Caption: Fappani and Tinker With Guns, Photos courtesy of John O'Hara Photography
Five days of gorgeous Northern California weather, phenomenal competition, and large crowds all coming together for a good cause, made Reining By The Bay 2011 one for the record books.
The second stop of the “Triple Crown” of West Coast Reining Shows, is held at the Horse Park at Woodside, a unique outdoor venue boasting a huge pen in a beautiful country setting overlooking the San Francisco Bay, making this show benefiting the Peninsula Humane Society ~ SPCA a perennial favorite. The double digit increase in horses over 2010 was proof positive that the exhibitors, owners, trainers and spectators alike appreciate the personalized treatment, incredible and innovative awards and good fun that Reining By The Bay prides itself on.
One of the most unique aspects of the show is the huge crowd of horse enthusiasts from all disciplines that gather under the four tented seating areas to watch the Open Derby each year. The standing room only crowds included riders from the Dressage, Show Jumping, Saddlebred and Hunter worlds as well as supporters from the town of Woodside. The huge crowds did not hold back showing their appreciation for an incredible performance, and there were plenty of them.
The sponsors went out of their way to show the exhibitors their appreciation, underwriting everything from Bob’s Saddles to Markel coolers, from National Horse Blankets engraved champagne bottles, to the Bish’s RV ~ Bloomers Reining Rocks T-shirts for the kids and SmartPak exhibitor bags full of swag from Bayer, Paddock Cakes, Merial, Platinum Performance, Pacific Coast Journal, Reiner’s World and Leather CPR. Something that is bound to become a RBB tradition came from the folks at Surpass who drove up and down each barn aisle serving ice cream from their golf cart.
Reining enthusiasts who weren’t lucky enough to be at the event in person tuned in to Classic Video’s comprehensive live streaming online coverage by the thousands and the daily Photo Gallery by John O’Hara on Equestrian Life’s Facebook received upwards of 5,000 views a day.
Newcomers to the Reining By The Bay Show Pen: Brenda Joyce ~ Scottsdale, Arizona
New York Times Best Selling-author Brenda Joyce began riding Hunter/Jumpers in 2001 in when she relocated from New York to Colorado. Unfortunately, the combination of a novice rider jumping too soon resulted in a broken bone in Brenda’s neck. Knowing that jumping was not in the cards Brenda looked for another way to pursue her passion “I wound up buying this little red Arabian Reiner named Fire Storm.
I didn’t even know what Reining was, but Fire Storm was the name of the second book I had ever written, so I thought this is Karma. That little Reiner knew I was so afraid of falling off that even though he was actually a hot horse, he just loped around with me until I regained my confidence.”
One thing led to another and Brenda began showing in Arabian Reining. A few years later in 2003, some people in Brenda’s barn were getting Quarter Horses, and she followed suit. “It was really fun to stop him, but I didn’t really have time to do both shows and I wound up buying another one because I’m excessive, then I bought an Open horse, which I ended up moving to Tracer Gilson as a sale horse, when he didn’t sell I thought, we better geld him, and I better learn to ride him! I ended up moving all three to Tracer in 2010.
Tracer is an amazing trainer. I’ve learned so much, and right away, I just wanted to be on the Quarter Horses with Tracer. I’m an intermediate rider who needs a cooperative horse, I’m his worst rider, I know I am. I learned how to ride as an adult. I don’t have the same posture as these other people, my shoulders aren’t forward, I don’t like super fast circles yet, but I do what he tells me and pray.” All kidding aside, Brenda says, “It’s such a challenge, its such a journey, I love training as much as showing and trying to get with the horse, it’s an adrenaline rush. I love it.”
It came as a huge surprise when Tracer entered Brenda and CD Shiner (CD Olena x Shiners Little Oak x Shining Spark) in their first Non Pro Derby at 2011 Cactus Classic “I was so nervous all week long … I was really scared, and then in my first Derby I go in and get a 216! It was a miracle!”
Brenda’s maiden voyage to Reining By The Bay was a memorable one. “A lot of my friends and family came out, I just loved it. The show is so intimate, especially after coming from Houston and Oklahoma. I had a blast!”
After Reining By The Bay, Brenda and CD shiner are now sitting third in the hotly contested Trifecta Non Pro Reining Challenge for a six-day vacation for two at the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. What is Brenda’s plan for the third and final leg of the Challenge? “I better have a good show in Vegas!”
