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Trainers Challenge Crowns a Champion at The Mane Event

Red Deer, AB -- Steve Rother of Oregon was presented with the Trainers Challenge trophy Sunday after showing he had produced a trained and willing horse at the Challenge Finals, a three-year-old mare he had met only 2 ˝ days earlier. It is a unique format that has become the signature event of the Mane Event which made its Alberta debut this year at Westerner Park.

“I’m really happy that my horse did so well,” said Rother. “She worked things through and came out good.”

Rother completed all the elements required in the Finals, including rail work and negotiating obstacles such as a bridge and ground poles. His optional presentations included having Josie kick a large ball and loading and unloading her from a trailer. He concluded by standing atop Josie’s back and cracking a whip, delighting the audience that filled the large arena. Rother said later that the saddle he was using was pinching on Josie a bit so he had to work around it. “But she really hung in there and did great,” he said.

Jaye O’Jay also completed all the required elements with his gelding, Jiggs, demonstrating how far he had managed to bring the horse who had displayed a lot of fear at the beginning of the weekend. “It was a very scared horse, a fearful horse, willful and worried and sensitive, and I changed it right around,” said O’Jay, a trainer from British Columbia. “I produced a nice quiet little horse.” Having completed all the requirements, and loading and unloading Jiggs in a trailer, he completed his presentation with two minutes left of the 30-minute allotted time.

Raye Lochert of California didn’t ride his horse in the Finals, a decision he made earlier in the day during the final round pen session when he realized the horse was not ready for that step. “She’s a good horse. She’s doing just fine. She just needs a little bit more time,” he said. “That kind of thing happens.”

“I feel the way that things went, the right trainer won the championship,” said John Scott, one of the three judges. “He was aggressive from the start. He cut to the chase with his horse and he knew to get him away from the gate and find a safe area right off the bat,” he said. “I think that maybe gave him an edge with his horse.”

The trophy was presented by of Terri Mason, editor of Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine which sponsored the Trainers Challenge, and Diane Anderson of Tymark Studios, the sculptor who designed the bronze trophy specifically for the Mane Event.

PHOTOGRAPH Caption: “Steve Rother (center) won the Trainers Challenge Trophy at the Mane Event in Red Deer. Also in contention were Raye Lochert (l) and Jay O’Jay (r),

Photo Credit: Jan Mansfield


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