2015 Ranch News
In August, we attended the Way out West show in Central Point, Or. Between our two trainers, Cassidy Blanton and Casey Campbell, we took our entire show string. All of them performed very well in various categories. Most noteworthy is Rich's wonderful drive with Design that earned him enough points to win an honor roll buckle at the AMHA annual meeting. Mac and Skunk repeated the success they enjoyed at regionals the month prior. Skunk once again skunked Mac and won the Grand Championship, while Mac earned reserve.
September was a biggy for Double E Ranch. It was our first appearance at AMHR Nationals, and our horses did not disappoint. Hunter did not show well with me in amateur, but earned sixth out of forty horses in open halter with Danielle Peas, an expert trainer from back east. Sensa earned ninth out of forty in amateur halter, eighth out of forty in liberty, and first in his open halter class with Casey Campbell. Mac was the star of the show, as Jacob earned a Reserve National Champion in Western Classic Pleasure Driving Under. Kim Sweatt expertly drove him to Champion in the ladies division in a very large, competitive class. Finally, Casey drove him to Unanimous Grand Champion in Western Country Pleasure Driving, Under. Further, Mac earned third in his halter class with Casey. Quite an exciting time we had in Tulsa.
Marystown Heir To Glory with Casey Campbell.
Marystown McDreamy with Jacob Elliott.
At the Worlds show later that month, we realized our greatest success, as our horses far exceeded our expectations. Although Mac did not so well in his amateur driving classes (6th in Level One and Two), Gigi earned a fourth with Richard at the whip in a class of twenty-five entries. Mac earned 4th in a competitive halter class with our friend Tanja Lathouwers from Belgium proudly showing him. Jacob made a last minute decision to exhibit Hunter in amateur futurity, and it paid off big time. Hunter won his class that included many who have shown horses at the world level for years. In the championship class (with encouragement from none other than Jonathan Whitt), Jacob took home Reserve Grand Amateur Futurity Champion. Things only got better from there. Both Mac and Skunk won at least one world championship. A decision had to be made quickly - whom would we send with Casey into the grand championship class? We opted for Mac, because he started the year way back in March. Cassidy proudly (and expertly) drove Skunk. It was a beautiful drive, but Mac prevailed as the unanimous winner.
Jacob & Hunter bringing home the Amateur Futurity Champion title along with a well deserved check!
Unfortunately, our experience was marred by some tragic news we received at the beginning of the week. It seemed that somehow Design got loose in his trailer and flipped over, resulting in a neck injury that proved terminal. Despite some valiant efforts to save him, including chiropractics, the decision was made to euthanize him at the show. Semen was harvested from his testicles into straws, enough to inseminate approximately twenty mares. At this time, the frozen semen resides at 808 Ranch close to our property. We have sent three mares there one of whom appears to have taken. More news to follow. Stay tuned.
Presently, Sensa remains in training with Casey Campbell who is breaking him to drive, indeed, he is an exquisite mover! Recently, we purchased a mare from Aimee Davis (a half-sister to Graham's Ragtime) for breeding to Sensa. Pistol is in training with Cassidy and will make his driving debut next year - so excited! Speaking of Pistol, he has three foals on the ground that are absolutely balanced and striking! Pics available in our foals section! We finally took the advice of Gelding Queen, Cassidy Blanton, and did the deed on two of our stallions, one of whom is our show horse, Thor. All of the other show horses are at home enjoying the freedom of movement available at Double E!
Rest In Peace our Beautiful Boy, Design ~ You were truly one in a million!
Update - August, 2015
So, right off the trailer and into the show ring, our new boy whom we renamed “Hunter” earned a grand champion junior stallion under one judge and reserve grand champion junior stallion under two judges. Our classic pleasure driving horse, Mac, swept the competition in all of his classes, including two firsts for me in amateurs and grand champion classic pleasure driving with our trainer, Casey Campbell. Things have progressed upward since, as Mac, Hunter, and Design posted some incredible results at the Mother’s Day Extravaganza show in Elk Grove, CA. Once again Mac did not disappoint in his classic pleasure driving classes, but also earned accolades as senior stallion in halter. It was the best birthday present for me and mother’s day present for my mother, Maxine, as I won my amateur halter classes with Mac (champion senior stallion) and Hunter (champion junior stallion) Rich, in his driving debut, won two firsts with Design in country pleasure. I was so proud of him! Cassidy Blanton, our trainer and co-owner of Design, posted some impressive results (either reserve champion or grand champion) across several driving classes.
