2016 marks the 12th Anniversary of the Cactus Reining Classic at the Scottsdale, Arizona WestWorld facility, a show that virtually kicks off the new show season annually for many Reining horsemen from all over the Southwest. Certainly some of this show’s inspired growth over the years is due at least in part to the incredible weather in Arizona this time of year. Cool mornings and balmy high 70’s and low 80’s make calling this show a pleasant place to ride horses in March a real understatement. The show began in three rings on Wednesday morning and ran very late. It was midnight or better before weary horsemen and staff could finally pack up and head off to bed.
In the show’s first main series, well over a hundred competitors loped into WestWorld’s big Equidome arena to take part in the NRHA Open. Shane Brown won with Double Loaded Gun and a top score of 73, while Martin Padilla took Reserve with Diamond Oak. Michael Berg and Hes Smart With A Gun won the Intermediate, Braveheart Legend and Wilfred Bosscha took first prize in the Limited Open, and Wimpys Tejana Whiz and David Worley won the Rookie Professional. Meanwhile, the Non-Pros were mixing it up outside where it was particularly hot in the sun and heatedly competitive as well. Plum Gotta Gun and Mark Blake won the Non Pro, the Prime Time Non Pro and the Masters with a score of 72.5. Kim Niven and her White Gunpowder were Reserve in the Non-Pro and the Prime Time and won the Intermediate. Winners in the Limited Non-Pro were Diamond Oak and Paige Barton. The top prize in Wednesday’s Ladies Reining went to Vicki Santo and Whiz Boom Wrangle, while Matt Mills won the DRHA Gents with Spark Me Again.
In the Cactus Reining Classic 2 Susan Geiger’s Wind Er Up Wimp won the day, once again with Shane Brown in the irons. The team posted a 73.5 in the process of getting it done, the best score of the day. Michael Berg won the Intermediate Open again on Hes Smart With A Gun, Emily Sgarrella and Chica Dream won the Limited Open and owner/rider JoAnna Brewer took top honors with her horse Spook Me Now in the Rookie Professional. Though Thursday’s classes started just as early as Wednesday’s they fortunately ended just after 8 pm. High score went to Jennifer Greenleaf and Dun Git A Nicaduel with a 72. They were the ultimate winners in the Intermediate Non-Pro and the day’s Cactus Reining Classic. Wimpys High Bid and Brenda Joyce won the Non-Pro, What a Lucky Hit and Sandy Vickrey took the Prime TIme Non Pro and This Chic N Whiz won the NP Masters with Tolbert Foster riding.
A great deal of attention is focused on Friday’s $40,000 Added Protect The Harvest Non Pro Derby and the huge prize money and competition on Saturday as well. The Cactus Reining Classic heats up and heads into the weekend!