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Reining It In


Let her rein.

In action"Can I call you back? I'm about to pull a calf out of a cow right now!" Now, granted, this is an unorthodox (and slightly explicit) way to answer a telephone, but when it's Cradle Pine Ranch of Mount Airy, MD, on the line it's nothing out of the ordinary. That’s because there is a certain cut-to-the-chase frankness associated with running a state-of-the-art, 67-acre horse and cattle ranch. Between raising quarter horses and cattle, growing their own hay, boarding horses and bringing up two active children, Betty Hogendorp, has precious little time to talk.

"Sorry about that I just washed my hands and called back as quick as I could," Betty rejoins. Together with her husband, Charles, she’s raised daughter, Niki, and son, C.R., to find enjoyment and learn from work on the ranch. "Horses have taught my kids many things, like responsibility, goal-setting, and organization," says Betty. Handy lessons when Niki and C.R. take the Cradle Pine name into competitive show arenas. Niki, 28, is a two-time All American Quarter Horse Congress Champion in western pleasure and an Appaloosa Nationals Champion in horsemanship. C.R., 20, has excelled at reining, both in and out of the show arena.

If you’re involved in the reining industry, C.R. Hogendorp is a name you’ve probably heard before. His career is peppered with wins at top-notch shows like the National Reining Breeders Classic in Katy, TX, the Carolina Classic in Raleigh, NC, and the NRHA Derby in Oklahoma City, OK. In 2004 he won the NHRA Youth 14-18 and Limited Non Pro world championship title. These wins prove C.R. is one to watch in the top reining competitions.

For those not involved in reining, the definition of reining by the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), is "designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse within the confines of a show arena. Contestants are required to run one of ten approved patterns, included in the NRHA Handbook. Each pattern includes small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll backs over the hocks, 360 degree spins done in place, and exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse." With the sport nearly doubling in size in the past decade, the competition has escalated to the same degree.

In addition to being a formidable competitor in the show arena, C.R. is a true devotee of reining. He loves everything from getting up early and hauling horses, to lending his time and service as a leader of the reining industry – he even served as Vice-President and President of the NRHA’s youth division (NRHyA).

"When you’re head of an association that includes more than 1,000 members, you just have got to get things done." Now 20, C.R. has now grown out of the NRHyA but continues to balance horses with school while excelling in competition. He works with reining trainer Shaun Flarida of Springfield, OH on his mare Hercs Starlight. While he isn’t able to devote as much time to riding and showing as he was able to before enrolling at Fredrick Community College, he still brings home top titles from many shows.

C.R.’s recipe for success is pretty simple: "Hard work, sacrifice, and finding the right trainer and program that you’re comfortable with." C.R. believes that having a plan is extremely important in the pursuit of world championship titles. "You need to have a plan at the beginning of the year," he says. "If you strike out at a show, you need to make it up somewhere."

Seemingly oblivious of his resume, C.R. says that he wants to be a horse trainer one day and be one of the greats. "I have a long way to go before I could even think about hanging with the best," he explains, "I don’t want to do anything halfway." Multiple world champion, two-time executive board member, ex-president, equine therapist, soon-to-be college graduate, raised a farm kid – he certainly has credentials. Ah, the humble cowboy – perhaps the most important title on his resume.

For more information about C.R. and Cradle Pine Ranch, visit www.cradlepine.com.


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