Back 2 Basics Circuit in California

See who won circuit and all-around championships, plus view photos from February 11 to 15 in Rancho Murieta, California.

Special to The American Quarter Horse Journal

The Back 2 Basics Circuit offered classes for everyone, at every level of ability and age group – both AQHA and all-breed. (Credit: Dally A Star Photography)

As spring comes onto the horizon and brings the changes of the season, so does the Back 2 Basics Circuit. This show has been a tradition for the last several decades. Held at the first class Murieta Equestrian Center in Rancho Murieta, California, the five-day event draws exhibitors from a large variety of western states and Canada. Professionally managed by Total Equine Event Management (TEEM), the annual event has always experienced large classes providing the opportunity for a lot of AQHA world championship show qualifying points up for grabs and this year was no exception.

For 2015, the Back 2 Basics circuit launched some exciting changes with new ideas and as always a fresh approach to holding a competitive, yet fun horse show approved by the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse and National Reined Cow Horse associations.

First and foremost, the circuit added a Dirt & Diamonds open and non-pro all-breed trail stakes. The Open Trail Stakes featured $1,000 in added money sponsored by Markel Insurance, bringing the total payout to just under $2,000. The Open Trail Stakes champion was A Special Kinda Love, a 2002 chestnut mare (A Special Assignment-Intoxicating Scotch by Flashy Zipper) ridden by David Busick and owned by Candy Bava, taking home a check for $580.50, a custom bronze sculpture and a gift certificate from Barbara's Custom Hats. Candy Bava said, “We had a blast! Love all the ladies in the office they are always so helpful and kind. Those ladies make everything run smoothly. The great trail lady Lori Crow designed courses that were fun and challenging, not to mention her wonderful smile and sense of humor every day. Even though it was nightime and we showed in the indoor arena under lights, I always figure they are trail horses and should be able to weather anything put in from of them, so no worries for our barn. I know our group really enjoyed it and I want to thank Markel Insurance for sponsoring the Open Trail Stakes and Jerry and Shelly Alvord for making this happen. Good times and good memories!”

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Reserve champion in the Open Trail Stakes was OK Ima Good One, a 2004 bay mare (A Good Machine-OK Zip Me Up by Zippo Pine Bar) shown by Cheryl Busick and owned by Ingrid Miller of Mesa, Arizona, taking home a check for $483.75, a custom chest and a gift certificate from Barbara's Custom Hats. Third place went to Michael Weaver, showing Zippos Ultra Gold, a 2004 sorrel gelding (Zippos Old Gold-So Sassette by Investment Asset) for Kathryn DeVries of Vacaville, California, receiving a custom leather checkbook and a check for $387. Pam Araujo's horse Look Im Good, a 2002 red roan mare (Zippos Mr Good Bar-Looking Swell by Zippos Old Gold) captured fourth place and a check for $290.25. Barbara Fletcher rode her Paint horse "Eddie" to fifth place and took home $193.50.  

Back 2 Basics 2015 Open Trail Stakes Champion

Open Trail Stakes Champion A Special Kinda Love (Credit: Dally A Star Photography)

Jerry and Shelly Alvord sponsored $500 for the added money in the Non-Pro Trail Stakes, bringing the payout to almost $1,000. R.L. Davis, show manager for TEEM, said, “The trail exhibitors have been asking for something special in their arena, so we structured something similar to what we provide with our National Reined Cow Horse Association derby and it paid back really well to the exhibitors who participated. We are hoping that it generates enough interest from the trail exhibitors to continue to offer it in 2016 and beyond.”

The Dirt & Diamonds National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby increased 26 percent over last year. This thanks was largely in part to the increased added money from the event's very supportive sponsors: Lucas Oil Products and Protect the Harvest as the title sponsors, along with two very nice stallions, Real Smooth Cat and Brother Jackson, who also provided added money. The total payout for the Dirt & Diamonds Open Derby was $12, 250 and the Dirt & Diamonds Non-Pro Derby payout came in at $4,300. 

