June 2016 - What's Happening
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 08:47

California Riding Magazine Event Calendar

Parkside H/J Shows
June 4-5 plus various dates through December, in Norco

Parkside Horse Show partners Susan Smith and Betty Bullman were clear what they wanted in their new series: shows that they would like to compete in themselves. Having the right facility topped their priorities. Now expanding their one-day shows to two-day affairs, the Parkside series is settled in at the in-development Silverlakes Equestrian Park in Norco. The first date for this year was in April, and the upcoming schedule is June 4-5, Sept. 24-25, Oct. 29-30 and Dec. 3-4. (They also staged a successful one-day show there in December, 2015.)

Silverlakes Equestrian Park is a multi-use sports complex that’s been underway for several years, a public/private partnership with Blenheim EquiSports founding partner RJ Brandes at the helm on the private enterprise side. There have been various delays and challenges, but the staging of the Parkside shows is a great first step. The current two show rings and two warm-up rings are “fantastic with fabulous footing,” Susan reports.

Eventual phases for the venue include grass fields for jumping and hunter competition and a big indoor arena. If it becomes anything like what Brandes and his team developed at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, our area’s equestrian world is in for a big shot in the arm.

In addition to finding the right venue, Parkside’s Betty and Susan are sticklers about being nice to work with and having awesome prizes. Their shows’ prize table is stocked with creative, useful things -- horse care products, home décor items, etc. -- and is restocked through the day so that afternoon winners get just as much good stuff to choose from as morning winners.

Susan reports it was a big step going from one- to two-day shows, but all went well in April and she’s confident the series will grow steadily. The Parkside shows are sanctioned by the Inland Empire, Orange County and Greater San Diego hunter/jumper associations and perfect for those looking for a lower key, less expensive but still high quality experience than the A show circuit. The agenda includes many divisions and fence heights ranging from .70m to 3’3”.

For more info, visit www.parksidehorseshows.com.

Equine Unwinding with April Battles
June 10-12 in the Yolo County’s Winters

Natalie Rooney’s Four Star Farm is hosting international speaker and certified instructor April Battles, June 10-12. In her three-day workshop, the emphasis will be hands-on treatment of the root cause of common issues in horses that affect their mental and physical well-being, performance and longevity. Participants are required to view and read materials prior to the workshop.

For more information, visit www.fourstarfarm.com.

Return To Freedom Family Day & More
June 11 & various dates in Santa Barbara County’s Lompoc 

Summer is a terrific time to visit or re-visit Return To Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc. June 11 is a special day for the whole family to enjoy the sanctuary, help out a little with ranch chores, observe the herds and learn about America’s wild Mustangs and other breeds and what’s being done to preserve their place in the world. The day includes a Native American blessing and drum circle with Pete Crowheart, hay ride tours and wild horse herd observation. Meet Spirit and other Mustang ambassadors. Lunch, light refreshments and snacks provided.

Facilitated by Return to Freedom’s biologist, Celeste Carlisle, RTF staff and volunteers.

Monthly tours are underway now through August, on the last Saturday of each month. These are docent-guided walking tours of the sanctuary with some time for quiet herd observation.

Photo safaris are also available. The horses are beautiful, as are the steep, wild hills they live in. In addition to RTF’s equine celebrity, Spirit, there is a spirit about the Sanctuary and what founder Neda deMayo and her team have accomplished that leaves an unforgettable mark on those who visit.

Contact RTF to make reservations or arrangements for all events. www.returntofreedom.org.

Farm to Table Dinner for Giant Steps
June 11 in Sonoma County’s Petaluma

Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center capitalizes on its Sonoma Valley location by gathering the region’s top food, wine and beer for its first Farm to Table Dinner. The event will raise funds for the well-known provider of therapeutic riding and equine assisted programs for children and adults with disabilities.

The family-style dinner will be created by Stellar Catering and chef Ari Weiswasser, owner and chef of the acclaimed Glen Ellen Star. The venue is the Beaumont Farms property in Petaluma.

For tickets and more information, visit www.giantstepsriding.org.

Dressage Rally & Hunter Pace
June 18 & 19 in Butte Valley

The Butte Valley Pony Club hosts a Hunter Pace at the fantastic Camelot Equestrian Park in Butte Valley. Along with two warm-up classes, the divisions range from Introductory, with fences up to 2’ and no water obstacles, to Training, with 3’3” fence heights and water obstacle included.

Each division offers a singles and a pairs category. A Hunter Pace is a timed event in which riders travel a cross-country course meant to simulate a fox hunt course and strive to finish as close as possible to the recommended time set for the route. These are generally low-key competitions with lots of fun and learning along the way. The Sunday Hunter Pace is expected to be a good follow-up to Saturday’s Dressage Rally at the same facility and a BBQ Tri-Tip dinner on Saturday night rounds out the weekend for those who purchase the $15 ticket in advance.

For more info, visit www.camelotequestrianpark.com.

Young Horse Focus
June 18 & 19 at in Solvang

Young horse development is a topic of much discussion in American equestrian sport. Bringing youngsters along on the regular show circuit is expensive and not always the ideal environment. Pollyrich Farms in Solvang offers an alternative in hosting a competition in the Young Horse Show Series. This relatively new program aims “to provide young horses a suitable environment to begin their careers without the pressures of the show circuit.” It gets good marks back East but has not had many stagings in the West.

A Young Horse Show offers five divisions: In-Hand, Jump Chute, Flat Class for Sport Under Saddle (all disciplines); Jumping Under Saddle; and Dressage Under Saddle, plus schooling classes in some of those categories. It caters to horses 3 to 7 years of age and those working toward careers in jumpers, dressage, hunters and eventing and there’s $2,500 in prize money on offer.

Anneliese Kanow of Three Wishes Farm is presenting the event.

The same weekend, Pollyrich is hosting a clinic with Belgian International rider and trainer Nick Verlies, on Saturday. Nick specializes in young horses and has built up a resume riding for jumping world legends including Francois Mathy and Jos Lansink.  One of his mottos is: “The rider’s hands are not to control the horse but to feel his thoughts.”

For more info on the Young Horse Show Series, visit www.younghorseshow.com. For more info on the Nick Verlies clinic, call Pollyrich Farms at 805-688-0220.           

California Professional Horsemen’s Assoc. Events
June 17-19 in Petaluma

CPHA Northern California Regional Horsemanship/Child Adult Regional Medal Finals are here already, during the Sonoma Horse Park series show June 17-19. The CPHA Junior & Adult Hunter Seat Medal Finals are later in the summer, down south: August 18-20 during the Blenheim Summer Classic II and the CPHA Foundation Equitation Finals will be held the following weekend at the Del Mar Horsepark during the Showpark Summer Classic.

Also, June 15 is the application deadline for the CPHA Foundation’s Dr. Nicholas Karazissis Scholarship for the 2016-2017 school year. Sponsored by the Heidegger Family and the Foundation, the scholarship is open to children or dependents of the CPHA Professional members, working students, or professional members continuting to purse higher education, including trade schools.

For more information, visit www.cpha.org.

Integrated Day Camps
Four sessions beginning June 27 in Orange County’s San Juan Capistrano

The Shea Center for Therapeutic Riding rolls out its calendar of five-day camps in which kids with and without special needs enjoy an introduction to horseback riding in a safe controlled environment. Campers are grouped by age and ability and teachers are equestrian professionals who work with kids everyday.

For more information, visit www.sheacenter.org.

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 tenth of the month for the following month’s issue. Please submit your events by June 10th for the July issue. It’s the place to be and it’s free!