UQHA Early Thaw Show

Even a blizzard couldn’t dampen the spirits of exhibitors at first Utah Quarter Horse Association show of 2015.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

The recipient of the $500 savings bond was high-point youth 7-11 walk-trotter Jami Roberts of Kemmerer, Wyoming, on Zipamatic. The savings bond was awarded in memory of late AQHA judge and UQHA supporter Doug Haws. (Copyright: PRO PHOTO) Scroll down to see more photos from the UQHA Early Thaw show.

Perhaps the “Early Thaw” was a little too hopeful of a name for the Utah Quarter Horse Association’s February 20-22 show in Hurricane. UQHA exhibitors, however, didn’t let the wintry weather didn’t cool their enthusiasm for the start of the 2015 show season.

The start of the show was fantastic, with entry numbers almost 500 per judge, reported show secretary Debbie Bartholomew, with the biggest classes being the ranch riding events with 20 exhibitors.

“It is unusual for Hurricane to have such cold temperatures, let alone snow and wind that blasted everything,” Debbie added. “By Sunday, many of our exhibitors scratched from their classes, having safety in mind as they hit the road in attempt to beat the storm.”

Exhibitors left Hurricane, Utah, with more than just a good tale on their hands; the UQHA Early Thaw also had some unique prizes on the line.

“We gave a hat box, hand painted by Judy Bonham, to the oldest horse in the classes, which was the 1996 gelding Lonsum Pine Breeze, who was shown in walk-trot classes by Tori Kress,” Debbie said. 

“Early Thaw polo shirts were presented to the exhibitor who traveled the most miles to get to the show, which happened to be more than 1,000 miles, and headstalls were awarded to the highest score in Friday and Sudnay’s ranch riding classes.”

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Jim Montgomery and Smoken Gunner earned $200 for marking the highest combined score in reining. The 2006 sorrel stallion (Colonels Smoking Gun-Royal San Pretty by Peppy San) is owned by Larry Stevens of Sandy, Utah.  

For having the highest combined score in the working cow horse classes, $200 was awarded to owner Dona Ramsteck of Loveland, Colorado, for her horse BR Winning Rey, a 2007 sorrel gelding (TR Dual Rey-Lenas Putty Tat by High Brow Cat).

And for the highest combined score in trail, Moonlite Cruiser earned $200 for his owner, Jennifer Fischbach of Salt Lake City. The 2010 bay gelding is by Only In The Moonlight and out of A Radical Blaze by Blazing Hot.

The big award of the weekend was the $500 U.S. savings bond, which was awarded in honor of late AQHA judge and UQHA supporter Doug Haws. The recipient of the savings bond was high-point youth 7-11 walk-trotter Jami Roberts of Kemmerer, Wyoming, on Zipamatic, a 2003 bay gelding (Zippos Old Gold-Zippos Precious Image by Zippo Pine Three). 

“The Early Thaw show has been in existence for more than 20 years and a longtime sponsor and supporter of the was Doug Haws,” Debbie explained. “Doug passed away this last May, and in honor of his support and love of the youth, this award of a U.S. savings bond will be added to the long list of awards that the Early Thaw show offers.”

The 2015 UQHA show season continues on March 20-22 with the Utah Horse Expo in South Jordan, Utah. Access the event calendar and learn more at www.uqha.com.  

The photos below are copyrighted by the official show photographer, PRO PHOTO, and provided courtesy to The American Quarter Horse Journal. Look through proofs from the UQHA Early Thaw at www.prophoto.bz.