2013 NVRHA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP November 2013 Queen Creek, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona November 1-3, 2013 Contributed by Susan Lucas Heyvaert
Arizona's first year hosting the NVRHA finals drew 4 dedicated Northern Lights members out west this fall; Sue Eisenman, Shelley Johnsen, Susan Lucas Heyvaert, and Stephany Siitari. To qualify for Finals, a participant had to compete in 2 NVRHA events during the season (in all 5 classes) which ran from Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 14, 2013. During the season, participants had the opportunity to earn placement points in their division: Novice Amateur, Limited Amateur, Intermediate Amateur, Advanced Amateur, and Open. Each rider's 5 top placement point scores for the year are used to calculate the year end winners in each division, with the Finals counting as one of the five, if you choose to attend. Two of our Northern Lights members, Sue Eisenman and Shelley Johnsen were going into Finals sitting in first position for the saddle in their respective divisions, Novice and Limited! The pressure was on for these Minnesota cowgirls in Arizona. Taking our time to enjoy the experience, Sue, Susan, and Steph trailered out to Colorado Springs to spend a few days with Donna and Charlie Stewart, also avid versatility enthusiasts. After spending our days riding in the Colorado sunshine and taking a half day to sharpen our cattle and roping skills with Lavert Avent, we were ready to caravan to Arizona for Finals. Shelley came in to spend some time with friends, trail riding and enjoyed her days of sunshine in Arizona.The weather did not disappoint and we arrived in time to relax and get our horses used to the beautiful facility and spacious stalls. Finals drew more riders than it had in its history due to the phenomenal efforts of the Arizona Affiliate tasked with putting this event on. We had a blast getting to know other members from around the country, practicing the challenging trail pattern under lights, and attending the banquet where the Achievement Awards were presented.Achievement awards are those awards a horse/rider team earns over a period of several years. These awards are based on Championship Points earned from all divisions combined at each event, by class (Ranch Conformation, Ranch Riding, Ranch Trail, Working Ranch, and Ranch Cutting). These horse/rider teams are the best of the best! Congratulations go to the following Northern Lights members earning:
As you can see, we not only had an amazing experience in Arizona at Finals, but we brought home the goods! This is the second year since the inception of NVRHA, that Northern Lights members have brought home TWO AWARD SADDLES IN THE SAME YEAR! Those riders earned these awards through their dedication to education, improving their horsemanship skills, and gaining confidence throughout that process.