Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Canadian Horses Shine at the NRHA Derby

Photo: Jesse Beckley and Mizzen Wizzen (Photo taken from Google Images
The following info is taken from Western Horse Review's Facebook page.
In addition to Shawn Flarida riding a Canadian owned horse into the Open Finals at the NRHA Derby in Oklahoma City, Casey Deary and Elanachics, owned by Reinbow Ridge Equestrian of Schamberg, AB, Canada, have also made the Open Finals. Canadian trainer Jesse Beckley of Cranbrook, BC and Mizzen Whizzen (owned by Marilyn Copland of Victoria, BC) have made the Intermediate Open Finals. Good luck to all!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Latest Update on EVH-1

Here is an update from Western Horse Review, that is reporting on a Western Canadian veteranarian Conference call this morning (June 3rd).

In part, here is what they had to say regarding British Columbia...

"The update in British Columbia, from the Animal Health Centre laboratory (Ministry of Agriculture), indicated two positive nEHV-1 cases confirmed through the laboratory. These cases had either direct or indirect contact with horses that were at the Ogden, Utah competition.

It appears all of the cases and suspected cases remain in horses associated with the cutting horse industry.

All other disciplines outside of the cutting industry continue at this time to be considered low risk. The decision to cancel competitions and shows in other disciplines should be made in partnership with their associated veterinarian to develop a risk assessment of each situation. Any time we travel to a competition where there is mixing of horses from many locations there is a low risk of transmitting infectious diseases. Biosecurity measures should be followed. Excellent resources on biosecurity protocols for the equine community can be found on the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association website and the Alberta Equestrian Federation website.

The next conference call is scheduled for Wednesday June 8th, 2011. If any local veterinarians would like to participate they can contact the office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian for further information."

Friday Funny-Any Takers?

"Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred." – Pony Express advertisement

Not really reining related, but good for a Friday afternoon laugh. Have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy the sunshine!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reining Seminar in Pitt Meadows

Reining Seminar-Pitt Meadows-June 11-9:30am til 3:30pm.
Lynda Smith lesson session along with West Coast Training and Horsemanship (Jim Greendyk). Cost $60 per horse & rider (extra horse + $20). Seminar includes a 3 hour mounted Reining lesson, lunch (BYOBeverages), Reining practice runs, critiqued by EC Reining Judge. Contact Lynda - or Jim -

PGRHA Ride and Slide Entry Forms

Entry Forms are available on the PGRHA's website for "Ride N Slide 2011", taking place at the Prince George Fairgrounds, June 23rd to 26th. Entry deadline is Monday, June 6th, but I see that entries may also be emailed in the event of a postal strike.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Social Media comes unhinged...

Recently a video has surfaced and has quickly made the rounds in the social media circuit, I believe it merits some discussion here. The video was made without permission of the videotaped parties, by an organization called Epona TV. According to Epona's website, " is produced by seasoned equestrian journalists with a special interest in the sciences of biomechanics, learning theory, nutrition, behavior and management." However in this particular episode, I believe that they have behaved more along the lines of an animal rights activist group in the same class as PETA, in that they have used questionable tactics to “out” what they believe to be abusive treatment to animals, and then promote their ideas to sympathetic “animal lovers” who may or may not have background knowledge to make fair or realistic judgments on the material they are presented with. In this particular case, Epona taped the warm up sessions at the FEI World Reining final, and produced a video that they posted online, of reining trainer, Craig Schmersal, schooling his horse in the warm up pen. In their opinion, the video is proof of that fact that Craig is abusive to his horses, and that reining in general is poorly regulated for abusive treatment of the horses.

I have spent a lot of time reading comments on this video, both at the original source, as well as numerous other horse related social media sites, and am completely appalled at the comments, and general level of overall ignorance being displayed in these online environments.

First and foremost, let me say that I believe that this video does not show Craig in any way abusing this horse. He is a professional trainer on a very highly trained horse, at a world class competition, and he is simply doing his job, which is schooling his horse before he goes into a class. Period. Now I am not going to try and explain WHY I believe this is not abusive, because that is not the intent of my post. And, would I recommend that you run out to your backyard pony and start picking up on them like that? Of course not-it would be a recipe for disaster...

I have gleaned a number of comments from a variety of sites that I would like to include here. The first few are in support of Craig and I believe they all make some good points. These comments are few and far between in the 100’s of comments on this video that are out there. If you go looking for these comments, you may or may not find them. Why? Because those people who have posted this video are trying to do everything they can to damage Craig’s reputation, and the sport of reining in general, and are removing them as fast as they are posted. Please read on...

“These horses are the elite of their event and are capable of performing way above the average horse, If this is the worst example of abuse you can find in the sport, I think that the FEI and the NRHA are doing a great job monitoring for abuse and the trainers are doing a great job developing these athletes without abusive training. I am pretty sure that the riders hands and feel are way better than your observation skills. This horse is showing no signs of being abused.”

“I think people are reacting to what they think this feels like in their hands and to their horse, and I am sure if most people complaining tried this on their horse it would react like an abused horse. The trainer is not jerking, he is checking for resistance by picking his hand up.”

“After watching this video SEVERAL times and reading the varied comments I found myself unable to resist commenting. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING this trainer did should fall under the label "ABUSE". Did he school the horse? Yes! Could he be considered heavy handed by some? Maybe! But abusive or inhuman? Hell NO!! This man was simply schooling a horse-nothing inhumane.”

“I watch our horses work every day, and NO I am not seeing the downtrodden look that some of you are. We treat our horses with the utmost respect, and they have a quality of life most people would kill for. What I see here is an edited video used to inflame those who don't understand actual training as opposed to simply riding. Note the distinction here-“ACTUAL TRAINING AS OPPOSED TO SIMPLY RIDING!”

“Maybe to some he is heavy handed, but in general no he is not. This video is simply a product of the bleeding hearts who feel that you can achieve an international level competitor with a special stick, string, or whatever method you feel can convince your horse to do as you please.”

