FHANA 25th Anniversary Convention Horse Show
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BSF took home the following championships:
Friesian Mare Under Saddle Champion
Saddleseat Pleasure Champion and Reserve Champion
Stallion/Gelding Under Saddle Champion
FHANA Pleasure Riding Championship Champion and Reserve Champion
Ride a Buck Champion
Reserve Dressage Hack Amateur Champion
FHANA Driving Reisnmanship Championship-3rd
What a great show----we understand there were over 275 friesians in attendance at this fabulous event at the Reno Livestock Center. Definitely our FAVORITE venue of the year---if you didn't make it to Reno, you missed an incredible gathering of the finest friesian horse flesh in the country. And Reno was a fabulous place to have the show.....when not showing, you could play the slots, or eat to your heart's content at one of Silver Legacy's buffets.
We headed east with 6 friesians, and the help of Ilona, a dressage rider from Holland staying with us, and Pablo, the best groom a horse could ask for. We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and i would have to say the show started with utter disappointment...our stalls could not have been any farther away from the show ring:( With 5 back to back classes, we had made a request in writing to barn manager, Lora Martin, that our stalls be at least relatively close to the in gate. Maybe not a coincidence that the barn manager's horse was in the first barn, and BSF was pretty much in Egypt?!? Bonus.... I know i lost 5 lbs running back and forth, trying to do tack changes, at one point, changing from saddleseat attire to dressage attire with no tack hold, in the hallway & women's bathroom near the out gate. Nothing like a horse show to lose those extra nagging couple of pounds:)
But i must say, for a horse show run entirely by volunteers---kudos to those that put this event on!!!! Job well done, our ONLY complaint was where out stalls were located. Everything else about this show was first rate, and very refreshing for Ron and i, as we always see the same saddlebred people at every show--and this all friesian event had all new people and horses for us to see and socialize with.
Our first class of the show was the Mare Under Saddle Class. I showed the fabulous full pedigree ster mare, Zenobia, for new owner, Lynn Schmidt, in a class with 17 entries. Now THAT is a horse show---17 friesian mares going around in a circle, and trying to navigate the traffic, and have the Judges notice your horse----talk about ringmanship...... this was my favorite class of the entire show. "Zia" is perhaps the BEST friesian mare under saddle in the whole country--i don't think anyone can beat her...she is just THAT good. I loved showing her. Thank you to Lynn for the opportunity--and CONGRATS on the purchase of an outstanding mare!!! It was a bit like showing at the Grand Nationals--listen to the rock in roll music in the videoclips during the classes, and blaring during the victory passes--it was FUN!!! Ron also did a superb job piloting Majestic to a good 4th in a large Walk and Trot Novice class on Friday.The class, to Ron's chagrin, was judged on the rider---but he went for it anyway----and did a really good job with Majestic!!
Saturday was our day with back to back to back classes. the Amateur Reinsmanship driving class had 20 entries, so it was split into 2 heats, with the finalists being called back --and Ron drove Marko for the first time and made the cut into the Finals!!! Marko didn't really like the idea of standing in the line up, so they didn't get a ribbon, but my goodness, just to make the cut in such a large class was a huge accomplishment for the pair:)
Chopper and I, and Zenobia and her new trainer from Ohio, Terry, entered the Saddleseat Pleasure class with the goal to be Champion and Reserve, and that is exactly what we did. "Zia" couldn't be going to a nicer home in Ohio--not only is she one of the best mares in the country, she is going to one of our favorite customers.
Lynn, husband Jerry, and trainer, Terry, it was such a pleasure getting to know you all and spend some time with you during this show.
I changed clothes partly in the hallway of the main arena, and ran as fast as possible to the ingate and jumped on Ate for the Am. Dressage Hack class. Ate was wonderful and trotted out as Reserve Champion out of 9 sharp enries.
Next up were Stormy in the Ride and Drive. This is a marathon of a class whereby Stormy had to show with a carriage, exhibiting three different trots, both ways of the ring, and then line up and switch tack, and do it all over again under saddle. Stormy is one heck of a ride and drive horse, and he finished a VERY good fifth in a large class filled with professional trainers. All the ribbons are adorned with gorgeous FHANA commemorative medallions---and one of ours fell off the ribbon, and we discovered they are reversible, and REALLY very nice. Champions additionally received comfy classy horse coolers--we LOVE useful prizes, thank you FHANA:)
Each Friesian Club Chapter in the U.S. could choose one rider to represent their chapter in the FHANA Riding Championship, and Ate and I represented the Coastal Calif Friesian Club, and trainer, Terry, and "Zia' represented the Ohio Valley Chapter. Again, the BSF horses came out on top, with Ate as Champion and Zenobia Reserve Champion:) The Coastal Calif Chapter was awarded a marble plaque by the FHANA president at the Saturday evening gala, in honor of Ate's win.