Two weeks later, Hunter and Mac entered their first AMHR (“R”) show, the Area VII Regional Championships and cleaned up in their respective categories. Hunter won champion of champions under, while Mac won with me in amateur western classic pleasure driving, Casey’s mother won in Ladies, and Rich won in a special “over 55” class. One of the highlights of the show occurred when I won amateur grand champion under with Hunter, and Rich won amateur reserve grand under with Mac. The next week, we left for Europe on a combination vacation/networking trip with other miniature horse aficionados. In addition, we purchased Mountain Meadows Simply Sensational (“Senza”) who was owned by a party in Belgium who had him in training with Casey. He promises to be a major asset to our R string and breeding program.
2015 AMHA Western Regionals with Kimberly Sweatt, Casey Campbell, Richard & Jacob Elliott
During the course of June, we took a road trip that originated in Paris where we watched the French Open in person. We visited several miniature horse farms in the low countries and met some friends from facebook on our way to visiting family all over Sweden. On our return, we stopped by to see a horse show in the Netherlands. What a treat! Of course, we had some of our horses entered in a show in Santa Rosa, CA. As usual Mac did really well, but the occasion was more noteworthy for the debut of his full brother, Marystown Heir to Glory whom we affectionately call “Skunk.”
During the month of July, Rich and I spent most of our time making improvements on the ranch and visiting Casey and Cassidy for halter and driving lessons. We hosted a BBQ for the Area VII Miniature Horse club that was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Recently, we exhibited our horses in the AMHA Western Regional Championships in Eugene, Oregon. With Casey, we showed Mac, Hunter, and Skunk. Cassidy brought Design, and Little King’s Sheza Swan (whom we call “Gigi”). Mac did not start off so well the first day but garnered some amazing results as the competition resumed on the weekend. Rich drove Design to reserve amateur level one champion in a class of fifteen horses. Cassidy also won reserve champion in the open country pleasure driving class with Design. In my first open driving class, I drove Gigi in classic pleasure driving 32”-34”. I won reserve grand champion behind Casey, who was driving Mac.
Later, I discovered that I lost by only one point! The most exciting aspect of the show was yet to come. Having driven Skunk to first place in classic pleasure driving stallions, Casey would drive him in the championship class. I asked Kim Sweatt, possibly the top amateur in the nation, to drive Mac. She graciously agreed. Ultimately, the two brothers tied in points and won Regional Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Classic Pleasure Driving. We are still celebrating this amazing achievement.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, we are now up to six foals (all for sale of course). We have also confirmed six more foals on the way all of them sired by Pistol. Finally, we have acquired a half-sister to Senza whom we will show next year.
This year has been a whirlwind from the outset! Aside from fulfilling my duties as Vice President of the NorCal Miniature Horse Club, Rich and I have had something going on every weekend from the beginning of February. I’m tired just thinking about it! During this time, we attended a clinic in Oregon with Mike Rosauer and Matt Taylor at the helm. It was excellent, informative, and entertaining! The following weekend, we put on a clinic of our own at Brookside Equestrian Center with Cassidy Blanton and Casey Campbell – a powerful combination to be sure. Everyone came away from the weekend armed with a host of skills just in time for show season. Not too long after, we had a very large outdoor arena installed on our property. I cannot tell you how convenient it is too practice at home without having to go every week to the trainer’s for a lesson. We are happy to loan it out to others who want to drive on it!
At the Touch of Class show in Scottsdale, I earned a first place ribbon under one judge on my first drive ever in Classic Driving. I was both shocked and pleased with the results. Our boy Marystown McDreamy (“Mac”) had a wonderful show in halter classes as well. In the space of two weeks, we had two foals both named for Fleetwood Mac songs (Gold Dust Woman or “Dusty” and Rhiannon) Dusty is super fat and brimming with energy, while Rhiannon is petite and dainty.
Recently, we took a trip up to Oregon and visited several prominent ranches in the miniature horse industry. Diane Dorigan, Vice President of Northwest Miniature Horse Club, entertained us at her place and cooked us an amazing dinner! Joanne Ross of Scott Creek Farm not only allowed us to stay at her barn apartment but also taught us much about horse sense, as we worked her beautiful horses. We visited Oak Bay Acres, where Sheryl Peterson, owner of the famous Salsamio, gave us an entire day of her valuable time to show us around her neck of the woods. In addition, we met Cameron Nelson and his mother Cindy McPike of Coci Ranch. What a beautiful setting they have with some gorgeous horses!
Although our plan did not necessarily include buying a horse, we fell in love with Desi, son of Jess Let Me Impress, world supreme champion from 2013. We just had to get him! Who needs a couple of trips to Hawaii anyway! The Rowlands have an incredible place in Hunterberry Hill Farm and are such lovely people! He is showing at the NorCal event in Corning at present. Here’s to hoping he makes an “impressive” debut!”
Jacob Elliott and Richard Erickson
Double E. Ranch