Youth at NRHA Derby

Youth at NRHA Derby

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, Okla. – July 21, 2017 – Members of the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) from around the country participated in events held just for them during the 2017 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby.

The events kicked off with the youth daily activities. Youth members met each day to create a craft, play bingo, make new friends, and even compete in a scavenger hunt.

NRHyA members put their speaking skills to the test on Wednesday, June 28, as competitors came to talk their way to the top in the NRHyA Cinch Speaking Contest. Competitors had the choice of entering three different categories including A. General, Prepared Public Speaking, and a Community Service Presentation. Categories are divided in to two different age groups. The placings were:

A: General – 13 & Under

  1. Bailey Hatfield
  2. Reed Harris

A: General – 14 to 18

  1. Reagan Stephens
  2. Grace Wilson
  3. Amber Edmonds

Prepared Public Speaking – 13 & Under:

  1. Reed Harris
  2. Bailey Hatfield

Prepared Public Speaking – 14 to 18:

  1. Reagan Stephens
  2. Amber Edmonds

Community Service Presentation – 13 & Under:

  1. Reed Harris

Community Service Presentation – 14 to 18:

  1. Reagan Stephens

All week-long exhibitors and fans could stop by and vote for their favorite entries in the NRHyA Art & Photo Contest. Much like the speaking contest, youth members could enter in three different categories which are divided in to two different age groups. The results are as follows:

Photography 13 & Under Champion: ‘Horseshoe’ by Reis Navaro

13 & Under Artwork Champion: ‘Western Horse’ by Campbell McLeod

14 – 18 Artwork Champion: ‘Wild Hearts’ by Tori Lynn Cline

Founded in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is a nonprofit association dedicated to promoting and encouraging the development of and public interest in the sport of reining. The focus is on developing and maintaining suitable standards of performance and judging and in providing a fun filled, family-oriented atmosphere. 

Media Contact:
Hayley Eberle
Manager of Marketing & Outreach
National Reining Horse Association
heberle@nrha.com
(405) 946-7400 x 103

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National #MeetAHorse Day and Pledge to Kick-Off on July 22nd

Combined, the two Time to Ride events will introduce even more new people to horses than ever before.  

July 20, 2017, Georgetown, Texas - Time to Ride’s second annual Pledge to Take a Friend Riding sweepstakes will launch on National Meet a Horse Day, Saturday, July 22nd! Each initiative encourages the horse community to introduce new people to horses, and expose them to the benefits associated with horse-related activities. The best part of both of these events? The chance to win big!

National Meet a Horse Day offers beginner-friendly events held by participating Time to Ride Challenge hosts – stables, clubs, and other horse professionals – across the United States. These hosts work diligently all summer long to host events at which new people can meet horses, learn more about getting involved, and sign up for horse activities. Their efforts throughout the summer are a part of their effort to win their share of $100,000 in cash and prizes in the Time to Ride Challenge.

While the Challenge is geared toward horse professionals, the Pledge to Take a Friend Riding sweepstakes invites amateur owners, riders, and equestrians of all backgrounds across the country to join the Time to Ride movement by introducing  friends and family, who aren’t currently involved with horses, to the benefits of horse activities. The winner of the sweepstakes will receive a Horse Crazy Trip for two to Lexington, Kentucky, including participation for one in a clinic with Dan James from Double Dan Horsemanship. To enter, simply pledge to take a friend riding.* The sweepstakes runs through September 16, 2017.

National Meet a Horse Day will celebrate and welcome new horse enthusiasts and the creation of more horse-human relationships. Horse professionals nationwide have created beginner friendly events with aspirations to introduce their local community to the benefits of interacting with horses. The fourth Saturday in July delivers the perks associated with the height of summer- great weather, more free time for new activities, and the approaching return to school, making this an opportune time to meet horses and attend a National Meet a Horse Day event.

“The decision to kick-off both the Pledge and National Meet a Horse Day on July 22nd came from our goal to include both Challenge hosts and the general public in the effort to increase participation in the equine community,” says Christie Schulte, Marketing Manager. “It only makes sense to unite all of us toward the same purpose. We wanted to reward our hosts, who are doing a fantastic job in the Challenge, as well as the average equestrian looking to share their passion with their loved ones. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

Equestrian celebrities including Al Dunning are also taking the Pledge: “Introducing new people to riding means more people will enjoy our horses, our sport, and make for a healthy future of the horse industry,” says Dunning.  Dan James voiced his support: “I love sharing horsemanship with new riders and helping them view the sport as something everyone can take part in and enjoy!”

Since 2014, the Challenge alone has introduced 100,000 new people to the benefits of horses. These newcomers are becoming the next generation of riders, owners, members, clients, and participants in the horse industry. The Challenge runs through September 30th, and registration is free and open throughout. To learn more about the Pledge, visit www.timetoride.com/pledge. Please visit the website or contact info@timetoride.com for questions.

*No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 5:00 p.m. ET on September 16, 2017. For full official rules and to enter, visit www.timetoride.com/pledge.  Sponsored by American Horse Council dba Time to Ride, 1616 H Street NW, 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20006.

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, American Quarter Horse Association, Farnam, Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, The Right Horse Initiative, US Equestrian, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, American Paint Horse Association, ASPCA, Equibrand, National Reining Horse Association, Lumina Media, America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.

About the American Horse Council

The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s Marketing Alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.

Contact: Christie Schulte, christie@timetoride.com or 512-591-7811

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The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

 

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Meet the Candidates – 2017 NRHA Elections

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Executive Committee and Board of Directors are responsible for managing the business of the Association and for representing the best interests of its members and the Association as a whole. Each year, NRHA opens nominations and hosts elections for these important leadership positions.

Members are encouraged to carefully consider the slate of candidates prior to voting in October. A current listing is provided below; however, write-in candidates can be submitted through August 2. A final listing will be emailed to eligible voters and posted in the Members Only section of nrha.com.

For details on the write-in process or questions about the elections, please visit the Members Only section or contact Christa Morris-Stone (cmorris@nrha.com or 405-946-7400).

DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE CANDIDATES

(TWO SEATS) To begin staggered terms as described in the NRHA Bylaws, the Board has approved that the candidate receiving the largest number of votes will have a two-year term. The candidate receiving the second largest number of votes will have a one-year term. Terms begin January 1, 2018. The following members were nominated by the NRHA Nominating / Governance Committee:

  • Shane Brown
  • George King
  • Brian Welman
  • Joe Wolfe

NORTH AMERICAN DIRECTOR CANDIDATES

(ONE PER REGION) Directors will serve two-year terms begin January 1, 2018. The following members were nominated by NRHA Affiliates to represent their regions:

  • East Central – Brett Walters
  • North Central – Larry Handley
  • Northeast – Kelly Hedges and Heather Powell
  • Northwest – Jeanine Kern
  • South Central – Ann Salmon Anderman

DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES

Shane Brown • Elbert, Colo.

