April 2011

Kentucky Reining Cup – CRI5*

April 30, 2011

KR Lil Conquistador wins Kentucky Reining Cup.

By Larri Jo Starkey

When the professional announcer became ill at the Kentucky Reining Cup, AQHA Professional Horseman Pete Kyle stepped up to the mike to explain reining to the crowd. (Larri Jo Starkey photo). To see more photos, scroll to the slide show below.

With a solid 226.5 score, Shawn Flarida of Springfield, Ohio, slid into first place April 29 on KR Lil Conquistador at the Kentucky Reining Cup.

The event is the only CRI5* reining in the western hemisphere this year, with $50,000 in prize money.

Right behind KR Lil Conquistador were Miss Lil Addy Tude and Mister Montana Nic, both shown by Craig Schmersal of Overbrook, Oklahoma.

KR Lil Conquistador, owned and bred Read the rest of this entry »

Kentucky Reining Cup – The Jog

April 29, 2011

Twenty horses enter the 2011 Kentucky Reining Cup and jog for soundness.

By Larri Jo Starkey

Rain threatens as Shane Brown jogs Houston Shine before the Kentucky Reining Cup. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) For more photos, scroll to the slide show below.

Let’s get the good news out of the way first: All the horses passed.

“We just trotted 20 horses, and I was very happy with how they trotted in terms of soundness,” said Dr. Terry Swanson of Littleton, Colorado. “That’s what our goal is right here. The horses were examined Read the rest of this entry »

Eternal Sun

April 29, 2011

AAA Racehorse, AQHA Champion and sire of champions, Eternal Sun was a beloved member of the Howard family for nearly two decades.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Legendary Quarter Horse stallion Eternal Sun and Harold A. Howard.

The late Harold A. Howard grew up on a farm and spent long summer days driving teams of heavy horses across the fertile Michigan landscape. He also dreamed of the horse he’d own one day: an eye-catching horse that could do it all. By the time he tilled his own farm with his wife, Darlene, and their six children, machines had replaced broad-backed draft horses, but his dream remained.

“Dad studied every Quarter Horse Journal,” Harold’s son, Dar Howard, says. “Then in 1966, he saw an ad for a production sale at B.F. Phillips’ ranch in Texas.”

“There was a photo of a proud stallion standing with his band of broodmares,” daughter Mary Kay (Howard) Smith continues. “Dad said, ‘I’m going to buy that horse,’ got in his car and drove to Texas.” Read the rest of this entry »

Royal Wedding: A Glass Coach For a Rolls-Royce

April 28, 2011

Kate Middleton is a modern-day Cinderella, but prefers a Rolls-Royce Phantom to four white horses for her wedding to Prince William.

By Lesley Martin for America’s Horse Daily

Two Bits dreamt of pulling Kate Middleton's carriage in the royal wedding. Carriage art by Ellie Martin.

England’s Prince William will marry commoner Kate Middleton tomorrow morning, and AQHA Mascot Two Bits thinks his invitation has been lost in the mail.

You see, he’d been following this fairytale romance since the beginning, and once they were engaged, he offered to help pull the bride’s Glass Coach from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, as is royal wedding tradition. But when there was no response, Two Bits became worried … “Surely the royal family will call any day now,” Two Bits thought as the big day approached.

But then, the heartbreaking news: Kate traded in a horse-drawn carriage for another type of horsepower – a Rolls-Royce. Read the rest of this entry »

Equine Influenza Virus

April 28, 2011

Learn more about how to help prevent this common infectious disease.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Pfizer Animal Health

Young horses are especially susceptible to the equine influenza virus. Journal photo.

Equine Influenza Virus
Equine influenza virus (FLU) is one of the most common infectious diseases affecting the respiratory tract in horses. According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, it commonly occurs in horses in the United States and throughout much of the world, with the notable exceptions of New Zealand and Iceland1.

What Is Equine Flu?
Equine influenza is a virus of the H3N8 subtype. Two different H3N8 subtypes appear in circulation internationally2. It is important to note that these are different than the flu strains affecting humans, and at this time, equine influenza viruses have not been reported to infect people. Read the rest of this entry »

Guess That Horse

April 27, 2011

AQHA’s “Guess That Horse” contest takes place right here at 1 p.m. C.D.T. on Wednesdays.

Here it is, fans! Who could this American Quarter Horse be?

The popular “Guess That Horse” on AQHA’s page on Facebook is now on America’s Horse Daily! To celebrate this exciting change, today’s winner will receive a one-year subscription to The American Quarter Horse Journal!

Eleven hints will be posted, one at a time, every few minutes on this page. Refresh your browser periodically for new hints. Please post your guesses into the “comments” box below. The first person to correctly identify the American Quarter Horse wins the prize.

The winner will be announced after all the hints are given; participants must provide a valid e-mail address to to be eligible for the prize.

Good luck! We’re excited to read your guesses.

Contest is closed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Basketball Lessons

April 27, 2011

Improve your competitive edge with advice from former NBA stars Bill Bradley and Tom Chambers.