Dorothy “Dot” Queen ~ Whitesboro, Texas
Her horse Outta Dough (Gallo Del Cielo x Dough Olena x Doc O’Lena) is no stranger to the winner’s circle, but the superstitious Dot Queen, rarely made an appearance to watch Mike Berg show the spectacularly beautiful stallion fearing that she would jinx the pair.
Last May Dot took over the reins for the first time in a few classes at the Mother’s Day Circuit in Paso Robles “I had a blast. I made a lot of mistakes….pilot errors; so all year I’ve been hinting to Mike (Berg) that you’ve got to let me ride him at one show. Mike decided that Reining By The Bay would be my one show for this year. I came out last week and rode him in Temecula in the AQHA show and got used to him, and Mike trained me how to ride him in a week.
We drove into this place (the Horse Park at Woodside) the other day, and I had never been here, so I didn’t know what to expect. I had no idea how big the pen was. I love the grounds and the culture and character of the place.
I showed him in the cheapest class I could on Wednesday and we had a good run in the pen. Then we got up at daylight on Friday and I rode him and didn’t do too much on him, and Mike said just show him.” The strategy proved to be a good one as Dot and Outta Dough marked a 215.5 in the $33,000 Added Conquistador Whiz Non Pro Derby Prime Time division. “It was early in the class so I had no idea that I would have to have a run off and Mike said you better be prepared, that’s a score that could be in the run off category. Lo and behold I had to do a run off against Vicki Dias on A Bright Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Genuine Starbright), and that was exciting. I think I was more aggressive with him in the run off, but I made a little lead change mistake so they got me for that.”
In the end it would be Vicki Dias and A Bright Tag in the winner’s circle after a run off against Queen and Outta Dough.
The $33,000 Added Conquistador Whiz Non Pro Derby
Vicki Dias ~Kingsburg, California
Vicki Dias of Kingsburg, California and A Bright Tag were on a roll at Reining By The Bay: Champion in the Prime Time and Level 1 divisions as well as Reserve in the Limited Level 2 and Intermediate divisions to Marilyn Scheffers of Riverside, California marking a 217 on This Belles Smokin (Colonels Smoking Gun x Genuine Jezabelle x Genuine Doc). It didn’t stop there; the pair was also awarded the Arenus Performance and Conditioning Award.
Vicki bought the 5-year-old A Bright Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Genuine Starbright) from Lance Griffin at the 2009 NRHA Futurity, and began showing the striking palomino in 2010. “I started showing him last year, I didn’t put a lot of pressure on him, I just wanted to get to know him. “ The pair is really upping their game having just come off a successful tour of the 2011 NRHA Derby “We made the Prime Time Finals there, and he’s just starting to really come on. We’re just hooking up and having so much fun.”
Dias who trains with Kim and Pat Yancey can’t say enough about the powerhouse duo who brought an army of Non Pros with them to Reining By The Bay “Kim and Pat Yancey have been a tremendous help this year. It is such a fantastic group of people (at Yancey Performance Horses). Everybody is very supportive of each other, that it makes the whole journey that much more rewarding. It’s like you’re taking your family with you. Without that, it wouldn’t be as special. Even though some of our biggest competitors are each other, it stays so healthy. It’s amazing. Everybody wants to win, but if I don’t win, I hope one of my barn people does.”
Tish Fappani ~ Scottsdale, Arizona
2011 NRHA Level 4 Open Derby winner and the NRHA’s youngest $2 million rider Andrea Fappani will tell you that he know longer gets nervous in the pen, but watching his wife Tish compete is a different story.
Tish and Premiere Diamond (Like A Diamond Sexy Chexy Nic) have been together since he was 4. “Ace has been in Andrea’s program from the beginning, and I love to ride and show him. He’s a blast to show, we just hadn’t pulled it all together yet, but he showed good for me here. I know that I wasn’t the best at my left turns, but overall he was good, and I had a lot of fun showing him outside in the big pen. He’s been special to me because I don’t get to ride that much at home. He can challenge me and Andrea always has to save the day on him and make him behave, but he’s been a good horse, and I like him.”
Winning the 2010 National Reining Horse Association Futurity Level 4 Non-Pro Championship could put additional pressure on some riders coming in as the favorite, but according to Tish “I wouldn’t say that I’m that hard core. I really don’t care if I show, but if I do show, I want to do well because I am competitive and I grew up showing. Winning the Futurity was like a dream that I never, ever, ever expected to come true.
