Letter from the Editor

Dear Golden State Members and Friends,

December is upon us!

Tis the season! We’ve got those winter blankets out, long nights to spend time reflecting on our past year of competition/fun, and with those same long nights, can begin planning for more fun and competition 2023. Oh, and there are some major holidays to enjoy as well.

What’s new for Golden State? Our annual luncheon banquet has been scheduled for February 11, 2023, at The Grill at Bayonet and Black Horse in Seaside, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00. The 2022 awards will be presented, a general meeting will be held, a couple of special awards will be presented, good food & drink, and great conversation with your friends will make the day complete. As in years past, the luncheon is free to members, $32 for guests, and you will be able to choose your entrée. Watch your email for further details re the menu and how to sign up.

We’re busy nailing down our competition calendar for next year—we have one new show, a new location for a previous show, and a return of a previously held show. Check out the 2023 calendar in this issue.

The Western States Championship Shows culminated in the awarding of year end saddles—pictures in this issue. There were lots more awards, too many to list, but read on for the Circuit Champions and pictures of fun events.

Results from the Plymouth show and a “Didya Know?” are included in this edition.

As we spend those long nights reflecting and planning, let’s all remember how blessed we are to be Americans, to live in this wonderful country, to own horses, and to have the absolute privilege of competing with our fabulous horses. As we reflect, gratitude is a quiet necessity.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Dawn Poston

Send comments, concerns, & ideas to [email protected]

Chestnuts roasting by an open fire, indeed!

Annual Golden State Luncheon & Awards Banquet Scheduled

Free to Members

When: February 11, 11:30 am-3 pm
Where: Bayonet and Black Horse Grill
1 McClure Way
Seaside, CA
Cost: Members free, guests $32
Details: Will be coming via email

Debbie King, Kim Donlon and Kelly Saunders at last year's soirée

How Did We Move Cattle in Las Vegas?

The Old-Fashioned Way!

Cutting pen in background. Cow boss Mike Lund organized the volunteers.

Moving to the large arena.

Almost there. Golden State President Kathy Torres keeps them moving and Western State President Sarah Clifford blocks an escape route.

Under Cow Boss Mike Lund’s direction, the cattle were moved Saturday from the cutting pen on one side of the property to the large arena (for the cow work the next day) at the other side of the property. Good thing we have great cow horses and savvy hands.

Western States Championship Shows


It was a lot of showing in three days. Two full AQHA shows, two full Western States Shows, and one Ranching Heritage show. The weather was perfect, and the show moved along at a nice pace. Venue, footing, cattle, judges, office staff, all good. As always, the prizes were phenomenal thanks to Cynda Rice. Each individual show had its winners and awards. Also, there were “Circuit” Winners, combining points from Show #1 and Show #2. Finally, there were the saddle winners—year end overall champions in divisions that met the criteria.

Confused yet? First the division saddle winners:

Overall Year End Novice Champion -Candice Terry (far left), Reserve Jessie Smoot (not pictured), Third Kim Smoot (not pictured), (other award winners Amy Larson & Debbie King pictured)

Overall Year End Limited Champion-Heather Bryant (3rd from left), Reserve Lydia Lawson (2nd from left), Third Jodie Smith (4th from left). Other award winners L-R Marty Raynor, Renee Jackson, Bev Sparrowk, Debbie Weisheim, Meghan Carr

Overall Year End Advanced Champion Nicole Ditmars (third from left), Reserve Dawn Poston (4th from left), Third Kelly Saunders (5th from left), other Advanced Division award winners Jen Harden (far left), Rebecca Winfield (2nd from left), Kim Donlon (6th from left) and Janie Welch (far right)

Overall Year End Intermediate Champion Cynda Rice, Reserve Renee Jackson (far left), Third Bryan Jaeger (far right), other award winner Bodie Hall

Overall Year End Youth Champion Emma Carreon (far left), Reserve Kira Hicks (3rd from left), Third Colton Truby (2nd from left), other award winner Christian Scanlan (far right) and two of the cutest little kids ever!

