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  • Writer's pictureKathy Troxler

US Nationals Trail Finals!

Want to see what it takes to win the red roses at the Arabian Nationals in Trail!? So do I! Even though I was in Tulsa for the entire show, working in the show office meant that I didn't get to watch a lot of classes. Thanks to the video taken by Arabian Horse Global, we can watch every stride! For the purposes of this blog post, I'm focusing on two of the Trail finals: Half Arabian Western Trail Junior Horse and the Western Trail Open Final. I'm trying to provide quite a bit of information, and have created a new page on our website entitled, Rules, Patterns and Fun Stuff. On this page you'll find document links for pdf's of the patterns and a menu that shows the final placings along side the time that each horse will appear on the class video.

The championships were awarded based on a combination of the score in the Semi Finals held on Friday and the score on the course in the Final held on Sunday.

Five judges scored the class, with the high score and the low score discarded and the remaining scores added together. Each horse starts the course with a score of 70. Think of that as "par". Each obstacle has a penalty score and a maneuver score. Click Here to go to the page for Rules, Patterns and Fun Stuff and you can find a file for Arabian Trail Scoring that will give you an idea of how closely a trail judge has to evaluate each horse. Even a quick look through the list and you will see that the judges can absolutely not take their eyes off the horse during the pattern which is why each judge has a scribe writing down the scores.

2017 Judges for Arabian Nationals Trail classes-

Cathy Callahan-Smith, Jonathan Vrabec, Cindy Reich, Kelly Alcorn and Ann Judge

The exhibitors have the pattern several days prior to the class. Before their class, they walk the pattern with the course designer and plan how to work each obstacle. Knowing the distances between the poles is important! The distances on these courses were: Walk poles 2 feet, jog poles 3 feet and lope poles 6 feet.

2017 Arabian Nationals Trail judges with course designer

Judges reviewing the course with course designer Robert Dehn

Half Arabian Junior Horse Trail

The Half Arabian Junior Horse Trail was won by KMA Hermano, ridden by Sterling Bradley for Karlan Downing's Karma Arabians of Chilton, Texas. It's likely that this won't be the last time competitors have to face this handsome buckskin in the chase for the Junior Horse National ribbons as Hermano is only three—yes, I said THREE years old—and has two more years eligibility in the junior horse division. As mentioned earlier, the final score was combined score two rides. To take home the roses in the Western Trail Junior Horse, Hermano’s score was 408.50.

KMA Hermano and Sterling Bradley - National Champion-HA/AA Trail Junior Horse

Junior Horse & AATR Select Trail class- Pattern

2017 Arabian National Trail pattern by Robert Dehn

The link to the video of the class is below, and Hermano and Sterling are the first to go.

Arabian Trail Open Final

Having watched a talented Half Arabian gelding with great potential, let's move on to watching a talented Arabian mare at the peak of her career. Earning the National Champion title — the 16-year old Agracie Girl V+++//. Gracie is trained and ridden by Jill Mitchell for Nan and Dick Walden of Rancho Sonado of Arizona. Gracie is proof that, done correctly, starting a horse as a youngster can lead to a long and productive career. Gracie debuted in Western Pleasure and Trail as a five-year-old. She won her first trail class in Scottsdale in 2007 and has continued to win at the highest levels in multiple divisions ever since.

Agracie Girl and Jill Mitchell 2017 National Champion Arabian Trail Open

Agracie Girl V+++// and Jill Mitchell

Arabian Open Trail Champion

Arabian Trail Open Final pattern

Arabian Trail Final pattern by Robert Dehn Arabian National Championships 2017

The link for the class is shown below. All the horses are well worth watching, but with over 20 rides it takes approximately 1.5 hours to watch it all the way through. If you want to, you can fast forward the video directly to the winning ride. Also, you can find any horse's ride time for this class video by going to that Patterns and Fun stuff page and clicking on 2017 Arabian Open Trail video ride time menu (which is a doc file). To go to a specific spot in the video, simply 1) click on the link below, 2) begin the video, but then 3) drag the timeline cursor (it should appear as a "hand" icon) at the bottom of the video viewing screen to the 58:00 point.

That will be the beginning of Agracie Girl V and Jill!

Want to see the other 2017 Arabian National Trail Class Finals?

Click here to go to my page that has a link for each class.

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