Congratulations to Illinois member Andrea Marcinkus and Rorschach Valentine, her Spotted Saddle Horse, on earning WE United’s High Point Gaited Horse Award for 2017. This award, sponsored by Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) is given to the gaited horse who has earned the most points at licensed Working Equitation competitions in North America.
Rorschach Valentine is dual-registered with both SSHBEA and NSSHA, and Andrea has owned him for 7 years. “We just started dressage this past May,” Andrea explains. “He has come a long way from his first show where he jumped out of the dressage area…twice!”
“Last year (2016), we were the SSHBEA Outreach Adult High-Point Champion, Overall Reserve Champion, Champion for Competitive Trail, Western Showmanship, Western Horsemanship, and Reserve Champion of Games (Gymkhana) and Western Pleasure. This year (2017) we are the Reserve Adult High-Point Champion, Champion for Competitive Trail and Dressage, and Reserve Champion for Games (Gymkhana).”
“This year, we were also honored to be part of the the National Celebration of Native American Veterans, hosted at Cantigney Park in Wheaton, IL. We carried the fallen soldier flag in the parade, and were around the grounds all day to meet people.”
“But above all the awards and accolades, I love his big “horse-onality.” He loves meeting new people and trying new things. (He also gives kisses.)”
Andrea says she and Rorschach Valentine, “show saddle seat and show in some western disciplines. We LOVE trail rides and parades.”
She was introduced to Working Equitation at a clinic, “I had been riding in competitive trail for a few years, and was looking for a similar discipline,” she says, “I went to a clinic with Tarrin Warren, and got hooked!”
“I love that the sport (and especially the obstacles) are about improving the communication between you and your horse, and through that communication improving performance. The work we have done in WE has dramatically improved our show record in other disciplines. I love the challenge of WE – moving through the levels will be an adventure!”
When asked if there was anyone in particular she would like to thank for their support, Andrea had a list right away. “Karen & Mike Boso of Karmik Acres for the generous use of their facility for practice and schooling shows. Tarrin Warren for her excellent clinic that got me hooked and dramatically improved my riding over just two days. Criselda and Elias Hurtado who don’t mind me storing my ever-expanding hoard of new obstacles at their boarding barn, and for taking daily loving care of my horse. My fellow competitors in Region 5 – these are some of the most-encouraging and supportive people I have ever ridden with. I am so thankful to the new friends I have found, and finally, Keith Kuchaes, my partner, who always encourages me to do great things with Valentine.”
Congratulations, Andrea, on your accomplishments!