2018 NRHA Non Pro Derby Ends with a Twist

For Immediate Release – June 29, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Under the bright lights of the Jim Norick Arena awaited an arena full of good dirt, excited spectators and eager competitors. All were ready to begin section two of the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Non Pro Derby Finals, which had the highest amount of entries and purse payout in the history of the event.

After a thrilling first run, Sandra Bentien and NRHA Sire & Dam program offspring Gotta Twist It Up (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz x Make It With A Twist) scored a 220 ½, tying the top score on the leaderboard. After all was said and done, the duo headed to a run off against NRHA Million Dollar Rider and Owner Jose Vazquez and his own Like Shiner, during which they scored a 224 to claim the championship in both Levels (L)4 and 3. Making the win even sweeter was the fact that Gotta Twist It Up is bred, owned and nominated by Bentien, and has earned $97,306.85 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE) with his owner aboard. Tonight, the pair added nearly $32,000 to that total.

The run off left Vazquez and Like Shiner, a 2012 gelding by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Smart Like Juice and out of Wind Her Up Shiner, to claim the reserve title in both the L4 and Prime Time divisions. Owned, bred and nominated by Smart Like Juice Inc., Like Shiner has had a successful 2018 with Vazquez – earning $60,425.01 in NRHA LTE with tonight’s win.

The L3 reserve championship was taken by Jenanne Overgaard and her own Dun Spooked Us with a 219. The 6-year-old stallion was bred and nominated by Petska Trinity Equine, LLC and helped Overgaard earn the night’s highest paycheck – $36,605.96. In addition to the L3 reserve title, the pair took home third place in the L4 and the championships in the L2, 1 and Prime Time divisions.

Emily Opell and Spook N Reyn scored a 218 ½, claiming reserve honors in the L2 and 1, 3rd in the L3, 4th in the L4 and were crowned the Youth Non Pro Derby Champions. By NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Smart Spook and by Reyn Chex, Steve Opell’s Spook N Reyn was bred and nominated by Francesca Sternberg. Opell and the 2012 palomino stallion took home a check in excess of $30,000 for their performance.

Taking home a reserve championship in the youth division, along with top five finishes in the L1-4 were Ronny Lane Colston and Kevin Colston’s Baileys Not Painted (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Gunners Special Nite x Darlins Not Painted). The gelding was bred and nominated by Turnabout Farm Inc and earned a paycheck of more than $23,000 with Colston aboard – the youngest rider in section two of the Non Pro Derby Finals. Colston also earned nearly $10,000 on his other mount, One Stormy Nite.

The Masters division championship went to Frederick Christen and his own Xtra Voodoo Step with a score of 214 ½. Bred by Rogers Heaven Sent Ranch and nominated by Xtra Quarter Horses, LLC, Xtra Voodoo Step is by NRHA 10 Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step and out of Voodoo Chic. In addition to the championship, Christen piloted the 6-year-old mare to a top fifteen finish in the L4, a top ten finish in the L3 and a top five finish in the Prime Time division, earning a check of more than $7,000.

Mark Blake and his own Hot Hollywood Whizky (NRHA 11 Million Dollar Sire Topsail Whiz x Hot Hollywood Jewels) were the reserve champions of the Masters division. Bred and nominated by Turnabout Farm Inc, Hot Hollywood Whizky also helped lead Blake to top 10 finishes in the L1 and Prime Time divisions as well as a top 20 finish in the L3.

During the NRHA Derby, the world’s best 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old reining horses and competitors come to Oklahoma City to compete for an estimated total purse and cash prizes of more than $1 million. The weekend features the NRHA Non Pro Derby finals starting at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, June 29 and the NRHA Open Derby finals at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. For more information on schedules, live video coverage, hotel accommodations, sponsors and more visit nrhaderby.com

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Ancillary Action Continues at the 2018 NRHA Derby

For Immediate Release – June 29, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – With only a few more days left in the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby, competition in the Adequan® Championship Arena is heating up with more exciting ancillary classes.

Claiming the title in several of the classes on day five was Molly Morgenstern. The Ohio native rode her own horse, Wimpys Little Freckl (NRHA Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Fame inductee Wimpys Little Step and out of Ritas San Jo). Together, they took the championship in the Silver Spurs Equine $15,000-added 7 & Up Non Pro Levels (L)1-4 and in the $6,000-added Non Pro, scoring a 146 ½.

