Hereford resident Deanna Penna and her horse CD were the high point winners in a Ranch Horse Versatility practice show Saturday at Rockin JP Ranch.
Penna and CD teamed-up in the open division where they placed in all six of classes — shotgun penning, ranch riding, reining, ranch trail, conformation and ranch pleasure — to clinch the high point win.
“This is my favorite local show,” said Penna who travels all over Arizona and New Mexico to compete with her friend DeAnna Richardson, another Ranch Horse Versatility competitor. The two will be traveling to Las Vegas in August and October for more shows and hope to qualify for the world championships.
“If we qualify, we’ll be heading for the World Ranch Horse Versatility competition in Guthrie, Oklahoma,” said Penna, who has been dabbling in Versatility competitions for seven years.
Sponsored by the Huachuca Saddle Club, the local Ranch Horse Versatility shows are hosted at the Rockin JP Ranch. Classes are broken into five levels — open, amateur, green/novice, walk/trot and youth — based on experience, with open as the top level.
“We typically hold six of these practice shows a year, but were not able to hold our first two because of the coronavirus,” said Jerri Harrington, who organizes the competitions. Harrington got hooked on versatility competitions about eight years ago with her horse, Rio, but now competes with Flint, a five-time national championship qualifier.
“In our first year, Rio was the state champion in the novice competition,” Harrington said. “I really enjoy this type of competition, so I got involved in the Arizona Ranch Horse Versatility state association,” she said. “I got hooked, and dragged other competitors in with me.”
Along with locals, Saturday’s event drew competitors of all experience levels from Pearce, Sonoita and Tucson, Harrington said.
“So, we had a nice spread from all over the area,” she said.
“In December, we’re going to hold a ranch riding challenge where competitors just do riding patterns. We won’t have cattle in that show, Harrington said.