Last week, the FarmVet team watched Sarah Christen, a valued member of the FarmVet Team since 2014, and Cruise take home an impressive win at the 2021 Cactus Reining Classic. We virtually “sat” down with Sarah this week to learn more about Cruise, reining, the Cactus Reining Classic, and what products keep her horse happy and ready to compete. 

A Little Background on Sarah Christen

Sarah currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is the Southwest Territory Manager at FarmVet. Her family owns Storybook Stables in Scottsdale, and they specialize in breeding and showing Quarter Horses- with a sole focus on Reining. Sarah moved to Scottsdale after her family built their ranch in 2019 to be closer to the horses and further her riding career. That’s around the time Sarah made the decision to get serious about her riding. Flash forward and now Sarah is an amateur rider and riding alongside NRHA Professional Arno Honstetter.

Q: What made you want to get into Reining?  

A: It’s a challenging and technical sport. Our horses are athletic. They have to be able to lope fast and slow circles, change leads in the middle, spin, perform sliding stops and rollbacks. There’s a lot that goes into it. Pattern placement is super important. There is almost no room for error- a late lead change or an overturn penalty can keep you out of the money. That’s what makes it so rewarding when things come together.  

Q: Who is Cruise?

A: Cruise is a 6-year-old gelding bred and raised by my stepmom, Brenda Joyce. He’s been so much fun to work with. He’s pretty adorable, and he knows it. I appreciate her letting me have some fun with him. I bought his half-brother in December. They are both out of the same mare. It’s enjoyable to ride and show our homebred horses- I have a lot of pride in our breeding program.

Meet Sarah's reining buddy Cruise

Q: What is the Cactus Reining Classic? 

A: It is one of the biggest derbies in the country, and it is held here in Scottsdale. It is the first big show on our calendar with a lot of added money. This year, there was a huge turnout because it was a qualifying event for The Run For A Million.  I want to congratulate my trainer Arno for being one of twenty riders to qualify for this event. We are excited for him. 

Q: How was the 2021 Cactus Reining Classic?

A: I competed in the Non-Pro Derby. In the reining horse industry, a Derby is an aged event class where horses ages 4-7 are eligible to compete. Cruise and I won the Amateur Derby, and we tied to win the Level 1 Non-Pro Derby. We marked a 216, which was my highest score in a few years. I won my first saddle, and my family and friends were there to cheer us on. My barn mates and my trainer also did well at this show, so we had a lot to celebrate.

Sarah Christen, 2021 Amateur Derby Champion

Q: What products do you use to keep your horse competition ready? 

A: Arenus’ Assure Guard Gold is excellent for my young horse, who had issues with hindgut ulcers. I tried it because I received so much positive feedback from my customers and had a lot of success with it, so I kept him on it. We use the Ice Horse Stifle Wraps daily with our Reiners. I’m a big fan of Perfect Products Sane and Sound pellets, and the Perfect Prep Prime for horse showing- really helps my horses focus on their job while protecting their gut. We use a lot of Adequan and Legend as well.

Q: What is a new product at FarmVet that you are excited about?

A: FarmVet just onboarded Hygain’s supplement line, which we’ve been feeding at our ranch for a little over a year. I love the Bonafide supplement the most. It’s a bone health supplement formulated with Vitamin K1 & K2, and it has been instrumental for our horses with OCD’s. We feed it to the whole barn, even the broodmares. I also like their Super Anti Ox for soft tissue support. I’m pretty excited to carry this supplement line because we have had so much success with it.

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