortness of stride, shallowness of breath or misuse of muscles. Once they neared the pole marking 3/8ths of a mile to the finish line, just past the head of the turn, both riders bent their knees slightly and let their hands follow the motion of their horses’ head. The horses eased left down by the inside rail and opened up their strides as their heads lowered and hooves started to fly.  Head and head, the natural instinct of a good racehorse took over and the riders simply guided their horses around the turn until the track straightened out toward the finish line. With less than two city blocks to go, both fillies were game and pressed each other as they accelerated towards the wire. The cocky gallop boy saw his chance for revenge and pulled his whip from his back pocket and cracked his filly on the right shoulder. Rather than sprint forward, his surprised filly leapt sideways into the other pair.  Ann and her filly bounced into the rail and she scrambled to right her horse. He heard her behind him screaming angrily as he galloped to the wire.  After the finish line, she charged up beside him.

“What the hell was that all about?”

“My filly was slowing down, I was just keeping her going” he said casually.

“That filly NEVER slows down!  You could have killed us!”  Ann was livid. Her small turned up nose was flared and angry.

“Sorry.” Now she knows what he thought about getting yelled at.

She beat him back to the barn. As he rounded the corner, his heart sank. Both Ann and Jude Keenan were looking at the French filly’s bleeding right leg. As he approached, she straightened up and glared at him.

“Well Hot Rod, you got $175,000 to replace this filly for the owners?”  Jude asked.

Cocky Gallop Boy looked down at his polished boots.

“Pick up your check this afternoon and have a nice time galloping somewhere else.” Jude added.

Author Joell Dunlap lives in Half Moon Bay with her husband, some smelly old hound dogs and 19 rescued and donated horses - most of them OTTB’s. She is the founder and executive director of The Square Peg Foundation (www.squarepegfoundation.org). You can subscribe to read weekly installments of A Damn Fine Hand here: https://adamnfinehand.com, or follow along in upcoming issues of CRM as we serialize her compelling novel.

Looking the white board, Ann realized she’d have to have to gallop all of the remaining 11 horses herself unless she could find good help fast. Her knees ached just thinking about it. Hopefully, some hungry jockey would come around looking for an in with a hot barn and she’d be able to give him a few of the easy horses this morning. Or she could ask Old Sullie if he can get on a few. He was rough but he had a lot of experience and she knew that he could hold the tough old horses that needed to gallop slowly. Not a lot of riders were strong enough to hold old campaigners like Vaya Con Dios and she’s couldn’t stop thinking about the heat in his knees. Sullie was just getting on a few these days for some of the old trainers, with any luck she’d catch him before he hit the sauce.

The track closed for a 30 minute break to groom the surface. Ann ducked off to find a bite to eat at the small cafe by the clocker’s stand. As usual, it was thronging with people. She kept her head down so as not to be sidetracked by all of the rail-birds wanting to chat. If she didn’t get something to eat now, it would be race time soon and she wouldn’t eat until after the first race.  Choosing a banana and a muffin, she headed back to the barn with her eye peeled for Sullie.  She found him chatting with a gaggle of old gamblers, regaling race stories to an adoring audience.

“What you don’t know, is that this hoss is ready to fly outta da gates today.”  The rail-birds were eating it up, hoping to get inside knowledge to give them the edge in this afternoon’s gambling.

“Hey Sullie, you wanna get on a few for me today?”  She asked.

“Anything for you baby – you know dat.” He flashed a grin complete with short tobacco stained teeth.

“Second after the break?”

“Nah, I gotta work that goofball for Stevens then. But I gotcha after that.”

“Yeah, well okay.  If I’m not there, just tell Enrique and he’ll put you up.”

“I ain’t got time for no joggers though, and I need to get paid cash at the end of the day.”

She reached into her pocket and counted out four $20 bills. “Don’t hang me up – okay?”

“I love you baby, you know that – right?”

“Yeah, I know” she was already heading back to the barn.  On her way, she passed Cocky Gallop Boy as he was chatting with a bright eyed new gallop girl.  The girl was looking at him like he was God’s gift to horses. Exercise boys loved “fresh meat.”

As Ann walked by he looked away. Ann touched the girl’s shoulder and whispered in her ear while looking directly at the Cocky Gallop Boy “Be careful, everyone calls him ‘The Herpes King.’” Walking away, she looked back and added a middle fingered salute with a wink to the gallop boy.


September 2018 - What's Happening
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 29 August 2018 04:39

California Riding Magazine Event Calendar

Central Valley Hunter Jumper Mini-series
Sept. 15 in Fresno

The first two shows in this new series took place in March and May, welcoming many riders who previously had had to travel quite a ways to compete, explains organizer Jenny House. Staged at the Fresno County Horse Park that is familiar to eventers, the Fall Festival Schooling Show features cross-rails, hunters, jumpers and equitation. Special attractions include “breakfast on the hill” during the $200 Ariat Hunter Derby, wine and cheese at the end of the day, and a $200 Gamblers Choice jumping class.

To enter or for more information, visit www.CVHJM.com.

Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship Benefit
Sept. 15 in Hidden Valley

The beautiful, privately-owned El Campeon Farms hosts this fundraising event  to benefit Ride On and the services they offer to the disabled. Nestled in beautiful Hidden Valley, El Campeon is an incredible equestrian venue that has provided the location for some of the iconic Budweiser/Clydesdale Super Bowl commercials.

The event will feature amazing and inspiring equine performances, including demonstrations by Ride On’s students and horses highlighting the programs that are offered. Hors d’oeuvres, dinner, drinks and dessert will be served and there will be a silent and live auction.

Ride On teaches therapeutic horseback riding to children and adults with physical and mental disabilities at two locations in Chatsworth and Newbury Park.

Therapeutic riding combines instruction in traditional horsemanship skills with concepts of physical therapy that improve the strength, balance and self esteem of individuals with disabilities. In the past 24 years, Ride On has become one of the largest therapeutic riding centers in the country serving 225 riders with disabilities on a weekly basis.

