WAQHA State Championships

By: Carly Ganzer

Photography by: Equine Studio www.samanthawhitelawphotography.com

For some 80 quarter horse enthusiasts, this year’s Easter break was spent competing at the Western Australian Quarter Horse Association’s  (WAQHA) 32nd annual State Championships. 

The show was judged by Mr Dave Young who resides in Morrinsville, New Zealand.  Dave has been the team coach for the New Zealand Youth World Cup team since 1994.  Dave gained his international judging ticket in 2004, one of only four in Oceania and has worked extensively in Europe as a trainer, instructor and coach. 

Che Barden with CVS Hes Somethin Classic winner of the Weanling Halter Futurity
JPQ Shez So Subtle and Kirsten Merritt winners of the Open 2 and Over Handler
Justin Sprigg winner of the Open Western Pleasure
Jordy Dagnall and Charary Power of One

The WAQHA received generous sponsorship from all types of businesses, members and competitors for this year’s state show.  WAQHA would like to thank and welcome back John & Zhana Di Candilo from Di Candilo Steel City as our main sponsor.  John & Zhana have been great supporters of the WAQHA for many years and the club looks forward to continuing our relationship with them.

This year’s program took a slight change from previous years. Traditional English events of Dressage and Hacking were omitted from the program and replaced with Ranch Pleasure, Open Feature Ridden Events, and return of the Halter Futurities.

Day One of the show featured Ranch Pleasure, Reining, Western Riding and Trail events.

Karen Nicoletto and her stallion Heez Zippin Hot had a great day, winning the Senior Horse Reining (1st from 7), the Senior Horse Western Riding (1st from 5) and then placing 2nd in the Senior Horse Trail from a good field of 16 competitors.

Emily Stewart and Dakota Zulu Nala won the Senior Horse Trail (from 16), 1st (from 7) in the Senior Youth Trail and 1st (from 13) in a tough Open Trail Feature, well done Emily, one of WA’s youth with a bright future!

The Open Weanling Halter Futurity which was sponsored by DMJ Haulage was won by the popular CVS Hes Somethin Classic, bred by Carville Stud and owned by Che & Leigh Barden and shown beautifully by Che, all that coaching from Reece Burchell paid off!!  Carville Stud was also successful in the Open Yearling Halter Futurity with CVS Sunken Treasure shown by Rikki Planke taking out the win, thanks to Anne & Len Forbes for sponsoring the event. The Open 2 and over Halter Futurity sponsored by JSB Fencing & Machine Hire was won by JPQ Shez So Subtle shown by Kirsten Merritt.

Without a doubt the cutest and most spectated event was the Led Line event with seven juniors taking part, each combination was asked to undertake a short walk/jog pattern, and what better way to finish off this event than with an Easter egg hunt!!  This was followed by the Yearling Led Trail and Yearling Lunge Line both won by Elise Young with her chestnut filly Jett Set Cowgirl. The final event of day two was the All Age Hunter in Hand which was a popular event attracting 15 entries and won by Rebbecca Zitto’s 2yo My Certain Valentine exhibited by Kayla Rainoldi.

The Open Western Pleasure Feature sponsored by Littlestone Performance Horses opened Day Three of the show and Justin Sprigg and his very sweet moving mare Saintly Sensation took out the win from a good field of 12 competitors with Samantha Carter riding Annlee Cee a Gun into 2nd and Carly Ganzer’s Littlestone CertainlyCute in 3rd place.  Western Pleasure, Horsemanship, Hunt Seat Equitation and Hunter Under Saddle classes saw out the remainder of day three.  Carlville Stud sponsored the Hunter Under Saddle Feature event which saw a popular win by Georgia Brandham riding Kayla Rainoldi’s bay gelding A Handsome Cowboy.

As is customary at each WAQHA State show, an Amateur and Youth Teams Challenge was held over the show.  Each of the eight amateur teams consisted of 3 members drawn at random with each member selecting 2 amateur events with points awarded for the placings in those selected events.  The Amateur Teams Challenge was won by Team 3, consisting of Rikki Planke, Sharon Currie and Lesley Elder.  Five Youth Teams consisting of two youth per team competed with the first placed team going to Georgia Brandham and Devyn Naef.
Hi Point Award Winners were presented at the conclusion of the show and congratulations go to:

Hi Point


Runner Up


My Certain Valentine

SOQ Pure Blonde


Im Pawsitively SurelyGood

Kiss Me Good

Junior Horse

Chips Sweet Rosalie

Littlestone CertainlyCute

Senior Horse

Heez Zippin Hot

YLS Shaken Not Stirred

Amateur Senior Horse

Monique Holden

Jordy Dagnall

Amateur Junior Horse

Karen Cornish

Sharon Currie

Senior Youth

Courtney Holden

Nick Balchin

Junior Youth

James Blackaller

Maria Ruocco

AmQHA Amateur

Karen Cornish

Sharon Currie

Select Amateur

Pam Eglinton

Michaela Breen

AmQHA Youth

Courtney Holden

Nick Balchin

AmQHA Jnr Horse

Chips Sweet Rosalie

Im Pawsitively SurelyGood

AmQHA Snr Horse

Heez Zippin Hot

YLS Foolish Pleasure

Junior Youth Owner

Maria Ruocco

James Blackaller

Senior Youth Owner

Courtney Holden

Nick Balchin

The Judge presented Youth and Amateur Encouragement and Sportsmanship awards and these were awarded to:

Youth Encouragement                  Maria Ruocco
Youth Sportsmanship                  Emily Stewart
Amateur Encouragement                  Phayme Tedd
Amateur Sportsmanship                  Sharon Currie

Recognition and special thanks goes to our major sponsors:

Gold Sponsors

Di Candilo Steel City


Littlestone Performance Horses

Silver Sponsors

CME Boilermaking Services


C & L Constructions


Valley Equine Vet Centre


Janeen McRobert


Saddleworld Midland


JSB Fencing and Machine Hire


Horse Zone


She-Oak Quarter Horses

WAQHA also thanks the many other businesses, organisations; members and individuals who contributed to making this State show another enjoyable and successful event. 

The camaraderie and good sportsmanship was a credit to all competitors.  Special thanks to the many show officials who gave up their Easter break to play an important part in the running of the show.

Until next year, enjoy your riding, celebrate your successes and follow your dreams!


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