Winning the next class of the day was Cathy Brant and Smart Dundee. The 11-year-old gelding is by Conquistador Whiz and out of Smart Oaklynn. The duo scored a 145, winning the $2,000-added Intermediate Non Pro.

Winning the $500-added Prime time Non Pro was Greg Hall. Hall piloted Mary Hall’s Chics Mainattraction (Conquistador Whiz x Chictastic) to the title with a score of a 144 ½.

On Thursday, Mandy McCutcheon stole the show winning both the $1,000-added Novice Non Pro L1 and the $2,000 Novice Horse Non Pro L2 aboard Showin Off My Dually. The 2014 mare is owned by McQuay Stables Inc. and is by Mister Nicadual and out of Showtimes Tinseltown.

The next class of the day was the $1,000-added Novice Horse Open L1 & 2. Winning L1, was Brad Giesbrecht of Pilot Point, Texas riding SS Frankie Blue Eyes. The bay gelding is owned by Don Byrne and is by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Gun and out of Tuckachic. The pair scored a 145. Sam Schaffhauser clinched the win in the L2 class. Riding Little Brother Gun by NRHA Hall of Fame inductee and Ten Millon Dollar Sire Gunner and out of Shesa Smart Sister, the pair scored a 146. The stallion is owned by Sammy Graham.

During the NRHA Derby, the world’s best 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old reining horses and competitors come to Oklahoma City to compete for an estimated total purse and cash prizes of more than $1 million. The weekend features the NRHA Non Pro Derby finals starting at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, June 29 and the NRHA Open Derby finals at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. For more information on schedules, live video coverage, hotel accommodations, sponsors and more visit nrhaderby.com.

 

 

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NRHyA Derby Competitions Embrace Creativity

For Immediate Release – June 29, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – At the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby, reining is not the only competition occurring at the prestigious event. The National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) held the annual CINCH Speaking Contest in addition to the Art & Photo Contest, cultivating and encouraging creativity among reining’s talented youth.

In the CINCH NRHyA Speaking Contest participants were divided into two age groups and had the option to speak in three different categories: Delivering A:General, Prepared Public Speaking and Community Service Presentation. In the Delivering A:General, contestants recite A:General from the NRHA Handbook, which is a guide to judging reining horses. Prepared Public Speaking involves contestants delivering a five to eight minute speech on either a leadership or equestrian topic. Lastly, the Community Service Presentation allows participants to create an eight to ten minute presentation that showcases a community service project they have completed.

CINCH NRHyA Speaking Contest Winners:

13 & Under A:General

  • 1st Place: Abbey Loney
  • 2nd Place: Alivia Loney

14-18 A:General

  • 1st Place: Reagan Stephens
  • 2nd Place: Grace Wilson
  • 3rd Place tie: Ashton Knerr & Liz Blaser

13 & Under Prepared Public Speaking

  • 1st Place: Abbey Loney
  • 2nd Place: Alivia Loney

14-18 Prepared Public Speaking

  • 1st Place: Reagan Stephens
  • 2nd Place: Stephanie Gripp

13 & Under Community Service

  • 1st Place: Bailey Hatfield

14-18 Community Service

  • 1st Place: Reagan Stephens

During the Derby, exhibitors had the opportunity vote for their favorite entries in the NRHyA Art & Photo Contest. Votes were also accepted on the NRHyA Facebook page prior to and during the event. Contestants for this competition could enter either a piece of artwork or photograph. Featured artwork showcased different art mediums and were centered around reining, horses or a western theme. The competition offered three categories: Graphic Artwork, Photography and Artwork.

NRHyA Art & Photo Contest Winners:

14-18 Graphic Artwork

  • Champion: Cullen Santino Le Roy
  • Reserve Champion: Aubrey Reynolds

14-18 Photography

  • Champion: Cullen Santino Le Roy
  • Reserve Champion: Aubrey Reynolds

14-18 Artwork

  • Champion: Toni Lynne Cline
  • Reserve Champion: Delaney Michelson
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Lengel’s Score Holds and McEntire Takes Prime Time Open Championship

For Immediate Release – June 28, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Today marked the conclusion of the first go round of open competition at the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby. The competition was fierce as riders battled to mark a high enough score to qualify for the prestigious Open Derby Finals, which take place Saturday, June 30 in the Jim Norick Arena at Oklahoma State Fair Park.