“I always find it funny when people pass judgment on a trainer or even a discipline, with which they do not have any involvement. All of us involved with reining, cutting, or working cowhorse know what it takes to get the job done. And we also know our horses get more pampering than most Beverly Hills house wives.”

“That horse has a life better than me and you. She lives in one of the nicest barns in the world with full time care, spa, vet, and a trainer that loves his job. She understands her job, which is why she has won over 100k in earnings. He does not ask anything that she is not capable of... “

“Anyone who competes at high levels of competition is aggressive, but his horse is well trained and knows her job...he is not abusive he is demanding...big difference.”

“This guy is training a show horse at a high level of competition.”

Now, here are some comments that I found typical of those in support of the video, and to me, display a blatant level of ignorance, that it is hard to believe! I have chosen NOT to post the 100’s of comments that threaten all kinds of abuse on to Craig and his family. They are easily found and are not worth my time or energy to post here: Note my comments in yellow…

“If this is what it takes to make a reining horse….geeze, I wonder how Stacy Westfall ever did it with NO BRIDLE and riding bareback…. and she didn’t have to use the wall to force a slide.” (Do they honestly believe, that Stacy just decided one day to climb on her horse bareback and perform a reining freestyle? Do they not understand how much TRAINING with (AGAST)-a saddle and bridle with a BIT went into this horse in order to be able to do this performance???)

Is that how they train horses to stop? Running them into walls with their head between their legs? Poor horse. (NO! That is NOT how they train horse to stop!! (NO they don’t “RUN THEM INTO THE WALL”! OMG!!)

When he was going backwards, I was thinking of that as a precursor to flipping over backwards. Then he almost ran into a wall! (ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!)

… oh and i just cannot get over the amazing skill of getting your horse to stop like that…. running her into a wall. poor thing hasn’t got a chance…( AGAIN-THESE PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING AT!!)

And my favorites…

“And what’s with the giant bandage on her knee?”


“And I forgot…how does he even justify riding her with her knee bandaged???!!! I mean he probably took it off during the performance, but still, looks like an injury waiting to be even more exacerbated” NOT… I so can’t be bothered to explain this…the ignorance is pathetic….

Here is my problem with all this…The MOTIVE with which this video was made, was to deliberately damage one person’s reputation by giving a highly edited glimpse of a situation that is easily misinterpreted by those who do not have the knowledge or background to understand the situation. I take HUGE offence to people passing judgment in this circumstance, and using this as their “soapbox” to cry abuse, and even more so, to use this as excuse to utter death threats and abuse onto an innocent party. It is disgusting and offensive.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A view of Reining from "the other side"

I came across this article on the NRHA's blog, and felt it was worth posting here. It is an interesting perspective on reining vs the English 4 day eventing, by John Strassburger, Horse Journal Performance Editor

Excerpts from Strassburger’s blog at

I spent last week at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, working in the Media Center, as I’ve done for the last five years, and I’ve come home with two observations after watching the reining competition, a new and very popular addition to the event.

More than 6,700 people came to watch the two nights of Reining, which isn’t that much compared to the 62,000 who came to watch the four days of eventing. Except that the Alltech Arena, where the Reining was held, can only hold about 5,000 fans, while the cross-country course can easily accommodate much more than the 29,000 fans who enjoyed that phase on Saturday.

It took 25 years for the three-day event to reach those numbers, after a lot of work to develop the competition into the truly spectacular event that it is and a great deal of (continuing) marketing and public relations. Reining’s debut, though, was basically sold out for the freestyle on Saturday night, and I suspect that people are going to have to buy those tickets early from now on.

Four event riders—2000 Olympic individual gold medalist David O’Connor; his wife, four-time Olympian Karen O’Connor; 2008 Olympic silver medalist Gina Miles; and Australian Hamish

Cargill—borrowed horses to ride in the freestyle, and afterwards they and some of us eventing press types pondered Reining’s appeal to the fans. We were impressed by the way the crowd’s enthusiastic cheering had created an electric atmosphere rarely seen in equestrian competition. “I think there is a lot we could learn from Reining,” said David, who’s been the USEF president since 2004 and has seen a few reining events.

The biggest topic we pondered was what we could borrow from Reining to increase the connection fans feel to the competition and to the competitors? Reining is presented more like a concert or a stage show than a serious competition. The announcer plays country music or beat-driven rock music during the gaps between competitors, and even during the FEI-sanctioned event on Friday night, every horse performed with music selected by the show manager at only a slightly lower volume. And on both nights the announcer introduced each horse and rider with a tone and excitement that was closer to a monster-truck show than a golf tournament.

As a result, the crowd did lots of cheering and screaming—before, during and after each ride.

These aspects showed in stark contrast to the dressage phase we’d watched (and Karen and Hamish had ridden in) on Thursday and Friday. There, the atmosphere was hushed, rather like a putting green, as the British-accented announcers serenely introduced the horses and riders, with no music playing.

Nevertheless, the fans in the Rolex Stadium—10,962 on Friday and 6,810 on Thursday—did cheer mightily at the end of each test, often seriously surprising the horses.

We weren’t quite sure what eventing (as well as the other two Olympic sports of show jumping and dressage) could borrow from Reining. A particular challenge is that international-caliber horses in these three disciplines are almost always high-octane horses who would become unhinged by pounding music and cheering during their tests. Plus, Reining’s atmosphere would be outrageous to many Europeans and to many dressage riders, European or American.

But why couldn’t show managers and announcers raise the bar and borrow from the managers and announcers of Reining and rodeo? Play low-volume music; tell the folks something interesting—with excitement—about the horses and riders. Anything to make it less like watching a chess match.