SHANE image1 cropped“As a member of many NRHA committees and positions, currently and in the past, I am excited to be considered for an NRHA Executive Committee position. I look forward to becoming even more involved in programs that help to grow NRHA from the grass roots level at the Affiliates to my ongoing dedication to the Professional and non pro members at the trainer/ breeder/owner level. I am an active, dedicated NRHA non pro coach so it is important to me to continue the upward track that NRHA has established, taking all members into consideration. I would be honored to be a participant and pledge to be an active, productive member of the NRHA Executive Committee to help NRHA meet its goals for 2018.” ~READ MORE~

George King • Idaho Falls, Idaho

George King 2017 cropped“At the young age of 59, I have been a member of the NRHA for almost 30 years. I remember those early years when we gathered together at an outdoor arena in Montana for Dick Pieper clinics. In those days, a reining show only lasted one day. You would drive to the show in the morning and go home that evening (sometimes quite late). I’ve seen amazing growth in the NRHA and the reining horse industry; what an incredible journey it has been. You can see the results of our prosperity in that we now have 24 NRHA Million Dollar Riders, two of which are non pros; we have 36 NRHA Million Dollar Sires and several that have turned over nine million dollars. ~READ MORE~

Brian Welman • Hastings, Minn.brianwelman

“I have been an NRHA member for over 30 years and have been an NRHA Judge since 1990.  I attended the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, and then I went on to work for a few of the NRHA Hall of Fame inducted trainers until I started my own training business Brian Welman Training Center in Minnesota. I have been an active board member of the North Central Reining Horse Association (NCRHA) from the beginning and I have been a president of the NCRHA.  I have served on the NRHA Board of Directors in 2008 and 2011 through 2015, NRHA Judges Committee, Eligibility Committee and the NRHA Executive Committee since 2016. I am actively involved with all aspects of the reining horse industry.” ~READ MORE~

Joe Wolfe • Catlettsburg, Ky.

Joe Wolfe 2011 cropped“I have been married to my wife Emmy for 46 years. We have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. We live in Catlettsburg, Kentucky where we have been involved with horses and, at times, cattle. I attended Morehead State University where I earned my bachelors and masters degrees in math. I worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield in Kentucky for 26 years in sales and sales management.  I retired in December of 1999 and started my own small independent insurance agency in January of 2000 with my current partner George Arnold. My wife and I became involved with reining in the mid 1980s and became members of Ohio Valley Reining Horse Association (OVRHA) and NRHA at that time. Both of us continue to…” ~READ MORE~

 

NORTH AMERICAN DIRECTOR CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES

East Central • Brett Walters • Bourbon, Ind.

Brett Walters IMG_8300 cropped“As a current member of the NRHA Board, I would like to continue my involvement in order to help lead the NRHA in a direction that improves the association for the competitors and all of those involved. I believe that with my past experience and continued committee and board experiences I am qualified for this position. I am an active member of my local affiliates which allows me to get member feedback to bring to the board and make the best decisions for our membership. Being on the board allows me to help my local affiliates at a national level by making sure their needs and concerns are known to my fellow board members and to make sure new rules and regulations are suited for their needs.” ~READ MORE~

North Central • Larry Handley • Ankeny, Iowa

Larry Handley 2012 croppedLarry Handley, a practicing trial lawyer with over 39 years of experience, is from Ankeny, Iowa representing the North Central Region of NRHA. Larry serves on the NRHA Bylaw Committee, in addition to a special task force at the request and appointment of the NRHA President and Board. Larry has been an NRHA and North Central Reining Horse Association (NCRHA) member since 1990. During the past 27 years, he has competed at regional and national events as a non pro participant. He primarily focuses on futurity and derby horses and enjoys working with young horses everyday. He also has served as the NCRHA Sire & Dam Coordinator for several years. He currently assists the NCRHA Board regarding legal matters. He volunteers for other non-profit organizations in a… ~READ MORE~

Northeast • Kelly Hedges • Perrysburg, N.Y.

Kelly Hedges Web cropped“I am 61-years-old and have been a professional in the equine industry for over 40 years. My wife Kim and I own and operate Hedges Reining Horses in western New York. I also own and operate Hedges Custom Carpentry which specializes in custom cabinetry and custom home interiors for over 30 years. I am currently the vice president of the Yankee Reining Horse Association (YRHA), and I am on the horse show committee, as well as the Bylaws Committee. I have been a judge for over 30 years. I hold cards with the National Snaffle Bit Association, Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) and NRHA. I have judged all the ApHC’s major events in The States, as well as the Aphc’s European Championship show three times. ~READ MORE~

Northeast • Heather Powell • Chalfont, Penn.

Powell Heather HJP-2 cropped“In 1989, we bought a horse that we thought did tricks. A few weeks later we saw Richie Fisher giving a reining demonstration at Belmont Park Horse Fair and the “penny dropped.” I was introduced to trainer J.C. Daudelin from Quebec and started to learn about reining, ably assisted by our mare “April.” It has been a passion for me and the horses and people have kept me actively involved in the sport as an exhibitor (when the trainers let me have my horses back!), owner, breeder, judge, show secretary and steward since my first show at Willowbrook also in 1989. I have served as a director for Eastern Pennsylvania Reining Horse Association (EPRHA) for eight years. The past two years as NRHA Northeast Director have…” ~READ MORE~

Northwest • Jeanine Kern • Monroe, Wash.

Jeanine Kern croppedJeanine Kern is currently an NRHA Board Member representing the Northwest Region, and has been an NRHA Non Pro for over ten years. Residing in Monroe, Wash. with her husband Dan, Jeanine considers Washington Reining Horse Association (WaRHA) as her home affiliate. Jeanine has served in various volunteer capacities with WaRHA, including newsletter editor, Reiner correspondent, communications chair, board member, and is a past president of WaRHA. A lifetime member of the Washington State University (WSU) Alumni Association, Jeanine holds a bachelors degree in business administration with a minor in economics from WSU. Professionally Jeanine has been a freelance recruiter a great deal of her career, founding executive search firm EBS Northwest. Jeanine’s professional expertise is in identifying, sourcing… ~READ MORE~

South Central • Ann Salmon Anderman • Pilot Point, Tex.

Ann Salmon 2017 Web croppedAnn Salmon Anderman has been an NRHA Judge for 20 years, an NRHA Professional since 2004 and an NRHA Steward since 2011. She and her husband Monte Anderman are involved with teaching riders and horses of all levels, hosting clinics, and sharing their love of reining. They are currently based out of Cardinal Reining Horses in Aubrey, Texas. Ann is a current NRHA Regional Director and an active member and contributor on the NRHA Judges and Stewards Committees, as well as the past chair of the NRHA Judges Policy Review Task Force. Ann is a member of the NRHA Judges Teaching Panel which includes preparation and evaluation of judges teaching and testing materials. Ann has served multiple terms on the Southwest Reining Horse Association… ~READ MORE~

WANT MORE DETAILS ON THE ELECTIONS?