Marking the top scores of the day were:

  • A 226 for Jon Sather’s Shining In Town (2013 stallion with $64,293.68 NRHA Lifetime Earnings [LTE]) ridden by NRHA Million Dollar Rider Jason Vanlandingham
  • A 224 for Quarter Dream SRL’s Sugar Little Step (2012 stallion with $28,941.45 NRHA LTE) ridden by 2018 Level (L)4 NRHA European Open Futurity Champion Gennaro Lendi
  • A 224 for Rhodes River Ranch’s Tinker With Dreams (2014 stallion with $57,417.79 NRHA LTE) ridden by NRHA Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary

While the competition was impressive, none could top Abby Lengel and Jody Puno’s ARC Gunna Mark Ya’s score of 226 ½ from day one of open competition. Bred and nominated by Arcese Quarter Horses USA, ARC Gunna Mark Ya is by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya and out of Shiney Miss Marker and helped Lengel claim the top spot in both the L3 and 4. Lengel was quick to say that she was shocked that her score held from day one. “I never expected to have the high score. I just wanted to make the L4 finals. I am still just waiting to wake up from this incredible dream.”

Gabriel Bittar Borges and Checksworthy also marked a high enough score on day one to remain atop the L1 and 2 divisions. Bred, owned and nominated by Terry Leffew, Checksworthy is by Big Chex To Cash and out of Banjoes Shining Star. The duo’s score of 220 ½ was also high enough to qualify them for both the L3 and 4 open finals. Borges also qualified for the L1-3 finals on his own mount, Gotta Shiney Playboy (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz x Shining Sage).

Taking the 2018 NRHA Open Prime Time Derby Championship were Mike McEntire and A4L-Equine’s Spooks The Hard Way (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Gun x Im So Anson). The 2013 gelding was bred by Silver Spurs Equine and nominated by Michelle Miola and started training with McEntire earlier this year. “I was struggling with him earlier this year, but he has gotten better and has begun to fit me. He is very physical and athletic, and did a lot for me today,” said McEntire, who will also ride Spooks The Hard Way in section two of the open finals.

During the NRHA Derby, the world’s best 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old reining horses and competitors come to Oklahoma City to compete for an estimated total purse and cash prizes of more than $1 million. The weekend features the NRHA Non Pro Derby finals starting at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, June 29 and the NRHA Open Derby finals at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. For more information on schedules, live video coverage, hotel accommodations, sponsors and more visit nrhaderby.com.

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The 2018 NRHA Derby – More Than Reining

For Immediate Release – June 28, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – During the last week of June each year, Oklahoma State Fair Park is filled with the world’s most talented 4-, 5- and 6-year-old reining horses and competitors vying for a prestigious National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby championship. This year, however, a new crowd was seen walking through the barns—taking the Derby to a whole new level.

Youth from Toby Keith’s OK Kids Korral, a place for families to stay while their child is undergoing treatment for cancer, came to the event for the inaugural Hay Day at the NRHA Derby hosted by the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA). The event was an opportunity to showcase our sport and give back to the youth of Oklahoma City.

The day started off with a trip to the NRHA office, where each honorary guest teamed up with a member of the NRHyA officer team to make pool noodle ponies and change into their new cowboy and cowgirl shirts, courtesy of NRHA Corporate Partner, CINCH. They then sat down and enjoyed a pizza party and watched videos about what the association is all about.

The real excitement began when the group headed over to State Fair Park where they got to meet our great event vendors and sponsors, took a behind-the-scenes look at how reining is judged and watched a horse get a brand new pair of shoes. To end the day, each kid had the opportunity to sit in the saddle atop a reining horse!

Lerin Thomas, NRHA Youth Programs Advisor was thrilled with the success of the event. “The kids who came from the OK Kids Korral to hang out with us during Hay Day were fantastic. The number of smiles I saw on their faces and our NRHyA officer team was enough to light up a room for days! These kids go through things that no one should ever have to go through, and it was our pleasure hosting and teaching them all the great things about the reining industry!”

Hay Day at the NRHA Derby would not have been possible without the help and support of the generous sponsors and volunteers who gave up their time and energy to make this event the best it could be.

During the NRHA Derby, the world’s best 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old reining horses and competitors come to Oklahoma City to compete for an estimated total purse and cash prizes of more than $1 million. For more information on schedules, live video coverage, hotel accommodations, sponsors and more visit nrhaderby.com.