The event starts at 4 pm with cocktails, silent auction and equestrian performances. Tickets are $175 per person including dinner with 100% of the proceeds going directly to Ride On. 

For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.Rideon.org. Tickets will not be available at the door.

Shea Center BBQ & Family Faire
Sept. 22 in San Juan Capistrano


It would simply not seem like fall without this annual event that’s typically attended by 1,500 friends of this great program. Highlights include country fair games for all ages, live and silent auctions, country music and dancing and, best of all, demos from the Shea’s star riders.

For more info and tickets, visit www.sheacenter.org.

USEA Area VI Championships
Oct. 4-7 in Woodside

These will take place concurrent with the Woodside International Horse Trials at the Woodside Horse Park. Levels are Intro to Intermediate.

For more information, visit www.areavi.org.

Horse Affair
Oct. 4-7 in Norco


After a great debut last year, the event “Where Horsemen Meet” is ready to top it. The George Ingalls Equestrian Event Center will be bustling throughout. Clinicians include Cowboy Dressage® expert Jessica Hutchings; dressage expert Susie Hoffman Peacock; Sheryl Lynde’s colt starting and foundational training basics; Master Farrier Jerry Lunde and many more. An equine industry symposium has a full slate of educational offerings for those in the business, and entertainment includes the Fiesta Sunday festivities. Much more…

For more information, visit www.norcohorseaffair.com.

LAHJA Finals
Oct. 19-21 in Burbank

The LAHJA Junior Medal Final presented by LEGISequine.com and LAHJA Senior and Pony Medal Finals will be held on a new date this year at Gold Coast October (Oct. 19-21) at Los Angeles Equestrian Event Center.

“Given that the inaugural USHJA National Championship Horse Show is going to be in Las Vegas, the LAHJA Board of Directors did not want our members to have to pick between our LAHJA Junior, Senior, and Pony Medal Finals, and either attending or going to the AON USHJA National Championship Horse Show,” LAHJA President Kay Altheuser explains. “As a result, for 2018 the LAHJA Junior, Senior, and Pony Medal Finals will be held during Gold Coast October. I hope to see all of you there and then in Las Vegas!”

For more information, visit www.lahja.org.

Isabell Werth
Oct. 13-14 in Encinitas


Current and many-time world #1 ranked dressage rider, Isabell Werth of Germany, comes to California Oct. 13-14. She’ll be on her way home from the World Equestrian Games and prepared to coach in the intimate setting of Ad Astra Stables in San Diego County’s Encinitas. Scott Hayes Productions brings Isabell in, building on a stellar track record of educational/social events with the likes of Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester and Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud.

Thus far, the learning opportunities at these events have been exceptional, with the plus of a lovely setting, gracious hosts and shopping opportunities during breaks. The schedule calls for Isabell to work with lower level pairs in the morning and upper levels pairs in the afternoon, followed by an autograph signing session.

Riding spots are likely spoken for, but you never know, and spectator seats are going fast at this especially small venue.

For tickets and more information, visit www.shproductions.ca.

Spooktacular Halloween Dressage Show
Oct. 27-28 in Del Mar    


Lisa Blaufuss is sadly gone but the fun, social and truly “spirited” dressage competition she started continues to remind all of her cheerful, upbeat, uncomplaining approach to life, horses and dressage. Plus, proceeds go toward helping Lisa’s and her husband John’s talented daughter Ciera with college expenses.

The show includes qualifiers for all of next year’s big championships. Equally important, fun stuff includes the $1,200 Costume Musical Freestyle, the famous Caldwell Dressage Boo Bash, the Howl’in Dog Costume Contest and the Rest In Peace Relay, Best Decorated Tent contest and more.

“Lisa loved this show and more than anything wanted the community to not take itself too seriously,” shares show director and Lisa’s close friend Kim Stordhal. “She wanted to create something where everyone could have fun. So we intend to continue that theme in her honor. It is a requirement, therefore, that you have fun. The whole weekend!”

Saturday and Sunday, it’s “get your pink on” Kim reminds of the show’s role in promoting awareness of breast cancer. That finally took Lisa but not before a good, long fight.

The spooky site is the Del Mar Horsepark. For more information, visit www.friendsoflisa.org and enter through www.equestrianentries.com.

Does your special event deserve special coverage in California Riding Magazine’s What’s Happening Event Calendar? If so, let us know and don’t forget a photo. Send it all to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call her at 949-644-2165. Our deadline is the first of the month for the following month’s issue. Please submit your events by October 1st for the November issue. It’s the place to be and it’s free!


August 2018 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Thursday, 26 July 2018 20:09

Jessie Weisinger. Photo: Karin Higgins / Texas A&M

UC Davis NCEA Equestrian Names Coach

Jessie Weisinger, an alumna of and most recently the assistant coach at Texas A&M, joins the UC Davis staff as the university’s first head women’s equestrian coach, announced athletics director Kevin Blue. “I am extremely grateful to UC Davis, Kevin Blue and [associate A.D.] Anissa Nachman for allowing me this opportunity,” said Weisinger. “I have been fortunate to be at a great university these past four years, but am looking forward to building this new program and being a part of the vision and excitement Kevin has brought to the UC Davis athletic department.”

August 2018 - A Damn Fine Hand
Written by by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018
Thursday, 26 July 2018 20:02

A story of women riding for their lives.

by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018

Author Joell Dunlap lives in Half Moon Bay with her husband, some smelly old hound dogs and 19 rescued and donated horses - most of them OTTB’s. She is the founder and executive director of The Square Peg Foundation (www.squarepegfoundation.org). You can subscribe to read weekly installments of A Damn Fine Hand here: https://adamnfinehand.com, or follow along in upcoming issues of CRM as we serialize her compelling novel.

Chapter 1 - Our Lady of Victory

Rains in central California’s Sacramento Valley conquer winter’s oppressive tulle fog. The rains also dampen the hot summer’s bluish smog. They give license to the brilliant pink and white camellia blooms and give residents a view of the stunning Sierra Mountains for all who would look east.

