Big Time Color and Big Time Winners: POA Futurity and Equine Chronicle Color Classic Night at the Reichert
“Fantastic Friday” is the best way that this sunny Texas day could be described in Fort Worth at the Reichert Celebration! Fifteen years of Reichert fun have lead to a wonderful all-breed experience that has something for everyone. The show grounds was the busiest it’s been all week, and smiles were all around from exhibitor to spectator. Even the Texas heat wasn’t getting people down! For a few lucky exhibitors, their Reichert Celebration included winning one of the more well known classes: the coveted Equine Chronicle Color Class Open and Limited Division Class or POA McClaren Futurity!
The main events started at 5:00, with a presentation of the Color Classic exhibitors/owners and the Four Star Trailer that is awarded to the POA and Color Classic winner, donated by Wyane Hodges. Although this class is no longer a specified Maiden event, there was a special Maiden Bonus! A Tobiano bonus was also awarded to the highest placing tobiano horse. Even more bonuses were available, with a $500 bonus for the highest placing first time exhibitor and a $1,000 bonus donated by the Archer Family for the highest placing Youth or Non Pro exhibitor.
The Open Division of the Color Class began with 12 riders, featured spots and dots and everything in between! Judges were Dean Bogart, Kim Myers, Gretchen Mathes and a nominated Carl Yamber. Eight riders were called back from the first split to compete in the finals Eleven riders joined the colorful crew in split two, where another eight were chosen to complete the 16 that would make up the finals.
The final split of the Open Division had some sporadic individual placings, with the judges placing all over the board. The final placings were called out to great cheers from all over the arena, with A Man To Reckon With (palomino) winning the first maiden bonus in eight place. Talk About Lazy won the Tobiano bonus in seventh place. The Non Pro bonus was awarded to Laced By Chocolate in sixth place. Sittin On Certain was awarded a $500 maiden bonus in fifth place. Thisblazeisgettinghotter was awarded a $650 maiden bonus on top of teh award check in fourth place. A second place tie brought in tie-braker judge Kim Myer’s score, awarding third place to Flashy Looking Touch, ridden by David Archer. Splitting the $2,342.00 check was second place rider My Sensational Star, ridden by Carly Veldman Parks. My Sensational Star was also awarded the Phil Harris headstall, and an $800.00 maiden bonus. Proving that the couple that rides together, wins together, her husband Wade Parks rode Sensational Design to first place, being awarded the Reichert buckle, $1,000 Miaden Bonus, $500 APHA Highest Placing First Rider bonus and a check for $3,777.00!! The exuberant Wade swung Carly around in a big hug after win pictures were taken. Congratulations to all riders! The ecstatic couple was married in July of this year. What a great way to start a marriage!
But things didn’t stay quiet in the show pen for long, there was a mounted shooting demonstration in between the Equine Color Classic Open class and POA Futurity! Riders demonstrated how to run a mounted shooting pattern, proving just how quiet horses can be and how hard it is to be a sharp shooter on top of a swiftly moving horse. Riders had to weave through the balloons that were their targets, around barrels, around and back again shooting the white balloons first and the red second. There is a five second penalty for each balloon missed in real competition.
It was announced that the Two Year Old Western Pleasure Stakes class will now be re-named the Dean Rogers Memorial Two Year Old Western Pleasure class, in honor of the late Dean Rogers. The show announced claimed he knew that Ron Reichert and Dean were holding hands, watching the show unfold with big smiles.
PleasureHorse.com would like to congratulate the smallest big-time winner of the week, Jenna Lee Despenas riding RPR Impulsive Superman, owned by Jessica Prish Fairchild, champions in the POA McClaren Futurity! Jenna unanimously beat out 22 other ponies in the POA Futurity, which was comprised of any age rider and ponies aged five and under. The pair took home a check for $1,125.00, as well as the use of a Four Star trailer for one year, and a $1,000 gift certificate for a custom hat! Second place went to owner/rider Janell Burton, riding Watch Me Sparkle who took home a check for $800 and a gift certificate for $250 from Kathy’s Custom Tails.
