Highlights from the 2012 High Roller Reining Classic
By Alden Corrigan for HRRC, Inc.
Photos by John O’Hara Photography
LAS VEGAS, (High Roller Reining Classic) – The 2012 High Roller Reining Classic held at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada September 9-15 had it all. The 37 percent increase in entries over 2011 was confirmation that this event continues to live up to its reputation as one of the most popular destinations of the year. The depth of entries in each class resulted in some of the toughest competition in the country.
The Show Must Go On
As an extra added attraction early in the week, Mother Nature put on an impromptu show of her own blasting the city with a quick-moving storm that enveloped the facility. In true bigger than life Vegas style, within a matter of minutes, floods, deafening thunder and a direct lightening strike to the hotel that rivaled any show on the Strip had come and gone.
As luck would have it, Non Pro Raun Samuelson of Glenwood Springs, Colorado and his 4-year old mare Dun It For A Chex were on pattern when the arena strobe lights went off and the announcements not to leave the building began. The duo kept their composure and completed the pattern much to the amazement of the crowd “ It was kind of a surprise. I didn’t know quite what it was. I thought at first, being in a casino, maybe someone had won big…. but then it kept going off…. I was surprised that she didn’t even flinch and she just kept going. I didn’t know what to do so I just kept going!”
Back In The Saddle Again
After a three-year hiatus, Sandy Bentien of Auburn, California picked the High Roller Reining Classic for her return to the show pen aboard her 10 year old Make It With A Twist (Dun It With A Twist X SR Mischief Maker), who came out of retirement for the show as well “I just decided that her earnings were so close to $100,000 why not leg her back up and bring her out for the Maturity classes”.
The duos first outing resulted in a three-way runoff in the $500 Added Non Pro #2 class with Jill Bradley and Busy Chex N Lena and Kylie Warn on her Getting Magnumtized all scoring a 144.0. “I was really nervous for some reason, coming back out after having such a great career with her. I came out, made a couple of mistakes, and the tie gave me a chance to go back in and show her. She was awesome. She went out there and did her job like she always does.”