[Winners Announced] Western Club Spring Freestyle

  • Western Club Spring Freestyle

    Welcome to the Western Horse Club’s first photo challenge! This challenge will be judged very loosely in terms of the realism, so don’t stress about getting placement just right, or if the action chosen is appropriate in that step of a performance. We would like to see western attire, though. Beginners welcome as well as seasoned veterans!

    Entries should include:

    • A western discipline
    • A horse
    • A rider
    • At least one picture
    • A story, if you’d like!

    Rules/ Guidelines

    • Your work should be your own, no premade tails because these entries will be judged and prized.
    • The picture(s) should be new, no reposting old edits!
    • The horses don’t have to be stocks/arabs, registered in western disciplines, or even registered at all!
    • All western disciplines allowed.
    • Please include the name of your horse and rider, the horse's breed, the discipline showcased, and the action performed with your entry.
    • We encourage all of you to sign up for the Western Horse Club to hear about events in the future, but it’s not required to participate.


    All participants will receive a mystery prize created by Jase Sunshine.

    • Grand Champion: $50,000, 12 poses of their choosing, and 2 full-body markings, one by me and one by Samantha Lockhart!
    • 2nd Overall: $30,000, 8 poses of their choosing, and 2 sets (Face and 4 legs) of face and leg markings!
    • 3rd Overall: $10,000, 6 poses of their choosing, and 1 set (Face and 4 legs) of face and leg markings!
    • Most Artistic (This is the only placing where editing will be a part of judging): $20,000, and 2 full-body markings made by Samantha Lockhart

    If there are enough entries (at least 6 per category), these placings will be available:

    • Best Stock Entry: $10,000 and 1 full-body marking by Samantha Lockhart
    • Best Arab/Part-Arab Entry: $10,000, 1 Arabian import by Nikki Calvaria and 1 Pintabian import by Nikki Calvaria
    • Best Other Entry: $10,000, 1 Arabian import by Nikki Calvaria and 1 Pintabian import by Nikki Calvaria

    If there are enough entries (at least 6 per discipline, up to 3. If 6 disciplines each get 6 entries, the prize will be reduced to $10,000, but all 6 disciplines will have a winner), placings for the best of each discipline will be available:

    • Best (DISCIPLINE) Entry: $20,000

    Participants can win more than one placing. If there aren't enough entries to place the breed and discipline categories, the prizes allotted to those placings will be pooled to the primary four placings.
    One special winner will be chosen to be the Western Club's first horse showcase!

  • SPH These Ties are Binding
    Mare | American Indian Horse
    Ridden by Lucia Martinez Castillo
    Performing the Spin, Reining
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  • Absaroka Solarus
    Mare | Arabian x Appaloosa
    Ridden by Brooke Gubler
    Performing jog over poles, Western Trail
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  • NRR Shadows In The Mist
    Stallion | Appalosa
    Rider: Delilah Woodson
    Performing Spin Control 5

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  • SPH Mothership Reporting
    Pintabian Mare
    Ridden by Mikaela Carr
    Western Pleasure, Walk


    "Oh, let me ride the new mare!"
    I was skeptical when Mikalea was so eager to take part in the first Western Club show. Rosewood is by no means a western stable. This new Pintabian mare is the first western-competing horse in our showing roster. A few riders have western riding experience, but others could only say that they ride trails in western saddles. Not exactly the best when it came to an actual Western competition. I was planning to sit this one out until we were able to hire a western-centered rider. But if Mikalea was so eager...
    "Reining or Western Pleasure. Do you have any experience in either?"
    "Yeah, I started riding Western back when I was eight. I've actually been doing it longer than I've done English riding."
    "Alright then, take your pick."
    "Western Pleasure. I still have an old show outfit. Do we have any purple blankets?"
    "The one I bought for her is pink."
    "That will have to work. Sign me up please!"

    So I did just that, and I must say the pair did very well. Much better than I was expecting from a Dressage rider and a completely new horse. Mikalea admitted to being a bit rusty, but I personally don't know much about Western riding so I couldn't even tell. Either way, I wish the pair luck and many future shows together!

  • RL/RFE Evertere Solis ridden by Noah Hicks
    7yo Appaloosa stalion
    Western Pleasure
    Attempt of lope.

    Coming early to a show with a horse like Solis wasn't an option - it was a necessity. The young stallion always needed at least two days to get used to new surroundings. This show was no difference. The horse trailer with two horses from RFE arrived three days early to make sure both horses settled well. Solis was to participate in western pleasure, and the younger mare in halter.
    The next day the arena was decorated and ready for riders to try it out and show it to their competition mounts. Noah saddled up Solis and took him for a quick, relaxing ride around the show arena. The stallion seemed okay with everything. The atmosphere was still quiet, but with more and more horse trucks and trailers arriving with every passing hour.

