In Step with Golden State

Newsletter of the
Golden State Versatility Ranch Horse Association


Welcome to Fall

Hello to all GSVRHA /WSVRHA members and friends,

Ranch Riding Freestyle

We’ve turned our clocks back, groaned that we have to stop riding at 4 as they’ll never cool by 5, drug out the blankets (and some of us wondered why we put them away dirty), and resigned ourselves that winter is coming. We’re fortunate here in California as winter has a whole different meaning in other states!

It’s been a year like none other. We, more than most, have been able to continue to pursue our passion, ride our horses, spend time at the barn and see our barn friends. Most of the world has not been so fortunate.

Through it all, we are hopeful. We are hopeful that the world will right itself and our lives will become simpler. To that end, Golden State is working with show managers and we look forward to seeing all of you at the shows in 2021.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and best wishes for an awesome holiday season,

Dawn Poston
Board Member

Show Results

Vegas Versatility Ranch Horse Celebration a Big Success!

By every account the Vegas show was a whole bunch of fun and very successful. Lovely weather, good cattle, friendships rekindled, and competitors from California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah engaged in fierce & friendly competition in every division. Because there were a total of six shows, the following will be just a taste of performances by GS members. (This editor begs forbearance for omissions, errors and not being able to include everyone!)

So many shout outs! Becky & Bob Grant of WSVRHA for providing an awesome show, our own Kathy Torres for managing the stalls and bedding, new to us cheery Show Secretary Marla Fadell, who seamlessly managed the office and calculated the points, kudos Mike Lund, Michelle Ulrich for tirelessly working the cattle pens, Bev Sparrowk who provided $100 check to every division winner, and last but not least, the trainers who gave of themselves whether one trained with them or not.

Renee Jackson and Nics Black Jax showed us all what “versatility” is all about–being a ranch horse means being a rope horse and Renee sure knows her way around a loop.

Jen Harden and Sanjo Lights

Nicole Ditmars and Nic It Ona Full Boon

Who says Versatility horses can't do it all? Heather Bryant and Sparklin Wine won the Ranching Heritage Horse Barrel Race in record time. Then they were Intermediate Amateur Champs for AQHA Show #1. Talk about VERSATILE. Both of them.

Todd Miller and Hick Olena

Rookie? Not for long! Meghan Carr and Louis Bonner

These three great youth owned the Vegas Show! Christian Scanlan, Olivia Bethe and Kensley Hennessey (left-right)

Jessamyn German, with her infectious smile and cheery outlook, and Doc Bugs Buddy. If you’re having a party be sure to invite Jessie, fun is her middle name.

Never let it be said that trainers don’t have fun! Sarah Clifford, Kathy Torres, and Bob Grant “horsing” around at the awards ceremony.

Olivia Bethe and Simon Says Whoa wowed the crowd with a bareback freestyle.

Jody Smith and Zander were a real crowd favorite with their lovely Working Equitation Ranch Riding Freestyle.

Renee Jackson and Nics Black Jax took home the WS Show #2 and WS Circuit Intermediate Amateur Championship.

Jen Harden and Sanjo Lights were AQHA and WS Show #1 Amateur Champion, AQHA Show #2 Reserve Champion, and WS Circuit Reserve Champion.

Nicole Ditmars and Nic It Ona Full Boon were AQHA Show #2 and WS Amateur Circuit Champions.

Todd Miller and Hick Olena were AQHA Show #2 and WS #2 and WS Circuit Champions in the Limited Amateur.

Meghan Carr and Louis Bonner were Show #1 & 2 AQHA Rookie Amateur Versatility Ranch Horse, WS #1 Reserve Novice Amateur Champion, WS #2 Novice Amateur Champion, and WS Circuit Reserve Novice Champion.

Olivia Bethe was WS Circuit All Around, AQHA Show #1 Champion, AQHA Show #2 Reserve, and WS #1 & 2 Reserve. Kensley Hennessey and Genuinely Code Red were AQHA Show #2 and WS #2 Champion. Christian Scanlan was AQHA Show #1 Reserve, WS Show #1 Champion and Reserve Circuit Champion.

Jessamyn German and Doc Bugs Buddy were WS #1 Novice Amateur Champion, WS #2 Reserve Novice Amateur Champion, and WS Circuit Novice Amateur Champion.

Never let it be said that trainers don’t have fun! Bob Grant was AQHA #1 & 2 Open Champion, WS #1 & 2 Open Champion, and WS Open Circuit Champion! Sarah Clifford was Reserve Open Champion at each show.

The Freestyle Ranch Riding was again a crowd favorite, with everyone upping their game from last year. Our own Olivia Bethe, Kelly Saunders, and Samantha Scanlan took top honors.

Jody Smith and Zander came away as WS #2 Reserve Limited Amateur Champion.

2021 Show Dates

Hot off the Press! Three GSVRHA shows on 2021 Calendar

March 13-14 Cinch Up Productions San Martin
April 16-18 Sparrowk Livestock Ione
May 21-23 Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic (AQHA) Carmel Valley
May 28-30 Paso Playoffs  Paso Robles (tentative)

Due to Covid uncertainties it’s taking longer to shape up the 2021 Golden State calendar.  Be assured that your Board is working diligently on securing dates for May to November.

GSVRHA Youth Clinic

Another giant success story!

Twelve youth, of varying skill levels with varying levels of horses, spent a meaningful day with clinicians Kathy Torres and Sarah Clifford mid November. They were instructed on the five versatility events and had the opportunity to practice those skills. Every youth rider improved significantly. Two were chosen as “Most Improved”: Haillee Smalley riding Jen Harden’s Cheater and Simone Naroq on none other than “J-Lo” (named for her well-formed derriere!)

Hailee & Cheater

A fine day and a fine location

Simone & J-Lo

Fun prizes for all!

Quote of the Month

Robert Smith Surtees (1805-1864): English novelist

“There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse.”

Kensley and Rojo