Late-Night Update: On the Road with Dawn and Clea from Ruggles Arena in Cardigan, Ohio

April 2, 2011 took us to Ruggle’s Arena in Cardigan, Ohio.

Well Chels, it was an interesting seven hours today at the show. The crowd was great with lots of people braving the chilly day! (It was to be 50, but we are in Ohio so it was more like 42 with a wind chill of what felt like 20.) I know it was 78 in Colorado – YIPPEE those days will be here soon.

Before we get started we wanted to let everyone know about our 2 new items that we will be adding to “On the Road with Dawn & Clea”:


This is someone who may not have placed but caught our eye in and out of the arena with a great run and overall care of their steed.


The lesson for this show is ………..

So we roll into Ruggle’s at 10 am. The weather is chilly but tolerable. We get parked saddled and head up to the arena to warm up the horses. I am on Chili and leading Homer (the LG 4-year-old that’s for sale) and Clea is riding Banjo. There are only a couple of rigs there, but we think this will be a good size show since the MVP Show is next weekend and people want to get their horses out prior to the MVP. More rigs roll in… There are the Hefner’s, Phillip’s, Shirey’s, Whitesel’s, Ringer’s, Kelly Riley, Rhonda and many others.

The day starts out a little shaky with the exhibitions. They decided to take money at the gate which is in our opinion a good idea HOWEVER you need to have a plan prior to doing this. John (Gary Ruggle’s nephew) was volunteered to take on this task. As Clea and I sit on our mounts we can see this is already going to be a daunting task for John, but being a trooper he gets started. After we watch a few people try to give John money, and he is trying to get the concept Clea and Scott H yell “ Clear the arena” a couple times and I take the first run. I came out and it was clear John was a man on his own with no idea what was to be done.

Clea says to me “I think he could use some help.” I agree and of course we go on to help John. I start telling people who goes where and what order, trying to make it organized chaos. Everyone for the most part was layed back “THANK YOU “ about it, but unfortunately there were a few people, as there usually is in the horse show world, who had to make the situation a bigger issue than what it was. We wanted to pass on a little bit of horse show common sense “CALM DOWN”…  There is no reason to get all jacked up about exhibitions. Everyone was going to get in and it was plain to see that there was a little issue with organization, but it all came together. The show was not going to start without you. We were at Ruggle’s and not the World Show!

As the day went on, the weather got a little chillier and the wind picked up to make it a little raw. Jenna Shirey was getting the horses ready for the Madeline, and we were commenting that it was nice to see them on solid ground and not axle deep in the mud (we giggle to each other) when we saw Brad sitting in his warm truck listening to Howard Stern – We figured at least he stayed on dry ground and not 4 wheeling with the truck and trailer this time so Jenna must be making headway!! Later Brad was heard saying “ We only brought 3 horses so I could stay in the warm truck.”

Heath Boucher and his little doggy – cause it was boys day out – was at the show to meet up with Ronda Dowell. (She went home so she did not freeze and rubbed that in that she was leaving.) He decided to stay and entertain us. We always enjoy talking to Heath and will enjoy seeing him at the MVP show. PS Heath we are already there!

The Henning’s made it to the show today without any tire issues. Bobbie drove her own car just in case for the trip home. Regan Henning (our 2010 Congress Barrel Sweeps Champion) found out that riding Sammy the Shetland pony bareback in the barrels proved to be a dirt biting experience! However, Morgan on Sammy in the poles did not experience the same! Joel placed in his class on the horse he thought would not get close to the barrels! Way to go .. You are a MASTER!


We rode the OGBRA cowgirl barrels class and then headed home. The horses worked nice for the first run of the year. We were both happy with our runs.

Jenna Shirey must have been doing something right while Brad was lounging in the truck as she won the OGBRA Cowgirl Barrels Class, and Morgan Henning stayed focused on Corona and won the Open IBRA 4D Class. Buster Ruggle looked good as always and won the Masters Barrel Class. The Pee Wee Class was a joy as always. Denim Phillips showed her courage running her grandma’s 28-year-old mare (that looks great and at the least spry) in the Pee Wee class and recovering well from a bad second barrel! We look forward to seeing her at the future shows.

What this arena has is… great dirt, a great pattern, good homemade food, some of the nicest owners and workers you will ever talk to and lots of parking.

What this arena falls short on is… A warm-up pen (when the weather is bad) and you usually run from outside to inside which can be an issue with horse and rider adjusting their eyes from light to dark. However we totally understand the cost of everything, and this shortfall is easily overlooked because of all the pluses this arena has.

We would love to see larger crowds at Ruggles Arena as it is a very nice place to show. However their past shows have been smaller because they have fallen on days where there were the same or bigger added money, but people go elsewhere because Ruggles show bills added money is prorated. Personally we feel if they would change up the show bill a little they would have a bigger crowd.

WHAT NOT TO DO AT THE HORSE SHOW! The lesson for this show is… When you are holding your horse and you have a one piece rein PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE unsnap one side of the rein. This will save you from an accident that could happen in the blink of an eye. If your horse pulls back…1. You have a little more line to get him under control 2. If your horse gets away from you, you will not have a one piece rein dangling in front of him that he can potentially get his leg in while running like a banshee. THINK ABOUT IT!

OUR EYE CATCHER OF THE SHOW IS… Kelly Riley and her 6 year old mare Mahogany’s Undertaker – “Emma”
Kelly rode Emma super well today in both the poles and barrels. This is not something that everyone can do. Balance is the key here and Kelly must have plenty of it. Her hard work shows with each run. She is always well dressed and well prepared to help her horses do their job! Great riding Kelly!

TO CLOSE……………..
Well that is it for this episode of “On the Road with Dawn & Clea” We are headed to MVP in Lewisburg, Ohio next weekend. If you have never been to one of the MVP shows you will not want to miss this show. They have grown into great show producers and offer great awards and lots of added money! The announcer Joe Coalter is the best you will hear and the show committee – Well… they are tops! You can find the information on this show on the Circle G Web site or IBRA.US.

We look forward to seeing our food connoisseur Scott Hefner at the MVP show. We are happy to report he is on a healthy diet now a days with his recent health scare. AND he is not smoking….WAY TO GO SCOTT! He says he is working on his six pack…… We just don’t know if that is his abs or Coors Light! Time will tell……………

Hope to see you all at the MVP Show.

Until then “ Get your pet spayed or neutered!”

Clea & Dawn

PS. Stuck will be making his One Eyed debut at MVP. He is doing great now. Thank you all for the well wishes and prayers! They got him through it!


6 thoughts on “Late-Night Update: On the Road with Dawn and Clea from Ruggles Arena in Cardigan, Ohio

  1. Thanks Dawn & Clea!
    I appreciate the kind words. Love reading your blogs, they are funny, yet informative! Wish you & everyone else good luck next week at Circle G!
    Stay dry….LOL! ~K

  2. Really good article/ review! Can’t wait for the Lewisburg review!!! I hope I am mentioned alot 🙂 Hopefully Corona & I can multiply that run by thousands so I have alot like that one!!!

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