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Spring 2003

West Nile Virus


heading to Oregon

Hone your riding skills through dressage

North Paulina
trail ride

Is your horse in shape for spring?

Friesians:
Inaugural Issue! Complimentary Copy

bold, beautiful survivors

Local Kiger makes his mark


By Danika Rawlins

Matt and Pam Fournier of Bend are very proud of their Cowboy. And well they should be. This talented sixyear-old grulla Kiger mustang stallion (registered name Steens Vaquero) has gone from running wild on BLM range to reigning as World Champion in the American Buckskin Registry Association (ABRA) 2002 Western Riding class. Cowboys beginnings were humble. In October 1999, the Fourniers set out to adopt a mustang. Adopting mustangs was nothing new to them. This time, however, they were looking for something special, a horse that could compete against the domestic breeds in the show ring. They chose Cowboy out of the herd because of his conformation, his color and his size. They were looking for a tall, grulla Kiger mustang stallion. Cowboy exemplified the Kigers sturdy build with a short back, good bones, and excellent feet. His broad forehead, noble profile, and large warm eyes are evidence of his intelligence and are characteristic of the Kiger mustang breed. It was evident from the very start that this horse had no intention of sacrificing his safety to get away from us, Pam said. However, he still was not going to be an easy horse. He would turn his rear-end to us, hide his face and if we came too close, he would let loose with both hind feet. Round penning was not an option, as he would not move. Matts normally successful methods including round penning and other natural horsemanship techniques were not working with this horse. We had our doubts as to whether we would ever get him gentled. Matt decided that perhaps if he could get Cowboy under saddle, all else would fall into place. By December 1999, a mere three months after adoption, Matt decided Cowboy was ready. Matt climbed in the saddle and in the next few days found out just how lucky they were to obtain this talented horse. The Fourniers immediately put Cowboy to work gentling other mustangs and took him on countless trail rides and campouts where he proved to be their safest and most steady mount. Cowboy was actually being ridden before he was ever halter broke. Within a few months of his adoption, he was doing so well, the Fourniers decided they wanted to take him to Reno for the National Wild Horse and Burro Show in June 2000. Prior to that date, they had taken him to a couple local practice shows and one public appearance at a BLM adoption. Pam said they went to Reno with the lofty goals of trying for Grand Champion Halter Stallion, High Point Amateur

Horse, High Point Open Horse and Superhorse. They never expected to even come close to those goals, but decided it would be best to work towards something. They put Cowboys nose to the grindstone (and theirs too) with Pam competing on him in every amateur class and Matt competing in every open class, the halter class and the superhorse competition. They competed in English and Western pleasure and equitation, trail, showmanship, Western riding, reining and hunter hack. The competition was pretty stiff and by the awards ceremony, the only thing they felt confident about was the Grand Champion Halter Stallion, which he had already been awarded. At the awards ceremony, they were surprised and delighted to be awarded the Superhorse, High Point Open and High Point Amateur thus earning Pam her first and most precious trophy buckle. In 2001, after months of encouragement by Pam, Matt began to compete in American Buckskin Registry Association shows. After racking up successful events at the Oregon State Fair and in several Central Oregon shows, Cowboy tied for second in the nation on the ABRA Honor Roll for First Year Green Western Pleasure. Matt and Cowboy went to the ABRA World Show in July 2002, where he won his World Champion honors in Western Riding. He was also third in the world in Trail, Junior Horse and English Pleasure, Junior Horse, and fourth in the world in Hunter Hack, Open. Cowboy has an unofficial total of over 80 ABRA performance points, three ABRA Halter points and one ABRA dun factor point, all earned in 13 shows over the last two years. Cowboy has won more than 20 championship buckles and a trophy saddle for Matt and Pam in the last three years in mustang, open and ABRA shows. Matt and Pam Fournier own and run a horse training facility in Bend. Matt has over 25 years of experience in training and showing horses. They may be contacted at 541-330-8722 or email at PAML@bendnet.com.

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