CAHA Fires Up Dressage Award

By December 1, 2011
Susann Regalmuto waves from her beautiful gray horse, proudly displaying their championship ribbons.

Trainer Susann Regalmuto and Fuego Amor, winner of the first CAHA Dressage High Point Award. (Photo by Angela Tinsley)

It came down to los dos caballos at the California Andalusian Horse Alliance 2011 Year-End High Point Awards Dinner in Hollywood Nov. 13. Anita Harkness’ Ambicioso 2 dominated the Purebred Andalusian Horse categories, picking up three trophies. But it was the half-Andalusian Fuego Amor that collected the most love, dominating with three awards in the Half-Andalusian category as well as the inaugural Dressage High Point trophy, for a total of four.

The Dressage award was the culmination of an intimate evening that included an elegant sit-down dinner for 35 at the Carriage House, a private museum in Hollywood. Accepting on behalf of Fuego were owners Angela Tinsley and Monica Stock and trainer Susann Regalmuto of Regal Dressage. “There has been talk of adding a dressage award for the past two years, but this is the first time, so it really meant a lot [to win],” Tinsley said. “That was a big deal for us.” The 15.3 hand gray half-Arabian also won the awards for Half-Andalusian in the Performance, Saddle, Amateur and Halter categories.

Anita Harkness caught at the height a canter arc on her majestic gray Andalusian horse Ambicioso 2.

Anita Harkess' Ambiosco 2 swept the pure Andalusian Categories. (Photo by Tass Jones)

Ambicioso 2 won those exact same categories for Purebred Andalusian. “He’s very sweet―almost my trail horse,” Harkness said of her 16-year-old gray mount. “Anything you ask him to do, he’ll try it. Which I think in that breed seems to be one of the hallmarks. I can trail ride him and the next day take him to a show, and he knows the difference. I’ve ridden him in parades.” Harkness has owned Ambicioso 2 for seven years, and he is her first Andalusian. “They’re a very interesting breed. I can remember as a little kid seeing them at the fair and being so caught up in how beautiful they were and how many things they could do,” added Harkness, who primarily competes in Country Pleasure. “He is extremely versatile and the epitome of the willing Andalusian horse, always there with his ears up, win lose or draw,” said the CAHA’s Nancy Nathanson. “Anita has worked very hard to bring this horse along.”

Likewise, Fuego Amor, who is only six, has undergone development at the hands of his current owners and trainer Regalamuto, who plucked him from obscurity from a backyard in Riverside County and plunked him in the show arena. Regalmuto began showing the green-broke horse him in-hand, and earning Reserve Champion in the sport horse halter category at the USEF /IALHA. Shortly after she began showing him under saddle, the owners hit hard times. “They wanted to sell him, but because he was only green broke and with the whole economic downturn, it was hard to sell a green horse, so he was sitting in their yard for six or seven months. I couldn’t forget about him because his trainability was very high and his personality was great.”

Team Fuego Amor receive the inaugural high-point dressage award at the 2011 California Andalusian Horse Association gala.

Lanelle Weerts, sponsor of the inaugural High Point Dressage Award, makes the presentation with CAHA's Paula Brand (in red) to Fuego Amor trainer Susann Regalmuto, Susann Regalmuto and co-owners Angela Tinsley and Monica Stock. (Photo by Paula Parisi)

When Stock and Tinsley expressed interest in purchasing a new horse, Regalmuto played matchmaker. “Monica was always talking to me about getting a nice Warmblood, one that was more suitable to her size, because she’s not very big, but had previously owned a huge horse,” Tinsley remembered. “Susann said, I know this really great horse, and can probably help you get a great deal. We looked at pictures of him on Susann’s website and we thought he was really cute, so we pretty much bought him sight unseen. We asked Susann to go vet check him and we met him when he came off the trailer.” Fuego went on to win the 2010 USEF Half-Andalusian Performance High Point Award.

An emerging star at the CAHA awards show was Amanda Latta’s four-year-old bay Robusto AF, who won in the Purebred Halter and Junior High-Point categories, and received numerous other placings. Robusto’s sire, Kripton Seni II, was a past CAHA champion, as well as the 2009 USEF Horse of the Year.

Among the celebrants on hand to cheer the breed was Joanne Asman, own of USC’s equine mascot, Traveler, and director of the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse event at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in May. Carriage House owner Nadine Tilley of the Hemet-based Tilley Andalusians won two second place awards with Calais TA (Purebred Halter and Driving). First place in the driving category went to Garrison Ranch’s Movado. Tilley  and her husband Bill endowed the USC Traveler program with $2 million in 2004, to assure the Andalusian icon’s future with the program.

Amanda Latta-Shields (left) presents the California Andalusian Horse Alliance 2011 Youth High Point Award to Isabella Grigorian, far right. (Photo by Paula Parisi)

Isabella Grigorian won the Purebred Andalusian Youth award with Amuleto. (Second was Harkness and Ambicioso 2.) The California Andalusian Horse Alliance is comprised of a group of International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association Region One members who want to recognize and promote the breed locally. A complete list of winners follows.

To learn more about the California Andalusian Horse Alliance, visit

Short URL:

Comments are closed

Photo Gallery

Copyright 2011 The Equestrian News