Rosewood Rodeo Oct. 8 … Free Public Event
All of Rosewood’s riders are gearing up for their big local performance of the season, the 7th Annual Rosewood Rodeo, which is scheduled Oct. 8 at the Great Bend Expo III Arena. The event begins at 10 a.m. and ends with a barbeque dinner at 5 p.m. The public is invited to attend the rodeo free of charge, then, spectators can pay $5 at the door, if they stay for dinner.
Patricia Ledesma is now the Reserve World NSBA Champion in the category of trail pattern for Riders with Disabilities. The Rosewood Services Inc. client earned her new title at the National Snaffle Bit Association World Horse Show, held in Tulsa Aug. 17-21 at the Built Ford Tough Expo Complex in Tulsa.
Seven Rosewood clients participated Aug. 19 and 20 in the competition that included riders representing top therapeutic riding programs from across the United States. All Rosewood riders medaled, bringing home five top-10 finishes in horsemanship and four top-10 finishes in trail pattern.
“We had never competed in the World Show before,” said Rosewood Ranch manager Eric Hammond. “We were up against people with physical disabilities, not mental disabilities, too. We were up against some of the top competition from across the nation. Our riders did very well; we couldn’t ask for any better from them.”
Joining Ledesma as a top-finisher in trail pattern was Josh Trimmer, who placed third. Among independent riders, Trimmer also placed fifth in the category of horsemanship walk/trot. Among assisted riders, Jere McCutchen finished fifth place in horsemanship.
During his horse-show debut, outwardly exuding pride and excitement, McCutchen inspired the audience and show officials with his performance. After McCutchen competed Aug. 20, an official inquired about McCutchen representing the organization in publications to educate others about the benefits of therapeutic riding for people with disabilities.
“Jere’s confidence has tripled since that experience,” said Hammond. “We expected him to react that way because he’s so enthusiastic at the Ranch. He loves to ride.”
Other Rosewood top finishers included Chris Devine, who placed seventh in independent horsemanship, followed by Mary Minear – 8th place, and Ledesma – 10th place. Charles Bortz and Krystal Thorne were also finalist. Devine joined Ledesma and Trimmer in trail-pattern by finishing 10th. All other Rosewood riders competing in trail pattern were finalist and medaled in that category.
“It is rewarding to go to competition of this caliber and see that you are doing as well as you hope that you are doing with training,” said Hammond.
“Competing against people from all over the United States, we know we have to improve, but we now know where to improve. It certainly says that we are on the right track.”
Besides medals, participants received a professional portrait photo and a DVD of the event. Top-10 finishers received NSBA prizes and/or gift certificates.
Rosewood’s riders were accompanied by nine Rosewood horse handlers and volunteers: Eric and Tammy Hammond, Melinda Suppus, Kenny Son, Debbie Larkin, Brian Freeman, Jennifer Stoddard, Harold and Julie Thorne.
And six Rosewood Ranch show horses carried their riders to success: (horse) Flashy – (rider) Krystal Thorne, Fox - Josh Trimmer, Dolly - Mary Minear, Dottie - Patricia Ledesma, Wahoo - Charles Bortz, Starlet - Chris Devine and Jeremiah McCutchen.
Rosewood ends its summer horse show schedule in Wichita with Hope in the Heartland, a four day competition during the last week of this month. Hammond said the competitions are meant to be fun for the clients, but they also serve to motivate and inspire them.
“Just because they have disabilities doesn’t exclude them from wanting to compete,” explained Hammond. “They love to compete just as much as anyone else and they are just as competitive. We teach good sportsmanship and humility in victory, and we keep them working for the reward, just like any coach does. If done right, it helps them in their everyday lives.”
Rosewood’s show competitors train weekly at Rosewood Ranch, a 210-acre full-working horse ranch near Pawnee Rock. The Ranch serves 45 adults from Rosewood Services. It also provides free services on a weekly basis to more than 40 children with developmental disabilities.