Allison Thorson on Pale Light * Photo by Waltenberry

Allison Thorson and Pale Light take Cactus Classic Level 4 Non Pro Derby Championship

In a dazzling display of skill and partnership, rider Allison Thorson and her beloved horse, Pale Light (Pale Face Dunnit x Luz Del Conquistador x Conquistador Whiz), stole the show at the 2024 Cactus Reining Classic held in Scottsdale, Arizona. With a remarkable score of 221.5 in the Level 4 Non Pro Derby, Thorson clinched victory and a prize purse of $8,978.

Pale Light, affectionately known as Heath, owned by Thorsport Inc., proved to be a shining star under Thorson’s guidance. Trained by Craig Schmersal, the owner-operator of Schmersal Reining Horses, Heath showcased his prowess in the reining arena, earning recognition from enthusiasts and competitors alike.

Reflecting on her journey to success, Thorson emphasized the significance of dedication and learning in the sport of reining.

“Starting my career in the reining industry seven years ago, it’s been a rewarding process. From being a green-as-grass rider to leading the pursuit for the Level 4 Non Pro Derby at the Cactus Classic, every step has been a learning experience,” Thorson said.

Thorson attributed much of her achievement to the guidance and support of her trainer, EquiStat Elite $5 Million Rider Craig Schmersal.

“Craig has been an extremely influential trainer in my life; His expertise not only ensures the best care for our horses but also prepares us for success in every aspect of our journey,” Thorson remarked.

The victory at the Cactus Classic held a special significance for Thorson and Heath.

“This win was very sentimental because the Cactus Classic is a prestigious event, attracting top-tier competition from across the nation,” Thorson expressed the magnitude of her win. “Taking home the Level 4 Championship was a dream come true and the perfect start to our season in the reining pen.”

As Thorson celebrated her triumph, she acknowledged the challenges inherent in the sport of horse showing.

“It’s a tough journey; there are ups and downs but moments like this remind us why we love what we do. Heath is an exceptional horse, and with Craig’s guidance, we were able to showcase our best performance on this grand stage,” Thorson commented.

With their sights set on future competitions, Thorson and Heath continue to inspire with their remarkable partnership, demonstrating the beauty and grace of reining. As the curtains close on the 2024 Cactus Reining Classic, Thorson’s victory stands as a testament to the timeless bond between rider and horse, forged through dedication, perseverance, and the thrill of the ride.