Thursday, September 29, 2011

Making Memories at the 2011 Motherlode

The Motherlode Morgan Show has been a staple in Northern California showing since what seems like the dawn of time. With the great staff and innovative ideas on how to keep this show strong, I image that it will continue where other shows have struggled and failed. We love taking advantage of the All Breed classes for our Non-Morgans, as well as the Academy/Opportunity classes for our first-time show riders. Sport Horse In Hand classes are also offered, and very well received with tons of entries. Typically we only bring 7 or 8 horses to a show, but because of the broad spectrum of classes offered at Motherlode, we brought 17 this time!! Keep up the good work guys, our exhibitors LOVE your show!

Stilwell Renaissance Man

For the second year in a row, ALB Morgans produced the Grand Champion Sport Horse Stallion, this year with Stilwell Renaissance Man. Shown by Earl McFall, "Manny" was up against some very stiff competition from the aged stallions, but this two year old colt has such a correct, rhythmical trot that he dazzled in the show ring. Also for the second year in a row, UVM Springfield is the sire of the Champion Stallion. He is certainly showing his ability to produce a consistent winner!

Manhattan Jubilee
Dragonfire Farm owns the Grand Champion Sport Horse Mare, Manhattan Jubilee. This stunning three year old mare is by Dragonfire Kirin and out of the great UVM Columbine. With parents like that, it is no surprise that she is smooth bodied, big moving and sharp as a tack. We expect "Jolie" to have an exceptional career in and out of the show ring.

Merriewold Kasey
Merriewold Morgans has been breeding top class Sport Morgans, and they have hit the mark again with  Merriewold Kasey. At only three, he has already reached the 16 hand mark. Not only is he big, but this sleek chestnut has a trot that Dressage riders would kill for. Kasey has the makings of a real Dressage star. At his first performance in his career, Kasey was the Reserve Grand Champion Sport Horse Gelding.

Lovey of Stilwell
Despite the heat, Earl McFall had a beautifully expressive go in the Junior Western Pleasure Championship with Lovey of Stilwell to win the tricolor. Although she is just a three year old, Lovey looked as polished and stylish as any four year old could hope for. ALB Morgans bred and owns this adorable mare.

Merriewold JS Bach
Earl McFall dominated the Junior horse ranks, winning the Junior Hunter Pleasure Championship with Merriewold JS Bach. This young gelding has been wildly successful in his first year of competition, winning at every show he has made an appearance at.  Combined with Kasey's success In Hand, it was a great show indeed for Merriewold Morgans.

Melissa and Ava Votaw with Taylor McFall

Those are some cute girls!
Taylor McFall after her first canter class

Makena Graber's Medal success
Mia Bouslaugh 
Kammy Bhala

Academy students gave strong performances all weekend, and provided Dragonfire with loads of rides to be proud of. Ava Votaw made her maiden performance in the Leadline with Roses Are Blue, waving to the crowd and giving everyone a big smile. Makena Graber and her own Ragtime Mi Oro Double were a dominate force, winning in both the Hunter Pleasure and Equitation divisions. It was particularly sweet to see her win the AMHA Hunt Seat on the Flat Medal class in her first try at it. Mia Bouslaugh was stellar at Motherlode with Dragonfire Lotus. Mia was so impressive at her first show, keeping her head on straight thru all of her flat classes and even over fences. She went home with some really nice red ribbons to start her collection. Taylor McFall got a taste of what it was like for her parents riding multiple horses at a show, and in loads of classes to boot. She was in heaven winning blue ribbons with Dragonfire Kublakhan in the Dressage, and even more blue ribbons with her pony, Roses Are Blue, in the Jumping and Hunter Pleasure.  Our adult riders were fantastic to watch as well. Natalie Jensen gave a solid but sparkle plenty performance with Rendition Thrill A Minute to win the Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship. Barbara Fleming has been working very hard in the Dressage with her gelding, Alias, and was rewarded for that hard work with very high marks (over 70%) in Second Level. Both Kammy Bhala, riding Ragtime White Magic, and Toni Casados, riding Whitmor's Magnitude, went for the Dressage classes and did us proud with their great rides and fortitude in the heat. 

Akira Beijing
Akira Beijing and Erin Critz were spot on over fences in the Working Hunter Division. Erin worked forward and straight lines, attacking the distances with her game mare. In the end, they were the Working Hunter Champions.

Raleigh Relocates

Congratulations are in order!!! Whitegold Rags to Riches is moving to his new home in Frisco, Texas and will surely delight his new owner, Sarah Mohrle, and trainer, Christina Allison, over fences and in the Dressage court. We only had Raleigh a short time, but his winning ways will certainly be missed here at Dragonfire! We wish him the best of luck, and can't wait to hear of more of his successes in the future.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Serious Competition and Serious Beach Time: The 2011 Morgan Medallion

Located in sunny Santa Barbara, the Morgan Medallion Classic has always drawn world class Morgan competitors to the Earl Warren Fairgrounds where the ocean breeze keeps you cool in those hot show clothes. If the weather isn't enough to get you down there, the town certainly will, with the best fish tacos in the land. This year's show was improved greatly by a new schedule that allowed you to sleep in and then offered a long break in the show during the afternoon. Dragonfire really took advantage of the gorgeous afternoons and spent every one of them at THE BEACH visiting with friends and clients new and old!!
Beach time with friends makes for a very enjoyable Medallion
When we weren't enjoying ourselves in the sand, we were having an absolutely fantastic show at the fairgrounds. Dragonfire is blessed with a show string filled with depth and quality, a staff that knows how to hustle, and great riders and owners. This combination isn't easy to come by, and we are eternally grateful for it.

