With scores of 143 in the herd and rein work and 138 in the cow work, Garth Gardiner claimed the Novice Non Pro and Amateur Championships at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Hackamore Classic.
His partner for the event was a 4-year-old mare by the name of Shiney Remedy, by Very Smart Remedy out of Shiners Miss Hickory. "She is a great mare. I believe she is a testament to two of the greatest breeding programs out there - Anne Reynold's Very Smart Remedy and Carol Rose's Shining Spark. I don't think it can get any better and I feel blessed to ride her," Gardiner said.
Gardiner and Shiney Remedy began the competition with one of the highest herd work scores marked by a Non Pro. "We were the last out and that was a bit of a concern, but my horse was really good. Todd Crawford and my help had picked good cattle. I was actually able to cut the cattle that I wanted and I stayed out of her way and let her work, so we got along really well," he said. "She was also really good in the rein work - really solid on her circles and stopped hard and turned around well."
A soft cow caused some concern, but Gardiner and Shiney Remedy prevailed. "It didn't want to go anywhere on the end and just kind of trotted around the corner. My horse did a good job of rating and we actually had a good first and second turn before the cow got numb. We struggled a little then but it turned out ok."
Gardiner thanked his wife, Amanda, who he calls his biggest fan and cheerleader, as well as their children who came to the show. "They have been very tolerant of our schedule out here," he joked. "I also thank Todd and Pam Crawford. Not only are they great friends, but they help us so much with our horses. Thanks also to Don and Nelle Murphy, who always have good things to say."
When asked how he felt about Pueblo for the new home of the Hackamore Classic, Gardiner said, "The people who didn't come are missing out. The city and the State Fairgrounds have done a great job of welcoming everyone and keeping this facility neat and clean - and the weather has been wonderful! I think the move to Pueblo has been great."
Janiejill Tointon and Digger She Sparkles won the Novice Non Pro Reserve Championship and $558 with a 420.5 composite. Digger She Sparkles is by Diggers Rest out of Shiners Spumanti.
Taking Reserve honors and $983 in the Amateur division was Jessie Telford, who rode Vandas Spark. Vandas Spark is by Shining Spark out of Smart Vandalena.
The National Reined Cow Horse Association, now in its 62nd year, is the governing body of cow horse competition, is responsible for promoting the sport, insuring high standards of competition and educating members and the public about the history and tradition of the cow horse. Through the support of a Corporate Partner family that includes Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance Company, Platinum Performance, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, and Merial products UlcerGard and EQUIOXX, the association works to keep the vaquero tradition alive in today's equine industry. For information on the National Reined Cow Horse Association, call 580-759-4949 or visit the NRCHA Official Web Site at www.nrcha.com.
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