Fairgrounds hosts state championship horse show

More than 80 horses and their riders – some of the best in the state – made their way to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds for a competition that caps a year of preparation.
The California State Horseman’s Association Show of Champions brings competitors from throughout the state who have topped those in their own regions in events such as barrel racing and big T racing.
Derek-Lucas Brown of Brentwood, who was riding Little Bubba Blue, called the event “amazing.”
“What I like about this is I am like the coach and I am riding the athlete,” he said. “Without the horse you cannot compete. The better you treat your horse the better they treat you. They’re wonderful animals that are smart and fun and safe.”
Natalie Wehrer of Martinez said she has won roughly 15 ribbons in the five years she has been riding.
“What I like about competing is that it’s like one big family and everyone is out here to support each other,” she said. “It’s comforting having that support and it helps you do your best.”