Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Spotlight - Jonathan Newnham

"Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records." ~ William Arthur Ward (motivational speaker and author).

I have the honour of telling quite an inspirational story. I know you'll enjoy it. I hope it encourages you to consider the uses of adversity. How someone like Jon can reinvent himself after an accident.

Jonathan is one of our top 10 NRHA/ORHA reining trainers and competitors. He's on the ORHA board and chairs the new ORHA Trainer's Committee. I interviewed him yesterday and asked his thoughts on his reining career and found out how he overcame his adversities. 

Photo Credit: Ruth Hamlin

By the Bio:

NRHA judge, Jonathan Newnham lives in Hagersville, Ontario, and operates an elite show horse facility Newnham Performance Horses specializing in Western events. Jonathan's program focuses on open and non-pro/amateur riders and horses, and shows in Canada and USA. He consistently produces champions and top contenders at AQHA and NRHA futurities and events. 

S: Tell us something about you that no one knows.
J: Well 17 years ago, I had an accident which cut off all my toes on my right foot except the baby toe. (S: Wow!) I had to learn how to walk again, ride again, and show again. I lost all my horse training clients. I had to move back into an apartment temporarily until I could get back to training horses. I own my own my place again and have a thriving training business.

S: How did you first get into horses?
J: I was always into horses. My grandfather used to live by a standardbred stable. I used to sit on bales of hay and watch the horses. As a teen, I used to show 4H cattle. I had jobs as a teenager working with horses. At 17, I went to Chicago and worked for Ron Mueller. After high school, I apprenticed in the USA for 5 years with top trainers.

S: When did you get your big break in training horses?
J: I trained for Warren and Diane Hellyer of Hellyer Farms from 1996 until 1999 until Warren sold the farm. It was at this point that I went on my own and started Newnham Performance horses.

S: I'm one of the group of reiners who didn't know much about your horse training career before you got into reiners, can you tell me a bit about that?

J: Most reining people don't know that I've shown Quarter Horse for over 20 years. I've made AQHA champions, NSBA champions, Top 5 at the Congress and AQHA Superiors.

S: What made you decide to primarily focus on reining horses in 2011?
J:  I have 2 reasons. 1. I like the fact that the judging is based on a standard. And 2. What looks easy, is often not. Reining is very challenging. It's hard to do.

S: When did you become an NRHA judge and why?
J: I became a judge and NRHA steward 2 years ago to better myself. It's a natural progression as I wanted to further my career. I'm 43 and plan to train for another 20 years.

S: I love asking about people's mentors - who inspired them?
J: I have 4 mentors to thank. 1. Joe Carter, who taught me about judging. 2. Shawn Flarida, who gave me great advice to work my way up the reining classes as a pro. 3. Brett Walters, who taught me a lot about judging and 4. Larry Rose, who he taught me how to get into the horse's subconscious.

S: What are your accomplishments in reining as of 2017?
J: I've had several championships. 3 World NRHA championships. Several futurities and derbies in the USA and Canada, Several top 10 world placings, 2 reserve world champions.

One of his big successes is 3x World Champion Gotta Good Gun (Spooks Gotta Gun x Holly Golly Miss (x Topsail Whiz) owned by Nadine Galbraith, Miami Florida). 
Also, +1 Plus One Master, 2x Reserve World Champion (Master Snapper x Ima Mistress x Smart Starbuck), owned by Carrie Ann Berkenbosch, Netherlands.

S: What goals have you set for 2018?
J: I want to break $100,000 in lifetime earning's.
(He's currently LTE $97,496.21). And he wants to win the Congress. (I'm going to be there so I can watch that happen!!)
"I also want to be the best judge I can be. I hope to judge the NRHA Futurity someday."

S: What's your plans for your stud? TINSELTOWN'S PRIZE, LTE: $21,439.28. Sire: Wimpys Tinseltown (LTE$86,000+) by A Prize Package (x BE AECH Enterprise).
J: I plan to promote him as a stud and continue his career.

S: Any last thoughts on reining?

J: I just love the sport! I plan on doing reining the rest of my life!

Putting My Spin on a Spotlight of Inspiration.
@KISS Reiners

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