From the NRBC “Slide Street Journal” - The National Reining Breeders Classic Non Pro finals were held Friday, April 18, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas. With 176 entries, it was the second largest Non Pro class in the event’s 17-year history.
The three riders crowned as Champions were all in agreement: It doesn’t matter if you’re a former Champion or a first-time competitor; there are very few times more exciting than when you enter the arena as an NRBC finalist.
Mandy McCutcheon and Ms Whiz Dunit
Ron Thompson and Taris Dreamer
Jack Medows and Surprizintheprincess
Jordan Larson and Wimpys Lil Star
Youth Ancillary Winner
Youth Ancillary Winner
Youth Ancillary Winner
McCutcheon Claims Record Sixth NRBC Non Pro Championship on Ms Whiz Dunit
Mandy McCutcheon, Aubrey, Texas, has competed at all but one NRBC since its inception in 1998, missing out in 2000 because she was pregnant with her son Cade. In that time, she won the coveted Championship title five times – a record for the most wins that she shared with fellow National Reining Horse Association Million Dollar Rider Dell Hendricks.
That changed when, as draw 12 in the Non Pro Level 4 finals, she piloted Ms Whiz Dunit to a 220.5. “I thought she did well. It’s a big pen and she’s a little horse, but she worked,” McCutcheon said of the 4-year-old mare, by Topsail Whiz out of A Bueno Poco Dunit. “It never gets old. I was telling someone the other day that maybe I have a problem, because it’s all a competition, but I do love it. I love what I do so much. It never gets boring or old – it’s always fun.” McCutcheon received a check for $30,000.
Mandy and her husband, Tom, purchased Ms Whiz Dunit in October of 2013, from breeder Roxanne Koepsell. “Tom had been riding her, and he liked her but she was too small. He just kept telling me how much he liked her, so we bought her,” she said. Soon, Mandy and “Missy” were a winning team, claiming the Non Pro Level 4 title at the Southwest Reining Horse Association and National Reining Horse Association futurities. “My plan and goal is to keep her for a long time and make some babies with her.”
McCutcheon noted that the NRBC is her favorite event. “The show management team is awesome. The goal of this event has always been to take care of both the exhibitors and sponsors,” she explained. “It’s the horse show that takes care of everyone, and it’s well-organized, has great sponsors, and an awesome facility to have an event.”
McCutcheon qualified three horses for the finals. She finished tied for fourth on Customized Gunner (Colonels Smoking Gun x Custom Made Dunit), and eighth on Shiney Enterprize (Smart And Shiney x My Royal Enterprise), collecting an additional $16,500. Both mares are owned by Mandy’s parents, Tim and Colleen McQuay, of McQuay Stables.
WATCH THE RUN
Ron Thompson Wins NRBC Non Pro Prime Time Championship on Taris Dreamer
Some of the loudest cheers of the day could be heard when reigning NRBC Non Pro Champions Ron Thompson and Taris Dreamer entered the arena as the last entry of the day. From the very first stop, it was obvious that the duo were going for the win. They came as close as they could – a 220 – finishing as the Reserve Champions of the Non Pro Level 4, and the Non Pro Prime Time Champions.
“It was a lot of fun. It wasn’t as good as we know he can be – but none of us ever are,” Thompson said. “I love this horse. He does whatever we need to do. Today was my fault. I didn’t get him turned like he can, but that was all me not him!”
All told, Thompson, of Whitesboro, Texas, collected more than $19,371.
“I love this place. It’s a big pen and everyone runs hard. This is the best pen we show in. It’s got great ground, it’s well run, and it pays like a slot machine. That’s my favorite part!” he admitted.
Coming in as last year’s Champion was more than a little nerve-wracking for Thompson, who qualified for the finals with a 218. “The go round was really, really tough mentally. I felt more pressure in the go-round than I ever have had showing one. I didn’t want to screw up and just wanted to make it back to the finals,” he said. “But today, I’ve never been so calm. I knew what I had to do, even if I didn’t quite get the job done. I’m very happy for Mandy – she’s a great competitor and does a great job.”
Thompson noted that he couldn’t have had the success he has had without the help of family and friends. “I thank my wife, Becky. She’s very supportive and she takes care of stuff at home while I’m doing this,” he said. “I also thank Matt Armenta – he’s my coach and a really good friend. I’ve went and got help from Don Murphy; he’s a National Reined Cow Horse Association Hall of Famer. If you have a glitch in your horse, I’d say go see Don. He helped me immensely and I wouldn’t have made it without him. I also have to give credit to my very good friend John Hoyt. He’s been very influential in how my horses go. I’m proud to know him.”
