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By Dr. Silke Courtenay
The second annual “Horses Head to Hoof” event took place this past Sunday, April 13, 2014 at Green Acres Ranch on De Portola Road.
The Rancho California Arabian Horse Association (RCAHA) has organized this free event to the public as “a celebration of all things equine” to foster and promote camaraderie between local horse clubs, horse ranches and horse people. They were quite successful in meeting their goal.
The event was kicked off with a flag presentation by the Temecula Wine Country Cowgirl Color guard.
Throughout the day riders showed off different horse disciplines and breeds. Corine Ebert and Ally Meeks showed off their skills in jumping while Anna Burman showed her equitation skills over fences. Equitation judges the riders abilities and perfection in the saddle. Hope Adams showed off gaited horses.
Robb Wallen presented champion horse Intrepid Behold in driving. He looked very elegant on his pleasure driving cart wearing a dark suit and white fedora. Rob and Rachel later engaged in a friendly competition showing off their high stepping Saddlebred horses.
In contrast, Kerrie Tuley wears more comfortable clothes while she races horses over a distance of 50 miles demonstrating the endurance of both horse and rider. In order to win, the condition of the horse is checked at the end of the race by a veterinarian and only if the horse is shown to be in excellent shape health wise can a rider claim first place.
Other riders impressed in their elaborate costumes. Nicole Payne brought on dreams of 1001 nights dazzling in an Arabian Native costume on her beautiful Arabian stallion.
And if all the fantastic riding demonstrations are not enough, how about petting a horse the size of a large dog? Wallen West Farms’ mini horse “Blue Moon” is not only adorable he also attracted admiring on-lookers with his ability to bow, to guess someone’s age, balance on a stool, and play on a see-saw with excited kids.
Have you ever heard of a Knabstrupper?
Even among horse people this rare Danish breed with its telltale spots is not well known. But guests were able to see a riding demonstration on a Knabstrupper during the “parade of breeds”. Other breeds demonstrated were the Tennessee Walking horse, Mustang, Mule, Saddlebred, Rocky Mountain Horse, Arabian, Mini, Morgan and Peruvian Paso to name a few.
But horse activities are not limited to demonstrate riding and driving skills – games on horses can add an extra element of fun and competitive spirit.
The Temecula Valley Polo Club gave a demonstration of the game with Geraldine Strunsky and Alvaro Tadeo in the saddle.
In polo two opposing teams of four riders try to score a goal by hitting a small ball with a long wooden mallet while on ponies bred specifically for their agility and speed. The game was tight, but in the end Geraldine was able to win the fun match with a score of 2 to 1. The event closed with an equine soccer match with riders maneuvering their horses to kick a giant pink soccer ball.
All in all, a superb gathering of the equine minded for the second year running in Temecula horse country.
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