Taking place in serene Central California, the first edition of the Paso Robles Spring Classic, Presented by Borjon Auto Center, was a lucrative show officials expect to grow in the coming years.
The show held at the Hearst Equestrian Center in Paso Robles, California, was a hub of cow horse competition from April 14-18, where 290 stalls were sold and more than $175,000 was paid to competitors. The event was supported by local business and title sponsor Borjorn Auto Center, and produced by the California Reined Cow Horse Association (CRCHA).
“There is plenty of room here for this size show, and for it to grow,” Paso Robles Spring Classic Show Secretary Laura Norman said. “Everybody is so happy to be showing at Paso [Robles], including the facility staff.”
Four days of horse show classes and 98 in the Derby draw — including 61 Open Derby entries — surpassed goals and garnered excitement for the future of cow horse shows in the area. The show was created as a way to keep a large aged-event cow horse competition in California, which was left without a National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) premier event after the NRCHA Derby relocated to Arizona.
“The biggest impression we got as we were talking to people is the universal enthusiasm from people. People just walked onto the grounds and said ‘this place is abuzz.’ People are so excited to be here,” Norman said.
Open Derby Champion Justin Wright is walking away with more than $50,000 in earnings, and $161,500 was paid in the Open and Non-Pro derbies throughout the weekend. Open and Reserve Champions in the Derbies received buckles, and Ultra Cruz gift cards were awarded to high scores in the herd, rein and fence work.
Other Derby winners were: Intermediate Open Champions Roo To Do and Russell Probert; Limited Open Champions DMAC Rubirosa and Wyatt Fisher; Level 1 Limited Open Champions SJR Sparkin Metal and Cody McNaney; Non-Pro and Intermediate Non-Pro Champions Royal Boon Roan and Angela Vogt; and Amateur Champions ISR A Little Lace and Stacy Duesterhaus; and Non-Pro Limited Champions Special Time Edition and Mac Stein.
Limited age event champions were awarded embroidered jackets, and the horse show class winners were awarded embroidered vests.
Judging by the response the inaugural Paso Robles Spring Classic received, Norman is confident entries will grow, with word-of-mouth and sponsorship support pushing the event to new heights.
“This event was very much a collaboration between the Events Center board and the CRCHA board,” Norman said. “Everyone is real helpful and we want to make sure competitors have the best experience they can.”