August 2018 - What's Happening
Written by CRM
Thursday, 26 July 2018 19:47

California Riding Magazine Event Calendar

Movement Science for the Equestrian
Aug. 5-6 in Novato

Helping riders maximize athletic power is the emphasis of this presentation by Zuzana Suzan.  She is a physiotherapist and senior instructor for the Prague School of Rehabilitation. The two-day workshop aims to improve rider performance and skills through “dynamic neuromuscular stabilization.”

For more information, visit www.purplepass.com/DNSEQ2018, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call 510-410-1771.

July 2018 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Friday, 29 June 2018 19:36

Nina Vogel Tops Innovative Challenge

Over 60 junior and amateur riders took to The Oaks International Grand Prix Field for the second annual American Tradition of Excellence Equitation Challenge, presented by Whitethorne and held June 19-20. Home after her freshman year in college, 21 year old Nina Vogel aboard Pam Stewart’s Durango rode beautifully both days to earn a big win.

July 2018 - Out & About
Written by CRM
Friday, 29 June 2018 19:25

Have a photo of a fun adventure with your horse, pony, riding club or horsey friends? We want it for our Out & About page. Please send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , with caption info and photo credit if needed.

“Talk Derby To Me”
Written by Nicole Bhathal • Photography by Kelsey

Albright Photography

June 2018 - Founder's Notes
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 May 2018 18:35

June is one of our favorite issues because we celebrate riding schools and entry-level equestrian programs. We hear stories of kids of all ages connecting with horses for the first time and of adults circling back to a beloved activity of their youth. Riding school horses and people man, woman, horse or pony the friendly front lines of efforts to keep equine interactions widely accessible, both economically and geographically speaking.


June 2018 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 May 2018 18:28

Tali Dejong and Amadeus. Photo: McCool Photography

Savannah Jenkins and Limequyl. Photo: McCool Photography

97th Annual Flintridge Horse Show

At the 97th Annual Flintridge Horse Show, Tali Dejong and Amadeus emerged victorious in the Grand Prix. Finishing in second place, less than one second behind Dejong, was Alyce Bittar and Lara Croft B. Coming in third was The Flying Ham ridden by Carly Anthony. The USHJA National Hunter Derby saw 38 horses with Limequyl and Savannah Jenkins taking the top spot with a score of 183.

May 2018 - Founder's Notes
Written by CRM
Saturday, 28 April 2018 19:38

SH Productions’ West Coast Dressage Convention V was a big hit April 21-22. Here are organizer Scott Hayes and clinicians & Dutch Dressage Superstars Edward Gal and Hans Peter Mindenhoud flanking Monty Roberts. More on this in our June issue.

April indeed brought showers to Northern California, but was a little crueler in Southern California where an EHV-1 situation arose in Orange County. As we went to press with this issue, three horses had tested positive for the dreaded virus and were being cared for in isolation at a stable where the virus was first diagnosed on April 13, a Friday, naturally! A total of 56 horses possibly exposed to the virus were under quarantine, with veterinarians from the California Department of Food and Agriculture supervising close monitoring for signs of new cases. As of April 19, no additional cases were reported. Our best wishes to all!

May 2018 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Saturday, 28 April 2018 19:34

Lisa Wall and Tangled Up in Blue top the USHJA National Hunter Derby at LEG Gold Coast April. Photo: Kristin Lee Photography

LEG Gold Coast April Highlights

Out of a field of 24 horse and rider combinations, it was professional Lisa Wall aboard Mia Dimson’s Tangled Up in Blue who earned the top honors.

“This was her first hunter derby win,” Lisa said. “This mare just recently moved up to the 3’6” level. She is still learning, and we are putting her together. She rode really well. Each horse show, she’s consistently getting more broke.”

October 2018 - Dressage News & Views
Written by by Nan Meek
Thursday, 27 September 2018 17:48

Exciting accomplishments at every level for California riders and horses.

by Nan Meek

California’s Dressage Pipeline

If the United States is the “land of opportunity” then surely California is the dressage world’s “state of opportunity.” Our state is the home base of dressage professionals who have chosen to relocate here from all over the world, as well as home to a tremendous number of successful adult amateurs, youths, and professionals – those who are household names and those who aspire to that status. California is home to a healthy dressage pipeline for the future.


Nowhere was that more evident than half a continent away at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL, during August 21-26 at the concurrently-held U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions and the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships.


California horses and riders won consistently and highlighted the outstanding state of dressage “out West” in California, including …

We Interrupt With News from the World Equestrian Games …

By the time you read this, it will no longer be breaking news, but as I type, U.S. dressage fans are celebrating the Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team’s silver medal at the World Equestrian Games.

California connections abound, with California girl turned Florida resident Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet posting the second highest score of the U.S. team, behind leader Laura Graves and Verdades, and ahead of Adrienne Lyle and Salvino, and San Diego’s Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper.

Individual silver medalist Laura Graves and Verdades may not be Californians, but Laura left a lasting impression on California riders and auditors last year at the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter of the California Dressage Society when she headlined a popular clinic at The Horse Park at Woodside.

Sadly, freestyle competition was cancelled due to torrential rain from Florence, the hurricane that slowed down to become a tropical storm of epic proportions but nevertheless created havoc throughout the South.

… and now, back to the winning Californians at Lamplight:

Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships

The Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships featured the Four-, Five- and Six-Year-Old National Championship divisions, as well as the Developing Horse divisions at the Prix St. Georges and Grand Prix levels. Some of the top California winners included:

Craig Stanley and Habanero CWS. Photo: RBMPhotography.com

Craig Stanley and his home-bred KWPN gelding Habanero CWS decisively won the Markel/USEF Young Horse Six-Year-Old division on an overall score of 8.98. Habanero CWS, by Idocus and out of Craig’s mare Caliente DG who he trained and competed through the levels to Grand Prix, also won the division’s U.S.-Bred Award. This is the second championship for Craig and Habanero, who took home the Markel/USEF Young Horse Four-Year-Old Championship in 2016.