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Lengel Tops Day 1 of the 2018 NRHA Open Derby Leaderboard

For Immediate Release – June 27, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Day three of action in the Jim Norick Arena featured the start of open competition at the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby. With 126 professional riders slated to compete in day one of open action, the arena was filled with anticipation as each rider entered the arena.

The emotion was evident in Abby Lengel’s face as she heard a score of 226 ½ called after finishing her last stop. Aboard Jody Puno’s ARC Gunna Mark Ya, Lengel took the high score of the day, placing the duo atop the leaderboard of both the Level (L)3 and 4 Open Derby go round. Bred and nominated by Arcese Quarter Horses USA, ARC Gunna Mark Ya is by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya and out of Shiney Miss Marker and has achieved much success with Lengel on board. In 2017, the pair took home their highest paycheck at the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC), taking home the L2 Open Championship and reserve in the L3. In all, the 6-year-old mare has nearly $88,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE).

Other notable runs of the day included:

  • A 226 for Cardinal Hill Training Center LLC’s Dun It For Whizkey (2013 stallion with $180,300 NRHA LTE) ridden by NRHA Million Dollar Rider Franco Bertolani
  • A 226 for Jason Dobrinski’s Luckie Moonstone (2013 stallion with $44,100 NRHA LTE) ridden by NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida
  • A 224 ½ for Cuoghi Reining Horses USA Inc’s All American Vintage (2014 stallion with $164,200 NRHA LTE) ridden by NRHA Five Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani

Scoring a 220 ½ and taking the top spot in the L1 and 2 were Gabriel Bittar Borges and Checksworthy (Big Chex To Cash x Banjoes Shining Star). Nominated, bred and owned by Terry Leffew, the 4-year-old mare has already earned $14,650.55 while piloted by Borges in NRHA approved competition. At the 2018 NRBC, the dynamic duo took home a championship in the L1 Open and reserve in the L2 Open. The pair also finished in the top 20 in the L3 Open. Checkworthy’s NRHA LTE exceed $52,000.

Shauna Larcome and Rosanne Sternberg’s Hey Joe scored a 219.5 for the day, earning them the top score in the Prime Time division (222 ½ handicapped score). Hey Joe, who is an NRHA Markel Futurity Sales Graduate, bred and nominated by Wagman Ranch Inc, is no stranger to the spotlight within NRHA Derby competition. In 2017, the stallion took a third place finish in the L4 Open Division with rider Jason Vanlandingham.

During the NRHA Derby, the world’s best 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old reining horses and competitors come to Oklahoma City to compete for an estimated total purse and cash prizes of more than $1 million. The weekend features the NRHA Non Pro Derby finals starting at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, June 29 and the NRHA Open Derby finals at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. For more information on schedules, live video coverage, hotel accommodations, sponsors and more visit nrhaderby.com.

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IHSA Members to Compete for the 2018 NRHA Collegiate Reining Championship at the NRHA Derby

FAIRFIELD, Conn, – June 27, 2018 – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby is an annual one-week event held in Oklahoma City, June 23-July 1. The competition showcases the world’s best reining horses and riders and attracts thousands of spectators each year. One of the highlights of the Derby is the Collegiate Reining Championship scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, June 29, at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, featuring the top college riders from North America.

This year, four standout Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) riders are slated to compete in the Collegiate Reining Championship. The riders include Morgan Knerr, Danielle Paulson, Kendall Woellmer and Travis Fortune. The draw takes place Thursday at 1 p.m. The warm-up starts Friday at 1 p.m. with the class kicking off at 1:30 p.m.

WATCH THE LIVE STREAM OF THE NRHA DERBY

Morgan Knerr is the IHSA 2018 NRHA Individual Open Reining champion and is a freshman at the University of Findlay studying pharmacy. From Plain City, Ohio, her parents are actively involved in reining and she has grown up in the sport. Before joining the University of Findlay, Knerr rode at Autumn Rose with Ollie and Debbie Griffiths. She has held multiple positions as an NRHyA officer, including president in 2017, vice president in 2016 and secretary in 2015.

“Showing in the Collegiate catch ride is a great opportunity,” Knerr said. “I’m really excited because it will be a completely different experience. I’m really looking forward to it!”