At events like Rolex Kentucky, the announcers always attempt to explain how the (dressage) horses achieve their scores, and riders analyze where they gained and lost points, to themselves and in response to journalists’ questions. The scores the judges give are a major point of focus for everyone, and riders often question or criticize those scores.

But in Reining, the scores seem to materialize out of thin air. I’ve probably covered or worked at half a dozen reining competitions, and I’ve yet to hear a reiner question or criticize a judge’s marks.

These differences are, I think, largely a matter of culture and personality, but they’re manifested in the different sports’ public presentation. After last year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, there was tremendous debate about the relative merits and faults of a Spanish Andalusian who performed an expressive and hugely popular freestyle test—finishing to waves of cheering—but didn’t get a medal. Dressage purists, including the judges, pointed to technical deficiencies they saw, and analysis of the marks showed that the horse had scored clearly lower on the technical side than the medalists.

Meanwhile, others cried, “How can dressage ever be popular if the most engaging and popular performance doesn’t win, doesn’t even get a medal? People won’t watch what they don’t understand.”

In the Reining freestyle on Saturday night, the winner wasn’t the showiest or the funniest. His freestyle was done to a more melancholy song, and while beautiful, it didn’t have the same flavor as those done to more raucous music with showier choreography and costumes. And he did spin better and galloped faster than everybody else. I’d say that in the aftermath he got a bit overwhelmed by the eventing “celebrities” and by the two more entertaining performances, but I didn’t hear anyone complain that it was a blot on Reining’s reputation that he got the highest score.

I seem to be suggesting that those of us in the Olympic disciplines pay too much attention to the scores, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near that simple. How do you have a competition if you don’t keep score? You can’t—then it’s just a demonstration or a social event. But maybe we could make it just a bit more fun?

If these thoughts seem a bit scattered, it’s because they are. The atmosphere at the Reining freestyle is something I’ve only rarely experienced in 30 years of covering equine competitions. That it’s fun and popular and that we English disciplines should glean some sort of “take-away message” from that experience feels obvious, but it’s hard to figure out exactly what that message should be.

But I’d certainly pay good money to see a dressage freestyle with a horse is wearing an Afro wig and sunglasses and the rider wearing a psychedelic, thigh-length mini-dress and white go-go boots.

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this posting. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests, or questions.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Love it! A Reining Shetland Pony!

Pictures (Screen captures from attached video, below)
Check it out. Here is a video of a shetland pony completing NRHA reining pattern 8. (Scroll down the page until you find"Fred Thomsson & Engla Gillstrom Steiner)
This is so cute, and once again is a good demonstration of the fact that ANY horse can do a reining pattern! And I LOVE the commentator!

Riverslide 2011 update

I am so sorry to report this but Riverslide 2011 has been canceled. At this point, this is all the information I have. If you have sent in entries, I am sure they will either destroyed or returned to you. If I get more details I will post asap. I am personally VERY disappointed as it had been my goal to make this the only other show I planned to get Twister to this year, as it coincided with her time at the trainers. :(

UPDATE, May 30th

Here is a message from the WCRA president in regards to the cancellation:

To: All members From: Kim Stordahl
Re: Riverslide
Unfortunately due to the current situation in the horse industry with the EVH1 virus, Riverslide has been canceled. This is very disappointing to the host chapter, Thompson River Reiners, and to all WCRA members and show competitors; however it was the best decision for the show. Riverslide will be back again in 2012 with some new changes you are all sure to like.
The WCRA executive committee is working towards having a third qualifying show for the WCRA/NRHA affiliate series and will have more information soon. As soon as we get more information, details will be posted online on the WCRA website and sent out by email to WCRA members – stay tuned for these updates!
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the WCRA executive committee at
Thank you for your understanding.
Kim Stordahl WCRA President

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tom McCutcheon wins FEI Reining World Final

Picture: Tom McCutcheon riding Darlins Not Painted. Image taken from Tom McCutcheons website
The following article was taken form the Horse Channel

Set in a beautiful arena and in front of a capacity crowd, the 2011 FEI World Reining Final was an electric atmosphere at Bökebergs Gård, Sweden, just outside of Malmö. The best reining horses in the world contested the highly coveted title and Tom McCutcheon of the United States was flawless in his effort to the top of the podium.

Riding Darlins Not Painted to an extraordinary score of 229.5, McCutcheon - the double-Gold medalist at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games - added another Gold medal to his impressive resume and continues his dominance of international high-performance reining events. Darlins Not Painted is owned by Turnabout Farm.

In the Silver medal position, also from the U.S., Craig Schmersal aboard Miss Lil Addy Tude, owned by KC Performance Horses, gave the crowd a thrill with an incredible score of 227.5. Schmersal, showing on the mare at only the second FEI Reining event, had nothing but praise for his mount, and the attractive American Quarter Horse was one of the crowd favorites from the first horse inspection.

Rounding out the medals podium was the always-strong Bernard Fonck, representing Belgium and riding Great Sunburst. The pair earned a Bronze position for their effort and a score of 226.5. Great Sunburst is an American Quarter Horse and is owned by Manuel Bonzano of Italy.

In the restricted division, it was Rieky Young of The Netherlands in the Gold medal position riding Brady Chex, owned by Brady Bunch, with a score of 220. In Silver, Nico Hörmann of Germany aboard Custom Blackberry, owned by Riccardo Abati, turned in a solid score of 217.5. And in Bronze, Fenna Elzinga of Denmark rode her own Smoking Kills to a score of 216.5.

Long lines of excited fans queued up outside Bökeberg arena and the reining athletes did not disappoint. Spotless runs and precise maneuvers made the scores very high and the crowd rewarded each rider with jubilant praise. The event was declared a success by organizers and has received very positive feedback from attendees, athletes and sponsors. The people of Sweden made each and every visitor feel welcome, and the facilities, field of play and event planning were lauded by the top riders.

