Ontario Reining Horse Association

President, Banquet Dan Fletcher

1st Vice-President Rules & Disciplinary John Purdie

2nd Vice-President/ Treasurer Terri Purdie,

Past President Gary Yaghdjian

Reining is still top of mind! 2019 was an incredible year for two of On-

tario’s Reiners Professional Loris Epis and Non Pro Hayley

Stubbs were Number 1 in the Top Ten rankings in the world in 2019! Loris achieved Number 1 spot in the NRHA Novice Horse Open Levels 1 and 2, and Hayley was number 1 in the NRHA Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1. Both are proud members of the ORHA, read more about them here. Hayley Stubbs runs her own business, Buck-

Hayley Stubbs

skin Horse Designs. Ontario born and bred, she lives in Caledonia with her pet dogs Bella and Boomer; and her cats Tiger, Honey, and Teddy.

Tell me how you got into horses? I was 7 or 8, I always loved horses. We were

at the Caledonia fair, we met some horse people friends who had Clydesdales, and they introduced us to people I could take lessons from. I started doing western, lasted 6 months then switched to English. Most of childhood into teens I was riding English horses

What was it about the reining that hooked you? I wanted to work with horses. At age 19 my

farrier, Scott Reed, introduced me to Loris Epis who was looking for an assistant. I knew nothing about reining, I worked with Loris at Fletchers Horseworld. I had ridden cutting horses, barrel horses, but never ridden a discipline that was so technical as reining. There’s so much to learn, so many maneuvers! It’s amazing to have the connec- tion with the horse and teach them all these things like stopping and turning.

Tell me about Riata? I wanted to do reining for the love of it, not

for a job. I’d shown horses when I worked at Fletcher’s. After I left, I wasn’t looking for a horse but Matt (my boyfriend) and I were looking at yearlings, there were around 10 – 12 and Riata stood out to me. She had the prettiest head! Under her winter hair she had a great body, the softest kindest eyes and she was a beautiful buckskin colour. I bought her.

Was it your goal for 2019 to become a world number 1? I had a really rocky 3-year-old year with her;

I had forgotten how to show. My goal for 2019 was to show her to the best of our ability and put $5k on her, maybe get a year end award from the ORHA.

How did you prepare yourself for these events? It’s a mental game! Make sure you are calm and for the horse – I kept her fit, happy and healthy. I don’t practise maneuvers every day. I ride her 5 days a week Some days I just lope circles.

What is your top tip for succeeding at Reining?

Perseverance; never give up. The per-

son who gets up at 2am and stays late – those are the successful people. It’s down to the work you put in and how much you want it.

What are your goals for 2020/2021? My original goal was to show her in

two derbies and possibly a couple of novice horse classes. I don’t want to show her too much, put more money on her, then retire her and breed her. I also have Luna who is 3 year this year – I may show her Ontario or Syracuse futurities.

Is there one show from 2019 that stands out for you?

Mid summer, I realised I was in the top 10.

We kept winning and it became clear I could pos- sibly win it. It all came down to the Syracuse show the Fall Classic, it was a $2k added. All three of us who were contenders for the number 1 spot were in that class. We got 2nd, and that was enough!

Elected Director - Secretary

Joanne Milton

Elected Director - Futurity Programs Leona McAtee / ob-

Appointed Director - ORHA Futurity Programs Tracy Nelson

Appointed Directors - Professional Committee Loris Epis

Jon Newnham

Appointed Director - Memberships Janna Imrie -

Appointed Director - Youth Advisor Rebecca Nelles -

Appointed Director - Social Media Alyssa VanKleek -

Elected Director – Shows Mike Munroe,

Elected Director Publications Sharon Jones

With show season on hold and some people not able to see their horses, we decided to focus on two long-standing members of the ORHA, and interview them.

Loris Epis Loris Epis is an Italian native, successful

reining trainer at Epis Performance Horses in On- tario, Canada. Married to Amy, they live with their four children on a ranch in Caledon. In 2019 Loris and the horse Tink Me Off (Tink) were the first ever Canadian duo to win the World NRHA Championship in both Novice Horse 1 and Novice Horse 2, earning over $26,000.

Tell me how you got into horses? I was 20, in Italy, a friend taught me. I liked

the Western discipline over English. I liked the look of the quarter horses, they were chunky.

What was it about the reining that hooked you? I’d been riding about 3 months and my

friend dragged me to a horse show - it was the Ital- ian Derby. The first thing I saw was this guy gal- loping full out, he stopped, backed up, spun both ways and I thought – ‘wow! that is the coolest thing I have ever seen!’ I came to Canada in 2007 to work with a trainer at Fletcher’s Horse- world

Was it your goal for 2019 to become a world number 1? It wasn’t in my mind! We pur-

chased Tink for Amy. I kept training him and it started to feel better and better. Amy said - why didn’t I show him? so I did; in Novice Horse classes. I won the Novice 1 and 2 at the Spring show in Syracuse and looking at the standings we thought - if we keep going, we could win the world title.

Tell me about Tink? We bought him when he was 4, he

was comfortable and quiet; kind. He had- n’t been shown much. Every rider says the same thing about a good horse; they have a huge heart – this horse does, He gave me 100% every time at home or in the show pen. He’s competitive enough for me and a good family horse. It’s about a personal bond and he is right for us. My daughter shows him in lead line, my kids ride him.

Is there one show from 2019 that stands out for you?

He had many good runs, lucky for me!

How did you prepare yourself for these events? I don’t over-ride them a week before or at

the show. The rides are based on the horse. I don’t practice everything all in the same ride.

What is your top tip for succeeding at Reining? Everybody needs help. I have a coach – a set

of eyes on the ground to tell me what it looks like. Someone you trust who knows your horses, your riding; and follow the advice.

What are your goals for 2020/2021? The derby age

changed to 7 so the plan was to show him this year in the derbies only and Amy to take over next year. It’s nice to be able to find the right horse that has a great mind and is consistent in the pen and it’s fun to be the first one to connect with the horse and get that result.

Preparation and precision Reining is a precise

sport, and both competitors have a sharp focus on being prepared.

All interviews by Sharon Jones.

Check out the ORHA Facebook page for weekly video tips from the trainers!

Also please check the ORHA website for updates on the show season We did a couple of derbies which is difficult

when you’re going for the Novice title. You don’t want to over-show him. At the Hamburg Derby I was reserve champion to Shawn Flarida who was riding the horse I had shown earlier in 2019.

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