Valentine’s Day Weekend, 40 WE fans from three states (Washington, Oregon, and California) came together to share their love of the sport and their appreciation for one another at a two-day B-Rated show hosted by Working Equitation Oregon at the Oregon Horse Center’s Prairie Arena Complex in Eugene, Oregon. To meet the scheduling demand, judging was split between two officials: Polly Limond, R, California, judged the Introductory classes while Kim Roe, r, Washington judged the Children’s, Novice A, Novice B, and Intermediate A classes. In addition to the 39 horse/rider pairs who competed, member Liz Hassman made her show-ring debut with a schooling ride on her Friesian mare Hope, coached by trainer Kristina Eckert and show organizer Julie Alonzo.
Eight-year old Ellie Bloom rode her 21-year old Norwegian Fjord mare Lakka to a strong finish in the Children’s class. The two earned 62.5% in Dressage and 59.64% in Ease of Handling, qualifying for the WE United Championship in October and winning 1st place overall for their level.
Because there were so many entries in Introductory, organizers split that class into a Maiden division for horse/rider pairs who had not yet earned any points toward mandatory advancement and an Open division for horse/rider pairs with at least one advancement point.
Introductory – Maiden
Youth member Bailey Yee and her mom Shannon Yee drove up from California for the event. The long drive apparently didn’t stifle this young rider’s performance. She and her self-trained Fell Pony mare Felllegend Flower scored 64.58% in Dressage (finishing 2nd in the trial), 70.63% in Ease of Handling (earning them 1st place for the trial) to win 1st place overall in the ten-entry Introductory Maiden class. It’s worth noting that their scores would also have been high enough to have won the Introductory Open class. Not bad for the pair’s WE debut!
First-time WE competitor Donna Patterson and her Paint horse Silent Bar Gun earned 1st place (66.46%) in Dressage and 3rd place in Ease of Handling (68.44%) to finish 2nd place overall in the Introductory Maiden class. McKenna Hein and her Paint horse Banjo placed 3rd in Dressage (61.46%) and 2nd in Ease of Handling (69.69%) to finish 3rd overall. Sonya Margerum and BLM Mustang The Frenchman placed 6th in Dressage (60.83%) and 4th in EOH (62.81%) to finish 4th place overall.
First-time competitor Ann Burgess and her lovely Arabian mare Rhapsody IA came in 5th in Dressage (60.83%) and 6th in EOH (59.38%) to finish 5th place overall. Kristina Eckert and LA Promise’s Golden Prince, a Gypsy Cob owned by Carah Humphrey, made their showing debut with a 4th place finish in Dressage (60.83%) and an 8th in EOH (56.25%) to finish 6th overall. Bridgett Klingler and her retired Thoroughbred racehorse Port Stanley earned 9th place in Dressage (56.04%) and 5th in EOH (59.69%) to finish 7th overall. Dawn Rhoads and her Canadian mare Reindance Randy Contessa came in 8th overall, finishing 7th in Dressage (56.88%) and EOH (58.75%). Graham Hansen and his Quarter Horse gelding Red came in 9th, having placed 8th in Dressage (56.25%) and 9th in EOH (53.75%). Donna Patterson rode Darlyne Wells’ Haflinger mare Chaos OOS to a 10th place finish in her first WE show, scoring 54.79% in Dressage and 44.69% in EOH.
Introductory – Open
The eight-entry Introductory Open class saw some fierce competition. In the end, however, Washington resident Jill Barker and her Paint/Palomino gelding A Mighty Awesome Mr. took 1st place overall, having won both Dressage (63.13%) and EOH (71.56%). Fellow Washingtonian Denise Lukins and her Friesian mare Rainmaker placed 3rd in both Dressage (60.83%) and EOH (65.31%) to take 2nd overall. Sandra Faulhaber and her Appaloosa gelding PDS Mighty Fine Lad earned 4th in Dressage (60%) and 2nd in Ease of Handling (65.63%) to finish 3rd overall. Dan Dahlke rode his grade mare Sugar to a 2nd place finish in Dressage 60.83%) and a 4th (61.88%) in EOH to finish 4th overall. Darlyne Wells and her Arabian gelding HH Ascot came in 5th in Dressage (59.58%) and EOH (60.94%) to finish 5th overall.
Youth rider Brennan Adams rode Emily Elias’ Haflinger gelding Nakita Ljeb (Leiben) to a 7th place finish in Dressage (55.63%) and EOH (57.83%) to finish 6th overall. Meagan Hansen and her Andalusian mare CDC Sonrisa were disqualified in Dressage but finished 6th in EOH with a score of 60.63% to finish 7th overall. Keri Gorman and her BLM Mustang mare Honey B Heart scored a 59.38% in Dressage (6th place) but were disqualified in EOH to finish 8th overall.
Youth rider Tristan Cruden and his Quarter Horse mare SR Lady of Chance swept the 15-entry Novice A Open class, finishing 1st in every trial (68.64%, 66.77%, 2:27.5) to take home the overall champion award for his level. Right behind him was Rochelle O’Connor riding CDC Va Por Ti, an Andalusian gelding owned by Victor Melendrez (66.59%, 64.41%, 3:15.0). Washington resident Adrienne Raymond and her BLM Mustang Beam Me Up Scotty came in 3rd overall (65.23%, 64.41%, 2:48.0). Rochelle O’Connor rode another one of Victor Melendrez’ horses to a 4th place finish overall – CDC Don Quixote de la Mancha, a Half Andalusian gelding (65%, 64.12%, 3:09.8). Julie Sweeten and her mule LVF’s Solar Eclipse finished 5th place overall (63.64%, 65.88%, 3:20.4). Heather Humelbaugh and her Paint Billy Forever Shines came in 6th overall (65%, 61.47%, 2:40.3). Erin O’Shaughnessy, another member who drove down from Washington for the show, came in 7th overall on her Quarter Horse Shining Spartan (59.77%, 61.18%, 3:46.5). Adrienne Raymond and her BLM Mustang Flying Cloud Clipper made their WE debut at the Novice A level, finishing 8th overall (58.41%, 61.77%, 4:13.1). Kristina Eckert and Canadian gelding Luckylou Nadja Captain-Jack came in 9th overall (61.36%, 57.65%, 4:13.4). Ellen Oare and her grade Rocky Mountain Horse Henry Gait took home the 10th place ribbon for the weekend (57.27%, 58.53%, 4:49.8).
Kristina Eckert and her Canadian stallion Metistar Taj*Mahal Amaro were the overall winners in the three-entry Novice B class (64.46%, 62.94%, 2:38.7). Kristina also rode Liz Hassman’s Friesian mare Hope to a 3rd place finish overall (57.32%, 62.06%, 2:35.0). Emily Elias rode 25-year old BLM Mustang The Frenchman to a 2nd place finish in the Novice B class (60.18%, 60.29%, 2:24.6).
Emily Elias and Hanoverian gelding Fresno, owned by Susan Morrison, won the two-entry Intermediate A class (60.29%, 64.44%), while Lizann Dunegan and her Andalusian gelding Miguel BTSF came in 2nd.