Reining is a sport born of the American West with maneuvers similar to those a working ranch horse might have been asked to perform on day-to-day tasks. Today, the sport has exploded around the world as the level of technical sophistication and horsemanship style has evolved into an intricate and beautiful display of power and finesse.

Now represented on six continents and in more than 40 nations, the sport of reining is an internationally approved event under the FEI, the international governing body for equestrian sport. The incredible success of the sport at the recent 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) gave Reining significant momentum for continued growth worldwide.

For full results and links to videos of the top runs, visit For more information on the 2011 FEI Reining World Final, please contact Brad Ettleman of HorsePower, Inc., the official Organizing Committee, at or 720.982.3574.

Here is the Youtube link to the gold medal run. WOW!

EVH-1 Update

Here is the latest update from Paton and Martin Veterinary Services, a well established and reputable Equine Veterinary Clinic, in the Lower Mainland, written May 19th.

As of this date we have now confirmed that the 1 horse in the Fraser Valley that attended the cutting horse competition in Ogden Utah has been tested and shown to be free of the EVH 1 virus. The horse has shown no signs of this disease. This horse has been in quarantine since the outbreak was first reported. None of the horses that might have initially contacted this horse has shown any sign of the disease.

We feel compelled to address the outrageous rumours and paranoia that has developed over this unfortunate outbreak. This disease has been confined to horses that attended or who had direct contact with the Ogden Cutting horse show. Only a few Quarter Horses who attended Ogden have developed symptoms and died, to our knowledge less than 10 from Washington to Texas. NONE IN B.C. There are very few horses that have been exposed to Ogden horses that have come down with symptoms.

There are 3 sick horses in the interior of B.C., all at a quarantined private stable. TO OUR KNOWLEDGE THERE ARE NO KNOWN CASES IN ANY HORSES THAT HAVE NOT BEEN EXPOSED TO QUARTER HORSES WHO ATTENDED OGDEN.

Virtually every horse over the age of 2 has been exposed to the Herpes virus. The neurological form of the disease has been present and diagnosed in B.C. on previous occasions over the last 30 years. Vaccinations are not effective in preventing this disease. Vaccination in the face of an outbreak or stressed horses is not advised. Any time horses are congregated and/or stressed there is risk of an outbreak of a contagious disease such as EHV 1. This disease is primarily spread by direct contact with an infected shedding horse. Direct and immediate contact with nasal secretions on tack, hands, clothing etc. could potentially spread the disease. The virus survives for only a very short time out of the horse. Drying and disinfectants kill virtually all viruses.

Our practice enforces strict biosecurity measures on all horses attending our hospital or that are under our care at all stables. This outbreak serves to sensitize horse owners as to the importance of maintaining good biosecurity measures when attending shows and when new horses come on to your property. Due to excellent compliance by the owners of the horses in B.C. who had horses at Ogden or exposed to Ogden horses, it appears that the spread of this problem in B.C. has been stopped.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

West Coast Classic Entry Forms now available

Entry forms are now available for the WCRA's premiere event, West Coast Classic. You can download the entry form from the WCRA's website. Entry Fees must be postmarked by June 15th.
Volunteers and Sponsors are needed in order to make this show a success. So even if you aren't planning to show, what a great opportunity to get involved and learn more about the sport of reining from the ground level.

DONATE to the West Coast Classic Wine Auction ~ be part of the fun and help raise funds for the show
* each bottle donated will be tagged with the donor's name or business card
* members, friends & businesses are all encouraged to donate

Call Sharon 604 202-9131 to arrange for drop off in person at the WCC or with a sealed bid by mail as an individual or form a bidding group

BID on the wine collections:
(All wines and donors will be listed on the West Coast Classic website)

1. WINE COLLECTION #1 all wines valued at $25 or over
2. WINE COLLECTION #2 all wines valued at under $25

Place all of the bottles on a table and let each person choose one bottle in rotation or Get together & divide the bottles by:
* wine varietals and have wine tastings
* price range and have wine tastings
* countries and have theme dinners for each country
the options are endless!
For full details please visit the West Coast Classic website at

So how about it, Sliders?? Should we donate as a club a few bottles? Would members be interested in getting together to put forward a bid for one of the collections??

Fraser Valley Reining Club Schooling Show

The Fraser Valley Reining Club is hosting a Reining Schooling Show on Sunday, June 6th. This is a great opportunity to practice a few patterns before the WCRA West Coast Classic. You can get more details reagrding the show at the Fraser Valley Reining Club's website.

Here's the latest installment of "You Be The Judge". How would you score this stop/rollback?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Riverslide Update

The Riverslide organizing committee met last night to discuss the fate of Riverslide in light of the EVH outbreak (See blog post below). The following is an e mail I received from Kim Stordhal, WCRA president, and Riverslide member, as to the outcome of that meeting.

Hi Bella,

We did meet and we are still planning to go ahead with the show as planned right now. We have decided that we will not be charging any late entry fees though. Anyone who sends in their entries before May 28th will be in the regular draw and anything received after May 28th will go at the bottom of the order of go but NO late entry fee will be charged. If you are coming though we ask that you let us know so we can ensure we have proper number of stalls available.

We are having another meeting closer to the show to discuss any new information that becomes available and how things progress regarding the EHV-1 virus ....but as of the moment we are going ahead as planned.

Hope we can see you there!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

I just wanted to thank my viewers! Over the weekend the Sliders Blog passed the 10,000 views mark. Since I only started the count this past fall, that means all of those views have been in the last eight months!!
However, you are a quiet bunch! I rarely receive comments...which in my mind would make this blog truly successful. So I invite you, especially if you are a regular reader, to help make this blog a good place for people to "join the conversation". Start with this post by telling me who you are, what you like about the blog, what you would like to see more of, or any other tidbits of information you would like to share!


I received the following email from Nicole this morning:

Dear Nicole,

Kamloops Large Animal Veterinary Clinic
May 14, 2011

This is a quick update on the EHV outbreak in North America. It has hit British Columbia. The best way to control this disease is to slow down horse movement. Rhino, EHV 1 or Equine Herpes Virus causes fever, decreased coordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise.