Danielle Paulson is from Rochester, Minnesota, and is a junior at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. She qualified for IHSA Nationals for the first time this year and earned the 2018 IHSA Nationals AQHA Team Reining Open Reining championship and was third in 2018 NRHA Individual Open Reining. Paulson has shown American Quarter Horses for 10 years, this is her first year competing in reining. She credits her coach, Janie Huot for giving her a leg up in the sport.

“I am so excited, it’s such a blessing to compete at this huge event,” Paulson said. “(Competing in) IHSA is the only time I’ve reined in my life. I hope to ride my best on some amazing horses that they’re providing for us.”

Travis Fortune is from Booneville, Indiana, and studies at Murray State University. Fortune finished second in the NRHA Open Reining at Western Semi-Finals and fourth the 2018 IHSA Nationals.

“I am really excited about competing at the Derby,” said Fortune. “For me, it’s the fact that I made it there. The first horse show that I reined at was in October for IHSA. To go to Nationals and be fourth and qualify for the Derby for the Collegiate Championship is just really awesome.”

Kendall Woellmer is a sophomore from Sedona, Arizona, and attends West Texas A&M University where she is majoring in agriculture communications and minoring in English. The talented rider competes in both Western and hunter seat. Woellmer earned the 2018 IHSA Sportsmanship Award and the 2018 IHSA Versatility Rider Award at the IHSA Nationals. Along with top placings in the hunter seat divisions, Woellmer finished third in the AQHA High Point Western Rider fifth in NRHA Individual Open Reining.

“I am very honored to compete against some of the best collegiate riders in the nation,” Woellmer said.

For more information about the NRHA Derby, visit www.nrhaderby.com.

ABOUT THE IHSA

The IHSA was founded in 1967 by Robert Cacchione while he attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. He established the organization so that any full-time college student could participate in equestrian competition regardless of economic status, gender or riding level. The IHSA offers hunter seat and Western competition at eight levels from beginner through advanced and open divisions for both male and female college athletes. The IHSA experience emphasizes learning and sportsmanship and fosters teamwork. IHSA has grown to include over 400 member teams and 10,000 members encompassing 39 Regions, 8 Zones and 45 states and Canada. College or university teams, individuals, alumni and coaches may become members.

For more information go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com

Photos available upon request.

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NRHA Ancillary Competition Continues: Day 3 and 4 Results

For Immediate ReleaseJune 27, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma At the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby, ancillary classes continue to slide on. During the third day of classes, the competition in the Adequan® Championship Arena was intense, with several of the classes ending in ties for the championship titles.

The $2,000-added Intermediate Open kicked off the day with Adam Johnson and Sean Pulley tying with the top score. Choosing to run-off, the two riders battled it out for the title. However, the re-runs resulted in another tie, after they each received a score of 141 – making Johnson and Pulley Co-Champions of the class. Johnson of Whitesboro, Texas, piloted Sparklin Magnum, a stallion by NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Fame inductee Magnum Chic Dream and out of Still Sparklin. The 4-year-old sorrel is owned by Viola Scott. Pulley, who is from Aubrey, Texas, rode his own horse, Spooks Shiner (NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Fame inductee Smart Spook x of Hall of Fame inductee Ebony Shines).

Taking home two championships, Sydney Nesky of Weatherford, Texas rode Commanded A Dance. Owned by Rails, Bales & Tales, LLC, Commanded A Dance is by Commanders Nic and out of Dancer Nic. The duo slid out of the arena winning the $500-added Limited Open and the $500-added Rookie Professional classes, with a score of 142.

A three-way tie for first with a score of 142 ½ was the result of fierce competition in the $500-added Limited Non Pro. McKinnon Larcombe of Whitesboro, Texas rode her leased horse, Taris Dreamer (Magnum Chic Dream x Taris San Cutter).

Also tying for first was Madison Rafacz riding Better Not Rest owned by Mark Rafacz. Better Not Rest is by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Fame inductee Custom Crome and out of Rest Stop.

Rounding out the tie in the $500-added Limited Non Pro was Madison Gustin and Guns R Spooky, an eight-year-old gelding by Smart Spook and out of Berry Yer Guns.

