Sandy Jirkovsky has spent most of her training career working mainly with Appaloosas but has had Paints and Quarter Horses come through her barn. Her husband started showing in the cow horse world in the Appaloosa circuit and she thought it looked like fun. She bought a horse and her son, NRCHA Million dollar rider and trainer Chris Dawson, trained the horse for her.
Jirkovsky is also a multi-carded judge. She has judged at the AQHA Congress, NRCHA Stallion Stakes, at APHA events and has also judged at the Reining Futurity. She uses RCHTO to keep her up to date on current training methods and trends in the industry.
Her most memorable achievement in the sport was when she won the Limited Open at the Hackamore Classic on her horse MH Boon In My Blood.
“It was my first time to show in the cow horse and I walked in there right behind Jake Telford and I thought, ‘I don’t belong in this group’ but being a pleasure horse trainer [I] had to show in the Open. I marked a 73 and 74 and it was the most exhilarating experience of my entire life,” she said.
Jirkovsky said her favorite thing about the sport is, “reined cow horse trainers are the epitome of horsemen. They have to have these horses so well prepped for three different events…The family of cow horse people are amazing. I’ve been in horse groups all my life, grew up as a trainer’s child and I have been involved forever. But the camaraderie with the cow horse people is unlike any other association. I think that’s due to the cow being the equalizer.”
Why Sandy Uses RCHTO:
“I use RCHTO because Chris and Sarah [Dawson] live 85 miles from me and I don’t have the time to go down [to them]. I use it, not only when I’m riding a cow horse, I use those exercises when I’m just on my pleasure horses, my trail horses, my hunt seat horses. I think this whole program needs to be more spread out than the cow horse industry because there are videos on [RCHTO] that can help everybody. It gives these horses a purpose. Some of these exercises are not a boring drill like what we do a lot on our pleasure horses…Where else can you get a chance to listen to, not only Chris and Sarah, but Clayton Edsall, Ben Baldus and Justin Wright? It’s a wealth of information right in your phone.”