Jennifer Jackson, DVM.

Kamloops Large Animal Veterinary Clinic

Equine Herpes Virus Confirmed in 2 Colorado Horses

The disease has been confirmed in 2 horses that came from the cutting horse show in Ogden, Utah. This is also the suspected cause of a illness in a horses that returned B.C. this week. NO horses in B.C. have died. It is recommended at this point that all horses that attended the cutting horse show in Ogden are quarantined at their home. All horses on those farms also need to stay home and have their temperatures taken twice daily. They should quarantine at home for 30 days.

EHV-1 is not transmissible to people; it can be a serious disease of horses that can cause respiratory distress, neurologic disease, and death. The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contact. The virus can also spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing, and hands.

From what I understand, a ranch in Merrit has been quarantined. (UP DATE-I HAVE NOT HEARD ANYTHING TO CONFIRM THIS-AT THIS POINT IT APPEARS THAT THIS IS NOT THE CASE-READ BELOW). The Riverslide committee is meeting tomorrow to decide the fate of Riverslide. I will keep you updated to any information I receive..


"In British Columbia:

There are three confirmed cases in Vernon. These horses were at the Ogden show and all three have been contained and are being treated.
This posted by Paton & Martin Veterinary Services Ltd., Aldergrove, B.C.:
“First of all, there is no need to panic but we must be careful. We are monitoring the situation closely and are in contact with veterinarians in the area and the USA.

“There has been an outbreak of a neurological form of Herpes virus disease referred to as EHV 1. The outbreak is associated with horses that attended the recent Cutting Horse championship in OGDEN, Utah. This is a similar virus but different strain of what we refer to as “Rhino”. We vaccinate against the respiratory and abortion form. These vaccines do not protect against the neurological form. No vaccine in the market claims that is effective against the neurological form of the disease.

“Despite rumors to the contrary, following conversations with veterinary colleagues in the Province, it appears that the affected horses have been identified and are confined and quarantined in a single private stable in the Okanagan Valley. TO OUR KNOWLEDGE THERE ARE NO CASES IDENTIFIED SO FAR (May 16, 2011) IN THE FRASER VALLEY. The only horse in the Fraser Valley that was at Ogden, Utah is 9 days post-exposure and is showing no clinical signs.....

Here’s a selection of important information useful to the subject, and how it may affect your horses, and particularly, your traveling with horses at this time.

This is not an outbreak limited to cutting horses.

While one outbreak appears to have presented at the Ogden, Utah show, there is some information that at least one of the infected horses had already attended or passed through several Canadian equine venues. It is possible the virus was present in Alberta and possibly Saskatchewan before the Ogden show. Please remember, this is not confirmed. The point is, cross-contamination is certainly possible. Consider not only where your horses have been for the past 20 days, but also, who has been in contact with them, whether at an event, or at home.

The best preventative is common sense bio-security.

The virus is transmitted via direct and indirect contact, and to a lesser degree, through the air. Transmitting, or “shedding” the virus through respiratory channels is the most common, and generally lasts for seven to 10 days, but it can persist longer. If your horse has been in a high-risk situation, a 28 day isolation period is recommended by the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

(If your horse was present at the Ogden, Utah show, you should let your veterinarian know. And remember, while the disease is not reportable federally, it is in some provinces, such as Alberta.)

Don’t underestimate the power of indirect transmission such as nasal secretions left on equipment, tack, feed and other surfaces. The AAEP suggests it is “an important route of transmission of the virus. Indirect transmission occurs when infectious materials (nasal secretions, fluids from abortions etc.) are moved between infected and un-infected horses by people or fomites (inanimate objects).

Poor hygiene (such as lack of handwashing) and sharing of equipment are often responsible. People who have touched or otherwise come in contact with infected horses should change their clothes and thoroughly clean and disinfect their hands before handling other horses.”

Whatever event you’re planning on attending with your horses over the coming weeks keep in mind it has been suggested the virus can survive for up to 35 days, but only if it is an ideal environment.

Some trainer facilities, particularly those which had horses in Ogden have voluntarily imposed isolations on their own facility – no incoming/outgoing horses, no lessons – as a preventative measure. Considering the contagious nature of the virus, this is a pro-active course we should all appreciate.

What is the primary symptom?

Often preceding other signs is the presence of a fever. If you are concerned be sure to take your horse’s temperature twice a day. This is easily done with a rectal thermometer. If you need a refresher on how to do this, read here. The temperature of a normal horse is below 38.5°C (or 101.5°F). According to Moore Equine Veterinary Center, “It is best if you can keep a record of the rectal temperature trends in your horse. Most infected horses will only show mild respiratory signs including coughing and nasal discharge. Early signs of the neurological form of herpesvirus usually involve incoordination of the hind limbs, urine dribbling or being unable to urinate.”

Is there a vaccine?

While there are several vaccines against EHV available, none of them state any protection against the neurological form of EHV infection. Check with your veterinarian to determine the validity of booster vaccinations in your animal’s case.

We touched base with Ashley Whitehead at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine to ask her some questions about the virus and what we can do to help prevent its prevalence in our midst.

There is some discussion that the cancelling of equine events for the next three weeks is in order. Is there wisdom in that, or is it overkill for the situation?

“The decision should be made with a risk assessment of the current situation. Any time we travel to a competition where there is mixing of horses from many locations there is a risk of transmitting infectious diseases. Many of us forget about this risk as we compete so regularly. At this time we don’t know the extent of the outbreak. Containing this virus is key to limiting the spread.”

The virus is carried airborne. How great of a distance do we need to worry about? Within coughing distance, or across the farmyard?

“The airborne aspect of virus is limited once it gets past the “coughing distance” but it can travel through ventilation as has been seen in previous outbreaks in veterinary teaching hospitals though this is a far less important method of transmission.”