It’s been a long journey for Craig, from his native Australia to California, where patience with his horses and perseverance with his goals has paid off: Taking a 2-year-old Caliente up the levels to Grand Prix, along the way breeding her to Idocus, then taking her son Habanero from a lanky youngster with promise to become the 2016 Markel/USEF Young Horse Four-Year-Old Championship, then the 2018 Six-Year-Old Champion.

Describing Habanero’s birth, he recalled, “I have a picture of him as an embryo and actually pulled him out of the mare when he was born. Breeding him just makes it all a little more emotional.”
Rebecca Rigdon of Cardiff By The Sea and her KWPN gelding Jagger (Apache x Volumia) earned the Reserve National Championship in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Four-Year-Old division with an overall score of 8.32. Rebecca also brought back to California bragging rights in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Five-Year-Old division, taking third overall with her KWPN mare Iquem (Charmeur x Tres Bien Sijgje).

Sarah Lockman of Aliso Viejo and Gerry Ibanez’s KWPN gelding Jupiter (Jazz x Twinkle R) placed third overall in the Markel/USEF Young Horse Four-Year-Old division on 8.14 overall. Sarah was featured on Riding’s August cover and in the cover story, which you can read at www.ridingmagazine.com.

Dawn White-O’Connor and Bailarino. Photo: SusanJStickle.com

Dawn White-O’Connor and Four Winds Farms’ 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding Bailarino won the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship on an overall score of 68.635% in the first national title of her career. Dawn, from Cardiff (California, not Wales), and Bailarino are members of the U.S. Dressage Development Program presented by The Red Husky Foundation.

Dawn, who worked her way from groom to Steffen’s assistant at the Peters’ Arroyo del Mar in San Diego, is the poster girl for the dreams of young dressage riders well beyond California. With enough hard work and perseverance – and a bit of luck – anything is possible, from traveling support staff to Legolas at the Olympics to competing the super horse herself in California CDIs. She’s the embodiment of that old adage, “the harder I work, the luckier I get.”

Miki Yang on Garden’s Sam, celebrating her win in the 2018 USEF Children Dressage National Championship with friend Lucie Bacon, who also competed at the championships, the riders’ sisters Emi Yang and Lily Rose Bacon, trainer Hillary Martin and mom Akiko Yamazaki. Photo: Jerry Yang

U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions

Fourteen divisions were contested at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions, among them glimpses of youth riders in the Children, Junior, Young Rider and Pony Rider Dressage National Championships, as well as the ever-popular upper-level championships including the Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’, Grand Prix, Intermediaire 1 and Dressage Seat Equitation. Californians shined brightly:

Miki Yang of Los Altos Hills and Four Winds Farm’s Garden’s Sam, an 11-year old New Forest Pony gelding, won the USEF Children Dressage National Championship on an overall score of 69.020%. Afterward, in addition to thanking her family and her trainer Hillary Martin for their support, Miki remarked, “My mom loves horses as much as I do. Being able to compete with my mom was like a dream come true. It was so special.”

Veronica West of Marina Del Rey and her 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding Nobleman took Reserve in the USEF Young Rider National Championship with an overall 70.637%. “I was really happy with him,” she said. “He was very honest and forward in the ring.”

Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo. Photo: SusanJStickle.com

Ellanor Boehning of San Diego and her and Ann Boehning’s Kabam, a 15-year-old German Riding Pony gelding, decisively won the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship on an overall score of 69.996%, more than 3 percentage points ahead of her nearest competition. Ellanor’s reaction to the win? “I didn’t really expect to come here and do as well as I just did. Honestly, it feels kind of like, ‘What just happened!?’”

Two individual test placings of note: Claire Manhard and Wilfonia place third in the FEI GP 16-25 Test of the USEF Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ Dressage National Championship presented by Dressage Today, and Nick Wagman and Ferano took third place in the Freestyle test of the USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship.

Charlotte Jorst and Kastel’s Nintendo, Kastel Denmark’s 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, triumphed in the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship on an overall score of 70.098%. Although technically a resident of Reno, Charlotte is a longtime California Dressage Society member, multiple CDS Championship winner and enthusiastic supporter of dressage in California who many friends regard as an honorary Californian. “What a great horse he has been to me,” she commented of her five years with Nintendo. “ I am just so incredibly grateful to own him.”

San Diego pro Nick Wagman and Beverly Gepfer’s Don John, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding, were reserve in the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship by just a little over one percentage point overall at 69.073%. Nick put it in perspective in discussing his freestyle: “Don John is really new at this level, so we chose to keep the choreography slightly simple to not over-face him and build confidence, and that was a really smart idea because he composed himself very nicely this whole season.”

Nick Wagman also brought home a third-place finish with Elizabeth Keadle’s Ferrano, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, in the Freestyle division of the USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship.

Californians Named to Discover Dressage™ USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program and Dressage Development Program

The Discover Dressage USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program aims to provide strategic guidance and educational opportunities to athletes under the age of 25. Led by USEF Dressage Youth Coach George Williams and USEF Dressage Assistant Youth Coach Charlotte Bredahl-Baker, the program will provide access to educational opportunities and competition planning for qualified athletes. Californians include:

  • Aleyna Dunn (Solana Beach, Calif.) and Bivera, her 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare
  • Benjamin Ebeling (Moorpark, Calif.) and Behlinger, Amy Roberts Ebeling, Ann Romney, and Elizabeth Meyer’s 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding
  • Christian Simonson (Ventura, Calif.) and FRH Rassolini, Christina Morgan’s 15-year-old Hessen Warmblood stallion

The Dressage Development Program aims to provide strategic guidance and resources to selected athletes with the perceived ability to make the podium or contribute to podium scores. This program is overseen by the USEF Development Coach with the assistance of the USEF Dressage Youth and Young Horse Coaches, as well as the USEF Dressage Technical Advisor. The Program is supported by Akiko Yamazaki and her Red Husky Foundation. Californians include:

  • Niki Clarke (Temecula, Calif.) and Coral Reef Scoobidooh, Coral Reef Ranch’s nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding
  • Lehua Custer (North Hollywood, Calif.) and F.J. Ramzes, Wendy Sasser’s eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding
  • Kristina Harrison (Burbank, Calif.) and Finley, her eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding
  • Amy Miller (Fullerton, Calif.) and Encore, her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding
  • Carly Taylor-Smith (Malibu, Calif.) and Rosalut NHF, Nikki Taylor-Smith’s eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding
  • Dawn White-O’Connor (Cardiff, Calif.) and Bailarino, Four Winds Farm’s 10-year-old Oldenburg geldin

Dawn White-O’Connor said of the U.S. Dressage Development Program supported by The Red Husky Foundation, “It’s been amazing. I did one of the Development Program Training & Evaluation Sessions with Debbie [McDonald] and Charlotte Bredahl this spring, and that was really helpful, just the way the whole program was laid out. To have Debbie there, kind of like a second coach, and Charlotte giving you the judges perspective and being able to go through schooling and the test and getting feedback, that was really helpful. Stephanie Seheult, a Human Sports Physiotherapist, was here this weekend [at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions and Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse Dressage National Championships], so I worked with her a little bit. It’s a really good program because it addresses all aspects, not just the riding, so I’m very excited to be part of that.”

Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to all who support them!

Looking Ahead

By the time you read this, the California Dressage Society Annual Championship Show will have been held from September 27 to 30 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. You can find more information at https://www.california-dressage.org/cds-annual-championship/ and scores will be posted online at www.foxvillage.com under “show results” for Great American/USDF Region 7-CDS Championships.

If you’re looking for education – and who better than the newest WEG Gold Medalist, Isabell Werth – there may still be tickets left to SH Productions’ Isabell Werth Masterclass on October 13-14 at Ad Astra Stables in Encinitas. For more information: https://ca.shproductions.ca/purchase-isabell-werth

October 2018 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Thursday, 27 September 2018 00:04

Emma Pacyna Tops Maclay Regionals

Forty-eight top young equitation riders along with their trainers, friends and family, spent their Saturday night, Sept. 15, in the Indoor Arena at Blenheim Farms vying for a prize in the Region 8 section of the 2018 NHSAA/ASPCA Maclay Championships. With packed stands and a sold-out VIP, the excitement was palpable as the competitors took to the challenges of the evening.

Competing in her first Maclay Championship, 17-year-old Emma Pacyna rode her handsome mount Constantinos like a seasoned veteran to take a well-earned victory.

Emma Pacyna and Constantinos. Photo: Captured Moment Photography

The Regional had three phases: A competitive jumping phase over a track designed by Jasen Shelley of Wellington that required a solid and confident plan to execute the questions asked, which included tidy turns and adjustability; a flat phase for the top 36 competitors, which counted as 50% of their overall score; and finally a work-off of the top eight riders, as picked by esteemed judges Bill Ellis and Alex Jayne. 

After the first two phases, the following eight were chosen to return in this order: Avery Glynn, Austin Krawitt, Catherine Tomlinson, Juliette Joseph, Ella Frey, Julia Stone, Kaitlyn Lovingfoss and Emma Pacyna. These top eight were asked to ride a shortened course of five jumps, with specific instructions to execute a tidy turn, followed by a certain number of strides in a line, then to land on or demonstrate a flying change to the counter lead around a lengthy turn to a final vertical, and halt before exiting the ring at the walk.   

Second to last to go in the class of 48 competitors, Pacyna acknowledged that the anticipation was nerve-wracking. “Yes, I was extremely nervous. It was hard sitting there like a ball of nerves the whole time, but in the end it was so much fun. Constantinos was fantastic!”

Avery Glynn. Photo: Captured Moment Photography

Avery Glynn Earns Shelby Drazan Memorial Award

The Shelby Drazan Memorial Award was presented to 13-year-old Avery Glynn of Sonoma Valley Stables. This special annual award is given to a rider who shows sportsmanship, integrity and passion both in and outside of the show arena. Glynn applied with an essay that highlighted all three, as she wrote about her academic and equestrian achievements, as well as her involvement in community service.  

The presentation was made Saturday, Sept. 15, at Blenheim Farms’ covered arena, right before the Maclay Region 8 Finals, in which Avery finished third.

NHSAA/ASPCA Maclay Regional Championships - Region 8
Place    #    Rider    Horse    Trainer(s)

  1. 481    Emma Pacyna    Constantinos     Karen Healey, Georgy Maskrey-Segesman & Fieldstone Riding Club
  2. 116    Catherine Tomlinson    Elliott    Olivia & Harley Brown
  3. 206    Avery Glynn    Cocon 4     Ned Glynn & Jim Hagman/Elvenstar
  4. 452    Julia Stone     Let’s Go     Jim Hagman/Elvenstar
  5. 603    Juliette Joseph    Simply Bob     Robyn Stiegler/Citrus Hill Farms
  6. 655    Austin Krawitt     Scirocco 91     Sandra Anderson
  7. 448     Kaitlyn Lovingfoss    Caracas 89    Jim Hagman/Elvenstar
  8. 445     Ella Frey    Radcliffe    Jim Hagman/Elvenstar
  9. 754     Brooke Morin     Durango     Leslie Steele & Lee Flick/Bridgeport Farms
  10. 605    Natalie Templeton    Casiro    Robyn Stiegler/Citrus Hill Farms

Para-Driving Champs

Californians Tracy Bowman and Diane Kastama made their long trip to the FEI World Para Driving Championships, Aug. 28-Sept. 2 in the Netherlands, more than worthwhile. They helped the U.S. team to a fourth place standing. Tracy brought her own horse, Taylormore Laurabelle, to the Championships and finished individual eighth. Diane competed with Oosterwijk’s Kasper. Famous Florida-based para-driver Bob Giles completed the U.S. team with First Lady.

Along with excelling in her driving career, Tracy runs Kismet Farms in Northern California’s Martinez. Her partner in the successful eventing training business is Jolie Wentworth, her longtime friend, top rider and navigator in the Championships. Big Kudos!!