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    On the day of the show things were already super busy and Noah could feel the youngster was getting tight and anxious. That definitely won't help him as he needs a nice, relaxed form and smooth gaits from Solis. The warm-up was a bit messy with Solis eyeing other horses and some fancy looking, polished mares in blingy tack.
    The arena performance was also a bit of a mess, especially the lope. Solis rushed, ducked his head and it was generally horrible. But, this was a good experience and Noah just had to ride through it with a smile and pretend like everything was just right! :star:

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  • KR Playin' Aces
    American Quarter Horse Stallion
    Ridden by Kory Sanders
    Reining, large circles, freestyle Listen

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    "Okay boy, lets see how well you do. The crowd is still small not to loud." Kyle cooed to his stunning black quarter horse.

    They were an untried pair, not just new to eachother but new to the arena, the showing life as a team. It was all new. I had tried to talk Kyle into riding a more experienced horse for the show, one that knew how to handle everything a show could toss at them. Sadly, he refused stating it had to be his new horse Ace. All I could do was lean against the trailer with crossed arms and a thread of alfalfa in my mouth, wife decided now would be a good time to end my smoking habit. Now when my son was going into the ring on an unproven horse.

    "Don't mind him Ace, he's old school and feels a horse should be worked harder into the show world then just trial and error. Old man" Yup, I'm getting my hide tanned when we get home for that comment kyle thought. Oh well. I picked the perfect song for Ace and I to do the freestyle to. A freestyle, and my father was worried, no set course just whatever Ace and I felt went to the beat of the music. He would live.

    *Announcers voice - "Next into the arena will be KR Playin' Aces ridden by Kody Sanders *

    "Time for us to go boy!" I leaped onto ace as the music began and it was finally time to test the waters while my nervous nelly of a father watchedon from the stands

  • PLR Cowboy Bebop
    Pintaloosa Stallion
    Ridden by Anna Bennet
    Cutting the Cow
    Text/image here

  • PLR My Sweet Valentine
    American Quarter Horse Stallion
    Ridden by Anna Bennet
    Reining - Sliding Stop
    Text/image here

  • BWA Summer Storm
    Arabian Mare
    Ridden by Matt Bennet
    Calf Roping
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  • RRC Rangos Little Revenge
    APH Stallion
    Ridden by Nicolaus Cordalis
    Barrel Racing
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  • PR Committee

    Clayton L
    Oldenburg gelding, hopefully showcasing 'cutting', performing...chasing after ponies
    Ridden by Dasha Patterson


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    "What on earth are you wearing?"
    "Shut up, Scotty"
    "No seriously, that are those things? You'll blind the horses in those things."
    "Shut up, Scotty."
    "I mean where did you even get cowboy boots in this country?"
    Dasha lived to be different; from her flowing locks of pink and sky blue hair to her dark bronze skin and different contact colours every day. Nothing about her could be assumed normal or typical. She loved to be the centre of attention and was the daredevil of the farm. The most normal thing about her was her unassuming bay Warmblood gelding affectionately known as Moose. He was as placid as she was headstrong but they were a solid pairing.
    "Shut up..."
    The storage room door swung open and a rather breathless Alma stood panting in the doorway, with England's finest rain and mud splattered across her otherwise spotless breeches.
    "Does anyone know why the ponies are charging through the exercise field?"
    "Oh good" Dasha picked up the tan western hat resting on the rickety old chair and balanced it over her hair. "Time to catch them now!"


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  • PR Committee

    Honeybrook Stormvielle
    Arabian, hopefully showcasing 'mountain trial', performing climbing down a hill into the stream
    Ridden by Clementine O’Sullivan


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  • MD Cósmico
    Campolina stallion
    Ridden by Caleb James
    Western Trail • Walk over poles

    MD Cósmico

  • TY Gypsy Spirit
    Mustang Mare
    Ridden by Kody Sanders
    Freestyle Reining Listen

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    It's just a small show, hardly any audiance, no loud sounds, barely any ruckus. Exactly what this little mustang mare needed. Especially being back on her home range. Gypsy's owner returned her to us after times became ruff in he horse industry. She was originally on my grandfathers farm Tybar Ranch, she still bore his brand but she was skittish but wild in the eyes. When we unloaded her at the ranch her whinny range through the moutian range searching for any of her old herd mates. I walked her around the show ground for awhile, she nuzzled noses with some other horses shied at the food stands popping popcorn. We waited our turn

    "See Gypsy, nothing to be worried about. Its pretty quite, you know the music to the routine too and it will be the same volume too"

    Kyle talked softly to the little mustang who kept her ears perked toward his voice as she looked around, a slight quiver rushing over her as the announcers voice took over the music from the last pair in the arena. As the woman over the PA said the mares name, she whinnied again and that was when they road into the arena to do their dance.

  • UD Suddenly Sterling
    Arabian Mare
    Ridden by Sasha Sanders
    Western Pleasure

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    It was a lost argument, I had tried for the last few weeks to tell Sasha to back off and out of the show with Sterling. Mostly because the mare had been out of work for a couple of months after she got into it with one of our other mares on the pasture. She was frisky and hadn't been in the show ring. Especially since we moved back to Wyoming with the ranch. But...Sasha being Sasha she planted her feet crossed her arms and flat told me it wasn't up for debate she would be riding her big arabian mare in the show no matter what my opinion on it was

    "What's that saying Sasha? Hell hath no fury like an angry mare?"