Scenario: horse owner attended a horse show in a facility where two weeks prior, horses from a farm we now suspect was affected, were present. Should horse owner be concerned?

“Before answering I would ask a few more questions. My first questions would be: Are the “affected” horses confirmed EHV-1? Was there direct contact between the horses from the “affected” farm and your horses? Was there indirect contact (ie you or any object touched these horses, then touched your horse)? In most cases the answer to these questions will be no, but I would recommend monitoring rectal temperatures twice daily to watch for any signs of fever. Remember at this point only one horse has actually be confirmed positive with EHV-1 in Alberta and that horse has been quarantined appropriately. It is important to note that only a small portion of the horses that are exposed to the equine herpesvirus become neurologic. We are all concerned but at this point identifying any new cases (including horses that only get the respiratory form and horses that become neurologic) early and isolating them is key, so monitoring rectal temperatures is very important in any at risk horses.”

Thanks to Dr. Ashley Whitehead, instructor, Large Animal Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, for assistance with this post. Thanks to Western Horse Review intern, Jesseca Johanson, and writer and blogger, Melissa Sword for their help with research.

Thanks to everyone else for checking in, I hope you find this information helpful.

Finally, please ensure you are not spreading misinformation during this time. It’s unfair, useless and can be detrimental to trainers and owners who are practicing due diligence.





Thursday, May 12, 2011


This is brilliantly funny!! Have a look at this rider questioning a judge about her placing in a class...
Here's (in part) what the Fugly Blog had to say...I couldn't have said it any better...

"...They show up at a show with a horse they can’t ride, turned out in a manner that wouldn’t pass muster at 4-H. They are not in control; in fact, they are a hazard to other riders. They scoff at the idea that their horse needs professional training and instead brag that they are doing it all themselves because they have such a wonderful bond with their horse (who is running around on the wrong lead, bucking). Or they have exactly the trainer described in the video. And then, when they do not get a ribbon for exactly the reasons described in the video, they run around saying it’s all politics.
when you show up unprepared, untrained, out of control and looking like the equine edition of People of Walmart, you are not going to get a ribbon, and it is not the judge’s fault. The judge is a horse professional and it’s true that not all judges are equally talented (duh!) and it may also be true that the judge may have some preferences that are not your trainer’s preferences or last week judge’s preferences. But this is the nature of the game you have freely chosen to participate in. If you do talk to the judge to get input on your ride, please be polite and respectful and don’t argue or try to defend yourself. You just paid this person to critique you — don’t make them sorry for doing their job. If your horse wins under every other judge, and this particular judge hated him, and you had the same ride you always do, and the same horses were in the class, hey, that sucks but sometimes those are the breaks. More likely, your horse or you truly weren’t as good today as the horses who took home the ribbons. If that is happening every time, and you truly don’t know why (and your trainer cannot tell you why except to cry “politics!”), it’s time to haul out discreetly for a lesson with another trainer or two and see if perhaps the flawed opinion stalling your show career is your trainer’s and not the judge’s. Sometimes even a very talented trainer can just plain miss something, or fail to find a way to explain something to you in a way that allows you to correct it.

So don’t be the person in the video — be a grown-up, accept the criticism you paid for, save your bitching for the truck on the way home if you must vent, and come on back and do it again and again. That’s the only way you ultimately start papering your wall with ribbons!"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Some Prince George Spring Slide candids

Here are some of my more favorite pictures from the Spring Slide show. Due to the limitations of my camera and my level of knowledge, I don't get very good indoor pictures, especially if there is movement involved. Therefore, most of my good pictures are from the warm up pen!

There was a lot of testosterone flying around this weekend. Check out these fantastic studs. (And I'm talking about the horses). I think my next set of Stallion Spotlights should highlight some of the local talent we have right here in our backyard!

Gus Evangelopoulos and Drivin To Hollywood
Gus and his stud did well enough this weekend to pass the 30,000.00 in earnings mark!

Carl Woods and DS Boomin Enterprise (owned by Pam Fletcher)
Carl has shown this beautiful stud for a few years now and is always competitive in the open reining classes.

Marcelo Cruz and Spooks Starloena (owned by Ben Sawchuk)
Everyone was drooling over this gorgeous, talented stud sired by Smart Spook. I think he marked one of the highest scores of the weekend - a 75. (someone please correct me if I'm wrong on this)

Amanda Self and Great Night Spook (owned by Swan lake Ranch)
Here is another beautiful Smart Spook son that is doing great things in the show pen

We traveled to the show with my trainer and long time friend, Sherri Thomson. Casandra works as Sherri's assistant at the shows, and along with Sherri's student Jessica, and Jessica's mom we all helped with barn chores,, tacking up etc, to make everything move along smoothly. Sherri was showing her newly acquired gelding, Chick N Starlight, along with her young prospect, Spooks Fantasy, and her mare, EPR Frisky Reminic. Here are some of my favorite shots of the team this weekend...
Casandra warms up EPR Frisky Reminic (Nikki)

Sherri and her gelding Chic N Starlight (Badger) (sired by Smart Chic Olena)

Casandra and Sherri in the warmup pen

Jessica and Dolly (Sherri's Border collie) watching the action in the warm up pen

Jessica and her gelding, Colorado Chrome (Joe)
They had a very successful weekend winning the Beginner Reiner Open class as a post entry, and placing in the top 3 in her other classes.

It was nice to see local 70 Miler, Barry Davies show up with his horse, "Rockin Bear Paw". Hopefully we 'll see more of Barry on our Thursday night rides, and at upcoming shows! Having just participated in a reining clinic with JP Forget, Barry was hoping to put some of his newfound knowledge to the test.

Overall, it was a great weekend. Prince George puts on an awesome show, and all of the organizers are friendly and accommodating. There are 2 more shows hosted by the PGRHA the next one being their Ride N Slide, June 23-26th.