Coming out on top of a very tough field of open riders was Clayton Edsall riding Johnny Isalena (Quejanaisalena-Dual Train by Dual Peppy) for Chelsea Barney of Oakdale, California, taking home a custom bronze trophy, Protect the Harvest/Lucas Oil product package and Barbara's Custom Hats gift certificate, plus a check for $3,675. Reserve champion was Skyline Cat (Mr Skyline Peppy-Suzie On A High Cat by High Brown Cat), ridden by Brandon Staebler for Michael Walsh of Chiloquin, Oregon, and taking home a custom chest, Protect the Harvest/Lucas Oil product package and Barbara's Custom Hats gift certificate, plus a check for $2,940. Third place went to Tucker Robinson showing CDs Catalena Cash (CD Olena-Shesa Lota Cash by Nu Cash) for owner-breeder San Juan Ranch of Shandon, California, receiving a custom leather checkbook and a check for $2,205. Paul Wilinski's horse Paddysstarlightchic (Self Shine-RN Starlights Chic by Smart Chic Olena) ridden by Ken Wold split fourth place with Clayton Edsall, who rode Autumnated (Autumn Acre-Crocheted by Smart Lil Ricochet) for owner Danielle Quinn of Oakdale, California; they each received a Protect the Harvest/Lucas Oil product package and a check for $1,286.25. Trent Pedersen showed Hope Miller's horse Cashs Catmando (Metallic Cat-Shesa Lota Cash by Nu Cash) to receive a sixth-place check totaling $857.50 and a custom halter.

Dirt n Diamonds 2015 Open Derby Champion Clayton Edsall

The Open Dirt & Diamonds Reined Cow Horse Derby champions were Clayton Edsall riding Johnny Isalena, a 2010 chestnut gelding (Quejanaisalena-Dual Train by Dual Peppy) owned by Chelsea Barney of Oakdale, California. (Credit: Dally A Star Photography)

The non-pro division of the Lucas Oil/Protect the Harvest Dirt & Diamonds Derby was also host to a tough field of cow horse competitors vying for $4,300. Many were return competitors from last year’s event, in addition to several new exhibitors. It was a close race among the top three, and they battled it out until the fence runs. In the end there was only a half-point difference between the top three, but try as they might they couldn’t get around Ramona Wold riding Jules Hickory Star, a 2010 bay gelding (Soula Jule Star-Turn Liz Loose by Doc's Hickory). This team came to show and along with the championship title took home the custom crystal trophy, a Protect the Harvest/Lucas Oil product package, a gift certificate from Barbara’s Custom Hats and a check for $1,720. Right behind her was Debby Sanguinetti riding Diesel Cat, a 2010 sorrel gelding (WR This Cats Smart-Jenny Lee Pep by Dual Pep), who took reserve champion, taking home a custom chest, Protect the Harvest/Lucas Oil product package and Barbara's Custom Hats gift certificate, plus a check for $1,290. Third place went to Kathy Wilson showing Sanalea Chex, a 2011 bay mare (Tomcat Chex-Smart Little Sanalea by Ill Be Smart), receiving a leather headstall, Protect the Harvest/Lucas Oil product package and a check for $860. Shannon McCarty received fourth place riding Chicaroo Kitty, a 2011 brown mare (Hick Chicaroo-Kat Five by High Brow Cat), taking home a custom halter, Protect the Harvest/Lucas Oil product package and a check for $430.

Dirt n Diamonds Non Pro Derby Champion 2015 Ramona Wold

The Non-Pro Dirt & Diamonds Reined Cow Horse Derby winner was Ramona Wold on her talented horse, Jules Hickory Star, a 2010 bay gelding (Soula Jule Star-Turn Liz Loose by Doc's Hickory). (Credit: Dally A Star Photography)

The Back 2 Basics AQHA Circuit was host to on average of almost 900 entries per day with classes for every level of exhibitor from beginning to intermediate to advanced, and every age division for horse and rider and in just about every type of AQHA class. The show circuit is also a PCQHA youth qualifying show and has always drawn large numbers of entries in all of the youth and Level 1 youth classes.

Many special circuit awards were presented, and some brought tears to a few eyes.

Receiving the Senior Trail Sybil Hardy Memorial Sculpture was A Special Kinda Love, a 2002 chestnut mare (A Special Assignment-Intoxicating Scotch by Flashy Zipper), ridden by David Busick and owned by Candy Bava. After the big win, Candy said, “The Senior Trail Sybil Hardy Memorial is such a beautiful bronze. This award is quite heart-warming and such a great tribute to one of our industries great icons! Thanks again to Jerry and Shelly Alvord for sponsoring this beautiful trophy in her honor.” 

