By Christa Morris – With more than $650,000 in estimated added money, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby Show runs for one week each summer and showcases the world’s best 4-, 5- and 6-year-old reining horses. The Derby is one of two major events presented by NRHA each year in Oklahoma City and also includes two full slates of ancillary reining classes. In addition, the NRHA Derby also hosts the Interscholastic Equestrian Association Western National Finals, United States Equestrian Federation classes and Federation Equestre Internationale classes.
The first day of the show welcomed ancillary competition in 13 classes including the Novice Horse Open Level 1, Novice Horse Open Level 2, Santa Hill Ranch Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1, Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2, Fowler Dodge Limited Non Pro, Green Reiner Level 1 and Green Reiner Level 2.
Liljulietstepndunit and Hendricks – Novice Horse Open Level 2
Marking a 146 to win the Novice Horse Open Level 2 was Liljulietstepndunit (Wimpys Little Step x Dun Its Angel) and NRHA Million Dollar Rider Dell Hendricks (Tioga, Texas). The pair recently won the level 4 and level 3 open divisions at the 2013 Stampede Derby. With Steve DeFrang in the saddle, Liljulietstepndunit earned the level 4 open championship and level 3 open reserve championship at the 2012 North Central Reining Horse Association Futurity. John Johnson of Little Falls, Minn. owns the 2009 mare.
Michelle George’s Chexy Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Chicks And Chex) and NRHA Professional Melanie Wilhelm (Nazareth, Texas) slid into second with a 143. The duo qualified for the finals at the 2011 NRHA Derby in level 1-4 open divisions.
Wimpys Lil Two Step and Baruch – Novice Horse Open Level 1
Wimpys Lil Two Step (Wimpys Little Step x Larks First Step) and NRHA Professional Yonathan Baruch (Marietta, Okla.) had a strong showing today and won first place in the Novice Horse Open Level 2 (146.5). The 2009 mare was a level 1 open finalist with Baruch at the 2012 NRHA Futurity. She is owned by Sherry and Tom Dean of Alpharetta, Ga.
In second place was Vroom Vroom Chic (Chocolate Chic Olena x Spinning Beauty) and NRHA Professional Brent Loseke (Aubrey, Texas) with a 144.5. The 2008 mare is owned by Sally Tipton of Aubrey, Texas.
Shedlauskas and Hickorys Baylite win the Santa Hill Ranch Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 / Shedlauskas ties with Lambert and Gun Affair in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2
With a score of 144, Karen Shedlauskas (Austintown, Ohio) and Hickorys Baylite (Hickory Chic Olena x Lucky Baylite) took top honors in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1. In the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2, they tied for the win with Victoria Lambert (Hempstead, Texas) and Gun Affair (Gunner x Memorable Affair).
Shedlaukas, an NRHA member with more than $116,500 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings, owns Hickorys Baylight 2009 stallion.
Lambert ($98,020 NRHA LTE) and Gun Affair were sixth in the level 3 non pro division at the 2012 NRHA Futurity. The 2009 mare has more than $11,500 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings.
Deborah Ordner (Pilot Point, Texas) showed Ifidontceeyouagain (Gunner x Cee Dun It Do It), a 2008 gelding owned by David Silva, Sr. (Pilot Point, Texas), to a score of 142.5 to earn the reserve championship in the Novice Horse Level 1.
George and Chexy Whiz – Fowler Dodge Limited Non Pro
Michelle George (Amarillo, Texas) and her Chexy Whiz ($11,510 NRHA LTE) bested the competition in the Limited Non Pro with a 143. She has owned and competed on the 8-year-old mare since January 2011.
Taylor Zimmerman rode Justin Zimmerman’s Trinitys First Step (Wimpys Little Step x Call Me Marlena) to second place honors with a 142. The 2006 gelding has $11,650 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings.
Wharton and Dainty Little Step – Green Reiner Level 1 and 2
The last rider in the show pen slid in to win both classes with a 144: Brooke Wharton (Vernon, Texas) aboard Dainty Little Step (Wimpys Little Step x Tucks Little Poco). Wharton, a new NRHA member, also placed third in the Green Reiner 2 and tied for third in the Green Reiner 1 with Whoawhiz (Topsail Whiz x Im Not Blonde, owned by WT Waggoner Estate).
