Wednesday, January 04, 2012

It's easy to find the high notes in 2011, too - Full Article


If you have been reading The Daily Courier's Top 10 stories of 2011, you might not find much to celebrate.

While some of the newsmakers are now making their homes in prison cells, appearing in court, heaping insults on each other and generally behaving badly, a lot of bright lights in our communities simply continue to strive for excellence in their chosen fields of endeavor.

In honor of the Prescott area's ranching and equine heritage, we'll bring you two of those achievers from 2011 - Jon Gilbert of Dewey-Humboldt and endurance rider Dayna Weary of Prescott.

Jon, who with his wife Marywade, runs Horsebreakers Unlimited, a horse breeding, training and boarding business in Dewey-Humboldt that handles some of top horses in the nation, won a championship in the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) North American Affiliate Reining Finals in Oklahoma City.

Gilbert and his 9-year-old bay gelding horse "Lewis" won over 109 other riders from throughout North America to win the Prime Time Non Pro Division, among other placings at the event.

Reining is an equine sport in which a horse and rider execute a pattern of circles, spins, and stops. It is a precise discipline in which the rider/horse team has to work together with very little evidence of guidance from the rider. Winning takes a responsive horse, a patient, skilled rider and a lot of practice. Winning at the national level is an achievement worth some pretty big bragging rights.

Weary has been riding in endurance races for many years, and is a past winner of the grueling local 50-mile Man Against Horse Race over Mingus Mountain and back. But the big prize she has had her eye on for years is the famous 100-mile Western States Trail Ride, or Tevis Cup, endurance ride that begins near Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevadas and ends within 24 hours in Auburn, Calif. The ride is famous for its difficult terrain and capricious weather. Winning it takes a perfectly conditioned horse, a savvy rider, and a precision support crew...

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