Read this story and watch a video on 2017 NRHA Elections!

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Collegiate Reining Championship

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, Okla. – July  2, 2017 – The 2017 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby hosted the Collegiate Reining Championship on June 30. However the title of champion didn’t come easy, as it took a runoff to decide the winner for this year.

Hannah Mitchell won the championship with a score of 222.5 with The Boominator donated to the competition by James Hotz.

Mitchell took the victory after a run off with Julia Spreng, who ended up Reserve Champion scoring 220.5 with HR Dun By Whiz owned by Randy and Sharon Reecer. Both competitors tied after their first runs scoring 217.5.

Mitchell is a freshman at Oklahoma State University and is a native of Cuba, Missouri. Spreng is a sophomore at University of Georgia majoring in Business. A native of Port Orange, Florida qualified to compete at the Collegiate Reining Championship through NRHA.

The Collegiate Reining Championship consists of 12 riders – four from the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), four from the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), and four that are selected by the NRHA. This year, the riders selected from the pool of collegiate NRHA members were: Holly Lansidel (Southern Methodist University), Jaci Marley (Texas A&M), Julia Spreng (University of Georgia), and Kyndal Harper (University of Georgia).

The NCEA sent its top four reiners from the 2016-2017 season to the championship: Caroline Gute (University of South Carolina), Claudia Spreng (University of Georgia), Hannah Mitchell (Oklahoma State), and Taylor Brown (Fresno State).

Representing the IHSA were riders who placed in top four places in Open Reining at the IHSA Finals this year. Riders representing the IHSA were: Kristen Wesoja (Cazenovia College), Lauren King (Middle Tennessee State University), Mark Mowbray, and Michelle McDowell (Grand Valley State University).

NRHA and the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) would like to thank the following horse owners who donated their horses for the NRHA Collegiate Reining Championship:

James Hotz
Randy and Sharon Reecer
Angela Myer
George and Carol Bell
Patrick Schwarz
Jennifer & Maurice Robinson
Brett Walters
Daniela Picciotti
Chris Hawkins
Day Creek Ranch LLC

Photo credit: Jana Thomason

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Day One of Competition Makes for Exciting Start to the 2017 IEA Western National Finals

Saturday, July 2, 2017 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Individual competition got underway at the 2017 Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) National Finals where nearly 200 riders from across the nation converged on Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to compete for National titles at the IEA Western Finals held during the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby.  In addition to competing individually, IEA Teams compete for points during team classes which will take place tomorrow.

The day began with schooling of reining horses and the individual draw, where riders select which horses they will ride in random order.  Oklahoma City State Fairgrounds has a deep history of equestrian sport competition and this week is no different.  Held in conjunction with the world-class NRHA Derby, the IEA Finals utilizes several of the available rings and barns on the sprawling campus.  As always, Announcer John Bahret kept the classes running smoothly as he effortlessly called out instructions and announcements to riders and audience members.  The NRHA has an excellent system of providing live feed coverage of reining classes, with rider, horse, and owner information identified on the screen for viewers in the arena and around the globe.

The IEA Youth Board assisted in the presentation of awards following the reining and horsemanship individual classes as not only ribbons and NRHA trophies were presented, but for the first time in IEA history, saddles were given to Varsity and JV riders.  Saddles were provided by the IEA and Tim Bower of Equine Oasis.  IEA Co-Founder and Executive Director, Roxane Durant and Co-Founder and IEA Chief Operating Officer, Myron Leff also assisted with awards as did Co-Founder and Board Member Ollie Griffith and NRHA Commissioner, Gary Carpenter joined in for the celebration of awards presentation.  Photography is provided by Waltenberry and Videography is provided by Equine Promotion.

Exhibitors, parents and coaches enjoyed a mid-day welcome party sponsored by the NRHA complete with food, a mechanical bull, climbing wall, bungee jump and bounce house.  IEA was pleased to offer its student members the opportunity to take the Horsemanship Test sponsored by the United States Pony Club (USPC) again this year.  The USPC is one of many sponsors and supporters of the IEA National Finals. Saturday’s top winners included the following:

  • NRHA Varsity Open Reining – Individual Champio
    Morgan Knerr from Autumn Rose Farm Equestrian Team (Zone 5 – Plain City, OH) riding Whimpys Dot Tari provided by Jim Dudley Quarter Horses
  • NRHA Varsity Intermediate Reining – Individual Champion
    Luke Guynn from Rocky Mountain Wranglers (Zone 8 – Berthoud, CO) riding HighLoandInBetween provided by Jim Dudley Quarter Horses
  • NRHA Future Intermediate Reining – Individual Champion
    Benjamin Balow from Arizona Sliders Reining Team (Zone 8 – Scottsdale, AZ) riding Mickey provided by Schwarz Reining
  • Varsity Open Horsemanship – Individual Champion
    Olivia Willeke from KM Equestrian (Zone 5 – Findlay, OH) riding Lucy provided by OK 007
  • Future Novice Horsemanship – Individual Champion
    Lauren Pursley from Texas High Riders (Zone 7 – North Zulch, TX) riding Buddy provided by West Texas A&M University
  • Future Intermediate Horsemanship – Individual Champion
    Izzy Barth from Watkins Equestrian (Zone 5 – Canfield, OH) riding Pete provided Halvorson Ranch
  • Future Beginner Horsemanship – Individual Champion
    Jada Mark from IIIR Stars Equestrian Team (Zone 4 – Portal, GA) riding Buddy provided West Texas A&M University
  • Varsity Intermediate Horsemanship – Individual Champion
    Rylee Aurand from KM Equestrian (Zone 5 – Findlay, OH) riding Lucy from OK007
  • JV Beginner Horsemanship – Individual Champion
    Addison Taylor from IIIR Stars Equestrian Team (Zone 4 – Portal, GA) riding Slicker from West Texas A&M University
  • JV Novice Horsemanship – Individual Champion
    Rette Solomon from Cedar Ridge Equestrian (Zone 1 – Barre, VT) riding Bob from West Texas A&M University
  • Champion Western Rider
    Olivia Willeke from KM Equestrian (Zone 5 – Findlay, OH)
  • Champion Crossover Rider (Huntseat and Western)
    Meghan Moran from Hillside Meadows (Zone 1 – Graton, MA)

About IEA:Celebrating its 15th Anniversary year, the IEA has more than 13,500 middle and high school student-riders across the United States. The IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students and is open to public and private schools and barn teams.  There is no need for a rider to own a horse because the IEA supplies a mount and tack to each equestrian for competitions.  Its purpose is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, to generally promote the common interests of safe riding instruction and competition and education on matters related to equestrian competition at the middle and secondary school levels.  The IEA is open to public schools, private schools, and barn teams.  For more information, please visitwww.rideiea.org

Myron Leff
IEA Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer
614-460-3532  |  myron@rideiea.org

Kimber Whanger
IEA Communications Coordinator
614-542-9415  |  kimber@rideiea.org

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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2017 NRHA Derby: Day Eight

Deary and Shesouttayourleague Dominate the 2017 NRHA Open Derby Championship

NRHA Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary entered the arena as draw 25 in a field of 31 in the second section of the 2017 NRHA Open Derby finals. NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Jordan Larson had just closed their pattern with a 227.5. That was the score to beat.

