Show Season Starts in the Southwest
The Southwest Quarter Horse Association held its first show of the 2015 season over the weekend of January 17-18. Dona County Fairgrounds in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the home site of the show, features an outdoor and covered arena, as well as more than 100 covered stalls. The weather was cooperative with highs in the mid 60’s and sunshine all day. The conditions could not have been more perfect! Judges for the show were Leo Fourre of Edina, Minnesota, and Allen Mitchels of Michigan City, Indiana, who provided the contestants with solid judging and excellent feedback. The show welcomed a wide range of entries from first-time competitors to AQHA world show finalists. Each competitor was able to find an appropriate level of challenge, and all were treated with SWQHA hospitality.
Saturday hosted what the locals call “Cow Day,” with reining, ranch riding (formerly ranch horse pleasure), boxing, working cow horse, breakaway roping and ranch sorting. Ranch riding continues to be the most popular class, with more 40 entries. Perhaps it was the excellent weather, but entries were strong for all classes at the show.
Those who chose to pre-enter were rewarded with the chance to win a gift from Jessica’s Custom Creations. Cattle provided by SWQHA member Rylan Walters were enjoyed by every contestant and were noted to be quick and challenging. The day ended with ranch sorting under the bright lights.
Sunday began with great weather and temperature, as English classes opened the day. The show is carefully scheduled with competitors in mind to allow for tack and clothing changes, and the perfect weather allowed contestants to show in the outdoor arena while the covered arena served as an excellent warm-up area. Halter classes were next, with strong entries and a competitive field. The show moved along at a great pace with showmanship and trail classes following. The trail course featured new equipment this year donated by SWQHA member Kathleen Walker. Western pleasure and horsemanship classes finished the day with a field of riders still fresh in the warm New Mexico winter weather.
To read the full article on AQHA.com, click here.