Emmons On Top Again

By June 11, 2011
Ron Emmons is close enough to pet the cow he's roping, with his chestnut Quarter Horse Olena Oak.

Ron Emmons and Olena Oak took top honors for the second straight year. (Photo by Kathy Higgins)

Ron Emmons earned his second consecutive Magnificent 7 win aboard Olena Oak. The duo was awarded Best All-Around Stock Horse Champion honors at the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento, claiming the lion’s share of the $25,000 purse. It was the third win for the Ione, California-based rider, who placed first and second (on Matt Dillion Done It) last year, and also won in 2005 with Roo Star.

“He’s a great horse,” Emmons said of the 9-year-old stallion he’s had in training for five years for owners Mel and Nicole Scott. “There’s a lot of horses with ability and cow sense and so on, but his disposition is so easy. He’s a stallion but he’s very laid back.”  The horse’s career earnings are $238,000. Next up on the duo’s dance card is the National Stock Horse Assn. Futurity Aug. 14-21 in Paso Robles, California.

The Magnificent 7 event, which took place June 10, is unusual in that it combines four disciplines of stock horse competition into one championship. Contestants must not only excel in the mainstay disciplines – cutting, reining and fences – but must also do cow roping.

“To have the roping is very exciting,” said Doug Williamson, the 69-year-old rider who placed second on Gardiner Quarter Horses’ He’s Wright On in the 2011 event. “There aren’t many horses that can do all four, and aren’t many cowboys that can do all four. Out of all the great cowboys in the world, we haven’t been able to get 40 entries in any one year.”

Doug Williamson looks spiffy in a red shirt on his bay horse at the Magnificent 7 competition.

Second place Doug Williamson and He’s Wright On were hard to beat. (Photo by Kathy Higgins)

“This was my fourth time at the event, and my best score,” said Oakdale-based Les Oswald, who placed third riding owner Bob Stevens’ MH On A Full Boon. “It’s very meaningful to make the finals, because you start out with about 20, and by the end it’s down to seven great horses and riders. I’m 35, and Doug can be very hard to beat sometimes.”

In the steer roping category, Williamson missed on his first throw, but caught him the second time. “Thank goodness I had a big enough lead that I was still able to place second. It’s fast-moving. There are guys that can be way down the list in cutting and reining, but have a really good roping run and get back in the game,” said Williamson, whose training operation is based in Bakersfield. “The audience really loves it. The stands were packed”

And for these cowboys, that’s what the event is all about: keeping the tradition alive. Benny Guitron, who placed sixth on Paula Diuri’s Too Smart For You, was part of a trio (including Bobby Ingersoll and Bill Lefty) that proposed the event to the WSHE’s Miki Cohen 13 years ago, when a similar event that had been held in Long Beach, California, relocated to San Angelo, Texas, where it became the World Champion All Around Stock Horse competition.

“We felt we needed an event out here, where the roots of the stock horse started. It’s California’s heritage. The state was 99% agricultural at one time. The people who originally settled here were farmers and ranchers, and the cow dictated our livelihoods. The Magnificent 7 is the ultimate of what a really well-broke cow horse should do. It’s all the disciplines that would be asked of him on a ranch. It’s unique to be able to bring that to the people and give an idea of where we came from.”

Guitron, who is based in Merced, estimates there were upward of 1,500 people in the stands cheering the magnificent ones on Friday night. “When our state was agricultural, most kids had a 4-H animal, whether it was a lamb, a pig or a cow. Today, most kids only know videogames. They think they’re supposed to turn a key or press a button to get results. They’ve never nurtured an animal or a crop, and there isn’t a John Wayne or a Gene Autry or ‘Gunsmoke’ to show them any different. They have crime and violence and war, and they think a grocery store grows their vegetables and a carton grows their milk. An event like this puts things in a slightly different perspective.”
The Magnificent 7:

1. Ron Emmons, Olena Oak (Mel Smith and Nicole Scott)

2. Doug Williamson, Hes Wright On (Gardiner Quarter Horses)

3. Les Oswald, MH On A Full Boon (Bob Stevens)

4. Clayton Edsall, Fresnos Dual Bar (Julie Sackman)

5. Wes Chappell, Drag And Fly (Penelope P Knight)

6. Benny Guitron, Too Smart For You (Paula Diuri)

7. Darrel Norcutt, Fairlea Steady Betty (Darrel & Cari Norcutt)

Cowboy Ron Emmons accepts his awards at the Western States Horse Expo.

Olena Oak has won more than a quarter of a million dollars with Emmons. (Photo by Kathy Higgins)

Short URL: http://theequestriannews.com/?p=3850

Comments are closed

Photo Gallery

Copyright 2011 The Equestrian News