Both NRHA Professionals were riding past NRHA Open Futurity Champions: Deary was aboard 2015 NRHA Open Futurity Champion Shesouttayourleague. Larson had just captured the lead with ARC Gunnabeabigstar – the 2014 NRHA Open Co-Champion – between the reins.

Once Shesouttayourleague, a 5-year-old mare by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz and out of NRHA Hall of Famer Wimpys Little Chic (by Wimpys Little Step), nominated by Arcese Quarter Horses USA and owned by Curtis Performance Horses LLC., entered the arena, she gave the Weatherford, Texas trainer all she had. Once the flashy palomino, who had $184,723 NRHA LTE prior to showing in OKC, closed her pattern #12, a 229 appeared on the score board. The title was hers.

“To me, this is nothing short of a miracle,” said Deary following the awards presentation. “At the NRBC she was giving me trouble so, for her to come as far as she did – and I give my friend Jordan Larson the credit for helping me out at the Redbud Spectacular – it was a night and day difference for my horse. I came right after Larson tonight, and I had absolutely no anxiety about having to beat his run because their performance was amazing. I was sitting there cheering on him as I was waiting for my turn. I came in through those gates telling my mare ‘just be as good as you can be and give me what you’ve got’. She did just that, and I cannot be any more thankful for this title tonight.”

Shesouttayourleague gave Deary all she had and more: the pair added another $60,000 to their earnings for the Open Derby Championship.

Larson and ARC Gunnabeabigstar, a 6-year-old stallion by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya and out of Wimpys Little Chic, is owned by HDC Quarter Horses and nominated by Arcese Quarter Horses USA. The duo added $43,918 to their earnings. “I called on him for everything he had, and he delivered,” said Larson. “[NRHA Million Dollar Rider] Brian Bell helped me with his turn-arounds, which could well be why he turned so fast, and I had a hard time controlling him, but I have to thank Brian for that. Wimpys Little Chic is the epitome of a great reining horse and what she is doing as a producer is incredible!” ARC Gunnabeabigstar is an NRHA Markel Insurance Futurity Sales graduate.

Boechat and Tremblay tie to win the Level 3 Open Derby title

NRHA Professional Thiago Boechat riding Ruf Lil Magnum (Magnum Chic Dream x Dunit A Lil Ruf), owned by Silver Spurs Equine and Heritage Farms and nominated by Ann Salmon Anderman tied to win the L3 Open Derby Championship with Dany Tremblay riding Magnums Guns R Reddy (Magnum Chic Dream x Guns R Reddy), owned by Ruth Hamlin and nominated by Mary Jansma. Both scored a 223, and both left OKC adding $19,564.76 to their earnings for the win.

“The owners brought her to me about 6-7 months ago, and we started schooling her,” said Tremblay. “I thought she was going to do so well. We came here after the NRBC with big expectations, and there you go, champion L3. I really felt like she was ready to go. I just turned up the volume a little on her and she gave me everything she had.”

“We haven’t been together for very long,” said head trainer for Xtra Quarter Horses, Brazilian Boechat, based in the USA. “I got him after the NRBC. Jordan Larson had him before me and did a great job. [NRHA Million Dollar Rider] Brian Bell had him before Jordan, and I’ve been the lucky one to get to show him here. He’s been in great hands, and people did a great job with him. I think he has it all; he’s a big turner, big stopper, great mover, and has a great mind. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

CBK Spooks Got Cash and Bobby Avila, Jr. Cash in the Level 2 Open Derby Championship

Bobby Avila, Jr. and CBK Spooks Got Cash (Spooks Gotta Gun x JR Wright On Cash), owned and nominated by William and Corliss Kellogg, rode to a 221 and a $9,839.95 check in the first section of the Open finals. “She’s a horse that was trained by Josh Murphy and is actually in training with him,” said Avila, Jr. about the 5-year-old mare. “I’ve been riding her the last few months for Josh, since we train out of the same barn at Zimmerman Performance Horses, and I’ve been showing her because I’m eligible for lower levels. We’ve won the last three derbies on her; we won the Buckeye Reining Classic in the Novice Derby and the Red Dirt Derby.

She’s a very honest, very consistent horse, and it feels awesome. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s a team effort, and that’s what makes this special.”

Tom Foran, who also qualified his mount Walla Walla Starbuck for the L3 division where they closed in 6th place, earning $8,368.49, left the arena with a 220 – enough to clinch the reserve championship, leaving Avila, Jr. in the lead. The 5-year-old stallion, owned by Sleipner LLC., who was nominated by Marc Gordon, earned another $7,778.97 for their L1 reserve title.

Shina Gun and Gibori are Level 1 Open Derby Champions

Barak Gibori rode Shina Gun, a 5-year-old stallion by Gunner and out of Shiner Light, owned by Teresa Wynn and nominated by Xtra Quarter Horses LLC., to top honors in the L1 Open Derby. The NRHA Professional who works out of McQuay Stables Tioga, Texas, posted a 219.5 for the win.

“It has been a long process, and I need to say a lot of things to the owner for trusting us because we were really close to making it to the winner’s circle, yet every time we had a little bobble here and a little bobble there, and she kept sending us to the horse shows. It worked,” said Gibori. “In the finals tonight, I just let him do his job. That’s about it. He’s a really talented horse, we worked hard to get here, and as soon as you run through that gate, it’s just about letting them do what they know how to do.”

Jeromy Lipps of Miami, Oklahoma, rode Melodie Nelson’s Revolutionary Jac (Einsteins Revolution x Kalliope Jac) to a 218 and the L1 reserve championship. The 4-year-old stallion was nominated by Rancho Sereno LLC and is an NRHA Markel Insurance Futurity Sales graduate.

Larcombe clinches the Prime Time Open Derby title riding Hang Ten And Shine

Martin Larcombe and Hang Ten And Shine (Hang Ten Surprize x Ebony Shines), a 6-year-old stallion nominated by Rosanne Sternberg, kept their perfect derby record alive by qualifying for every Level 4 finals at the major events, so it was an added bonus when the pair won the Prime Time Open Derby division with a score of 221.5 for owner Christine Brazeau of England.
“He’s been a very good, consistent horse,” says Larcombe, who collected a paycheck worth $2,070.64 for the win and added another $6,579.23 for placing 13th in the L4 Open finals. “He has made the Level 4 finals at every big event we’ve been to. That’s a pretty good achievement for a young horse.”

NRHA would like to thank all the supportive Corporate Partners and Event Sponsors for making our Derby awards outstanding this year!

