2006 AQHA Regional Experience Region 8

Region 8 Open winner Christine Weaver and newcomer Richard Arellano talk about their horses, trainers and the 2006 AQHA Regional Experience in their region.
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Region 8 Open winner Christine Weaver and newcomer Richard Arellano talk about their horses, trainers and the 2006 AQHA Regional Experience in their region.

Region 8 Open Winner Christine Weaver
Christine Weaver, 41, has been very successful with her show partner "Fraiser," including a big win at this year's AQHA Regional Experience in Tulsa, Okla.. Christine, based in Tulsa, has traveled the nation with Fraiser competing on the open hunter/jumper circuit as well as at the AQHA circuit.

Christine Weaver | Photo by Fling Horse Photography/Todd Sutherland

Christine Weaver | Photo by Fling Horse Photography/Todd Sutherland

How long have you been showing your horse?

I've been riding horses for 25 years, and showing Fraiser for four years.

Tell us about your Regional Experience win.

Winning the Open All Around Championship was quite an accomplishment among many quality horses. We placed very well in our hunter/jumper classes, but to clinch the All Around title, we had to compete in barrel racing--a real adventure!

Why do you ride Quarter Horses?

Versatility! Riding a Quarter Horse allows me to compete on the AQHA circuit as well as at open shows. Fraiser's success against other breeds at open shows really confirms how well the breed can do in nearly any environment. It's great to have the support of an organization like the AQHA, too.

Would you recommend the Regional Experience to other show riders? To newcomers? Will you be back next year?

Absolutely--experienced show riders will be impressed, and newcomers will get a great introduction to a championship show format. This year was just so much fun--the people managing the event were wonderful, and the prizes were incredible. I'm definitely planning to return next year to show, and also hope to see some of the clinics, which I heard were very worthwhile.

Region 8 Newcomer Richard Arellano
Horses aren't new to Richard Arellano, 51, but horse showing is. Richard, an aerospace welder at Tinker AFB, resides near Norman, Okla., with his four Quarter Horses, and enjoys team penning and team sorting in his leisure time. He recently ventured to the Region 8 AQHA Regional Experience to enjoy everything the event had to offer, and try a few horse-show classes for the first time.

Richard Arellano | Photo courtesy of Richard Arellano

Richard Arellano | Photo courtesy of Richard Arellano

How long have you been riding?

I started riding at age 6 as often as possible. I felt lucky every time I could be on a horse. Since 1993, I've ridden my own horses very consistently.

Tell us about your horse.

Just Unmistakable, my partner for 10 years, was my Regional Experience horse. "Justice" is a 13-year-old, golden buckskin gelding who can do almost anything. I thought he'd be the ideal horse to try for the Select Amateur All Around title at the Regional Experience. He's so broke and adaptable that I knew he'd make a good showing in a variety of classes.

Why did you decide to ride in/participate in the Regional Experience?

The AQHA sent me information, and I thought it sounded like fun. I was looking for a way to branch out from team penning and try something new with Justice.

What was your most memorable Regional Experience moment?

Justice and I competed in horsemanship, showmanship, trail and reining, but what stands out the most was placing second in both the barrel racing and the pole-bending classes in my division.

What did you get out of the Regional Experience?

I took part in as much of the event as I could, from the retail booths to the clinics, and of course, the horse show. Competing was a lot of fun and I won a pair of boots, which was great, but I'd say that meeting so many nice people with similar interests was probably the best part.

Do you want to show again, and will you be back at next year's Regional Experience?

I'd love to try showing again, and am definitely planning to be at the Regional Experience next year. The AQHA does such a great job of keeping this a fun and relaxing event, but making it educational as well. Every horse person, especially anyone who owns a Quarter Horse, should make a point of attending this event.