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Kaleena Weakly, Scott Reinartz, Michelle Forness, and Karen Zarda are Sun Circuit National Champions

Filed under: Club & Show News,Club and Show News,Featured |     

Amateur Horsemanship National Champion- Michelle Forness and Stretch Machine

By: Brittany Bevis

2019 marked the first year that the Arizona Sun Circuit rolled out their National Championship competition to considerable fanfare and some truly excellent competition. The National Championship tournament is a new style of competition where the top 64 competitors in the country, in youth, amateur, and select divisions, were invited to participate in a head-to-head show down in events like Showmanship, Horsemanship, and Equitation.

The top 64 competitors were determined based on an anonymous ranking committee that consisted of judges and trainers from around the country. The Committee created an initial list in July and then updated the list in December following the results from shows like the NSBA World, AQHA World, and Color Breed World Shows.

The competition began at the Sun Circuit last week with the Sensational 16 being recognized.

Michelle Forness rode her longtime partner, Stretch Machine, to be named the Amateur Horsemanship National Champion. “It was so much fun doing the big patterns back-to-back and just laying it all out there! I’m so thankful to the Sun Circuit for giving the all-around exhibitors a spotlight and highlighting our events. We put so much work and dedication into competing in this sport, and it’s wonderful to be appreciated.”

Kaleena Weakly led Don’tskipmygoodimage to be named the National Champion in Amateur Showmanship. “I loved this new competition, and I can’t thank the committee enough for developing it!” she says. “I was honored to make the Final Four in both the Horsemanship and Showmanship. The patterns and competitors were at the top of their games. You really had to be on your toes throughout the whole show, because, to move forward in your bracket, you needed to be consistent every day you showed in the AQHA classes. Also, each round had a new, tough pattern to remember, sometimes back to back! It was awesome. They were also generous with their prizes, giving four bomber jackets to every final four competitor.”

Amateur Showmanship- Sensational 16

1- Tony Anderman

2- Kaleena Weakly

3- Angela Fox

4- Whitney Walquist-Vicars

5- Tiina Volmer

6- Eric Mendrysa

7- Daniel Carlson

8- Shannon Brown

9- Michelle Forness

10- Brooke Ingstad

11- Amy Groefsma

12- Lisa Mazurka

13- Ali Eidson

14- Lauren Stanley

15- Andrea Kengis-Foss

16- John Whitney

Kaleena Weakly and Dontskipmygoodimage- Amateur Showmanship National Champion

Select Showmanship- Sensational 16

1- Scott Reinartz

2- Karen Lee Tegner-Manseth

3- Karen Zarda

4- Gayle Scharf

5- Anne Wilson

6- Dan Yeager

7- Kent Ray Taylor

8- Sharon Forbes-Hanks

9- Carla Townsley

10- Teresa Kohman

11- Kim Burrell Gutowski

12- Heather Lange

13- Karen Jorgenson

14- Jackie Marlow

15- Kim Portney

16- Heidi Rasor

Amateur Horsemanship- Sensational 16

1- Michelle Johnson

2- Carey Nowacek

3- Kaleena Weakly

4- Angela Fox

5- Patricia Carlson

6- Barbara Bouma

7- Natalia Devencenty

8- Tiina Volmer

9- Eric Mendrysa

10- Ali Eidson

11- Lauren Crivelli

12- Cassie Riggert

13- Kate Evans

14- Andrea Kengis-Foss

15- Miranda Mitten

16- Stephanie Richardson

Scott Reinartz and Investin A Goodbar- Select Showmanship National Champion

Select Horsemanship- Sensational 16

1- Dan Yeager

2- Karen Zarda

3- Anne Wilson

4- Scott Reinartz

5- Heather Lange

6- Kim Burrell

7- Sissie Shank

8- Susan Wilson

9- Jennifer Coleman

10- Laurel Champlin

11- Jamie Lou Devencenty

12- Linda Coakley

13- Karen Lee Tegner-Manseth

14- Teresa Kohman

15- Ben Debrouwer

16- Kathy Tobin

Then, after Round 2 took place, the list was narrowed down to the Exceptional 8.

Amateur Showmanship- Exceptional 8

1- Kaleena Weakly

2- Tony Anderman

3- Angela Fox

4- Eric Mendrysa

5- Whitney Walquist-Vicars

6- Tiina Volmer

7- Daniel Carlson

8- Brooke Ingstad

Karen Zarda and Ima Lazy Cowboy- Select Horsemanship National Champion

Select Showmanship- Exceptional 8

1- Karen Jorgenson

2- Heidi Rasor

3- Dan Yeager

4- Kim Gutowski

5- Karen Zarda

6- Scott Reinartz

7- Heather Lange

8- Karen Lee Tegner-Manseth

The third round of competition saw the Final Four be named.

Amateur Showmanship- Final Four

1- Kaleena Weakly

2- Tony Anderman

3- Angela Fox

4- Eric Mendrysa

Select Showmanship- Final Four

1- Dan Yeager

2- Scott Reinartz

3- Heather Lange

4- Karen Lee Tegner-Manseth

The most exciting part of the competition was the finals in each round that saw the top four competitors battle it out in a bracketed style event going head to head to determined the National Champion. Michelle Forness showed Stretch Machine to be named the  Amateur Horsemanship National Champion. Karen Zarda and Ima Lazy Cowboy were named the Select Horsemanship National Champions. Kaleena Weakly and Dontskipmygoodimage were the National Champions in Amateur Showmanship. Scott Reinartz and Investin A Goodbar were the National Champions Select Showmanship.

Stay tuned to for the youth results coming soon.

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