R.L. and Kathy Davis sponsored a wonderful crystal sculpture to present to the circuit champion in Select amateur trail in memory of the late Kathy Hunt. Receiving this beautiful award was  Linda Gluckman of Valley Center, California, riding Rockin Out In Style, a 2006 sorrel gelding (Goin Out In Style-Colorado Rocketta by Cowmans Little Peppy). Linda and her gelding had a great week in the trail pen and was honored to receive such a special award in memory of a person we all knew and oved. 

There were classes for everyone, at every level of ability and age group – both AQHA and all-breed. From halter to western pleasure, cattle classes to trail, ranch riding to hunter under saddle, this show offered it all. The 11-&-under all-breed exhibitors even competed for a high-point 11-&-under buckle. 

Circuit awards were given in more than 100 classes, with some special circuit awards to the following:

Junior Cutting – Travis Jensen riding Busy Being Catty, a 2010 sorrel mare (Cats Merada-My Diamond Forever by Somebodys Smart) owned by Danny and Laurel Morais of Pleasanton, California, received a buckle sponsored by Jason Haefner Cutting Horses

Amateur Ranch Riding – Chex This Chic Out, a 2002 sorrel stallion (Smart Chic Olena-Peppy Badger Baby by Peppy Badger Chex), owned and shown by C. Michelle Roye of Vacaville, California, received a bronze sculpture

Senior Cow Horse – Real Smooth Cat, a 2009 sorrel stallion (Smooth As A Cat-Real Plain Jane by Real Doc) ridden by Ken Wold for Daniel Perez of Westley, California, received a bronze sculpture

Select Amateur Trail – Linda Gluckman of Valley Center, California, riding Rockin Out In Style, a 2006 sorrel gelding (Goin Out In Style-Colorado Rocketta by Cowmans Little Peppy), won a custom crystal trophy sponsored by R.L. and Kathy Davis

Senior Trail – David Busick riding A Special Kinda Love, a 2002 chestnut mare (A Special Assignment-Intoxicating Scotch by Flashy Zipper), for Candy Bava received a bronze sculpture

All Around

Open – Shes A Nu Nitro, a 2008 red roan mare (Nitro Dual Doc-Street Corner Cash by Nu Cash), shown by Kathy Torres for Bar 4 Ranch of San Mateo, California, received a custom crystal sculpture

Amateur – The Krymsun Moon, a 2007 brown gelding (One Hot Krymsun-Zippo By Moonlight by Zippo Pine Bar) and Stephanie Kofu of San Jose, California, received a custom crystal sculpture

Select Amateur – Lookin Krymsun Cool, a 2008 sorrel gelding (One Hot Krymsun-Cool Lookin Lady by Dont Skip Zip), and Lorraine Jewett of Grass Valley, California, received a custom silver buckle

Level 1 Youth – Sleep By Invitation, a 2006 bay gelding (Too Sleep To Zip-ZF Uptown Girl by Invitation Only), and Nadalee Michelle Vasquez of Acton, California, received a custom walnut-and-tooled leather plaque 

Youth – Certainly Suited, a 2006 sorrel gelding (Certain Potential-Dotevita by Zippo Jack Bar), and Michelle Patin of Healdsburg, California, received a custom crystal sculpture

Level 1 Amateur – Wall Street Mogul, a 2008 sorrel gelding (Blazing Hot-Zippos Ms Goodbar by Zippos Mr Good Bar), and Brenda Mansur of Lincoln, California, received a custom walnut-and-tooled leather plaque

11-&-Under – Getyourenginerunning, a 2007 bay gelding (A Good Machine-Start N Nova by The Coosanova), and Zetta Reid received a custom Buckle

With the continued success of the National Reined Cow Horse Association-sanctioned Dirt & Diamonds Derby and the new Dirt & Diamonds Trail Stakes open to horses of all breeds, there is an added bonus for all exhibitors on the West Coast to come to this great event. It drew contestants from Canada, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho and Arizona, as well as California.

AQHA, PCQHA and NRCHA are the governing bodies of this competition, and are responsible for promoting the sport, insuring high standards of competition, ethical treatment of the animals and educating members and the public about the history and traditions of the horse.

Visit the TEEM website at www.teemshows.com for more unofficial results and upcoming shows.