During the fourth day of competition, open classes continued and another American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) approved class took place. In the $1,000-added Novice Horse Open Level (L)1, Sean Pulley took home another title, again riding Spooks Shiner. Another Texas native, Martin Larcombe from Whitesboro, took the championship in the $2,000-added Novice Horse Open L2. Larcombe rode Lance Griffin’s Whoze That Girl, a mare by NRHA Ten Million Dollar Sire and NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Gunner and out of Shiney Enterprise.

The last class of the day was the AQHA Amateur class. Charley Thiel, from Dublin, Ohio and Saddled On Saturday (Chicoutmyblingbling x Einsteins Invention) slid into first place.

During the NRHA Derby, the world’s best 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old reining horses and competitors come to Oklahoma City to compete for an estimated total purse and cash prizes of more than $1 million. The weekend features the NRHA Non Pro Derby finals starting at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, June 29 and the NRHA Open Derby finals at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. For more information on schedules, live video coverage, hotel accommodations, sponsors and more visit nrhaderby.com.

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McCutcheon Remains on Top After Day Two of the 2018 NRHA Non Pro Derby

For Immediate Release – June 26, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The arena lights dimmed as the second day of non pro competition ended at the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby. With 663 entries across Levels (L)1-4, the non pro competition featured many talented horse and rider combinations. This year’s Non Pro Derby entries are the largest in history – nearly 13% percent larger than the previous record-setting edition in 2017.

Scoring a 218 ½ in the first day of competition was enough for Cade McCutcheon and Dual Reality (Mister Nicadual x Snip O Chex) to stay on top of the leaderboard in both the L4 and Youth divisions. Owned by Tom and Mandy McCutcheon, the 5-year-old gelding was bred and nominated by Cinder Lakes Ranch. McCutcheon was surprised his score held throughout day two but credited the judges for remaining consistent across both days. “I feel pretty good about how I rode, so I am sticking to the same plan during the finals,” said McCutcheon.

McCutcheon also posted the day’s third highest score on Customized Dually (Mister Nicadual x Customized Gunner), a 4-year-old stallion bred, owned and nominated by McQuay Stables. Together, the pair earned a 217 and a spot in the L4 and Youth Non Pro Derby finals.

Only a half point behind was McCutcheon’s mom, Mandy, and her mount, Hollywood Starburst. By NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Fame inductee Hollywood Dun It and out of Chic Olena Starbuck, the dun mare was bred and nominated by Turnabout Farm Inc and is no stranger to the spotlight. With Mandy aboard, the duo was crowned the 2017 NRHA Non Pro Derby Champions and are looking for a repeat win this year.

Also scoring a 218 was Smart Like Juice Inc’s Wimpy Little Tejano and Mariana Vazquez. Bred by Brent Loseke and nominated by Gilberto Leal, Wimpy Little Tejano is by NRHA Eleven Million Dollar Sire Topsail Whiz and out of Tejana Chic. Together, she and Vazquez have had much success this year – placing second behind her dad, Jose, in the Carolina Classic L4 Non Pro Final. The father/daughter duo will have their chance to duke it out in the L4 Non Pro final once again on Friday night as Jose qualified on his mount, Like Shiner (NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Smart Like Juice x Wind Er Up Shiner).

With the preliminary non pro go round completed, the following scores were needed to advance to the nearly $200,000-added finals:

Level 4 Non Pro Top 30 horses (plus ties):  Bubble 213 1/2
Level 3 Non Pro Top 25 horses (plus ties):  Bubble 212 1/2
Level 2 Non Pro Top 20 horses (plus ties):  Bubble 212
Level 1 Non Pro Top 20 horses (plus ties):  Bubble 212
Prime Time Non Pro Top 15 horses (plus ties):  Bubble 214
Masters Non Pro Top 15 horses (plus ties):  Bubble 195 1/2
Youth Non Pro Top 15 horses (plus ties):  Bubble 212 1/2

During the NRHA Derby, the world’s best 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old reining horses and competitors come to Oklahoma City to compete for an estimated total purse and cash prizes of more than $1 million. The weekend features the NRHA Non Pro Derby finals starting at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, June 29 and the NRHA Open Derby finals at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. For more information on schedules, live video coverage, hotel accommodations, sponsors and more visit nrhaderby.com.

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Joe Hayes Memorial Service

The memorial service for Joe Hayes will be held at Cooke County Cowboy Church, 8207 Hwy 82, Gainesville, TX on Monday July 2nd at 4 pm. In lieu of flowers the family request contributions to the Reining Horse Foundation youth fund.

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