Prince George Spring Slide Follow Up

Top: Tiffany and Gypsy at Gus Evangelopoulos Clinic
Bottom: Casandra and Twister in the warm up pen

Unfortunately, I missed Tiffany and Mandy's classes, as they were done on Friday, and I started on Saturday, so I didn't get any pictures of them :( Sorry, ladies!
Once the professional proofs are up I will add a few shots to the blog.

Here is the press release for the Free Press and the Wolf Radio, re the Spring Slide.

Three members of the 100 Mile Sliders Reining Club traveled to Prince George this past weekend to participate in the Prince George Reining Associations, “Spring Slide 2011”. Competitors traveled from across British Columbia and Alberta to participate in the 4 day event that included classes in cutting, working cow horse and reining, for all levels of riders, from beginners to professionals.

The Sliders brought home some money and hardware, as Tiffany Vaughan won her Ranch Cutting class on her gelding Itty Bitty Gypsy, and Casandra Jakubiec placed third in the Beginner Horse Open Reining class, on her 4 year old mare, Gay Bars Major Twister. Although not in the money, Mandy Pincott, and her gelding, Rafter Dudes Chicado, had a respectable 7th place finish in a tough class of 20 entries.

Next up for the Sliders is Riverslide, the first in the Western Canadian Reining Association’s high point series, to be held in Kamloops June 3rd to 5th.

The Sliders get together to ride at the Outriders grounds every Thursday, from 6:30 to 8:30. New members are always welcome.

New Videos to view

CHECK IT OUT!! has just released new training video's adding to nearly 100 RTO's library of reining training videos: Bobby Dykes- Trimming Horse, Ben Balow-Schooling Techniques, Tracer Gilson- Futurity Prospects, Casey Deary- working with 2 years olds', Craig Johnson-Ground Work before your ride,Tom Foran-importance of body position.
If you are a Sliders member you have full access to this site. Please contact me for password information!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Let the games begin...

The trailers are packed, the horses are bathed, the patterns are studied, the silver is polished...

This weekend kicks off the beginning of the show season. For us reiners, we are headed to Prince George for the Spring Slide. The high school rodeo is in Williams Lake, and for those of us in 100 Mile, our local spring Outriders show should be well attended.

GOOD LUCK to everyone this weekend. Believe in all the hard work that you have put in to this point, and HAVE FUN!

For everyone traveling down the road, SAFE TRAVELS! Give yourself lots of time, and remember the complete trust your horse (that survives on his flight instinct), has put in you, to allow himself to be put into a little tin can, and then stand quietly while he hurtles down the highway at 100 km/hr!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Absolutley Priceless!

(All Pictures are screen captures from the You Tube video-see link below)

This horse being a palomino is definitely not false advertising-he's solid gold!! Have a look at 5 year old Wyatt Deery and his reining horse Dun Dual. The future of reining is in good shape if this is the face of our up and coming youth! This video made my day!

Entry Forms for WCRA's Riverslide are now available on the WCRA website.

This show will be held again at Circle Creek Equestrian Center in Kamloops, and is part of the WCRA high point series. It is also a WCRA/NRHA Affiliate series qualifier show. There is a full slate of beginner modified classes, as well as NRHA non pro and open level classes. Entry deadline is MAY 17!

A Message From our WCRA President

The following message is posted on the WCRA website, but due to the importance of it's contents,I thought I would share it here as well.
"April 21, 2011
Dear WCRA members,
I am writing this note to you, to bring to your attention the concern for reining shows in B.C. As you know Rockslide was cancelled this year due to another show being booked on the same weekend and the economy – the Rockslide show committee felt it was in their best interest to cancel. This is very unfortunate that we lost such a great show this year, but don’t worry....Rockslide will be back in 2012 with some changes that you are sure to like!
With all of this coming to light, it has come to our attention that West Coast Classic needs every members help and support to make it successful. The economy is taking a toll on sponsorship – sponsors are picking and choosing what they fund very wisely and unfortunately sponsorship is down this year. Without sponsors and volunteers this premier B.C. Reining event will not be able to continue on to be the show it has been and support itself....which could mean a much smaller West Coast Classic show, possibly no WCRA NRHA affiliate series, a smaller WCRA high point series and to attend a reining show of the same caliber you will have to travel out of province and that is something a lot of competitors just cannot or are not prepared to do. We hope that you feel the same way we do, and want to see this show continue for everyone to attend and enjoy.
In order to help West Coast Classic 2011 we are suggesting for every member to take the attached sponsorship package and if they can try and fundraise $100 for West Coast Classic. Do you have an accumulation of recyclable that you could return to the bottle depot, do you have an employer that would be interested in sponsoring and receiving advertising, or do you have some other fundraising ideas for this premier event? West Coast Classic is EVERY MEMBERS show, it is not a chapter show, it is not the executive’s is WCRA’s show and that means we need everyone’s help to make this happen and to continue West Coast Classic the way it has been.
If you are able to help sponsor West Coast Classic or would like more information please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you,
Kim Stordahl WCRA President"

So how about it Sliders? Any suggestions on how we can sponsor or support our parent organization?? Please post your comments or suggestions in the comments section below.


(Pictures taken from Conquistador Whiz's website)

This past week, a new stud became a member of the Million Dollar Sire club. The following information is taken from the Conquistador Whiz website.

After the checks were cut for the 2011 National Reining Breeders Classic, Conquistador Whiz became NRHA’s newest Million Dollar Sire thanks to the performance of his offspring at the Katy, Texas show.

The sixteen-year-old Quarter Horse stallion is the 20th horse to make this milestone achievement. Conquistador Whiz, bred by Bob Loomis, came from the successful pairing of Loomis’ NRHA Seven Million Dollar Sire Topsail Whiz and the Bueno Chex mare Sugarita Chex. This match produced the first-ever third generation NRHA Million Dollar Sire. Conquistador Whiz’s grandsire Topsail Cody became an NRHA Million Dollar Sire in 1998. His sire Topsail Whiz joined the ranks in 2001.

