|Jason Vanlandingham and Not Ruf At All Earn Win NRBC Open Championship
It brought the audience to its feet. With stomping boots, clapping hands, whistles, cheers, whoops and hollers, the crowd at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center cheered the 2016 National Reining Breeders Classic Open Champion into the history books.
As draw 29 of the 30-horse finals, Jason Vanlandingham and Not Ruf At All entered the Coliseum arena. From the first stop to the last, the crowd was with them. With NRHA Futurity and Derby titles under their belt, the only leg of reining’s triple crown that had eluded them was the NRBC – and this was the six-year-old stallion’s last chance.
With even the competition cheering them on, the duo rose to the occasion, marking a 231 – one of the highest scores in NRBC history. “I’m relieved, excited – there is a flood of emotions. I’m so very humbled,” Vanlandingham said. “I’m thankful to have a great horse, a great family to support us, and a God that loves us. It’s been an amazing day for sure.”
When asked about winning all three of reining’s major events, Vanlandingham gave credit to his horse, a stallion by Sparkling Vintage out of All Ruffed Up. “There aren’t many that have done it. It takes a very special animal to accomplish that. You know, we’ve had just weird stuff happen the last couple years. With that being said, it’s even more special for him to go out and take it in his last year,” he said.
So after tying for this high preliminary score, was Vanlandingham feeling any pressure in the finals? He said, “You know, Casey, Jordan and I were laughing because it was getting crazy. We knew we’d have to go in there and lay everything down, and everyone else had the same game plan, but it was working for everyone which was insane! Everyone was really good tonight and that kind of competition brings the best out in everyone and that’s what you want.”
The prestige of winning the NRBC is matched by the large payout and bevy of prizes the Champion receives. Along with the big check for $75,000, Vanlandingham was presented with a year’s use of a four-horse trailer from Twin Cities Featherlite and Twin Cities South, a Leson Classic Saddle, a pair of Rios of Mercedes boots, a saddle pad from Yucca Flats, gift certificates to Thomas Moore Feed and Santa Cruz Biotechnology, a Gist Silversmiths buckle, and the signature NRBC blue crystal trophy.
“I thank God. He gets all the glory. Thank you to Vaughn and Justin Zimmerman for letting me ride this horse. They’ve been great. There have been so many people who wanted this horse and they’ve left him with me,” he said.
Vanlandingham noted that his success is due to his family, and added, “You know, my wife Adrienne was with me before I had great horses. This business is very, very tough and she has been with me by my side the whole way. Our four kids are just as big of a part of our program as anyone else. They’re out there cleanings stalls and working hard, and I am so thankful for them.”
Tom McCutcheon and The Wizster finished as NRBC Open Level 4 Reserve Champions, collecting $51,000. The Wizster, by Gallo Del Cielo out of Ms Whizard Jac, is owned by Turnabout Farm Inc., of Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Jimmy Van Der Hoeven Wins Open Level 3 Title on Chic Dreamin
It was a great day for Vaughn Zimmerman, as another of his horses, Chic Dreamin, won the Level 3 Open Championship and finished seventh in the Level 4 with trainer Jimmy Van Der Hoeven. Total earnings exceeded $40,000, and came with a saddle from Kyle Tack, gift certificates to Santa Cruz Biotechnology and Thomas Moore Feed, a Gist Silversmiths buckle, and numerous other prizes.
“It feels great to win it. The owners are really nice and are great people, so I’m happy to win for them,” he said. Zimmerman purchased Chic Dreamin, by Magnum Chic Dream out of Skeets Red Dunit, as a 3-year-old. “They bought him from us, and although we had a good first show, we’ve had some bad luck, and they stuck with us and were patient. I really appreciate them.”
Van Der Hoeven and Chic Dreamin marked a 227.5 in the finals. “He was really good. I tried to warm him up as little as possible because he gets tired easily, so I prepared him lightly. I couldn’t have asked him to do any better in the finals,” he said. “The NRBC is one of the toughest horse shows there is. The best horses come here, and a lot are older and he’s only four. Even the go-round is tough, so I was already happy to be in the finals. To do this well is really cool.”
Reserve in the Level 3 went to Arno Honstetter and Gunners Special Glo with a 226.5. Gunners Special Glo, by Gunners Special Nite out of Paps Last Glo, is owned by Marilyn Overgaard of Carefree, Arizona. Honstetter and Gunners Special Glo also tied for eighth in the Level 4 finals, bringing total earnings to more than $30,000.