All Open Level Champions received:

  • Custom Montana Silversmiths Trophy Buckle
  • Anderson Bean boots
  • Classic Equine Product
  • 4 Bags of Feed from Bluebonnet Feed
  • Platinum Performance CJ
  • SmartPak Gift card
  • Kiser Hydrext Dust Suppressant and Moisture Extender
  • Level 1 & 2 Champions will receive Shorty’s Caboy Hattery certificate
  • The Level 4 Open Champion will also receive a Sundowner trailer for the use of one year courteously of Twin Cities South Trailers the official trailer of the NRHA Derby.
  • The Level 4 and Level 3 Open Champions will receive a custom Silver Spurs Saddle
  • The Level 2 and 1 Open Champions will receive a custom saddle from Equine Oasis

The Prime Time Open Champion received:

  • Custom Montana Silversmiths Trophy Buckle
  • Bob’s Custom Saddle
  • Anderson Bean Boots
  • Classic Equine Product
  • Platinum Performance CJ
  • SmartPak Gift card
  • Kiser Hydrext Dust Suppressant and Moisture Extender
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2017 NRHA Derby: Day Seven

Mandy McCutcheon Wins Her Seventh NRHA Derby Championship riding Hollywood Starburst

Stephanie Gripp and Gun N For Glory sweep the Levels 3, 2, 1 and Youth Championships

Draw 18, in a field of 32 riders in the second section of the NRHA Non Pro Derby finals, Hollywood Starburst ‘burst’ into the Jim Norick Arena with NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Mandy McCutcheon in the saddle. The score to beat was the 221.5 posted by past NRHA Non Pro Derby Champions Dr. Bill Rhoads and Mega Maggie Mae. The NRHA Hall of Famer riding the 4-year-old mare by NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Hollywood Dun It and out of Chic Olena Starbuck nailed each and every maneuver requested by NRHA pattern 10 and, once the duo had closed their run, a 224 appeared on the score board and remained unbeaten.

“Our run tonight went well from the start, and I could not have asked her to be any better,” said Mandy McCutcheon. “My husband [NRHA Million Dollar Rider Tom McCutcheon] rode her as a 3-year-old, and my dad [NRHA Hall of Famer and Three Million Dollar Rider Tim McQuay] rode her a little this spring. [NRHA Professional] Debbie Brown – who trains for us – really put in a lot of time into her in the past two months and really helped me figure her out. I had a pretty good run on her in Tulsa, but not so good a run at the NRBC. We put our heads together to figure out what links were missing, and it worked!”

Bred, nominated, and raised by Sarah Willeman of Turnabout Farm Inc., Hollywood Starburst was born at Mandy and Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses in Aubrey, Texas. “Tom actually sold her to one of our customers last year and showed her at the NRHA Futurity, where he had a little trouble with her,” added McCutcheon. “This past Spring, we bought her back and sold a couple of horses at the futurity last fall so that we could have a spot for her. It’s hard to go wrong with a good Dun It mare!”

Past NRHA Non Pro Derby champions and current go-round leaders, Dr. Bill Rhoads and his 5-year-old mare nominated by Martin Bonneson, Mega Maggie Mae (Magnum Chic Dream x Cinco De Mega), settled for co-reserve honors. “I was unfortunate to draw first tonight, but she was awesome for me, and I couldn’t have asked for more,” Rhoads said.

Tying for reserve honors with Rhoads was Sandra Bentien of Auburn, California, riding Gotta Twist It Up (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Make It With A Twist). The 4-year-old mare is owned and was nominated by Bentien.

Stephanie Gripp of Sheffield, Illinois, qualified her 5-year-old AQHA and APHA double-registered mare Gun N For Glory (Gunner x Dun It For Chex), nominated by Oldenburg Farm LLC, in all four levels of the Non Pro Derby. With a 219 score, the 16-year-old left the pen with the Level 3, 2, 1 and Youth Non Pro Derby Championships! “This is amazing…if I can put words to it. This was the first time I made it to the level 4 finals, and it’s simply unbelievable,” said Gripp. “My score was held for a little bit, so I was panicked a little bit and couldn’t breathe. When they finally announced my score, I was just thrilled. I was very happy with how my horse did, and I’m very thankful to have her.”

Laura Anne Bell Parker riding George and Carol Bell’s Shirley Your A Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Pines BH), nominated by Lance Griffin, and Kara Gray Frye riding her Juice N Silk (Smart Like Juice x Silk N Sable Pine), nominated by Jim Irwin, tied for reserve honors in the L3 division. Both scored a 216.5.

Earning the reserve championship in the L2, L1, and Youth divisions were Coded N Karma (Electric Code x Whiz N Snap) and Raeanna Thayn. The 6-year-old gelding is owned by Robert and Robbin Thayn and was nominated by Couture Reiners. The duo scored a 218 for the titles.

Michael Garnett and his Snoop Around (Walla Walla Whiz x Sneaking Out Tonight), nominated by Joanne Garnett, claimed both the Prime Time Non Pro and Masters Derby Championships. Micheal and his wife Joanne raised the 6-year-old gelding. “I let him trot out of a rollback today, that was my fault, but he showed really well,” said Garnett following the finals. “He’s very honest in the pen, in fact the last time he was shown was last year at Vegas. He’s not been schooled since then or been shown anywhere. He came out to show like this today and in the prelims, so I’m real happy with him!”

NRHA would like to thank all the supportive Corporate Partner and event sponsors for making our Derby awards outstanding this year!

All Non Pro level champions received:

  • Custom Montana Silversmiths Trophy Buckle
  • A custom Saddle
  • Anderson Bean boots
  • Classic Equine Product
  •  Bluebonnet Feed
  • Platinum Performance CJ
  • SmartPak Gift card
  • Kiser Hydrext Dust Suppressant and Moisture Extender
  • Level 1 & 2 Non Pro Champions recieved Shorty’s Caboy Hattery certificate
  • Level 1, 2, & 3 Non Pro Champions received a custom saddle from Continental Saddlery
  • Level 4 Non Pro Champion received a Silver Spurs custom saddle
  • The Level 4 Non Pro Champion also received a Sundowner trailer for the use of one year courteously of Twin Cities South Trailers the official trailer of the N-R-H-A Derby. Big thank you to Sundowner for making these beautiful champion trailers possible and all the Corporate Partners and Event Sponsors for all these wonderful awards.

The Prime Time Non Pro Champion received:

  • Custom Montana Silversmiths Trophy Buckle
  • Bob’s Custom Saddle
  • Anderson Bean Boots
  • Classic Equine Product
  • Bluebonnet Feed
  • Platinum Performance CJ
  • SmartPak Gift card
  • Kiser Hydrext Dust Suppressant and Moisture Extender

The Youth Non Pro Champion received:

  • Custom Montana Silversmiths Trophy Buckle
  • A Custom Silver Spurs Saddle
  • Anderson Bean Boots
  • Classic Equine Product
  • Bluebonnet Feed
  • Platinum Performance CJ
  • SmartPak Gift card

Friday Ancillary Action:

Madison Gustin, Stephanie Johnson Tie for Rookie Levels 1 and 2

Johnson Wins Prime Time Rookie

As the Non Pro Derby finalists were riding for the 2017 titles, the Adequan Championship Arena welcomed NRHA ancillary action.