Five-year-old Taris Dreamer, by Magnum Chic Dream out of Taris San Cutter, has won over $130,000 in lifetime earnings – and the talented gelding still has one year of NRBC eligibility left. “We will be back next year. I’ve had some people who have inquired about buying him, but most don’t ask if he’s for sale. I don’t really care, he can die on my place because I like him that much,” he said.
WATCH THE RUN
Jack Medows Competes at First NRBC; Wins Non Pro Levels 1-3 on Surprizintheprincess
Barely old enough to drive, Jack Medows came to his first NRBC, made the finals on Surprizentheprincess, and then finished as Champion of the Non Pro Levels 1, 2, and 3. He also claimed third place in the Non Pro Level 4, bringing his total finals take to $29,255.
“It was really exciting – I wasn’t expecting to do this well at all,” said the 16-year-old, who noted that, not only was it his first time to show at the NRBC, it was also only his second major derby event. “I wasn’t nervous at all, but I don’t know why. It could be because I’m low on sleep or something like that. I felt completely prepared, thanks to Gabe Hutchins and Gaeton Gauthier.”
Medows has only been riding reiners a short while, making a transition from riding pleasure horses a few years ago. He started with a couple of older horses, competing in youth classes, before his parents purchased Surprizentheprincess from Kelle Smith after last year’s NRBC. “She did really well here, and we’d seen her at Gordyville before that,” he said of the Jerry Lees Surprize mare, who’s out of Princess In Diamonds. “I want to thank my Grandpa, Ron Fransen, who found her, as well as my parents, Jeff and Amy Medows, and Gabe, Gaton, and all the Darling Ranch crew.”
Although Medows is currently homeschooled, he said he plans to go back to school for his junior and senior years.
WATCH THE RUN
Finishing as the Non Pro Levels 2 and 3 and Prime Time Reserve Champion was Greg Gottschalk and Dun Won A Spook (Smart Spook x Dun It Won It). The pair marked a 218, good for a total of $3,866.
The Non Pro Level 1 Reserve Champion was Samantha Belcher, who piloted Taser Gun (Jacs Electric Spark x Maggie Gun) to a 213.5. She won $1,015.
Jordan Larson Wins NRBC Open Classic Challenge and $25K NRHA Open on Wimpys Lil Star
With a score of 224.5, Jordan Larson, of Whitesboro, Texas, claimed the National Reining Breeders Classic Open Classic Challenge Championship, as well as the Championship of the $25,000 Added National Reining Horse Association Open. The Open Classic Challenge, only open to Classic Challenge enrolled NRBC foals aged 7 & Up, paid $12,478. He collected an additional $7,605 for the NRHA Open title.
He entered the class on Wimpys Lil Star, a 7-year-old stallion by Wimpys Little Step, out of Starlights Reba. “It’s a really good payday,” Larson said with a smile after the awards ceremony. “This horse was really good everywhere. He ran out of air faster than I thought he would because we were running so hard, but he was doing everything I wanted.”
Wimpys Lil Star is owned by Dr. Thomas Aschenbrenner of Germany. Dr. Aschenbrenner’s son, Phillip Losch, piloted the flashy palomino to NRBC Intermediate Non Pro championship in 2013. “He’s too old for Philip to show in the derbies now, so I told them we should enter this. Philip is going to show him in the Non Pro Classic Challenge on Sunday,” Larson explained.
WATCH THE RUN
Andrea Fappani and Smoking Whiz, by Topsail Whiz out of Glendas A Smokingun, finished Reserve in both classes with a 220.5, and also topped the USA Reining Open class. Between the two classes, owner Silver Spurs Equine took home $14,294.
Congratulations to our Ancillary Winners - Friday
- NRHA 13 & Under – Amanda Hurd and Whale Of A Whiz
- NRHA 14-18 – Stacia Brugger and Dun It Ten
- Unrestricted Youth – Stacia Brugger and Dun It Ten
- USA 13 – Amanda Hurd and Whale of A Whiz
- USA 14 – Emmy-Lu Marsh and Who Whiz Who
- Short Stirrup – Reed Harris and Solanos Saskadoc
- Ltd. Non Pro – Julia White and Custom Sailin Legend
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