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Bringing the Dough at Back to Berrien

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From NSBA:

Big Payouts In Dac® $10,000 Added $2,500 Novice Horse Open Western Pleasure

All images courtesy of NSBA

The 2024 Back To Berrien Futurity and AQHA show at the Berrien County Youth Fairgrounds in Berrien Springs, Michigan, saw Non-Pro and Open exhibitors vie for more than $70,000 in added money throughout the four-day show.

The highlight of the competition on Friday was the $10,000 Added dac® $2,500 Novice Horse Open Western Pleasure, which saw a deep group of 15 horses. The class was judged by six judges, and following a five-minute warm-up, horses were presented down the center at a lope and jog prior to starting their gaits on the rail.

A last-minute decision to enter and a catch ride brought success when Aaron Moses piloted Dress Code Required for owner Antonia Capecci. The team earned $4,147 for the first place win.

“I didn’t know her very well, but she did everything I asked her to do and gave me a really good ride,” Aaron said of ‘Gia.’  The four year old mare by VS Code Red is out of Certain Allure, and the Capecci family bred and raised her.

“We got her in April of her two year old year,” noted Kaitlyn Hutchinson. “We really took our time starting her and bringing her along and we’ve only showed her a few times. She’s beautiful, but she’s also really great minded and has a lot of self-carriage, and she’s turning into a great Non-Pro horse. Toni just had a baby, and her sister Jessica showed her a few times before now, but Gia and Toni are starting to become a team now too.

“We knew that she would fit Aaron well, so we were really happy when he agreed to show her for us. We didn’t decide to enter the class until yesterday. We had been having good luck this year with the slot classes so we thought why not enter her, and it worked out.”

Austin Gooding showing Fired Up Machine for Michelle and Sheila Bauer earned the highest placing Limited Rider bonus.


Berrien Auction Raises $45,000 Plus for NSBA Crisis Fund

After a bar-b-q dinner sponsored by Super Sires, attendees brought their wallets and their auction items for the Back To Berrien annual auction benefitting the NSBA Trainer Crisis Fund. When the final total was tallied, the auction raised more than $45,000 for the fund. Items ranged from tack to liquor to jewelry to a bronze horse sculpture from the John Narmont estate.

Trainers participating in “The Challenge” class were auctioned Calcutta style, and a challenge presented by trainer Aaron Moses to raise a minimum of $1,500 meant that he would show in Saturday’s Hunter Under Saddle class. Starland Ranch LLC ended up with the winning bid and Aaron will show Starland’s Rockstar Status.
The Way To Go talked with a few other champions on the day.


Susie Continues Her Winning Ways

Jeff Cochran guided Sophisticated Sophie to win the $10,000 Limited Horse Limited Open Rider Maturity Western Pleasure, showing for Gorman and Alice Barger. They earned $685.17 for the win.

The team is coming off of a successful show at the Nebraska Cornhusker, where Jeff and ‘Susie’ were named champions in the same class. “She has gotten really easy,” Jeff said. “She shows extremely well, and does all the commands, and she stays soft. She’s just four years old and she’s doing really well.”


Rick Smith And Annie Earn Maturity Non-Pro $2,500 Limited Horse Western Pleasure Win

Another team coming off a successful run at the Nebraska Cornhusker was Rick Smith and Doubl Or Nothin. The team earned the circuit championship in Select Amateur Western Pleasure and Green Western Pleasure as well as Open Performance Halter Mares.

Rick and ‘Annie’ added to their winnings by taking the Maturity Non-Pro $2,500 Limited Horse Western Pleasure at Berrien Springs. “We just got her at the Madness,” Rick said. “I saw her riding around, and we rode her and got her bought.

“She’s by Certainly A Vision and out of an RL Best Of Sudden mare. She’s so pretty, but she’s also so great minded and Non-Pro and especially Select friendly and forgiving. This is just our second show together.”


Melissa Wilkes and Julia Win $5,000 Added Non-Pro 50 & Over Western Pleasure

Success is always a little sweeter when it comes on a horse you bred, and such is the case for Melissa Wilkes and Ladee Luck. The duo won the $5,000 Added 50 & Over Non-Pro Western Pleasure, earning $2,710.64.

“Julia is by Gone Viral and out of our mare VS Code Me Lucky,” Melissa said. “She’s actually her first baby. Ashley had a lot of success showing her last year and I got to show her some too. She’s a sweet mare and wants to be good. It’s been a challenge for us to adapt to showing in the bridle this year, but it’s coming together. This is just our second show together this year.”

Other champions from Friday included:

Non Pro Hunter Longe Line (and Super Sires): ItsHubboutDamnTime, Brittany Brown $678.42 & $3,000 for Super Sires;

Non Pro Western Longe Line (and Super Sires): Cocochella, Heather Caplinger $670.72 & $2,250 for Super Sires;

$1,000 added Novice Horse Hunter Under Saddle: Maybe Next Time, Dawn Baker for Ann Lapacinski $636.88;

$1,000 added Non-Pro Maturity Hunter Under Saddle: Maybe Next Time, Ann Lapacinski $636.88;

$1,000 added Open Rider 3-year-old Novice Horse Hunter Under Saddle: Huntin A Dance, Judy Zeitler for Richard & Betty Jo Carr $636.88;

$1,000 added Non-Pro 3-year-old Hunter Under Saddle: Ma Donna, Susan Renee Phillips $670.72;

$5,000 added Open 4-year-old Hunter Under Saddle: Flatten The Curve, Alyse Roberts for Elizabeth Gorski $2,552.72; Limited Rider Bonus: Sleepingmybluesaway, Jamie Dowdy for Christine Bivens $500;

$1,000 added Limited Open Rider 3-year-old Hunter Under Saddle: Redd Corvette, Jamie Dowdy for Christine Bivens $640.35 ;

$1,000 added $1,000 Novice Rider/$1,000 Novice Horse 3-year-old Western Pleasure: FaceItIAmOffChain, Mackenzie Shaver $640.35;

$1,000 added $1,000 Novice Rider 3-year-old Hunter Under Saddle: Gucci N Scotch, Andrew Craig $752.28;

$1,000 added Maturity Hunter Under Saddle–$2,500 Limited Horse: Maybe Next Time, Dawn Baker for Ann Lapacincki $803.04.

To view complete show results, please visit the Horse Show Tracker app.

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