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Goodbye to Nievas

Nievas B14Nievas carried Brandon Dufurrena to the 2013 NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Non-Pro Championship. • Photo by Hart PhotosAfter a nearly three-month battle with complications from founder in both front feet, cutting performer Nievas was laid to rest on Saturday, Aug. 22. The 8-year-old mare left behind an impressive $361,877 Equi-Stat record, but the void she left in the Dufurrena family’s barn in Gainesville, Texas, is much bigger.

How Hard Could It Be?

BonnieWheatleyBarrel Horse News Editor Bonnie Wheatley goes down the fence for the first time • Photo by Rich Goddard / High Desert ImagingBlank. It’s not what you want your mind to be when asked to write a blog. In my line of work, I get a barrage of ideas about riding and training coming my way, and I confess my mind gets a little overloaded at times and goes a little blank. The same thing can be said for showing horses. There are so many little details to learn and remember; it takes a great deal of focus.

Several weeks ago I entered my first National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Non-Pro Bridle class, where I went down the fence for the first time. Blank is not what I wanted to be when I rode in there – mind you, this coming from a person who, in my first two NRCHA outs, missed the markers and got my circles backward. Going down the fence was not something I planned to tackle until I got the circles sorted out. But at the urging of my dad, Jack McComber, who has a lot more show pen experience than I do, I entered the Bridle rather than the Limited. He told me it was a waste of my horse to keep entering the boxing classes because this horse is exceptional down the fence. So I entered up – and he was right.

Turnback Sue

Turn-back-dogPhoto by Ross Hecox

Meet "Sue", Matt Koch's most reliable ranch hand. Matt Koch, the head trainer for Wagonhound Land and Livestock, likes to occasionally work his 3-year-old cow horse prospects in a pasture. And whether outside or in an arena, Koch relies on Sue, his 2-year-old Border Collie, to keep cattle pointed at his horses. "I use her every day, whether we're gathering cattle or she's turning back for me," he says. "She's a natural at it."

Reymanator Named World's Richest Stock Horse Champion

06-Reymanator-Zane-Davis-stopReymanator & Zane Davis at the 2009 Snaffle Bit Futurity • Photo by Primo MoralesThe talented and quirky Reymanator vaulted to victory in the World’s Richest Stock Horse contest with a strong fence run Friday night in Paso Robles, California. The crowd went wild as the 9-year-old gelding and Zane Davis chased a hard-running calf down the fence.

How to Braid Saddle Strings

saddlestringsWe know how nice it is to have saddle strings when we need to tie something down. At the same time, they can be a nuisance and even a safety hazard when we don’t need them, especially when they get under the saddle or under the latigo during saddling!

Special Nu Baby Wins Las Vegas Mercuria

SpecialNuBaby 15Special Nu Baby & Matt GainesAs the second half of the 2015 Mercuria/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Series of Cutting begins, the race for NCHA World titles is heating up. The any-age events are offering a chance for Open and Non-Pro horses and riders to widen their lead or jump up in the standings. For Special Nu Baby, who was leading the Open by a wide margin before the fifth leg of the series, her most recent win in Las Vegas keeps her at the top of the list.

Farewell to Gallo Del Cielo

04-GalloDelCieloJohnBrassGallo Del Cielo • Photo by John BrasseauxThe Western performance horse world, and the reining industry in particular, lost a legend on Aug. 20 when 26-year-old Gallo Del Cielo, commonly known as “Rooster,” passed away due to an accident.

NRHA Announces Rule Changes

NRHA logo BWThe National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) concluded its August 2015 board of directors meeting, making several recommendations and approving several important rule changes in an effort to advance the sport of reining. In addition to important event conditions and guidelines, the board also discussed all 2016 rule change proposals submitted to the body earlier this year. The board considered long-term administrative, global and fiduciary impact, in addition to member feedback provided via its website, direct contact and letters from the membership.

Study Reveals Equine Influenza On The Rise

shotsWith studies showing the equine influenza virus is on the rise, the USEF is implementing a new rule regarding vaccination.Equine influenza virus (EIV) is one of the leading respiratory diseases in the United States and the number of horses infected has been on the rise. Since 2008, Merck Animal Health has collected more than 4,700 samples from horses presenting with signs of acute infectious upper respiratory disease and/or acute neurologic disease as part of an ongoing research program. The two leading diagnoses, based on samples submitted from horses of all disciplines and ages across the U.S., have been equine herpesvirus-4 and EIV.