Whitegold Rags to Riches
Earl McFall and Whitegold Rags to Riches had a wildly successful show, winning six out of seven classes. Out of his four Over Fences classes he won three and was second in the last with his quiet and relaxed style. He then continued on to be undefeated in the Dressage and was the High Scoring Dressage Horse with a 74.4%. What a class act this big and handsome fellow is. Owner Bonnie Bowers is seriously overrun with awards from this buckskin beauty!

Miss Ruby Slippers
Michael and Melissa Votaw's extreme beauty, Miss Ruby Slippers, went undefeated with Jennifer McFall riding. This mare has the grace and finesse of a much more seasoned competitor, and with these great qualities combined with her looks and soft movement, Ruby won both the Four and Under Western Pleasure and the Junior Western Pleasure Championship.

French Flambeau featuring a CWD saddle
Switching careers, French Flambeau turned some heads and gave two fantastic performances his first time out as a Hunter. Presented by Jennifer McFall and owned by Tom and Stephanie Connor, Flambeau loves to show and is simply a joy to ride. His willing and happy attitude, paired with a motivated engine, gave him the advantage for the win in the Novice Hunter Pleasure as well as the Reserve Championship in the Open Hunter Pleasure. Great things are certainly ahead for him!

Dragonfire Nefertiti
Caroline Dein continues to heat things up in the Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure with Toni Casados' mare, Dragonfire Nefertiti. Although Caroline is new to the Morgan World, her experience as a Three Day Event rider makes her great in the show ring. And of course "Faye" knows her stuff in the show ring, being a many time Champion in both Ladies and Open Hunter Pleasure including wins in the OKC Coliseum. The pairing of these two has been nothing short of magical, with an undefeated record on the West Coast. Adding to their Region 8 Championship from Far West, Caroline and Nefertiti came away with the Region 7 Championship in Santa Barbara as well.

Barbara Fleming joined in on the winning and brought home her own set of roses riding Alias to the Limit Hunter Pleasure Championship. This is a great partnership that spans over several years now and includes Dressage and avid trail riding, as well as making victory passes in the show. Barbara and Alias also trotted away with the win in the Amateur Masters Hunter Pleasure.

Art In Motion
Art In Motion is a promising young sport horse with a bright career ahead of him. Along with his owner/rider, Natalie Jensen, "Spencer" showed his talent over fences at the Morgan Medallion. With a few seconds under their belt to start with, this team went head on with trainer, Earl McFall, and won their final class with gusto, leaving Earl with his only red ribbon of the show with Whitegold Rags to Riches.

Lovey of Stilwell
ALB Morgans has just recently established it's breeding program, and is already meeting great success with it's first youngsters in performance. Lovey of Stilwell has the makings of a first class western pleasure horse, with her strong type and conformation and her ability to easily hold herself together. She collected the Three Year Old Western Pleasure win at Medallion, to go along with her Far West Reserve Championship in the Junior Horse division.

Merriewold JS Bach and Earl winning in a KEP Italia Helmet
The Merriewold Morgans are known for their top class Sport Horses in the Morgan World. Adding to their show repertoire,  Merriewold JS Bach has been a very consistent winner on the West Coast in the Hunter Pleasure division and is securing his breeder as show performance producer as well.  With wins at all three shows he has attended this season, including the Limit Hunter Pleasure at Medallion, JS is a four year old to keep your eye on.

Chehalem Cassanova
Macey McCallion has to be one of the most elegant looking riders on the scene. Not only that, she has the prowess of a jungle cat in the ring, calculating to the end. She and her long time partner, Chehalem Cassanova were at the top of the judge's card all week, with a win in the Pro/Am Hunter Pleasure along with trainer, Earl McFall. These three (Cass, too) are all so professional, and it is a great match having Macey and Earl show together since they are both extremely long and lean! The stirrup length didn't even need to be adjusted.

We have to mention that this was the 50th Anniversary of the Morgan Medallion and the show staff did a bang up job making it special.  It was wonderful seeing all of the old pictures of past winners, receiving the awesome goodie bags with lots of swag, and having the classes sponsored for "blasts from the past".  It was especially wonderful to me, as I have been an exhibitor for twenty seven years uninterupted. Ahhhh..... Santa Barbara... we love you and can't wait to return!


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Wilton, CA
A full service equestrian facility offering lessons for all ages, training, showing, breeding and sales.

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