From America’s Horse

The competition is stiff; mentally prepare yourself for show-ring success with these guidelines from former NBA stars. Journal photo.

In his book, “Values of the Game,” which was on the New York Times nonfiction best sellers list, former NBA star and U.S. Senator Bill Bradley lists a few key elements of competition that are especially applicable to competition with horses. Achieving competitive success, according to Bill, depends on many elements, including discipline, resilience and courage.

“The great thing about discipline,” Bill says, “is that you get an immediate return on your investment of time and effort: The harder you work, the sooner your skills will improve. Then the virtuous circle takes over. As your skills grow, you get a rush of self-confidence, which spurs you to continue working, and your skills increase all the faster.” Read the rest of this entry »

Color Genetics: Grullo and Palomino Cross

April 26, 2011

AQHA’s color specialist Lisa Covey predicts the color possibilites of a grullo-palomino cross.


What color would I get if I bred my grullo mare to a palomino son of Hollywood Dunit? My mare’s sire is a grullo, and her dam is dun. Her paternal grandsire is black, and her paternal granddam is a grullo. My mare’s maternal grandsire is black, and her maternal granddam is a buckskin.

– Bridgette



Thank you for your e-mail. To answer your question, your potential foal would not be a gray or roan. Read the rest of this entry »

Correct Rollback Position, Part Two

April 26, 2011

Al Dunning explains the common problems in a reining spin or rollback and how to fix them.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Al Dunning with Christine Hamilton in The American Quarter Horse Journal

A correct rollback to the right from a sliding stop includes a hesitation of one second, a 180-degree rollback and lope off. Journal illustration.

In this two-part series, AQHA Professional Horseman Al Dunning explains the correct body position for a reining spin or rollback. Want to review Part 1?

Common Problems
Pulling too hard. One common mistake riders make in spins is pulling back too hard on the reins. It can pull the horse back on his hocks so far that he has to release his hip and actually turn more with the hind end than he does the front.

Or the rider can pull the horse so hard to the side that, again, the horse has to release his hip. His front goes to the right and the hind goes to the left, so the horse is spinning in the middle of his body, like a top. Read the rest of this entry »

A Star in Any Arena

April 25, 2011

Therapeutic riding paved the way for this Ford Youth World star.

By Christine Hamilton for The American Quarter Horse Journal

Cassidy Miller and Eye L Be Good in performance halter mares. Journal photo.

Out of the many stars at the 2008 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show, one exhibitor shone in a special way. Like many young people, Cassidy Miller of Carlsbad, California, began riding at age 7. But her start was with a therapeutic riding instructor.

“She had a brain shunt,” Cassidy’s mother, Kellie, explains. “And when she woke up from surgery, she was completely paralyzed on one side. And that was why she needed therapy.”

“When I started riding, my balance wasn’t quite right where it needed to be,” Cassidy says. “Therapeutic riding really helped me get my balance to where it needed to be for horse riding.”

Her horse interest sparked, Cassidy began taking lessons from AQHA Professional Horsewoman Sandy Arledge. Read the rest of this entry »


April 24, 2011

Shine Chic Shine wins the NRBC open title in runoff with Whiz It A Chic.

By Larri Jo Starkey

Shawn Flarida and Shine Chic Shine slide to a stop in the National Reining Breeders Classic open finals April 23 in Katy, Texas. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) To see more photos, scroll to the slide show below.

When the dust settled after a long evening of reining at the National Reining Breeders Classic, the audience got another treat: a runoff.

When the open finals began at 5 p.m. April 23 in Katy, Texas, the sun was shining. It was still out when Todd Sommers rode Whiz It A Chic into the arena, 10th in the draw, to whip out their back-bending stops and circles.

Todd and the 2006 stallion scored a 229.5 to take the lead, just ahead of former leader Andrea Fappani and Tinker With Guns, who had the high score in the preliminary round and had scored a 229 in the finals.

Throughout the evening, other horse-and-rider teams would attempt to take the lead but fall short, including Shawn Flarida and Whizkey N Diamonds with a 228.5. Read the rest of this entry »


April 23, 2011

An evening of reining features older horses still strutting their stuff April 22 at the National Reining Breeders Classic.

By Larri Jo Starkey

Used horse shoes stack up near the entrance to the National Reining Breeders Classic Arena in Katy, Texas. For more photos from the NRBC, scroll to the slide show below.

Let’s call them veterans instead of old-timers.

The 2011 National Reining Breeders Classic in Katy, Texas, included its first competition exclusively for horses age 7 and older.

The class included horses competing in a CRI2*, the open $25,000, the Challenge Level 4 open class and a United States Equestrian Federation competition. It was a lot of competition for one evening, and at the end of it, trainer Martin Muehlstaetter was repeating what his client, Shaunda Rai Ruckman, said earlier in the day: unbelievable.

Martin rode Wimpys Little Buddy, who was barely eligible for the class – he just turned 7 Read the rest of this entry »