WSVRHA 2022 Circuit Champions, Reserve and Third

(combination of shows #1 & #2)

Sarah Clifford, Cee My Foolish Tangy

Dawn Poston, Fresnos Plain Peppy
Nicole Ditmars, Nic It Ona Full Boon
Janie Welch, Mr Starlights Lady

Heather Bryant, Stylish In My Boots
Lydia Lawson, WFR Little Boon Doc
Joi Brackenbury, Gunnaberrya

Candice Terry, Redi To Rock
Debbie King, Wild Haired Weezle
Amy Larson, Autumnated

Emma Carreon, Peppy Lil Drifter
Christian Scanlan, Louis Vuitton Please
Kirra Hicks, JGD Olena Chex

Paula Drossman, Im Smart N Shiny
Brooklyn Henson, Gypsy Freestyle

Jr Horse
Heather Bryant, Stylish In My Boots
Select Jodie Smith, Xander

Let’s Not Forget Socializing

The WS Show Was Lots of Fun

Click any picture below to see captions and more pictures

Running T Ranch Round Up


All who participated in the October show at the Amador County Fairgrounds were pleasantly surprised by the venue. Reminiscent of an old-time fairground it showed its age, but the stabling was adequate, and the show pens were very good. Plymouth is a charming gold rush era town with cute buildings and good restaurants. Not a lot, but enough to meet the needs of hungry VRH competitors.

L-R Sarah Clifford, Amy Larson, Debbie King

Division Champions & Reserve

Open Champion: Sarah Clifford, Cee My Foolish Tangy
Open Reserve: Debby Sanguinetti, Playtime Pepto
Advanced Champion: Nicole Ditmars, Nic It On a Full Boon
Advanced Reserve: Kelly Saunders, Hillreycious
Intermediate Champion: Renee Jackson, Nics Black Jax
Intermediate Reserve: Bryan Jaeger, Carambas Tuck and Run
Limited Champion: Heather Bryant, Stylish in My Boots
Limited Reserve: Marty Raynor, Whiskeys Smart Shine
Novice Champion: Candice Terry, Redi To Rock
Novice Reserve: Doug Walsh, Look Again Mister
Youth Champion: Christian Scanlan, Louie Vuitton Please
Walk/Trot Champion: Victoria Adams, DB Smartshine Spook

Didja Know?

Golden State VRHA Doesn’t Produce Any Shows!

GSVRHA sanctions all Golden State Shows but doesn’t produce them. All of our shows are put on by individuals (God Bless them!) Tony Agredano, Carmel Valley Trail & Saddle Club, Sarah Clifford, Sue Kvern, Stephanie Lewis, Dawn Meinhold were show producers during 2022. They choose the dates in coordination with Golden State and had a GS “Show Rep” assigned to them. The “Show Rep” acts as a resource and advises along the way from show approval to show production. Secretary, clinicians, judges (must be on approved list), awards, schedules, cattle, office staff, courses/patterns, etc. are the responsibility of the show producer. Golden State provides show approval, insurance, and email/Facebook/newsletter promotion. We are grateful for our show producers who take all the risks to provide us with shows. Next time you see one of them, say “thank you.”

Quote of the Month

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)

Author, journalist, salesman, lecturer

“Don’t wait. The time will NEVER be just right. “

2023 Calendar

Show Dates

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

Date Name Location
Mar 31- Apr 2 WS & AQHA: Running T Ranch Spring Round Up Corning, CA
Apr 28 – 30 WS: The Way-Out West Spring Classic (New!) Ceres, CA
May 20 – 21 AQHA: Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic Carmel Valley, CA
May 27 – 28 Paso Pastures Playday Paso Robles, CA
Jun 20 – 24 AQHA VRH World Show Guthrie, OK
Jul 8 – 9 Ranch Versatility Challenge (TENTATIVE) Location TBA
Jul 27 – 30 Silver State Circuit WS & AQHA Winnemucca, NV
Aug 11 – 13 Clifford Horse Training VRH Show Carmel Valley, CA
Sep 1 – 3 Central Coast Fall Classic San Luis Obispo, CA
Oct (TBA) WSVRHA Finals Venue TBA