The Jackpot Rookie Level 1 and $200-added Rookie Level 2 saw a tie between two competitors in the Adequan Arena on June 30. Madison Gustin and Stephanie Johnson both marked a 143.5. Johnson also won the Prime Time Rookie class.

Madison Gustin wasn’t expecting to win a class Friday, but Guns R Spooky had a different idea. The duo from Weatherford, Texas, exited the arena with a 143.5 to tie for victory.

“We went in there just trying to have fun and take it easy to get ready for our Youth classes [Saturday] and Sunday,” Madison said. “He felt good and everything was great, so we ended up with the high score.”

Gustin arrived at the 2017 NRHA Derby on Wednesday and has been using the time to practice and warm up her 2010 gelding by Smart Spook and out of Berry Yer Guns.

“I’ve just been schooling; I got here Wednesday, so we’ve just been taking it easy getting ready to show,” Gustin said.

She says “Avatar” is full of personality—her favorite quality about him.

“I’ve owned him for about two years now, and he’s literally my best friend—it’s been so much fun,” Gustin said. “He’s got talent, but he’s so much fun to be around. I’ve been riding since I was 5 and started reining when I was 8. I ride with [NRHA Million Dollar Rider] Casey Deary, and I love it. It’s where I’ve grown up; I’ve been there since I was 8. He’s my role model and always has been. It’s so much fun to be around him and all the people at the Deary barn.”

Stephanie Johnson and Light M Up put together a winning 143.5, but Johnson still says it came as a shock because of the caliber of competitors she rode against. She credits the performance to her “soul mate,” the 2012 gelding by Wimpys Little Step and out of Aleena Starlight.

“It felt great whenever I was out there, but this is a big show, and it’s my first time ever coming to this show, so you just don’t expect to knock it out of the park,” Johnson said. “My horse is amazing; he’s my soul mate in a horse. We’re still getting to know each other, and we’re doing pretty good so far. This is a dream come true.”

Johnson and “Cato” are a fairly recent team. Johnson searched high and low for the perfect horse and finally found him in the fall of 2016. They showed at their first horse show early this year and are continuing to improve.

“Last year at the Derby, I was searching for a horse, never found one, and it took six months to find him. It’s been amazing ever since,” Johnson said. “He’s done great for me; we just started showing in February and he’s been incredible at every single show. The Florida Classic was our first show and one of the bigger shows we’ve been to, and we won high point there. We’re just a good team.”

Johnson says Cato’s ability to adjust to each rider makes him incredibly special, especially since Johnson is a new reiner.

“He’s super sweet and an open-caliber horse, but he’s gentle enough and kind enough that he’s good to me, because I’m still learning and still green eligible and rookie, so he’s just a great horse,” Johnson said.

Johnson, who has a background in Western all-around and hunter/jumper, trains with Josiane Gauthier Performance Horses at Sunny Pines Farm in Lucama, North Carolina. She says Gauthier’s training has been a match since she started reining.

“I’ve been reining for a little less than two years, and I kind of fell in love with reining the minute I started it,” Johnson said. “The horses are so beautiful and so athletic. I found Josiane, and she’s the most amazing coach; we just clicked. I absolutely love it.”

Madison Rafacz Wins Jackpot Green Reiner Levels 1 and 2 Aboard Better Not Rest

Madison Rafacz is no stranger to the show pen, and it was evident in in the Jackpot Green Reiner Levels 1 and 2. The 9-year-old daughter of NRHA Professional Mark Rafacz and his wife, multiple non pro NRHA World Champion Shannon Rafacz, marked a 142 aboard Better Not Rest (Custom Crome x Rest Stop) to top the competition.

“Jay” isn’t Madison’s main mount, but she seemed perfectly comfortable aboard the big 17-year-old bay gelding. Madison says Jay is easy to ride but can be difficult to show because of his size, but he has a sweet demeanor and is constantly looking for his next snack.

“I feel good; that’s the first time I’ve actually gotten to show him and won!” Madison said. “He’s kind of hard to show, but he’s really easy to show at the same time. He’s a really good boy, and we love him.”

Madison, who’s been riding her entire life and reining since she was 4 years old, says the class was the first time she had a victorious showing with Jay.

In the Level 1, Kr Ima Selfish and Allison Arnold scored a 141.5 to take reserve honors. Stephanie Johnson and Light M Up placed second in the Level 2 with a 140.5.

The NRHA Derby welcomes USA Para Reiners

Jennifer Flanagan, executive director of Great Oak Aiken Therapeutic Riding Center in Aiken, South Carolina was the only competitor in the USA Para Reining Grade 2 riding Smart Zone to a 131.

“I think my run was good, considering this is the first time for me to show on this horse; we got a score, so that’s always a very positive thing,” said Flanagan who started competing two years ago. “At the moment, she is in training with Steve Kutie, but I’ll be taking her home to South Carolina after this weekend. I’m super excited to get her home and start building that bond together.”

Cole Jacobs and Pinstripe Benz won the USA Para Reining Grade 3 with a score of 136. Jacobs and “Pinstripe” share a special bond. Jacobs, who has been competing in reining since 2012, was pleased with his horse’s performance after lots of time in the practice pen.

Holly Leigh Jacobson of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and Ruf N Loaded also competed in the USA Para Reining Grade 3, and although they received a no-score in the NRHA Para Reining class for not wearing protective headwear, Jacobson is grateful for every opportunity she has with the gelding.

“He’s such a professional horse, and I learn something new every single time I step in there. That’s the best part—you’re never done learning,” said Jacobson about her mount who was generously loaned to her by Cole Jacobs.

In the USA Para Reining Grade 4/NRHA Para Reining, Cullen Santino Le Roy took victory aboard Smokin N Tinseltown with a 130. Elizabeth Kelley and Czgunnacashbigchex marked a 125.5 to earn the reserve slot.

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2017 NRHA Derby: Day Six

2017 NRHA Derby Day 6

Fappani and Chic Dreamin win the Open Derby Qualifier

Fappani_and_Chic_DreaminIt took a 226 to win the Level (L)4 Open Derby qualifier, and that is exactly what NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani posted riding Silver Spurs Equine’s Chic Dreamin (Magnum Chic Dream x Skeets Red Dunit).

With the 5-year-old stallion (nominated by Casey Hinton) between the reins, Fappani came away from the 2017 NRBC with the Level 4 Open title, a feat that put the pressure on his performance in OKC. “I was really nervous coming in today,” said the Arizona-based NRHA Professional. “My horse felt really good but, when you come away from the NRBC with the championship, the pressure is on. Especially if you have to wait until the end of the week to show!”