The Stallion and Gelding Class had 19 entries in various disciplines. I rode Majestic, and after two trips around the ring at the trot, the announcer said " everyone look down and see if your horse is missing a shoe". Sure enough, I looked down to see that not only was Majestic missing his front shoe, he had lost about 1/3 of his hoof!! I went to the middle of the ring, and the Judges explained there was no farrier available to tack the show back on, so the decision was mine....to continue the class with just 3 shoes, or scratch. I looked at Majestic and said " i think he can do it---we will continue!" and went back to the rail to work. Majestic proved that his movement is phenomenal, even when only wearing 3 shoes---and keep in mind, Majestic had a shoe AND pad on both front feet previously. Look at his victory pass videoclip....you can hardly tell he is missing one front shoe!! Majestic was named Champion of the large Gelding/Stallion Under Saddle class!!!
Marko represented our Friesian Chapter for the "driving" reinsmanship chapter championship---and wow, these two are an exceptional pair. Besides the fact that Marko kinda looks like a giraffe---he really drove well, and the Judge told us he had him as Reserve Champion in the very competitive driving class, until Marko threw his head when asked to back, so he ended up with a very respectful 3rd place. Way to go Marko !!!!
The last class was a unique one---"Ride a Buck", whereby each rider had to put up $10, and the $10 bill was placed under the riders seat, riding bareback. Majestic and I went up against 15 others-- i noticed most other riders were less than half my age:( But boy we were determined...it was a winner takes all class!!!! Many riders lost their 10 spot in the first couple rounds. When it was down to 3 riders, the extended trot was called for..... and then when down to just two riders, the canter was called for. I kept my butt stuck to Majestic's back as hard as i could---and before i knew it, we were called into the middle as Champions!!! The Judges handed me $150 to tuck in my pocket and take home---woo hoo---now THAT is a horse show:) Majestic exited the ring in a victory pass sporting his trademark extended trot.
By and far the most rewarding part of the show for us was the nearly nonstop flow of visitors that dropped by the barn, or stopped us at the arena, to tell us how the horse they purchased from BSF was doing. While far too numerous to mention---Lindsey, from Ohio, whose mother purchased the colt, Chevy, years ago, brought pictures of her mother with a grown up stunning stallion and her mom, and then went on to pitch in and help braid manes, and clean tack, and sponge off horses , etc. THANK YOU! And Former National Saddleseat Champion, Diane Caldemeyer-Reid, took home the Mare in Hand Championship (mares 5 and older) with her STER mare purchased from BSF, and daughter trotted away with the junior exhibitor championship--taking the blue all the way back to Montana.
AND the HUGE silver horse trophy for Most Versatile Horse of the show went to another BSF horse, Alibi (first photo above!) owned by the nicest woman in the world, Chenoa, from Washington. Alibi (Abe) walked away with so many ribbons, we lost track! Susan in Hawaii, with Dotse, kept us updated on the gelding she purchased years ago, and Dr Barbara Cole from So Cal and Margot Barron from Oregon brought updates and pictures of their wonderful BSF friesians. And Dr Elizabeth Pohlson, i am sorry i missed you everytime you came back to the barn and i hear great things about your string of BSF friesians!! We met many people we had never met before, yet they had purchased friesians from us, and it was really very rewarding to hear story after story of how these wonderful animals really touched people's lives, and how loved they are.
It was a delight to meet many FHANA board members and speak with them directly regarding "everything friesian". JR Blumenthal and his wife are one classy act---and no one looks more dapper driving a pair of friesians with a fancy carriage, than JR!! And Scott Kelnhofer (owner of Nanning) really deserves a year off, for his tireless work on the show!
We truly hope FHANA makes the Reno event an annual affair---we would support it wholeheartedly, and what a magnificent gathering of friesians, friends, competition, and flair. This show had more entries than any of the National Championships we have attended. As a competitor, i cannot tell you how thrilling it is to ride in a class with an average of more than 15 entries in each class, and in Ron's classes, more than 19 competitors in the ring all at once. The goosebumps received when being called out as Champion of the 17 entry Mare Under Saddle Class won't soon be forgotten! And the cost of competing at this show was HALF the cost of any of the other shows we have attended in the last two years!! VERY user friendly in a trying economy.
Hats off to all involved in putting this fabulous event on.
Thanks to Ilona and Siri; without their hard work month's beforehand, the horses would not have been in such good condition, and if it wasn't for them, AND Pablo, i would not have won 5 of 7 classes entered.