Fun Final Weekend at Arizona Sun Circuit

Rain sure didn't dampen their spirits! Look through these Sun Circuit candids from January 29 to February 1 in Scottsdale.

Compiled by The American Quarter Horse Journal

Scroll down to see more photos from the 2015 Arizona Sun Circuit. (Credit: Arizona Sun Country Circuit Facebook page)

Starting Thursday night, show management of the Arizona Quarter Horse Association's Sun Circuit warned exhibitors to keep a weather eye on the Scottsdale forecast. 

"We’re having a tough time seeing the sun at Sun Circuit," the Arizona Sun Country Circuit Facebook page joked Friday, announcing that the rain schedule and contingency plan was in effect. "Fortunately, WestWorld has lots of options for us, and everybody can show under cover. ... It wouldn’t hurt to sing, 'Rain rain, go away, don’t come back till another day.' "

Cow Horse Spectaculars at Sun Circuit
The Rogers Heaven Sent Ranch Bridle Spectaculars challenged open exhibitors to show what their horses can do in both cutting and cow horse. The Rogers family gave $2,500 in added money to both a junior and senior division. Horses had to compete in the two cutting and two cow horse classes held during the first half of the Sun Circuit.

The senior looked like a close fight with Cory Cushing and Docs Catty Jo in the lead after two cuts. The pair had the best cutting score of the challenge with a 73 and 74 in the second cut. Smartee and Justin Wright were close behind after the first round of cow horse. But when Docs Catty Jo posted a no-score on the second day of cow horse, Smartee’s 144.5 and 143 secured a solid lead over all other rivals. A total score of 862.50 secured a check for $750 for the winner.

In the junior division, Maverick Rey, with Justin Wright aboard, consistently marked more plusses after two cuts and two days of cow horse. With a cumulative score of 876.50, the pair cruised ahead of the next best team of Brad Lund and Checkin Out The Ladys, who tallied 864.50. First place earned $750 for owner Eric Freitas.

Farnam sponsored the Amateur Bridle Spectacular with $2,000 added. With great scores in both the second cut and the second day of cow horse, Shannon McCarty piloted her horse Chicaroo Kitty to the top spot and earned herself an $800 pay day.

Ropers Catch Cash in Cinch Timed Event Challenge
Once again, Cinch singed on to sponsor the Timed Event Challenge Roping. Open headers and heelers chased $2,500 of added money, and the non-pros had $1,250 added to their heading and heeling classes. The challenge required that exhibitors first show in the respective AQHA classes to be eligible.

Travis Ericsson and Deal Olena bested a field of 11 open headers to earn $1,440. Second place paid $1,080 to Two By Doc 407’s owners after Les Oswald got a good catch. Open heelers brought out 9 to show. Jake Cruzan sailed to first place aboard Sailing With Tejon for a $1,360 check. $1,020 went to the second hole duo of Andy Holcomb and One Payment.

Eleven non-pros made it look easy, but Frank Garrett got his heading job done quick and with style on Arachnaphobia. He earned $980. Steven Greenberg took second on RLH Texas Playboy and pocketed $705. Arachnaphobia returned on the heelers side, and placed second for an additional $735. Haides Honda and Chantz Stewart lead the field of 12, and picked up $980 in winnings.

Journal Coverage of the 2015 Arizona Sun Circuit

  • All-Arounds and High-Points – These are the all-around and high-point champions from the 2015 Arizona Sun Circuit in Scottsdale.
  • Final Weekend – Rain sure didn't dampen their spirits! Look through these Sun Circuit candids from January 29 to February 1 in Scottsdale.
  • Day 3 – See photos from Day 3, plus meet a a German cowgirl making Versatility Ranch Horse her favorite show pen activity.
  • Day 2 – View photos from Day 2 in Scottsdale, Arizona, plus meet ranch riding newbies Karen Matlo and Meradas Blu Starlite.
  • Day 1 – Take a look through photos from Day 1, and see what working cow horse legends Bob Avila and Al Dunning have to say about 'position' during Friday's clinic.