Golden State Versatility Ranch Horse Association

Dear GSVRHA Members,

Is it July already? July is a busy month in the horse show world and it’s no different for Golden State. We have a new show at a new-to-us venue July 9-11 at Golden Hills in Paso Robles and hope to see many of you there.

In this issue we have candid shots from the AQHA VRH World Show in Guthrie, OK and a heartwarming piece about how GS President Kathy Torres was helped in Gallop, NM. Also there is news about the venue for our WSVRHA Championship Show in Las Vegas. The results from the Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic in May are in this issue, along with some candid pictures. Noted judge “Bozo” Rogers lets us in on his feelings about Ranch Riding and Ranch Trail and we catch up with amateur Bruce Blodgett. We have an update on Taimane Faiaipa’u’s High School Rodeo Finals and information about the very popular and newly renamed* VRH Show in August at the Carmel Valley Trail & Saddle Club. Lastly, an update on SB 287 and what you can do to help.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed. What would YOU like to see in this newsletter? Also, please share any candid or showing pictures you might have.

Let’s go have fun and show our horses!

Dawn Poston, Editor

Send comments, concerns, & ideas to

In Memory of Peter Smoot

This issue of “In Step With Golden State” is dedicated to our friend Peter Smoot

Peter and Dillon

It is with great sadness that we report the sudden passing of our friend and fellow competitor Peter Smoot June 24. He and Dillion (Starlight Dillon) were a force to be reckoned with in the Novice Division and in fact he was Novice All Around Champion at the recent Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic. We offer our deepest condolences to Peter’s wife Kim and his daughter Jessica. He was one of a kind. His kindness, his goodwill, his willingness to help, and his unfailing good grace and humor, will be very missed by all.

*Clifford Horse Training VRH Show Now The Peter Smoot Memorial VRH Show

In honor of Peter Smoot, the August show now is the Peter Smoot Memorial VRH Show. Peter was an excellent student, loved learning more about his horse/ riding/showing in VRH. He always asked great questions and absorbed and used every bit of the answers. It’s very fitting that the popular Carmel Valley show, with its cool weather, pleasant sunshine, great footing, amazing camping, and awesome prizes be named for him. We hope to see you at Carmel Valley Trail & Saddle Club August 13-15 for a memorable competition .

Entry information will be on very soon. Keep checking! See you there.

AQHA VRH World Show

Lazy E Arena @ Guthrie, Oklahoma

Here are candid shots from before the show began. Show pictures and results will be in the next edition of our newsletter.

Fellow VRH Competitor to the Rescue!

It’s a long, three-day haul to Guthrie, OK. Imagine pulling in to Gallop, NM with your “check engine” light on and losing power fast. That very thing happened to Golden State President Kathy Torres, pulling her LQ with two horses on board. Followed by Sarah Clifford, she limped into the dealership in Gallup–repair shop not open on a Saturday. She remembered fellow competitor Rebecca Winfield lived in Gallup. A phone call to Rebecca and a truck was on its way! They hooked up the trailer and said “bring it back when you’re going home.” Imagine that. It’s the western way and aren’t we so blessed to be a part of the Versatility community. Thank you Winfield family!

October @ Las Vegas: WSVRHA Championship

New Covered Arena for Western State Finals

The new covered arena at Horseman's Park, Las Vegas, NV

This covered arena will make a great show even greater

If you missed out on the fun at the AQHA World VRH Show in Guthrie, OK, you have another chance. Plan to attend the spectacular WSVRHA Championship show in Las Vegas at Horseman’s Park to be held October 21-24. New this year is a beautiful covered arena. Details will be forthcoming but be sure to make plans now to attend!

Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic

Results from May

Congratulations to


Champion Sarah Clifford
Reserve Debby Sanguinetti

Limited Open

Champion Erin Corey

AQHA Amateur

Champion Jen Harden
Reserve Champion Rachel Clifford

AQHA Limited Amateur

Champion Alexi Connell
Reserve Heather Bryant

AQHA Rookie

Champion Peter Smoot
Reserve Kim Smoot

AQHA Youth

Champion Taimane Faiaip’u
Reserve Christian Scanlan


Jen Harden
Kelly Saunders


Champion Sarah Clifford
Reserve Debby Sanguinetti

WSVRHA Advanced Amateur

Champion Jen Harden
Reserve Rachel Clifford

WSVRHA Intermediate

Champion Kim Donlon
Reserve Renee Jackson

WSVRHA Limited

Champion Alexi Connell
Reserve Heather Bryant


Champion Peter Smoot
Reserve Jessamy German


Champion Christian Scanlan
Reserve Kensley Hennessey

Ranching Heritage

Champion Sarah Clifford/It’s Remedy Time

Jr Horse

Champion Heather Bryant/ Stylish In My Boots
Reserve Lydia Lawson/WFR Little Boon Doc

All Around Open Champion Sarah Clifford and Cee My Foolish Tangy (Carlos)

Suzanne Dorrance and Wich Chic is Wich (Rico)

Kelly Saunders and Kim Donlon with half brothers Halyrecious (Hal) and Ole Pal Hal (Hal)

Novice Champion and Reserve Champion Peter and Kim Smoot

Amateur Champion Jennifer Harden & Sarah Clifford Open Champion

Reserve Amateur Champion Rachel Clifford and Renee Jackson

Limited Amateur Champion Alexi Connell and her niece Danielle Garneri giving Blackie (Nics Back in Black) a well deserved smooch.