Finishing up the night was the Equine Chronicle Color Classic Limited Division. Eighteen horses showed to judged Adam Wainscott (who was voted by exhibitor’s choice), Jeffot Mellott, Tanya Green and Tony Burris. After an exciting class, Wade Parks was unanimous winner under all four judges! This repeat champion was riding Sensational Design, and took home the second Reichert Celebration belt buckle, as well as a check for $3,777.00. Second place went to A Man To Reckin With, ridden by RJ King. This adorable palomino loped around the pen like a star, but didn’t want to lope up to collect his award! Red tables are pretty scary, you know. Third place, and $1,964.00, was awarded to Thisblazeisgettinghotter, and fourth place was awarded to Carly Veldman Parks riding My Sensational Star, winning $1,511.00. Fifth place was Danny Desmond and Laced By Chocolate, who took home $1,284.00. Wade’s exit was playfully followed with the announcer playing “I’m Sexy And I Know It”. Congratulations to such an outstanding training couple! We’re looking forward to seeing more big things from the Parks.
JR Reichert and the entire Reichert Celebration crew has put on quite the show this week, hosting five breed shows and the NSBA/Stakes/Futurity classes. I was able to talk to JR Reichert and Operations Manager Jon Barry earlier in the day about how the show has been going leading up to these last few “big” days of the show. “We are extremely happy with how things have been going,” said Jon. “The Arabians were up 42%… POA was up, APHA was up… the NSBA had a great turnout. We’re working on revamping classes for next year to make things even better.” Jon had a big smile about the participants of this year’s show. “Everyone has been so happy and in great spirits,” he commented. “It’s really become a fun, fun show again. Even the judges have commented about what a great time they had. Very little complaints about the show.”
“Fort Worth really likes having us here,” Jon explained. “The facility and people here have been great! It’s been a wonderful experience overall.” JR had to agree. “This whole experience has been great, especially our Pleasure Series.” The new Western Pleasure Series is a brainchild of JR, designed to give all trainers and non pros a chance to play. Certain limitations on amounts of money won and World/Congress champions mean that the “remaining 80% who don’t always win have a shot.” JR explained.
“I really enjoyed it,” shared Jim Chafin, who showed in all four Open Pleasure Series events and other classes. The Pennsylvania trainer (that’s a 21 hour drive!) has been having a “pretty good show. I think [the Pleasure Series] is a great addition to the Reichert. It gives a lot of opportunity for younger trainers, like myself, to have a place to shine and be recognized like some of these horses should be. A really smart move for this show, and I would love to see more of it. I will absolutely do it again.”
“I predict it will become some of the largest classes out there in the pleasure industry,” commented JR, obviously pleased with the initial turnout. “We had very limited advertising for this event, and it has been wonderful. Most of it was by word of mouth. A lot of trainers were tickled with the series.”
Jamie Zuidema from Iowa also agreed. “Excellent. A great place to bring horses that may not be able to win at the World show. I’ve got plans to show in it next year, and think it will really take off. It’s been a very good show, as always.” Jamie showed in the Junior Western Pleasure Series class, the Three Year Old Open Western Pleasure Series and Open Senior Western Pleasure Series, as well as various other events.
“We have plans to bring it back even bigger next year,” says JR of the series. “I don’t doubt it will be as large as 20 classes.” We at PleasureHorse.com hope to see this event continue to grow, as it has been great fun to see the “new kids on the block”!
Tomorrow is another huge day at the Reichert Celebration: The Reichert Stakes Sale begins at 9:00 am, selling broodmares, embryos, as well as the hunter under saddle and western pleasure prospects. Yearlings sold in this year’s event are eligible for he 2014 Reichert Celebration Stakes class. Tomorrow also marks the inaugural Western Pleasure Super Sires class, a Three Year Old Non Pro Western pleasure class, as well as a Limited Non Pro. Also tomorrow is the Equine Sports Medicine Two Year Old Open Stakes Championship! And… cinnamon rolls? The Rock-N-Roll fundraiser goes on tomorrow night, where interested parties can purchase a cinnamon roll from The Sweet Shop, and may get the chance to win a filigree, rose gold 14K diamond band ring, donated by Hannah Fine Jewelry. This “rock” in your “roll” is worth $2,800! Proceeds of this event go towards the Reichert Foundation Scholarship, designd to help equine loving students pay for school.
We can’t wait to see what else is in store for tomorrow… good night from Fort Worth!
All photos courtesy of Shane Rux Photography, official pphotographer of the Reichert Celebration. To view more photos, and to order prints, click here!