The Motherlode Show in Rancho Murieta, CA over Labor Day Weekend always promises to be "hot" with friendly competition. This year was no different as the Dragonfire Team brought the temperatures up with steamy performances in several different divisions. By the end of the show many lessons were learned, ribbons were won, and friendships were cemented by the common bond of enjoying great horses.
Earl McFall started us off with big wins for ALB Morgans. The yearling stud, Stilwell Thunder, was beautiful for the win in the Sport Horse Two and Under Stallions class. A son UVM Springfield, Thunder is as confident as he is good looking. At his first ever show, he was a model citizen and was not intimidated in the least when he went back in for the Grand Championship against the matured studs. Thunder then took the Grand Champion Stallion title, no easy feat for a yearling.
Lovey of Stilwell
Lovey of Stilwell, a two year old filly also by UVM Springfield, was up next and also gave a great show. Led by Earl McFall, Lovey was the blue ribbon winner in the Two and Under Sport Horse Mares class. This adorable bay trimmed in white then strutted her stuff in the championship to be named the Reserve Grand Champion Sport Horse Mare. Both ALB Morgans and Paradise Morgans (owners of Springfield) have a lot to celebrate after these big wins!
At their first ever rated Dressage show, Kammy Bhala and Toni Casados, hit the court with gusto. Kammy, aboard Iron Forge Aire Command, was all business and accuracy in Opportunity Training Level Test 2. Toni, riding her own Whitmor's Magnitude, was uber-focused to keep her mount on track and doing all of the movements at the appropriate times. These ladies efforts were well rewarded with a first place nod going to Kammy and the second place going to Toni. Way to go!
Another maiden voyage was made at the Motherlode, this time for the young mare, Dragonfire Lotus. At her first ever Dressage show, she scored an amazing 68.92% in Training Level Test 2!!! Ridden by Jennifer McFall, she was as cool as a veteran in the show arena and ultra stylish. This three year old Morgan, sired by Dragonfire Kirin, promises to have the same illustrious career he had in the Sport Arena.
High Times and Jennifer McFall were the high scorers of the show with a 72% in First Level Test 3. The six year old Holstiener gelding has the most eye-catching gaits, which make him hard to resist. Combine his gaits with bold riding, and you have a recipe for victory. He not only won First 3, but also won First Level Test 4.
Ragtime Mi Oro Double and Makena Graber with Traci Graber
Makena Graber, after spending the majority of the season with her new mount Ragtime Mi Oro Double at the Academy @ Dragonfire Show Series getting invaluable experience, was ready to hit the bigger shows. With great support from her loving family, Makena "jumped into the deep end" with great success! "Sugar" was as adorable as they come, as she rose to the challenge and gave some of her best performances. With roaring applause from her family and barn-mates, Makena won the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Seat Equitation. Coached by Melissa Votaw, she was so poised and collected, you would have never known that this was her first Class A show with Sugar. As if that weren't enough, this team also gathered up the Reserve Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure Championship sash.
Natalie Jensen was absolutely thrilled with her baby's performance. Art in Motion, a four year old gelding by Dragonfire Kirin, was stellar at his first ever show. Art in Motion is pictured to the left over fences and to the right proudly receiving his awards. Gathering top ribbons in both Dressage and jumping, it's hard not to compare this youngster to the great Dragonfire Kublakhan. His fantastic gaits and extravagant jumping style will certainly take him a VERY long way. Shown by Natalie, "Spencer" won the Low Working Hunter Reserve Championship.
Our Star Academy Riders from left to right: Taylor McFall, Alyssa Hansen, and Katie Sipes
The real stars of Dragonfire, were a select group of our Academy riders tackling the Opportunity 13 and Under Junior Exhibitor classes. These little professionals were expertly coached by Melissa Votaw, in what were some of the biggest classes of the show. Their enthusiastic determination easily brought compliments from the crowds and kudos from the show officials. Alyssa Hansen, riding Whitmor's Magnitude was solid for a red ribbon in the Equitation class. Her strong position and ring savvy give her an obvious advantage. Katie Sipes, paired with World Champion Celeste Aida, was called out as the reserve winner in the Pleasure class. This was a very pleasing picture, as Katie had a beautifully forward rhythm going on Aida, and looked every bit the part of a young equestrienne. Taylor McFall piloted Iron Forge Aire Command for sixth place in both of these great classes.