“Chic Dreamin is such a great horse and Andrea [Fappani] is such an amazing rider,” said Michelle Miola of Silver Spurs Equine. “I am so excited with their performance today!”

Jimmy Van Der Hoeven and Electro Star (Electric Code x Rg Miss Starlight), owned by Kathy Hinton and Casey Hinton and nominated by David Hartman DVM, had posted the highest score of the first go round, first section of the L4. Fappani bested his score by one point.

NRHA Professionals Billy G Williams and Bud Lyon both posted a 222.5 to lead the L3 division. Williams rode his own 4-year-old stallion nominated by Vicky King, Prety Fashionable (Pretty Peppy Chec x Sheza Fashion Chic). Lyon rode Madison Quintanar’s 5-year-old stallion Einsteins Top Whiz (Einsteins Revolution x KR Samantha), nominated by Shady Grove Farm Inc. The duo also lead the L2 division.

Gotta Get A Diamond (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Brillante Diamantes), owned by Cross C Ranch and ridden by Sarah Cunningham, held on to the top L1 score, a 220, earned in the first section of the Open Derby qualifier.

Open Derby Bubble scores:
Level 4: 220.5
Level 3: 218.5
Level 2: 217
Level 1: 214

Thursday Ancillary Action

As open riders provided reining action in the Jim Norick Arena, the Adequan Championship Arena offered the non pro competition.

Graycen Hess and her own Chromed Olena (Cromed Out Mercedes x FS Smart Dot Chic) posted a 143.5 to win the $500-added NRHA Limited Non Pro show #2 class. “I came here to compete in my first Derby ever. We went in and did really well, but in our first turn we kind-of bobbled a little bit, so sadly we missed the finals by a point,” said the young rider. “We came into this class and, being the same pattern, I wanted to go in and fix that turn. It worked…he was right there with me and was awesome.”

Hess rides with NRHA Professional Josiane Gauthier, who found him for her in January. “I wanted a step-up horse that would be able to get me here and take care of me in the show pen. She found him and we just clicked,” she added. “Saturday and Sunday I’ll show in the Youth 14-18 and then on Sunday I’ll be showing in IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association).”

It took a run off to determine who would take home the $1,000-added NRHA Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 show #2. Both Kelsey Delaplaine, riding Boom Sail Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Cheeky Boom), and Adam Donahue aboard Thata Shiner (Smart Spook x SLJ Smart Like Whinny) scored a 142 to tie for the lead. Once they came back in the pen, first place honors went to Delaplaine and her mount.

James Windham and his Walks With Swagger (Topsail Whiz x Princess In Diamonds) rode to a 146.5 and the win in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 show #2. A point behind the winner, Greg Hall and Mary Hall’s Chics Mainattraction (Conquistador Whiz x Chicstatic) placed second.

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2017 NRHA Derby: Day Five

Jimmy Van Der Hoeven steers Electro Star to the top score in the Open Derby Qualifier

Clausen and Smart Tinseltown sweep the $15,000-added Silver Spurs Equine Non Pro 7&Up

The 2017 NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) Derby provided an action-packed day in Oklahoma City. As the first section, first go of the $392,000-added Open Derby took place in the Jim Norick Arena, the Adequan Championship Arena kept the non pro riders busy.

The first section, first go of the $392,000-added Open Derby qualifier saw 101 entries make their way into the show pen, vying for a spot in the Open Derby Finals, which will be held on Saturday.

Leading the Level (L)4 division with a 225 score was NRHA Professional Jimmy Van Der Hoeven riding Electro Star (Electric Code x Rg Miss Starlight), owned by Kathy Hinton and Casey Hinton. The 5-year-old stallion was nominated by David Hartman DVM.

NRHA Professional Brandon Brant and Show Snapn (Hollywoodstinseltown x Whiz N Snap), a 2012 mare owned by Suzanne Cooper and nominated by Couture Reiners, left the arena with a 221 score to lead the L3.

In the L2 division, with a 220, NRHA Professional Sam Schaffhauser aboard Lil Rene Gun (Gunner x Sail Away Rene), owned by James Fanello and nominated by Carlton and Khris Crowe, along with NRHA Professional Sarah Cunningham riding Gotta Get A Diamond (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Brillante Diamantes), owned by Cross C Ranch, tied to lead. Cunningham and her mount are also leading the L1.

NRHA Professional and Million Dollar Rider Todd Sommers rode Lectrik (Jacs Electric Spark x The Bun Is Dun), owned by Bearden Equine Investments and nominated by Susan Jones, to a 217 score to lead the Prime Time Open division.

Shelby Clausen and Smart Tinseltown sweep $15,000-added Silver Spurs Equine 7&Up

With a whooping 148.5, Shelby Clausen and Smart Tinseltown swept all four levels of the $15,000-added Silver Spurs Equine 7&Up class. The outstanding duo also claimed top honors in the show #2 NRHA $6,000-added Non Pro and $3,000-added Intermediate Non Pro ancillary classes.

The 7-year-old gelding, by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Smart Spook and out of Tinseltown Lil Step, owned by Clay Clausen, is no stranger to the winner’s circle. With NRHA Professional Robin Schoeller and past owner, Elizabeth Himes, in the saddle, the flashy chestnut left his mark in the pen. Prior to coming to OKC, he boasted $59,000 NRHA LTE with Clausen winning over $20,000.

“We purchased ‘Chester’ after the Futurity last year, and I fell in love with him immediately,” said the 15-year-old, fresh off her win at the NRBC where she collected top honors in the Non Pro Challenge with her mount. “My trainer, [NRHA Professional] Patrick Flaherty, brought him home after trying him and, when I first got on him, I knew immediately that he was pretty special. We didn’t have to work on any maneuver in particular – maybe just a little on his circles – yet every time I show him, he makes it all seem so easy. He’s very special!”

The talented rider, who has been riding reiners for the past 5 years, added $10,465 to her earnings today. “This year, my goal is to win the Youth World,” Clausen added. “That’s been my main goal for the past few years. I’m just so fortunate to be able to ride [Chester], and I thank my parents for that. I couldn’t do it without my trainer Patrick Flaherty.”

The Level 4 counted 44 entries. Shaunda Rai Ruckman guided her Valentino Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Kachina Oak Olena) to second place, two points behind the winner. The duo also took reserve honors in the Level 3 division which counted 50 entries as well as second place in the Non Pro.

In a field of 47 entries in the Level 2, Greg Hall and Chics Mainattraction (Conquistador Whiz x Chicstatic) placed second with a 145 score. The duo also placed second in the NRHA Intermediate Non Pro and won the Prime Time Non Pro class. On Monday, the pair won the $2,000-added Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2. Hall says the mare has gotten stronger as the week went on, but it didn’t seem to hinder them in Wednesday’s class. “It was fast,” Hall said. “She was a little strong with me—she was probably better in the novice horse the other day, but we got through it and she did what she was supposed to. She does a bit of everything pretty good.”

