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Articles

Ranch Horse Spring Fling


2017/05/01








Article & photos by Nancy Brannon

The Volunteer Ranch Horse Association brought its Spring Fling horse show to the ShowPlace Arena in Memphis, Tenn. on April 8-9, 2017. This was a combined show with both American Ranch Horse Association (ARHA) and National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) combined classes. ARHA classes were double judged and this counted as two NRCHA shows, with $1,000 added. Judges for this show were Cyndi Brown from Texas, Steven Graves from Kentucky, Howard Rea from Shelbyville, Tennessee, and George Fluhr from Louisville, Kentucky. There were two judges in each arena, and each competitor was double judged. The show was sponsored by Don Baskin Truck Sales in Covington, Tenn.

The two organizations complement each other, said Show Secretary Leslie Fluhr. It was also the first time the Volunteer Ranch Horse Association has held a show in Memphis. Fluhr said the club wanted to try having a show in Memphis and they hope to add another show in Memphis – a spring and fall show. This was their second show of the 2017 season, which began with the Cabin Fever Classic on February 4-5 at the Tennessee Livestock Center in Murfreesboro, TN. The organization hosts five shows a year and their next one will be Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28, at the Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The show had two arenas going, with ARHA classes such as trail and ranchmanship (similar to horsemanship), going in the outdoor covered arena. Inside the main arena were the working cow horse classes.

Fluhr said their entries were “not quite what we were expecting,” with around 300 entries for the weekend. But the show did attract riders from all over Tennessee, also Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. So they believe the show was still quite a success. Some comments posted on the group’s facebook page reflect that: “I thought it was excellent. The Shelby Show Place facility is great. Nice arena, good stalls, RV/trailer parking within 2 minute walk to the arena or stalls. All in all – an excellent facility.  I hope we have more shows at this facility.”

Several folks won ARHA-donated saddle pads at this show: Open winner, David Phillips. Youth winner, Dillon Cox.  Amateur Winner, Tom Cain. Full results of this show are posted on the AHRA website: http://www.americanranchhorse.net/showresults.asp.

In the working cow horse classes, riders first rode a reining pattern: two circles, one large and fast and one smaller and slower; complete 3 ½ spins to the right and left; perform two square sliding stops. The second part of the class is working a single cow in the arena, performing specific maneuvers that include circling the cow, turning it in a specified manner. Horses are judged on accuracy, timing, and responsiveness, as well as how they handle a single cow.

In the boxing classes: upon receiving a cow in the arena, the contestant shall hold that cow on the prescribed end of the arena for one minute to demonstrate the ability of the horse to control a cow at that end.

Find more information about Working Cow Horses and Reined Cow Horses at: http://nrcha.com/ and at http://www.americanranchhorse.net/.  Connect with the Volunteer Ranch Horse Association on facebook and at their website: www.volrha.com

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