Sally Lee, of Southlake, Texas, rode her Starlight Xtreme (Seven X Starlight x Spanish Dun It) in the Green Reiner Level 1 and Level 2 classes. The judges gave them a 138.5 to place second in both. Lee joined NRHA in 2012. Her 2003 gelding has $32,020 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings.
Green Reiner is open to riders who have less than $100 in NRHA earnings and less than 25 NRHA Youth points. The level 1 is open to riders who have and less than 50 Green Reiner points. The level 2 is open to riders who have less than 100 Green Reiner points.
TOMORROW AT THE SHOW
The second day of the show begins at 8 a.m. in the Adequan Championship Arena with ancillary classes including Novice Horse Non Pro Levels 1 & 2, AQHA/APHA Amateur, APHA Solid Amateur, followed by Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro, Limited Non Pro, and Prime Time Non Pro. Arena 6 starts at 8:30 a.m. with Youth 13 & Under, AQHA/APHA Youth 13 & Under, Youth 14-18, Jackpot Unrestricted Youth, AQHA/APHA Youth 14-18, and APHA Solid Youth All Ages, followed by Jackpot Green Reiner Levels 1 & 2.
At 2 p.m., the Annual General Membership Meeting will be held at the Sale Arena. Members are encouraged to attend to get updates on Association activities and discuss important issues. Following the Annual General Membership Meeting (AGM), there will be the Judges Monitor/Exhibitor meeting and NRHA Professionals meeting. The AGM will be webcast at nrhaderby.com.
MORE ABOUT THE NRHA DERBY SHOW
FREE Admission – Now through Thursday, June 27 - Bring the whole family for plenty of reining excitement with free admission now through Thursday, June 27. The competitions start at 8 a.m. each morning with the show continuing into the early evening each day. Fans are welcome to watch competitions in both the Oklahoma State Fair Coliseum and the Adequan® Arena (Arena 8 – free admission for the duration of the show). Preliminary go-rounds of the $435,000-added Open and $185,000 added Non Pro derbies take center stage during Monday, June 24 through Thursday, June 27. Finals qualifiers will be determined from scores posted on those days.
The event also offers many activities outside of the show ring such as a trade show, NRHA Collegiate and High School Reining Championships, NRHA Awards Banquet & Hall of Fame Inductions, NRHyA Speaking Contest, Interscholastic Equestrian Association Western National Finals and much more.
Tickets for the finals (Non Pro – Friday, June 28 and Open – Saturday, June 29) are:
$8 for general admission, $10 for box seats and free for children 4-years-old and younger.
NRHA Trade Show - Spectators at the NRHA Derby will be treated to a shopping extravaganza. The shopper’s paradise includes and array of vendors featuring jewelry, clothing, bronze sculptures, western rugs, tack, cowboy hats and boots – just to name a few. Most vendors will stay open late until the competition ends on finals nights: Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29.
Watch the live webcast, keep tabs on the leaders and find out about the latest news and upcoming events at nrhaderby.com, facebook.com/nrhareining or twitter.com/nrha.
NRHA Derby Show Supporters
The NRHA would like to thank the following corporate partners for their support of the NRHA Futurity & Adequan North American Affiliate Championship Show: Adequan, Arenus, Bob’s Custom Saddles, Boehringer Ingelheim, Classic Equine, Darling 888 Ranch, Downunder Horsemanship, Horse&Rider, John Deere, Kiser Arena Specialists, Markel Insurance Company, Merial, Miller International – Cinch / Cruel Girl, Montana Silversmiths, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Pard’s Western Shop, Platinum Performance, Purina, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes / Anderson Bean Boot Company, Silver Spurs Equine, SmartPak, Twister Trailer and World Development Group International.
In addition, NRHA thanks NRHA Derby Event Sponsors
- Shorty’s Caboy Hattery, Scott Cleaners, KO Trading, Sandbur Productions, LLC., Cool-A-Zone, The New West, Business Link, Fowler Dodge and Santa Hill Ranch.
For more information on the NRHA, or the sport of Reining, please visit nrha.com or call (405) 946-7400.