"Conquistador Whiz earned more than $100,000 in the NRHA show arena and was the 2000 NRHA Open Derby Champion, 2000 National Reining Breeders Classic Open Derby Champion, 2002 USET Festival of Champions USEF Reining Champion and 2002 World Equestrian Games Gold Medal Team member and Individual Silver Medalist. NRHA Corporate Partner Silver Spurs Equine purchased the sire from George Shifrin in 2008. Conquistador Whiz’s leading offspring include: KR Lil Conquistador ($401,027 NRHA LTE and NRHA Open Futurity Champion), Quistador ($112,945 NRHA LTE and 2010 Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic John Deere Level 4 Open Futurity Champion), JD Conquista Anna ($56,429 NRHA LTE and 2006 Cinch NRHA Non Pro Futurity Champion), Smart Dundee ($49,319 NRHA LTE and 2010 NRHA Futurity finalist in Open Levels 1-4) and Litn Up Conquistador ($49,105 NRHA LTE and Cinch NRHA Non Pro Futurity Champion)."

Conquistador Whiz's 2011 breeding fee is 3500.00

Carmen Teixeria Reining/WP Clinic

(Click on poster for larger view)
Carmen Teixeria will be conducting a Reining/Western Pleasure Clinic, June 11-12 in Kelowna, BC. For more information, you can contact Amanda at 250-763-8253, or e mail
The following information on Carmen is taken from her website.
Carmen has successfully shown & trained horses for the public for over 13 years in Reining & Western Pleasure. Having ridden with the legendary Bob Grimshaw for over 10 years before spending 1 1/2 as an assistant trainer to 2 Time World Champion (AQHA, NRCHA) Jason Grimshaw in Texas, where she showed & trained both reiners & working cowhorses, Carmen has now established herself as an accomplished trainer & coach here in BC for riders & horses of all skill levels. Her training program is upfront & honest & the horses are provided with the best care possible.
You can read more about Carmen and her accomplishments at her website, Teixeria Performance Stables

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lyle Lovett adds star power to reining event

The article below was taken from the following site:

PICTURE: Lyle Lovett riding Smart and Shiney, Photo by Pablo Alcala

At the Kentucky Horse Park on Friday night, a gutsy group of amateur reining riders competed against some of the top professionals in the sport in the 2011 Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup.

They held their own, and they said they loved the chance to ride with the best.

Four-time Grammy Award winner Lyle Lovett said riding in the Alltech Arena was a thrill. This was the first year that reining was included in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

"I was here for the World Equestrian Games, and when I was invited to ride in the Rolex, nothing was keeping me from doing that," said Lovett, who rode his horse Smart and Shiney on the Ariat corporate team.

With a busy music schedule, Lovett said he doesn't get to ride "nearly enough. But I ride every chance I get." He performs a show in North Carolina on Saturday night.

Also on the team were Canadian rider Lisa Coulter, who rode in the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, and Shawn Flarida, a member of the gold medal reining team at WEG. The Ariat Team finished fourth in the team competition.

Another amateur, Mandy McCutcheon, competes occasionally against pros, but not often against the likes of her husband, Tom McCutcheon, and her father, Tom McQuay, both of whom rode in Friday night's competition.

Both men were on the gold medal reining team at WEG.

With sassy charm, Mandy McCutcheon said of women competing against top-flight men, "Anything they can do, we can do better, right?" She finished fourth among the 20 contestants, riding Don Julio Whiz. She had ridden the horse only twice before, both times earlier this week.

Mandy was on the first-place Clark Oil team with her father and Sam Smith.

Flarida finished as the top individual rider, winning $50,000 in prize money. He rode KR Lil Conquistador, a horse with career earnings of $440,000.

Flarida, who lives outside of Dayton, Ohio, is one of reining's top money winners with $4 million in prize money in his career.

In a media conference after the awards ceremony, Tom McCutcheon said the publicity WEG brought reining has been a boost for the sport.

"We are growing and getting a new group of people interested in reining," he said.

In the audience Friday night were Gov. Steve Beshear and his wife, Jane, an accomplished rider who took a reining lesson last fall during WEG, and Wil James, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing's plant in Georgetown.

Reining results

Individual results, with rider, horse and score:

1 Shawn Flarida, KR Lil Conquistador 226.5

2 Craig Schmersal, Miss Lil Addy Tude 225.0

3 Craig Schmersal, Mister Montana Nic 224.5

4 Mandy McCutcheon, Don Julio Whiz 223.0

5 Tom McCutcheon, Chic Olena Starbuck222.5

6 Tim McQuay, Rudy Dun It 221.0

7 Casey Hinton, Play Dual Rey 220.5

8 Craig Schmersal, Dancer Nic 220.5

9 Shane Brown, Houston Shine 220.0

10 Mandy McCutcheon, Chexy Dunit 218.5

11 Sam Smith, Paid By Corona 218.0

12 Jose Vazquez, Wound By Juice 218.0

13 Mathew Palmer , Whale Of A Whiz 217.0

14 Lisa Coulter , Western Whiz 217.0

15 Pete Kyle, Whizs Bronze Star 215.5

16 Jared Leclair , Electric Code 215.0

17 Lisa Coulter, Hollywood Aces 215.0

18 Cynthia M. Bearden, High Roller Rooster214.5

19 Marilyn Farley, She Supreme Chic 209.5

20 Lyle Lovett, Smart And Shiney 207.5

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Randy Ophus Reining Clinic

Pictures (All taken from Randy's web page)

Randy Ophus of Ophus Performance Horses in Vanderhoof, BC, will be coming to Williams Lake to do a reining clinic, June 11, 12th. Visit Randy's website for more information or to contact him about participating in this clinic.