    It's all I could chuckle as she led Sterling from the trailer, tacked her up and went right into the arena in line with the other arabians competing that day. I shook my head, had it been anyone other then Sasha on that horses back, they would of been eating dirt for months.

  • SCS Command Me Later
    Quarter Horse Mare
    Ridden by Emery Williams
    Rounding final barrel

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    She's new, but she says she's experienced...supposedly. She's on my new horse....my new chunky...expensive....well trained...new mare. She can ride right? She's from another well reputationed stable. She must be good. I had yet to see this woman ride, but my cousin Dallas sent her our way after she realized Emery was better at Western riding and stocky horse handling then she was with the warmbloods at Galileo Stud. But...I'd never personally seen her ride and my wife made the choice and being the compliant husband I am..I agreed. Doesn't mean I'm happy about it.

    "Warm that mare up before you ever touch that arena or even sniff a barrel with her, we paid good money for color but her training and everything else was pricy as well. She's one of the queens of this ranch. Don't mess up. My wife and cousin might be good friends and give you the bennifet of the doubt, but on my ranch it's all about proving your worth and earning your keep"

    I sounded harsh, but my horses were my babies. A rider is an extension of the horse, should the rider fail the horse will fail. I watched Emery give a nervous nod at my words before she went and warmed Misses up. I jumped when the announcement came on for Misses to show her stuff, I stood at the side of the arena and watched...and waited.....

  • HMR Heza Dusted Bar
    Paint Horse Stallion
    Ridden by Kayla Welsh
    Freestyle - Saddle-less Reining

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    Dusty was a horse you could but any rider on and he would do a show on his own. Thats why when Kayla, my oldest daughter, came to me with an idea for the show I told her to go for it. So long as she did plenty of work before hand with him to get used to said idea. She wanted to do the freestyle event, with no saddle. She had me listen to the music, had me review her course, and had me spot her during her training. Its a father daughter thing we always have done. She couldn't of picked a better horse, from the bloodline of the famous Buck and our smart little Amgia, he was by far the best choice. If you slipped even the slightest he would stop and move whichever direction to try to keep his rider on or just stop and let you fall without his big ol' hooves stepping on you.

    "You sure you're ready to try him out in a night freestyle?" I was sure she heard the concern tone I was trying to mask, we had run the pattern only during the day...at dusk. "

    "Yes dad, we'll be fine. You said so yourself, Dusty wouldn't let anything bad happen to me and I could run this on him with my eyes closed and hands tied behind my back and not miss a beat. He's a bombs proof horse. Quit worrying, I'm not Kory." She had that right, her younger brother took unnecessary risks when it came to shows and his riding style. Where-as she trained over and over until she could do a pattern blind-folded. The announcer called her and dusty up next and "House party" began to play over the louder speakers. I took my place at the side of the arena to watch and see how they did.

  • RWH Runaway Ruby
    Appaloosa Mare
    Ridden by Kory Sanders
    Western Pleasure

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    Defiant that is the only way to describe my son. He had mentioned nothing to myself or anyone for that matter that he was taking Ruby into that Western Pleasure ring. He knows NOTHING about the sport. Figured if mom and his sister can do it...he can?! Idiot. Ruby isn't even a pleasure mare, she's a western trail and trail horse. It had been an argument day and night over everything after his sister did her bareback reining event. If it wasn't about letting him ride our young stallions it was about what he did and didn't know what to do with a horse or in a show.

    "I swear you favor her over me! Just because she trains longer then I do doesn't mean she's smarter. I don't see her here constantly, no she goes off to where-ever I don't care if its work or college. I have to do homework and tend to the stalls and horses. It's bulls..." Apparently the look on my face made him shut his trap before he cussed at me.

    "I don't favor either of you when it's rodeo season. It's not about you or her, it's about the name of the ranch and showing the quality of the horses. Getting THEIR names out there and the amount of points up so someday they can breed and offspring will earn. Go ahead, try Ruby out then. If she listens and does anything Western Pleasure I'll be surprised."

    All I could do was watch as Kory tacked Ruby up in the fancy gear of western pleasure and chuckle at the look on her face. Sure she's smart, but she needs a smart rider on her back to actually do well. He had no pleasure clothing so wore what he would if he was reining. That's okay I guess. I watched as they moved into the arena, she did okay at her extended jog that was normal movement for her between poles. Maybe...just maybe..the kid had been right.

  • OCS Color Me Fancy
    Paint Horse stallion
    Ridden by Caleb James
    Western Pleasure • Extended Jog
    And bonus portrait after the show

    OCS Color Me Fancy

    OCS Color Me Fancy

  • CSR Sun O'Lena
    Paint Horse mare
    Ridden by Jade Lacel
    Barrel Racing • Rounding the last barrel
    And bonus portrait after the show

    CSR Sun O'Lena

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