Emily Williams participated in the Los Angeles EAP, organized by Stacie Ryan, right. Photo: Kim F. Miller

Zone 10-ers selected for EAP National Finals

USHJA Zone 10 riders were among the 16 athletes selected to participate in the 10th annual Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Found/USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session. These will be held Nov. 8-11 in Ohio.

National participants were selected from 187 athletes taking part in 10 regional EAP sessions over the past year. “It has been incredibly satisfying to see the impact this program has had on participants,” said Sally Ike, chair of the Emerging Athletes Program Committee. “EAP marries competition with education, connecting young equestrians to the industry’s best teachers, leading professionals and Olympians. Not only does it offer riding instruction at the highest level, but it places an importance on horsemanship and stable management.” Since its inception in 2009, the EAP has attracted 2,300 applications from which 1,400 were chosen to ride and learn in regional sessions.

Rose Kauffman-Skloff. Photo: Kim F. Miller

The Zone 10 riders are Kit Cunningham and Kiersti Wylie, with Emily Williams and Rose Kauffman-Skloff as alternates. The Zone did not field any stable manager participants for the national EAP session.

Jamie Sailor on Quarter Note. Photo: Kristin Lee Photography

Smooth Sailor on Labor Day

On a beautiful Saturday evening at LA Equestrian Event Center, professional rider Jamie Sailor sealed the win in the USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Sheila Ryan’s Quarter Note (Mike Edrick, trainer) at Langer Equestrian Group’s Coast Labor Day Horse Show.

With over 20 horse and rider pairs to see in the class and the covered berm full of spectators, the pressure was on as Jamie and Quarter Note were second to see in the first round of competition.

“Since I went second, I tried to be as smooth as possible, staying at one constant speed and finding my distances to the fences from my half seat.”

Jamie and Quarter Note put together a harmonious first round without any riffs, striking the judges’ attention and earning the pair a score of 91.

“Quarter Note is an 8-year-old mare and she’s really coming into her own,” Jamie said. “This was her first ever hunter derby win. We thought it would be fun to put the mare in the derby. She is very sweet, loves to jump, and loves her job.”

If Jamie wins the USHJA National Hunter Derby at Gold Coast October (Oct. 19-21) on either Elite or Quarter Note, she will be collecting a $500 LEGIS Rider Bonus Check. She won the same class at Gold Coast in February on Elite.

The Winner’s Circle welcomes submissions and photos. E-mail them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


October 2018 - What's Happening
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 26 September 2018 23:32

oct2018 wh1World Cup Jumping
Oct 6 & 20, Nov. 10 & 17

West Palms Events hosts two FEI World Cup Jumping qualifiers this month, at the Sacramento International Oct. 6 and the Del Mar International Oct. 20. These are legs #2 and #3 of seven West League rounds. The HITS Sunshine Series hosts #4 in Thermal Nov. 10, then the Las Vegas National stages #5 on Nov. 17.

The Sacramento round will be a nice follow-on to the previous week’s NorCal Medal Finals, staged this year as part of the Sacramento International Horse Show Warm Up Week at the Murieta Equestrian Center.

“We are having more special events this year than ever before,” says Sacramento show manager Sara Nastri. “We’re particularly excited to be able to host several parties at the Murieta Inn & Spa.

The Inn is located right off the show grounds, so exhibitors will be able to walk over to enjoy the party, then go right back to their horses.” 

For more information on the Sacramento shows, visit www.westpalmsevents.com.

oct2018 wh2Foxfield Jumping Derby & Medal Finals
Oct. 6-7 in Westlake Village


This fun weekend of exciting competition and great hospitality at a beautiful venue marks the 47th year of the Foxfield Medal Finals and the 38th year of the Calabasas Saddlery Jumping Derby and Foxfield Jumping Derby. Michael Page of New York and Sue Lightner of Modesto are set to judge, with Mike Nielsen on course design duties. Saturday’s Medal Finals consist of two rounds, with a lovely luncheon in between for competitors and their families and oodles of beautiful prizes. On Sunday, the Calabasas Derby is for juniors and amateurs, with $1,500 in prize money, while the Foxfield Derby is open to all and offers $5,000 purse.

For more information visit www.foxfield.com.

oct2018 wh3Bonita Valley Horsemen Fundraiser
Oct. 6 in San Diego’s Coronado


This Western Wine (and Beer) Tasting fundraiser benefits the trails of San Diego County’s Bonita and includes music, wine and beer paired with “horse-douvers.” Western apparel is encouraged and a Bonita Valley Horsemen tasting glass is included in the price of admission. The event will be held at the Gardens at Baby Del, down the street from the Hotel Del Coronado.

For more information, visit www.bonitavalleyhorsemen.com.

oct2018 wh4Race For The Rescues
Oct. 13 in Pasadena


Run, walk or do a little of both to benefit the Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue organization. This fun race held at the Rose Bowl features 5 and 10K run/walks, a 1K dog walk and a kid’s run/walk, plus a silent auction and pet adoption.

Founded in 2008, SCTR is an all-volunteer run, accredited charity with the mission of rescuing Thoroughbred from neglect, slaughter and abuse. “Many of the Thoroughbreds we rescue are found in poor and depressed condition requiring extensive rehabilitation prior to adoption,” the organization’s website states. “The work we do in rehabilitation, re-training and re-homing our rescued Thoroughbreds is driven by the philosophy that all of them - whether they ever raced, whether they raced competitively or not, whether they were successful or not in the breeding shed, and no matter what their condition when we rescue them - they are still winners.”

For more information, to register for the race or make a donation, visit www.sctbrescue.org.   

oct2018 wh5Ride & Stride
Oct. 21 in San Diego County’s San Marcos


By saddle, sneaker or with your pup, the Ride & Stride is a fun prelude to the Horse Heritage Festival. Now celebrating its 12th year, the event has two parts: first, the Ride & Stride, a 3-mile trail ride originating at Walnut Grove Park along San Marcos trails. You can ride your horse, walk, or walk a leashed dog. An early-bird registration prize of Dierks Bentley concert tickets is among a several opportunities to win fun stuff. The ride is followed by the family friendly Horse Heritage Festival, with pony rides, horse demonstrations, kids games, petting corral, food, and more.

