Rocky Mountain High
Rico, at the age of 7, after a week of showing in Las Vegas at "Celebration", on the way home we spent a week riding in the mountains in Durango, CO Rico went from "show horse" to "mountain mule" overnight. Riding in the mountains was very challenging, more so than any show ring. We encountered terrifying drop offs, swinging wooden foot bridges, swift currents in rivers, crossing more than 20 downed trees over a foot in diameter at chest height, narrow trails, rocky paths in torrential downpours, train tracks, boggy ground and going up and down extremely steep and treacherous trails. Rico did everything I asked of him without faltering, even the stupid things that later we realized we never should have done. When we got lost and he was dragging with tiredness, he found the heart and strength to get me back to camp.
His willingness and courage constantly impressed me. I am in awe of him. He truly epitomizes the "horse that can do it all"
Above: 1. The 2 stallions in camp at Columbine on the picket line where they stayed (line is from trailer to tree) 2. Arnie on his Walker stallion and Rico and I ready to head out of camp in the morning. The two stallions rode like a dream team together all the time. 3. Rico and I at 9374 feet elevation over Electra Lake. One of the days we spent lost with no trail.
Above: 1. Another view of Rico and I over Electra Lake and still lost...but the scenery was beautiful! (Side Note: Just wanted to point out that I was not responsible for where we went. I trustingly left that to Arnie who spent 12 years in Durango and supposedly knew every trail) 2. This photo is a testament to Rico. This day started out with a ride down to Purgatory Flats. We then followed the trail along Cascade Creek and back up the mountain. This trail was extremely harrowing, about 18" wide, with a sheer 200-300 ft drop off to the river and a solid wall of rock on the right. There were hazardous rocks in the path the whole way. Rico's side has never gotten so much constant leg pressure. Rico handled it all calmly and was very sure-footed, looking and placing each foot carefully while handling the extreme ups and downs (amazing for Kansas plains horse). Meanwhile I was trying not to look down, lose my breakfast or pass out. We got to the bottom and had lunch at Teff Spur where the picture was taken. And yes, Rico crossed the swinging wooden foot bridge in the background of the picture. This is were Cascade Creek flows into the Animas River. We then crossed the train tracks and headed several miles up river toward Needleton following the Animas River. We turned back and since there was no way we were going back over the terrifying trail we had just come down, we decided to return on Stagecoach trail along the Little Cascade. This trail is not maintained by anyone as we soon found out. Big, downed trees blocked the trail many times. The horses grew adept at reaching over logs at chest height. The path grew very slick when it started to pour rain as it did every afternoon. The trail became nonexistent on the backside of Electra Lake and we had to continue on through unmarked and hazardous ground. With an exhausted Rico leading the way, we managed to forge our way back to camp, feeling much like original explorers and very relieved to be back 3. Rico and I on Castle Rock, elevation 10441 ft. The lake over my right shoulder is Electra Lake where we had such a trying time the previous 2 days.
Above: 1. Arnie and I and the 2 stallions at the top of Castle Rock. We had a friendly hiker take our picture. 2. Rico and I at the very top of Purgatory ski area (Durango ski resort). This ski lift is the highest one (10290 elev) and we are in front of the map of all the ski trails. 3. Rico and I in front of a directional ski run sign with the lift behind us. This was my favorite ride as the trail up to Castle Rock was easily visible and well maintained. I enjoyed seeing and riding on a ski resort when it is not covered in snow and in use. It was also a very nice way back down as we only had to follow the ski runs and there was no way of getting lost! I'm sure the tired horses liked the easy-going downhill path for their last ride in comparison to how we had gotten down mountains the previous couple days. For all our trials and tribulations, the scenery was always impressive and awe-inspiring.
After a 2 week "vacation" of first winning 2 blue ribbons in Vegas, and then proceeding undaunted through the wilderness, Rico had proven himself, above and beyond my expectations,
worthy of the highest acclaim!
Photos of Rico and I credit: Della Smith
Rico being the exceptional trail horse he is...
Here at the Cross Country Trail Ride
in Eminence, Missouri
in 2005 (right) and again in 2010 (above)
These 4 as a 4 year old at revision
photo credits: Michelle Tennyson
These 3 show Rico as a 3 year old
Rico at 2 years of age
Rico at 4 months of age when I purchased him.
Thank you Manor Hill Farm
for this Glorious Black Stallion!
$2,000 for purebred Andalusians/P.R.E. horses
$1000 all other breeds
Contract & booking fee due by February 1st of the breeding year
Live Cover OR Shipped Semen Available (mare owner responsible for collection fees)
Conception Guarantee/Live Foal Guarantee
Rico MHF: A son of National Champions and a National Champion himself, Rico passes on to his offspring, his superb pedigree and rare Guardiola origins, as well as his athleticism, good bone, strong loin and croup and his wonderful willing temperament coupled with a strong work ethic. His foals are noted for their beauty, willingness to please & correct conformation. His offspring are already making their mark in the show ring as you can see under the sold listings.
He is a fabulous representative of the legendary P.R.E.
Photos above as well as home page top photo credit to: Kevin Sink
15.3 Hands, DOB 2000
(Navarre GF x Marciana V)
Black aaEe, carrying the rare
chestnut gene with no white markings
National Champion in Reining
Half Guardiola with Escalera lines
Revised and Approved with the Stud Book of Spain
Extended pedigree below
Movement video can be seen on youtube under his name
Walnut Creek Ranch.
Guardiola Stud Farm
Rico as an eye-catching and unflappable parade horse in the 2011 American Royal Parade in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
We couldn't resist getting a shot with the background in the far right photo. How often do you see a P.R.E. stallion in front of a strip bar!
What a blast it was, riding in this parade. It is an amazing experience to ride next to skyscrapers towering above you and on overpasses crossing 8-lane busy highways below.
RICO's show record, pedigree and life experiences below:
Rico learning his first sliding stops at a Brent Wright clinic
Guardiola Stud Farm
Champion of Spain
1st place - Western Pleasure Amateur - Nationals Pre-Show
@ Fort Worth, TX
1st place - Western Pleasure Amateur - National Pre-Show
@ Fort Worth, TX
1st place - Western Pleasure Open - National Pre-Show
@ Fort Worth, TX
1st place - Reining Open- National Pre-Show @ Fort Worth, TX
Top 5 - Western Pleasure Amateur - National Championships
@ Fort Worth, TX
National Grand Champion Reining Open
National Championships @ Fort Worth, TX
2007 - The Foundation's "CELEBRATION FOR THE PURE SPANISH HORSE", Las Vegas
1st place - Western Pleasure Amateur
1st place - Western Pleasure Open
Rico's consistent scorecard results from the Stallions, 7 and over class,
from the esteemed judge Coronel Jose' Bobi Miguel:
Morgologia - 7.8/7.7/7.8/7.7/7.7/7.6/7.7/7.6
Movimientos - 7.7/7.6/7.5
Functionality - 19.033
(Note: this was the first time Rico had ever been in a dressage ring or done a dressage pattern.
In addition, all presentation and showing was done by his graceless amateur owner)
THE AMERICAN ROYAL HORSE SHOW, Kansas City, MO
This was a local open show with over 800 entries, 95% quarter horses
and Rico was the only Andalusian there!
1st place - Open non-stock halter
5th place - Western Pleasure Open, non-stock type
We had loads of fun at this show and made friends with the Budweiser crew as they were stabled across from us.
Here's some photos of Rico with his new pals from Anheuser Busch and their Dalmation "Bud"