Duo blazes winning trail on reining circuit
KATRINA Beale is not letting a fantastic 2014 satisfy her thirst for success, chasing more glory in the sport of reining next year.
Beale and her mare Hustlers First Flame won prizes in just about everything they entered this year, becoming one of the best duos in the country.
For the horse, the top honour was officially won, being named the Non-Pro Mare of the Year.
It is a big step for Beale, having started in the sport only two years ago.
"I started just doing clinics with Ed Smith. I knew it was something I could do and would be good at," Beale said.
She was right, but her coach Smith believes her work ethic and commitment have been the biggest contributors to her escalation through the ranks.
Beale returns the compliment and says the experience of Smith and the Calliope Sliders Reining Horse Club is worthy of praise.
"Ed does a whole lot for the club and he would do anything for anyone," Beale said.
"Ed is great. He went open this year and has helped me a lot."
Following her leader into the open level from non-pro is a goal of Beale's for the 2015 season, after being urged by many professional riders to do so.
For now she will remain in the non-pro level, while challenging up when the chance arises.
Bringing in more horses is also on the to do list for Beale.
"My next big step is the Equitana. It is a big competition. They are only in Melbourne," she said.
"I started the open level stuff this year, there are some riders who said I should be doing it.
"I also have a gelding I won in a raffle. He will be competing in two years.
"Getting him to that will be another big accomplishment I am looking at."
According to Reining Australia, the sport involves the rider demonstrating the ideal qualities of a horse through a set pattern of circles, lead changes, spins, stops and rollbacks.
Contestants are required to run one of 11 approved patterns, divided into seven or eight manoeuvres, including the exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the sport.
Beale's 2014 achievements
Pacific Coast Reining Spectacular: Limited Non-Pro Champion; Reserve Champion - Intermediate Non-Pro, Non-Pro and Novice Horse Level 2
QRHA Derby Shootout: Intermediate Non-Pro Champion; Limited Non-Pro Champion; Non-Pro Reserve Champion
NSW State Show: Novice Horse Non-Pro Level 2 Reserve Champion
Queensland State Show: Intermediate Non-Pro Champion; Rookie Level 2 Champion
Reining Nationals: Rookie Level 2 Champion; Limited Non-Pro Reserve Champion
2014 Queensland Inter Affiliate: Gold Buckle Non-Pro Champion; Hustlers First Flame's achievement; Non-Pro Mare of the Year
Made the top 10 in Reining Australia: Intermediate Non-Pro; Intermediate Open; Novice Horse Non-Pro Level 2; Rookie Level 2; Limited Non-Pro
Calliope Sliders Reining Horse Club: Hi Point Reining Horse