There is pressure, the pressure of you’re his (Andrea’s) wife.” At this point Andrea chimes in “That’s more pressure than anything else…she’s always worried that I have high expectations of her, and I do but I don’t. She thinks that I have way higher expectations than I really do. All I expect is for her to go out and do a good job, not to win. A lot of times I get to win, but that doesn’t mean my wife has to win. It’s our own horse, so I don’t really care what happens. We work hard, and she works hard. For both of us most of the times we don’t do well in the show pen are when we are not focused enough. Its not the horse.”
Andrea admits he works hard to keep it all in perspective “She keeps reminding me that it’s her hobby not her job and its got to be fun for her. If I take the fun away there’s no point in her doing it. Its hard because she looks at it as a hobby, but to me its my way of life.”
2011 Trifecta Non Pro Reining Challenge
Janette Raymer ~ Temecula, California
Sponsored by the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley for the second consecutive year, the prize is awarded to the highest money earning Non Pro horse and rider combination who have competed at all 3 Brumley Management Group shows (Cactus Reining Classic, Reining By The Bay and High Roller Reining Classic). One lucky winner will receive a five night, six-day stay at the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming valued at over $4,000. Always a fight to the finish, this year is no different as Cactus Classic winner Shaundra Ruckman and Reining By The Bay winner Tish Fappani will not have shown in all three shows.
The current leader is Janette Raymer and 5 year-old Easy Electric (Jacs Electric Spark x Miss Pine Leosan) trained by Mike Berg with combined Cactus Reining Classic and Reining By The Bay earnings of $5,083.03. Equally impressive is that the duo has only been together since November.
Reining By The Bay is only the 3rd Derby for “Six Pack” and Raymer “He has the personality of a frat boy. He’s fun to show because he’s honest in the show pen, and he was made to show, but outside the show pen he’s pretty tricky. He likes to fool around a lot, he doesn’t like to focus, so he’s a challenge, but he’s taught me a lot about focusing, being very serious about riding, and about being very correct. In the show pen he puts his head down and does what I ask him to do, and he’s a really great slider.”
What is Raymer’s strategy for the last leg of the Trifecta? “I never go to win, I go to have fun. I was in 6th place coming into Reining By The Bay, and I just loved seeing my name there (in the rankings). That was exciting. I feel privileged to be in the company of those people, they are all awesome riders. My strategy for Las Vegas is to ride as well as I can, and to have fun. I only compete against myself.”
Fappani Comes to Reining By The Bay Loaded for Bear Winning Both the $52,000 Added Conquistador Whiz Open Derby and the $25,000 Added Spooks Gotta Gun 3 Year Old Futurity
Repeating his 2010 domination of both the Futurity and Open Derby divisions Andrea Fappani marked a 149.5 on Chihiro Niwata’s Heir Gun (Gunner x Hollywoods Heir) to win the $25,000 Added Spooks Gotta Gun 3 Year Old Futurity and marked a 231 on Tinker with Guns (Gunner x Tinker Nic) and a 227.5 on Custom Spook (Smart Spook x Custom Spinderella) both owned by Pat and Jim Warren’s Rancho Oso Rio to capture both the Champion and Reserve slots in the $52,000 Added Conquistador Whiz Open Derby.
On the Futurity
“Heir Gun, My futurity horse is a horse I got last year. He’s a Gunner, and he’s been pretty steady all year. I think he’s going to keep doing well. He’s really steady, and for a 3 year-old that counts a lot, he comes out every day the same. I think he’s going to win a lot of money. He’s really a level minded Stud, and that maturity is rare in a 3-year old. I showed him one-handed and everyone else was still in a snaffle. The first thing I look for in a 3-year old is honesty and having a level mind, and that’s what that horse has. I think he has a pretty good future in front of him.”
Locked and Loaded for the Derby
2011 NRHA Level 4 Open Derby Champions Fappani and 5-year old Tinker With Guns did not disappoint the standing room only crowd surrounding the Bay Arena. The excitement kept building as one spectacular horse after another entered the pen. Fappani had 3 in the 24-horse Derby and had already marked a high score of 227.5 on Custom Spook and a 225.0 on Bill Coburn’s Nics Little Bud before going last on Tinker With Guns. The crowd didn’t even attempt to restrain themselves as the pair ran into the pen.