Karin Zofcin and "Red"(Red's Hot Command) Amateur Trail Class winners. Karin and Red haven't been showing much but when they do, they make us sit up and take notice!

Janet McGarvey and "Piper" (Playin Hookie), finally back in the show pen after a lengthy hiatus. We're so glad they're back.

Barbara Ditmore, It's Remedy Time (Bonny, the little mare that doesn't know she's little!) and Sarah Clifford

From the Judge’s Perspective

Fielding “Bozo” Rogers: Ranch Riding & Trail

In the ranch riding and trail classes, I am personally picky about there being a natural, efficient way of getting through the obstacles. The obstacles and how they are performed, should look like a maneuver that might be performed on a ranch. Anything fake looking, such as a rider’s arm being stiff with the elbow locked, wouldn’t be how that rider would ride five miles across the pasture. They could not hold that position that long! I don’t like to see a horse excessively lowering their head, or slowing way down at the logs. If I slowed down at every log I encounter, I would never get across the pasture. Every obstacle and how the rider rides that obstacle should reflect how it would be done on a ranch. Keep that in mind as you show your horse.

Out and About

Amateur Bruce Blodgett

In 2018 our fellow GS competitor Bruce Blodgett moved to the Pacific Northwest. He agreed to an interview to let us know what’s going on with him now.

Why Washington? We’ve always liked the Pacific Northwest. Since I was involuntarily retired we decided it was a good time to move closer to our boys. We moved to Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island in June 2018.

What about that Washington weather? Western Washington weather is very dynamic. It can be raining in the morning, sunny in the afternoon, and then raining again at night. So far it’s been a little cooler than Central California but moderate and pleasant overall.

How is winter riding different? Riding outdoors in the winter is not possible due to the mud. Most barns have covered arenas to address the winter weather. The barn I board at has an indoor arena so I can ride regardless of the weather, though the temperature can be down in the 30’s and 40’s.

What’s going on with showing and VRH in the PNW? Showing has been the hardest adjustment. None of the Washington shows have specific VRH classes or cow work. I’ve had to piece it together using AQHA Ranch Riding, Reining, and Ranch Trail classes. To get true complete VRH shows I’ve had to go to OQHA shows in Eugene, Oregon.

Where have you gone lately? OQHA Classic in Eugene, OR (VRH) and CWQHA in Moses Lake, WA (non-VRH).

How did you do? OQHA Classic: Circuit Champion VRH Ranch Trail Limited Amateur, Reserve Champion VRH Ranch Reining Limited Amateur, and All Around Reserve Champion VRH Limited Amateur. CWQHA: 1st Amateur Reining, 1st Level 1 Amateur Ranch Riding.

What do you want your California friends to know about your new home? Versatility Ranch Horse is alive and growing in Washington. The shows are fun and relaxed, people are friendly and helpful. I talk up VRH any chance I get and I have gotten several people at my barn interested in it.

Thank you Bruce for bringing us up to speed on your new home. We wish you the very best in all your showing endeavors!

Bruce and Pennys From Prize (aka Copper)

Bruce and Copper compete in Ranch Reining

High School Rodeo Finals

Taimane Faiaipa’u : Cowgirl Tough

Versatility youth Taimane Faiaipa’u had a setback one week before the High School Rodeo Finals but it didn’t slow her down a bit. Her steady mount Mucho developed an abscess and with one weeks notice she had to find a replacement mount and get ready! Trainer Kathy Torres loaned her Melody (Opus Smart Cat) for the Cutting, and Cione Neesen loaned her Piko (Mr. Tulare) for the Cow Horse. She just missed the short go in the Cutting but made it in the Cow Horse. She came into the Finals in 10th place and moved up to finish 6th! She is the epitome of cowgirl tough and we’re all proud of her.

State Bill 287

Committee Meets July 5! Please Support!

SB 287 has been assigned to the Assembly Transportation Committee. Here is the link to the list of Assembly Members on the committee and their “contact me” links:

Here is the support letter portal link:

Just like we did for the Senate process, we need to contact these elected Assembly Members with our requests for their support of the bill. As always, thank you for your time and effort to help each other as we work together to get this done!

Click below for a letter template if you would like to use it. Be sure to add your name and city to the bottom. Or just write “please support SB 287”.

2021 Calendar

Show Dates

For more information, click here to view the complete calendar in a new window

Date Name Location Show Rep
July 9-11 GSVRHA: Golden Hills Farm VRH Show Paso Robles, CA Sarah Clifford
August 13-15 GSVRHA: Peter Smoot Memorial Clinic & Show Carmel Valley, CA Meghan Carr
Sept 4-5 GSVRHA: Paso Pastures Playoff Paso Robles, CA Dawn Poston
Oct 1-3 GSVRHA: Central Coast Fall Classic San Luis Obispo, CA Mike Lund
Oct 21-24 WSVRHA Year End Finals Las Vegas, NV Kathy Torres

Quote of the Month

Diana Scharf Hunt, Writer and Motivational Speaker

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.”

Horse Ball (Juego del Pato) has been the National Sport of Argentina since 1953