The event is staged by the Horse Heritage Conservancy and the Twin Oaks Valley Equestrian Association.

For more information, visit www.helpthehorsepark.org.

oct2018 wh6Liberty Expert Sylvia Zerbini
Nov. 3-4 in San Diego County’s Bonsall


Horse Spirit Ranch in Bonsall is hosting a special two-day clinic with Sylvia Zerbini. Sylvia is a liberty horse performer and trainer well-known as the star of Cavalia for many seasons. In this clinic, she will help participants and auditors learn and experience her hands-on, personalized liberty techniques using “body energy” as the foundation to build enduring trust and communication skills without using a halter or whip. Posture, eye contact and voice are among the tools Sylvia teaches, with the goal of helping all achieve an effective and fulfilling relationship with their horse.

To register or receive more information, visit www.horsespiritranch.net, call 760-822-3579 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Does your special event deserve special coverage in California Riding Magazine’s What’s Happening Event Calendar? If so, let us know and don’t forget a photo. Send it all to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call her at 949-644-2165. Our deadline is the first of the month for the following month’s issue. Please submit your events by November 1st for the December issue. It’s the place to be and it’s free!


September 2018 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 29 August 2018 19:12

Rain Beau West

Sally Black’s top Welsh pony hunter stallion Rain Beau West passed away at Sally’s North San Diego County home this past month.


Sally acquired the 12 hand Welsh Pony Stallion in 1984 while attending the Culpepper Finals in Virginia. He produced numerous champions including sire of the 1989, 1990, and 1991 high point California Pony Hunter Breeding Champions. He also sired the 1990 and 1991 reserve high point champions in the California Pony Hunter Breeding Division.


In 1989, 1990, and 1991 his babies were Best Young Pony at the Red, White and Blue A Shows, the San Diego Summer Festival A shows and the Monterey National A Shows.

In the California Pony Hunter Breeding Division, Rain Beau West claims the 1989 Undefeated 2 Year Old, 1990 Undefeated 3 year old and the 1991 Undefeated 2 year old.

There were at least three of his offspring in the Best Young Pony Class at every show in 1991. His first baby to be shown over fences won classes at the Santa Barbara National A show in 1990.

Flying Changes welcomes your submissions. Please tell us about what’s happening in your life and/or at your barn: births, deaths, engagements, job changes, new hires, marriages, new management and barn moves. Send your reports to Kim F. Miller at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Photos welcome!


September 2018 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 29 August 2018 18:58

A Wireman Win

Skylar Wireman catch rode Neon Moon to the victory in the Small Green Pony Hunters at the USEF Pony Finals in Kentucky. She just started catch riding early this year and warmed up with great wins on ponies for Carleton and Traci Brooks’ Balmoral Farms at California competitions.

At the prestigious and pressure-packed Pony Finals, their jumping rounds sealed the deal after standing 21st after the model and conformation rounds in this highly competitive national competition. Thirteen-year-old Skylar is the daughter of San Diego trainer Shayne Wireman, whose Chestnut Hills Farm in San Diego County’s Bonsall is home to rising star riders.

Alexandra Farfaras winner of the 2018 LAHJA Rosewood Medal Final Presented by Smartpak, pictured with trainers Kay Altheuser and Becky Abeita (center), last year's winner (left), and LAHJA Executive Director Charlotte Skinner-Robson (right). Photo: Treena Hall Photography

Rosewood & Betsy Woods Medal Winners

Alexandra Farfaras (Elvenstar, trainer) made a clean sweep in the LAHJA Rosewood Medal Final presented by Smartpak, winning both rounds of competition aboard Cosmopolitan (Julia Stone, owner). The Final took place during the Huntington Beach Summer Classic, Aug. 9-12.

Grace Plunkett winner of the 2018 LAHJA Betsy Woods Horsemanship Medal Final Presented by Smartpak, pictured with trainer Michelle Morris (right), LAHJA President Kay Altheuser (center), LAHJA Executive Director Charlotte Skinner-Robson (left) and West Palms Events Show Manager Adrienne Karazissis (far left). Photo: Treena Hall Photography

Grace Plunkett (Michelle Morris, trainer) clinched the title in the LAHJA Betsy Woods Horsemanship Medal Final presented by Smartpak, also held at the Huntington Beach show. The 12-year-old piloted Royal Lux, a horse owned by Georgy Maskrey-Segesman, and proved that she could easily make the jump from ponies to horses.

(Note: The LAHJA Junior Medal Final presented by LEGISequine.com and LAHJA Senior and Pony Medal Finals will be held on a new date this year at Gold Coast October, Oct. 19-21, at Los Angeles Equestrian Event Center.)

Emily Williams and Carlo. Photo: Captured Moment Photography

Williams & Davidson Top CPHA Hunt Seat Medal Finals

The 2018 California Professional Horsemen’s Association (CPHA) Junior and Amateur Hunt Seat Medal Finals, held again in the Blenheim Farms Indoor Arena adjacent to the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in mid-August, proved an ideal medal final season opening event for the 60 juniors, 21 amateur riders and crowd of supportive fans at the Blenheim Summer Classic.

Shannon Davidson and Twizzler. Photo: Captured Moment Photography

The two-day, three-round CPHA event kicked off the season with gorgeous ribbons and fantastic awards. Congratulations goes to junior rider Emily Williams, trained by Archie Cox, who championed the junior division and Shannon Davidson, trained by David Bustillos and Nick Haness, who took home the Amateur division honors.

Zazou Hoffman and Samson II. Photo: ©GrandPix Photography

Zazou Wins Again

Zazou Hoffman and Samson II, owned by Saree Kayne, produced two exceptional clear rounds to win the $40,000 Wasserman Foundation Grand Prix. The class was the marquee event for the annual Giant Steps Charity Classic held at the Sonoma Horse Park in Petaluma in early August.