“That horse has proven to me this year how much he can do. I have only been riding him for a few months, but I have 100% trust in him that he’s always going to try his hardest, so I really didn’t feel the pressure of going last. Also I was leading it on Custom Spook also owned by Rancho Oso Rio, so I just wanted to go in and have a nice clean run. He marked a 231 and I know that horse has more in him. I can’t wait for next year. He’s won over $140,000 I think this year, and to me he keeps improving, so we’re going to give him the rest of the year off. “
Ever the gentleman, Fappani immediately recognizes Randy Paul for doing a “hell of a job” with Tinker With Guns as a 3 year-old, making Fappani’s job easier “I’ve got to take my hat off to him.”
Andrea points out that the hard maneuvers are easy for “Shooter” and vice versa “If you notice every run I do, I hold him back in the circles, he’s a thinker and he gets in there and he gets really quick, so sometimes he can get himself into trouble. In the speed transitions he tries too hard and instead of slowing down sometimes he will slide and try to stop. As far as the stop and turns, I went in there and never said whoa. He’s a horse that’s just been loping around since the (NRHA) Derby and he goes in and marks a 231, it just shows you what an incredible athlete he is.”
Custom Spook stepped up to the plate for Fappani in the big outdoor pen as well. “Custom Spook has been one of my favorites, and up until today he hasn’t showed it to me in the show pen. He’s one of those typical horses that you fall in love with from the minute you start riding them, but you get disappointed when you show them. It’s always been something. The first time I showed him, he was a 228.5 as a 3 year-old, showing me a lot of promise. Then every time I showed him after that there has always been a bobble, and I blame both of us for that. We’ve had a rough time. He’s a gelding but he acts more like a stud
He’s only 4. I’ve always made the finals on him. I made the top 5 in the Futurity, the top 10 at the NRBC, the top 15 at the Derby, so he’s been there, obviously he’s not a bad horse, he just has not shown people what he can really do. Today he showed really good for me in the pen, I think a lot of that horse, and I was really happy with him.
You Be The Judge
Chef d’Equipe of the U.S. WEG Gold Medal Reining Team Jeff Petska was judging Reining By The Bay for the third time, and once again he found the competition to be exceptional “Andrea is obviously a force to be reckoned with here, but Martin (Muehlstaetter) stepped up this year and Gabe (Davide) did good, Marcy’s horses are always broke and look good…there are just good horses out here. The horses are well cared for, the ground is good, the show is run well, everybody’s in a good mood, and it’s just a great show to come to”.
Petska said all of the judges were suffering from “horse envy” after seeing the depth of talent in the Open Derby “Not only the runs, but the quality of the horses is probably the most impressive. As a judge you like to see good runs, but there were a number of horses here that you could take anywhere in the world, at any Reining event and they would be in the top 5 or maybe even win it. There were a couple of horses that weren’t even showing in the Open that were exceptional horses, and that’s a neat thing to see. The Outta Dough horse (Non Pro Derby) he’s just a beautiful animal and he’s real willing…those are the kind of horses that as a judge, trainer and breeder, I’m always paying attention to. Andrea’s black horse Nics Little Bud (Nic it in The Bud x Chex Out The Cowgirl)…. gorgeous. Wimpys Little Buddy (Wimpys Little Step x All Thats Dun) in the Maturity (152.50) that horse did nothing wrong, he didn’t twitch an ear, he didn’t have a bad thought, he was there every step of the way. He was excellent. “
Petska said the judges were oblivious to the huge crowd of spectators during the Open Derby “In a class like that you judge one, and then you’re anxious to see what’s next, and the quality of those runs kept our undivided attention.”
Peninsula Equine Presents the PHS Pooch Parade
According to Scott Delucchi, Senior Vice President of Community Relations for the Peninsula Humane Society ~ SPCA, the animals were the real winners “We raised more than $1,000, met a ton of new friends and found a fabulous new home for one of the dogs we showcased in the Pooch Parade.
A woman was very happy with a new belt buckle she bought at the booth next to ours, but that was nothing compared to the instant love connection she made with Serafino, a male Chihuahua mix who had been at our shelter four months awaiting his new home. As a famous movie line said, he had her at hello! Did we mention Serafino would be sharing his home with a Great Dane! It was a fantastic weekend by any measure!”
For complete results go to: http://www.reiningbythebay.com
Check out a beautiful photo gallery from the show, courtesy of John O’Hara Photography by clicking here.