Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Bob Avila, of Temecula, California, and Light N Fine (Grays Starlight x Lenas Fine Freckle x Doc O’Lena), aka “Polo,” deservingly won the 2006 Magnificent 7 Championship with high scores in both the herd and cow works.
The 1999 stallion, bred by Polo Ranch, of Marietta, Oklahoma, was owned at the time by Rhodes River Ranch in Arlington, Washington. He earned $12,432 for his win at the Magnificent 7, and capped his career with a victory in the World’s Greatest Horseman competition with Avila one year later when owned by Alan and Kay Needle.
Avila also teamed up with Brother White (Smart Little Lena x White On Right x Doc Quixote) to dominate three of the four legs of the Magnificent 7 elimination round. They topped the reining portion of the finals to secure the Reserve Championship by 3 points. Avila and the 1996 gelding, bred by Bar H Ranche, of Moscow, Tennessee, and owned by Avila’s wife, Dana Avila, placed second in the event in 2003 and won it in 2007.
Commenting on Light N Fine and Brother White following the finals, Avila said, “I’ve ridden a lot of good ones…but you just never know how it’s going to go. Both are really good horses, and they were right there for me.”
The 2006 Magnificent 7 – a competition comprised of one rider, one horse and four events – was held in June during the Western States Horse Expo at the California State Fairgrounds in Sacramento, California.
A descendant of the World Championship All-Around Stock Horse Contest, the event was organized in the early 1970s. The original competition was the result of a collective idea from Pro Rodeo Hall of Famers Cotton Rosser and Walt Rodman, along with Benny Binion, who owned the famous Horseshoe Club in Las Vegas. The competition, which showcased horses that could cut, rein, rope and run a cow down the fence, was conceived with the help of the late Greg Ward, along with Duane Pettibone and longtime auctioneer Bill Lefty.
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