Three riders tied for the second slot in the Level 1 (42 entries), posting a 144.5: Cameron Sanford riding GS Smart Kitty Cat (Smart Chic Olena x Sdp Kitty Star Cat), Emily Morris riding Cross Step Wrangler (Starlights Wrangler x Hollywood Two Step), and Emmy-Lu Marsh riding Who Whiz Who (Who Whiz It x Roosters Roan Chexx).

In the USA Reining Amateur, Katsy Leeman and Footwork Revolution (Einsteins Revolution x Fancy Footwork), scored a 143 for the win. Isabella Jacuzzi and Pearl Haggard (Hollywoodstinseltown x Gunners Pearl) placed second three points behind the winners.

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2017 NRHA Derby: Day Four

Mega Maggie Mae and Bill Rhoads Top the L4 Non Pro Derby Qualifier

In a field of 219 horse and riders entered in the $181,000-added 2017 NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) Derby, posting the top score in the Level (L) 4, was Dr. William ‘Bill’ Rhoads of Whitesboro, Texas riding Mega Maggie Mae. Aboard the 5-year-old mare by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire and NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Magnum Chic Dream and out of Cinco De Mega – nominated by Martin Bonneson – Rhoads posted an outstanding 223.5 in the second section of the qualifier. “My mare is amazing, and this is the highest score we’ve ever posted together,” said Rhoads about his mount, with whom he slid to the 2015 NRHA Futurity Levels 3, 2 and 1 as well as the 2016 NRHA Level 4 Non Derby Championship. “What did we do to get ready for today? We simply kept her happy and jogged her every day!” Mega Maggie Mae boasts $119.000 NRHA LTE.

David McBurney and his Fancy Steppin Whiz, a 5-year-old stallion by RC Fancy Step out of TC West Coast Wendi (nominated by McBurney), took the lead in the L3 division of the Non Pro Derby with a 218 in the first go of the first section held on Monday. McBurney had set the bar, and in the second section, Chloe Lawrence tied to win the L3 division with a 218 and topped the L2 and L1 Non Pro divisions aboard the Lawrence Ranch owned 6-year-old mare, Whiskymakesmefrisky (Topsail Whiz x DN Smart Snap). McBurney held on to the lead in the Prime Time Division.

Cade McCutcheon and Duallin Guns (Mister Nicadual x Always Gotyer Guns Up), nominated and owned by McQuay Stables Inc., scored a 217.5 to lead the Youth Non Pro division.

With a 218 score, Frederick Christen and his 5-year-old mare, Xtra Voodoo Step (Wimpys Little Step x Voodoo Chic), nominated by Xtra Quarter Horses LLC., posted a 218 to lead the Masters Derby Non Pro division.

Tuesday Ancillary Action

Dany Tremblay and Brian Welman Tie for $2,000-Added Novice Horse Open Level 2, Matthew Palmer Claims $1,000-Added Novice Horse Open Level 1

Open riders guided their horses through NRHA pattern #9 in the Adequan Arena on June 27 for the $1,000-added Novice Horse Open Level 1 and $2,000-added Novice Horse Open Level 2 classes.

Brian Welman and Dany Tremblay both marked scores of 146 to earn $822 and tie for championship honors in the Novice Horse Open Level 2 class.

Welman rode Cielo Dreaming (Magnum Chic Dream x Shiney Cielo), a horse he’s ridden for about a year, owned by Craig Vernon. The gelding came from Calcagnini Reining Horses in Pilot Point, Texas, and has found a successful show home with the Vernon family, who train with Welman in Hastings, Minnesota.

“I bought him for Paige Vernon as a 4-year-old from NRHA Professional Stefano Calcagnini, and he’s a 5-year-old now. She’s gotten along with him pretty well. She hasn’t shown him at many majors; she’s mainly showing him up where we’re from,” Welman said. “They’ve gotten along really well, so we’re just trying to get him pretty solid. He was good today. He was okay the first day, not quite as nice as he can be. Today, he was a lot better.”

Overbrook, Oklahoma-based NRHA Professional Dany Tremblay piloted Misters Temptress (Mister Dual Pep x Colonel Pepinic) to tie for the win. Adh-Mor Ranch owns the 2012 mare, and Tremblay says she has really started to come into her own in the show pen this year.

“I rode her last year and had a few good horse shows. This year, she just keeps going—showing, showing and showing. She knows she’s in the pen, actually,” Tremblay said. “I’m leading the NRHA Top Ten Novice Horse Open Level 2 rankings right now, so hopefully we’ll stay in the lead until the end.”

The mare has a strong personality that adds to her performances. Despite being a little out of shape after a two-month break, Tremblay says she still gave her all in the class. Tremblay plans to continue gunning for the NRHA World Championship in his division by entering as many novice horse classes as he can.

“She’s kind of like my little pet—I bring her everywhere,” Tremblay said.

Matthew Palmer and Gunner Be A Maverick (Gunner x Dun It Preciously) earned third-place honors in the Level 2 with a 145 – for $497 – in addition to winning the Level 1 class, adding an extra $589 to his earnings. The gelding, owned by Mark Hurd, was purchased for his daughter Elena Hurd to have a mount to get qualified for the SVAG FEI™ World Championships for Juniors and Young Riders in Switzerland.

“Before the NRBC, Mark came to me and wanted his daughter Elena to have a horse to try [to get qualified],” Palmer said. “He only had one horse over 7 years of age, which is CC Enterprise, and he wanted to give his older daughter a chance because she’s 21, and this’ll be her last year to show in the Young Riders competition. He said to go out and ‘find me a horse if you can’.”

Palmer found Gunner Be A Maverick, a 7-year-old mount with a very limited show record through NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider Craig Schmersal. With some tuning and miles, Gunner Be A Maverick has already won at the only two shows Palmer has entered him so far.

“I do a lot of business with Craig and Ginger [Schmersal], and they really take care of me, and they had this horse that had only been shown three times his whole life,” Palmer explained. “Before we got him, he won $200. An older lady had him and trail rode and showed a little bit, nothing serious. Next thing you know, we bought him and I took him to the Carolina Classic and marked a 145.5 there, and he won both the Novice Horse Level 1 and Level 2. He went from $200 in earnings to $1,000 in earnings in a day. [The NRHA Derby show] is only the second time I’ve ever shown him, and the two times I’ve shown him he’s won.”

Palmer will hand the reins to Elena Hurd for the youth classes during derby week and plans to show the gelding himself in a CRI qualifier for the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in New Jersey next week.

The reserve championship slot saw a tie between NRHA Professionals Nathan Piper on Xtra Dun Right (Wimpys Little Step x SLJ Dun Juice), owned by Shannon and Hershel Reid, and Jared Leclair on The Dun Gun (Gunner x Fabulous Footwork), owned by Jenifer Seago. Both scored a 144.5 to earn $407.
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