Third into the ring for the jump off, they turned up the pressure for the rest of the four riders with a time of 37.935. Carol Wright and Tennessee Rouge owned by Steel Yard LLC, first to enter the ring in the jump off, came close with a time of 38.201 to take second place, followed by Mariano Alario and Edesa’s Cormint with a time of 41.934 for third. Winning rider Zazou Hoffman brought two horses back for the jump off and placed fourth Vice Versa D’Ossau owned by Patawag Stables LLC.

Jenni McAllister & Colvados. Photo: sharonmcelvain.com

McAllister In Win Mode

Jenni McAllister and Colvados took top honors at the Hippico Santa Fe’s $7,500 Santa Fe Welcome Stake in early August. Over Mauricio Garcia’s challenging course, only two of the 34 entries made it to the jump-off, as  Colvados sped around the arena like a grey hurricane.

Knowing only one other rider had advanced to the jump-off served to McAllister’s advantage. “I always do better under pressure. The crowd was very excited and that helps—I also like rising to the crowd,” she said. Steve McAllister, trainer and supportive husband, said, “We have a great fan club here so it’s always fun to come up with a win!”

Owned in partnership by Madison Myro and Cathy Jones, Colvados continued his streak of success after winning the $30,000 Santa Fe Welcome Week Variable Grand Prix earlier in the Summer Series.

“The first week [of the Summer Series], all of a sudden the pieces fit together, which was great,” said Jenni McAllister, who is pleased with this short, but increasingly successful partnership with the Holsteiner gelding. Steve McAllister noted, “They’re not even dating yet, they’ve just started ‘going out.’”

The Winner’s Circle welcomes submissions and photos. E-mail them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


August 2018 - Founder's Notes
Written by CRM
Thursday, 26 July 2018 20:15

We hope you enjoy this issue jam-packed with original articles and information on our feature focuses for the month: dressage and therapeutic products and services, plus our usual mix of hunter/jumper, eventing and general interest news.

August 2018 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Thursday, 26 July 2018 20:05

EA Honor

Far West Farms junior rider Lily Andersson earned second place in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association’s National Sportsmanship Award, among 135 applicants from around the country.  The award is given in conjunction with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and candidates are selected from those who earned local, regional and zone IEA sportsmanship recognition throughout the season.

The top spot went to Olivia Barden from Colorado.

August 2018 - Out & About
Written by CRM
Thursday, 26 July 2018 19:58

Have a photo of a fun adventure with your horse, pony, riding club or horsey friends? We want it for our Out & About page. Please send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , with caption info and photo credit if needed.

July 2018 - Founder’s Notes
Written by CRM
Friday, 29 June 2018 21:04

Cheryl & Kim at AHP

In our June issue, we spotlighted riding programs that serve as gateways to our sport and this month we spotlight equestrians at a critical crossroad between that gateway and lifelong -- often professional -- engagement with equestrian sports: The Adequan FEI North American Youth Championships.

July 2018 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Friday, 29 June 2018 19:33

Marcia “Mousie” Williams

Marcia “Mousie” Williams began her long career in the horse world  showing hunters, jumpers, stock and trail horses. Her childhood love of horses grew into a life of dedication and service to the sport. An excellent rider, she was highly regarded by all. She was the Pacific Coast “A” Open Jumper Champion in 1961, 1964, 1965 and 1966 with her horse High Hopes and in 1963 with Hi Fi.

July 2018 - What's Happening
Written by CRM
Friday, 29 June 2018 05:14

California Riding Magazine Event Calendar

USHJA Trainer Certification Clinic with Chris Kappler
July 14-15 in San Juan Capistrano

This is a super opportunity to learn from 2004 Olympic show jumper Chris Kappler as an auditor. These sessions with the team gold and individual silver medalist in Athens, Greece, are sponsored by the United States Hunter Jumper Association. They are designed to educate and advance the skills of professional trainers, but there’s a ton to be learned for amateur riders, too. Instruction will be grouped into three levels of riders: Cross-rails; Equitation over 3’3” to 3’6” fences; and a 4’ jumping group.

The sessions will be held at Sycamore Trails Stables and auditing is available at $100 a day or $175 for both days.

For more information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

June 2018 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 May 2018 18:34

Sarah Rune & Canty Rune Training Stables

Long time horse trainer Laurie Canty is excited to announce the transformation of her training stables by bringing Sarah Rune in to take on a leadership role. Rune started off as a student of Canty’s, later becoming her assistant, and has now been tapped to take over Canty’s operations. Having trained horses and riders in California for many decades, Canty is looking forward to a new phase of semi-retirement as Rune oversees more day-to-day responsibilities of training and coaching.

June 2018 - What's Happening
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 May 2018 18:21

California Riding Magazine Event Calendar

Temecula Dressage Classic
June 8-10 in Temecula

Taking up the weekend of the late Lisa Blaufuss’s neat dressage show in Paso Robles, the Temecula Dressage Classic is loaded with last-chance qualifiers that make it a must-attend for serious dressage competitors. But it’s not going to be all serious and no fun. The idea is to make the most of time spent with horses, friends and fellow dressage enthusiasts in the lovely environment of the Galway Downs Equestrian Center in the heart of Temecula wine country.

May 2018 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Saturday, 28 April 2018 19:36

Farewall Walterstown Don

Walterstown Don, ridden by Rebecca Braitling and owned by Lauren Burnell, passed away competing at Twin Rivers CCI, CIC & Horse Trials in Paso Robles in the CIC3* on Saturday April 14. The 16 year old gelding collapsed while galloping between fences 18 and 19 on the cross-country course. Braitling was attended to by the on-site medical team and was transported to the hospital for further care. Twin Rivers organizers and US Eventing Association joined all of the West Coast equestrian community in offering condolences to the horse’s team.

May 2018 - Out & About
Written by CRM
Saturday, 28 April 2018 19:29

Have a photo of a fun adventure with your horse, pony, riding club or horsey friends? We want it for our Out & About page. Please send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , with caption info and photo credit if needed.

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