Friday, June 24, 2005
Horse Show Gets Rolling
Brookings Register Online - Horse Show Gets Rolling
Horse show gets rolling
BY JOHN ANDREWS
Championship competition in the Arabian Horse Association's 2005 Region 6 Arabian Horse Show officially is under way today at the Larson Ice Center.
Hundreds of horses and handlers from across Region 6 (which includes Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota) have been in town since Tuesday, taking part in the pre-show competition. Those who earned enough points to qualify for the regional competition get started today.
Winners in the youth portion qualify for nationals, held in Tulsa, Okla., in July. Adult winners advance to nationals in Louisville, Ky., in November.
While the show draws people young and old from many places across the Upper Midwest, there seems to be one constant among them. Arabian horses have been a part of their lives for as long as they can remember.
Gail Jensen, from Blair, Neb., has one English horse, "Just Breezin,'" competing this weekend. She got heavily involved in Arabians after getting married. Her husband had two Arabian mares at the time, she says.
"So that's how I got into it, and I was always a horse lover," Jensen says. "I've been raising and showing Arabians for 40 years plus. I'm what you call an 'old timer.'"
Jensen says she has horses in Kansas City, Georgia and Arizona. Because of that, she typically competes in between two and four regional shows each year. This weekend's show is her third regional so far in 2005.
"I get to a lot of regionals that are close to those areas," Jensen says. "We like coming up here. Because I'm from a small town, I like the flavor of Brookings. I like coming here. It's a great city, the people are friendly and we have a great time. It's nice and relaxed."
She said Wednesday her horse had a good pre-show, and was ready to begin championship competition.
And her goal? Probably the same for everybody else in town this week.
"I'd like to win a regional championship," she said with a laugh. "Or two."
Deb McGuire's association with Arabians started when she was a child. Riding lessons got it all started for McGuire, a Sioux Falls woman who now serves as the Region 6 director.
"That got me interested in the horses. I ended up buying a horse; there were people who had Arabians. I ended up showing other people's Arabians. I started training my own horses when I was 14."
She doesn't have any of her own horses competing this week, but is showing horses for many of her clients.
Showing in the youth portion of the competition is 8-year-old Hayley Haertel, of Sioux Falls. Haertel's mother, Denise, got Hayley interested in Arabians.
"It's me," Denise says. "I've been showing horses for 20 years, and now she's just following in my footsteps."
Hayley's horse is called "Justi." They compete in a walk/trot class.
"They show in walk/trot application, which is judged on how well she rides the horse, and then they show in walk/trot pleasure, which is judged on how she makes the horse perform," Denise explained. "They have, really, two classes she can ride in."
Hayley says one of the things she enjoys about working with horses is the comfort they can provide.
"Sometimes it's fun because if you're sad, you just talk to your horse and they make you feel better," she says.
Hayley and Justi had a good pre-show, getting four thirds and a second.
"I've never been to anything like this before," Hayley said. "I'm nervous."
She said her goal is to finish in the top five in her class this weekend.
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The Brookings Register - Online Edition
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