Trent Harvey and ARC Gunna Mark Ya Win Open Level 2 & 1 Championship
The third time was the charm for Whitesboro, Texas, trainer Trent Harvey. He’s competed at the NRBC for the past two years, and had some success by making the Level 1 finals. In this year’s finals, he and ARC Gunna Mark Ya scored a 223.5 – winning both the Level 2 and Level 1 championship. “This is my first Level 2 finals, so that was an achievement in itself,” he said. “Winning here is a dream come true. Ever since I was young and dreaming about riding reiners, this was the biggest thing – it’s huge. I just thank the Lord and my parents for giving me the love of horses, and Casey Deary for giving me this great opportunity.”
Harvey and ARC Gunna Mark Ya, by Gunnatrashya out of Shiney Miss Marker, scored a 217.5 in the preliminary round. “She was real good in the prelims. She was a little upset circling to the left, so it didn’t look as nice, but the rest of the run was beautiful,” he said. “My game plan for the finals was just to make sure she was quiet and relaxed, and then we went in there and I left it up to the Lord.”
Although he’s only been riding reiners three years, Harvey has had a love for horses since his early years. His parents, Dale and Cheri Harvey, instilled that passion at a young age. “My parents used to work for Mr. Arcese in Italy. They actually introduced him to reining horses in the ’80′s. I believe the first picture of me on a horse was taken when I was about six months old. I’ve always loved them,” he said.
Although his family had a history with reiners, Harvey showed cutting horses in his youth. He actually didn’t begin competing on reiners until he began working for the Deary’s three years ago. “I have always loved them but never got the chance to show one. It’s been so much fun to get that experience,” he said. “I thank my parents for getting me interested in horses. I thank Swartzy Performance Horses and the Lord for this opportunity, and of course my wonderful wife Mercedes for all her loving support.”
All totaled, Harvey and ARC Gunna Mark Ya won $11,276 and prizes that included a saddle from Continental Saddlery, a saddle sponsored by Jim Taylor and the Deshotels family, two Gist Silversmiths buckles, gift certificates to Thomas Moore Feed and Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Whisper Bits, and NRBC memorabilia.
Ruben Vandorp took the Level 2 Reserve title with a 223 on his horse KR Rufin It, by Einsteins Revolution out of A Ruf Gal, winning $5,210.
In the Level 1, Arnaud Ferret and Lil Money Gun claimed the Reserve Championship with a 222, collecting $1,652. Lil Money Gun, by Colonels Lil Gun out of Miss Shiney Cat, is owned by Paul and Pam Rohus.
Prime Time Champion
Martin Larcombe finished 1-2 in the Prime Time and in the top fifteen of the Open Level 4. “This is a great show. The horses are the best of the best. They’ve come through their futurity year. They’re seasoned, tough, can do their jobs, and they give maximum effort. When a 225 doesn’t make the top ten, you know it’s tough,” he said.
Larcombe won the Prime Time on Snip O Lution with a 225.5. By Einsteins Revolution out of Snip O Chex, the horse is owned by XCS Ranch. Total NRBC earnings for the 5-year-old stallion came to $17,200. “I’ve had this horse since he was three. He’s always been good and confident,” Larcombe said of the stallion who won the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity in 2014.
Finishing Reserve was Hang Ten And Shine with a 223.5, who took home $13,400. Hang Ten And Shine, owned by Christine Brazeau, is by Hang Ten Surprize out of Ebony Shines.
Larcombe is an Australia native. “About four or five years ago we made the decision to come from the United States from Australia to see if we could be competitive.” He added, “To be in the finals with these guys and horses that I’ve heard so much about is sensational for me and both my horses.”
Development Division Champion
New for 2016 was the $10,000 added Development Division. The division was created for Open horses that have not won more than $2,000 by March 31. It was created to provide an additional division for horses who hadn’t yet reached their competitive peak.
This year the division paid five places, and was paid out to the highest advancing horses in the Level 4 Open.
Thiago Boechat and Xtra Voodoo Doc won first with a score of 222, earning $9,719. “Since we sometimes don’t do as well in the Futurity or something happens to your horse, this is a great incentive to come to the NRBC,” noted Boechat.
Xtra Voodoo Doc, by Shiners Voodoo Dr out of Call Me Miss Hickory, is owned by Roger Parks. “This horse had some little issues at the futurity, but he’s a very good horse and I love him,” Boechat said.
Gunny Mathison and Ruben Vandorp tied for reserve in the division, with each collecting $6,717. Mathison rode Shesa Little Trashy (Gunnatrashya x Blue Eyes Shining), owned by Mary Jansma, while Vandorp competed with his horse KR Rufin It (Einsteins Revolution x A Ruf Gal).