Complete in Scottsdale, Arizona. A thrilling day of reined cow horse action wrapped up the main event at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Jack and Phoebe Cooke Memorial Derby. Open and non pro riders took center stage at the WestWorld of Scottsdale in sunny Arizona.
The top combined score rode away with the prestigious NRCHA Derby Champion title and a share of more than $330,000.
To say it was a special night for the Justin Wright Performance Horses/ Wrights Quarter Horses crew would be an understatement. Several Santa Maria, California, professionals claimed spots in the clean-slate finals and are taking home major limited age event titles.
NRCHA Million Dollar Rider Justin Wright showed Scooter Kat (Kit Kat Sugar x Scooters Daisy Dukes x Dual Smart Rey) to the 2020 National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby Open championship title with an incredible 673.5 composite. Wright and Scooter Kat, owned by Eric Freitas, won all three go rounds of the Open Finals: 224 herd, 224.5 rein and 225 cow.
Claiming the NRCHA Derby Intermediate Open win was Jared Jones aboard PRF Peptos Smart Cat (WR This Cats Smart x She Smokes Smart x Senors Lil Brudder). Jones, from Santa Maria, California, earned $9,981 for his 660 composite (217.5 herd/ 219 rein/ 223.5 cow). The 4-year-old stallion is owned by Tori Simons.
Taking home the NRCHA Derby Limited Open title to Weatherford, Texas, is Daniel Sanchez and Reyny Day Nickle (Shiners Nickle x Tootsie Rey x Dual Rey).
Sanchez piloted Donna Russo's 2015 stallion, sired by Shiners Nickle and out of Tootsie Rey, by Dual Rey, to a 656 composite (219 herd/ 217 rein/ 220 cow). The win was accompanied with a $4,414 paycheck. The team also earned $5,935 for their third place finish in the Intermediate Open Finals.
Toni Heath captured the 2020 National Reined Cow Horse Association Jack and Phoebe Cooke Memorial Derby Non Pro championship title aboard Smokum Every Time.
The Oregon-based non pro piloted Smokum Every Time (One Time Pepto x Smokums Dream x Smokums Prize), a homebred horse owned by her husband, Dan Heath, to a 655 composite in the clean-slate finals. Heath marked a 214 in the herd work and 218.5 in the rein work. Her high fence work score of 222.5 sealed the deal on the win and $7,376.
After capturing the Derby Amateur championship earlier in the week, Erin Mendes piloted Jans Shiney Rey to the Intermediate and Novice Non Pro titles. The 652 composite (218 herd/ 213.5 rein/ 220.5 cow) in the clean-slate finals also placed Mendes reserve in the Non Pro.
Erica Ann Katz and Call Me WR (WR This Cats Smart x Call Me Christysue x Doc Olena) topped the 27-entry $1,000 Non Pro Limited with an impressive 292! The Temecula, California, non pro piloted her 2009 gelding to a 144.5 in the rein work and 147.5 in the cow work.
After solid performance throughout the week in the Non Pro Limited Derby, Elizabeth Poor piloted R Little C D Cat (High Brow CD x Dox Miss N Reno x Miss N Cash) to first place in the $5,000 Non Pro Limited. The 289 composite (140.5 rein/ 148.5 cow).
Bridle spectaculars at NRCHA premier events were created to showcase the ultimate reined cow horse - the bridle horse. These seasoned veterans have spent years in programs that follow the traditional Vaquero training methods.
The CD Survivor Memorial Open Bridle Spectacular, named in honor of the late, great stallion owned by NRCHA breeder sponsor Holy Cow Performance Horses, is a $20,000-added event that is filled with some of the best horses and horsemen and women in the country.
The 2020 Holy Cow Performance Horses CD Survivor Memorial Open Bridle Spectacular championship belonged to Nick Dowers and High Stressin Cat (WR This Cats Smart x Playguns Melody x Playgun). Dowers, of Dyer, Nevada, piloted the 2013 gelding, owned by Clint Marshall to a 220 in the herd work, 222.5 in the reining and a 221 down the fence.
Cow horse fans know that Lyn Anderson is known for her amazing fence runs. The California horsewoman guided Smokin Smart Cat (WR This Cats Smart x She Smokes Smart x Senors Lil Brudder) to an incredible 224.5 down the fence. Combined with their 217 from the herd work and 218 in the rein work, they captured the NRCHA Derby Intermediate Open Bridle Spectacular win for owner and long time friends, David and Barbara Archer. In addition to the $2,010 win check in the Intermediate Open, the duo also tied for fifth place in the Open, collecting another $3,901.
In true cow horse fashion, the Level One Limited Open Derby all came down to the fence work. It was a battle till the end for James Robert Marshall IV and Jesus Roman.
With a high cow work score of 219, JR Marshall and Playboy Powder (Bucks Little Playboy x Full Of Powder x Powder River Playboy) prevailed. The 2015 stallion, owned by Brett Weaver, scored a 214.5 in herd work and 214 in the rein work earlier in the week. Thanks to the 647.5 composite, the team won a $3,770 paycheck.
Just seven weeks after giving birth to Miss Haldey Grace, NRCHA professional Sarah Dawson, of Perrin, Texas, captured the Open Novice Horse championship title for owners Arcese Quarter Horses and Jeff and Wendy Oswood. The new mother piloted Gunna Be Striking (Gunnatrashya x Moonstruck Cat x High Brow Cat) to a 215.5 in the herd, 219 in the reining and 220.5 down the fence.
Erin Mendes is taking the NRCHA Derby Amateur title home to Kingburg, California. The new mother guided Jans Shiney Rey (Jans Rey Cuatro x Shiney Bit O Ivory x Shining Spark) to a 215.5 in the herd work, 213.5 in the rein work and a 216.5 down the fence.
Shelby Walker was crowned Derby Non Pro Limited Champion aboard SJR Katmandoo. Walker rode her 2014 gelding, by Smooth As A Cat and out of Shiners Diamond Girl, by Shining Spark, to a 648 composite (212 herd/ 214.5 rein/ 221.5 cow).
Lori Conrow, of Vacaville, California, guided Auspicious Storm (Auspicious Cat x Xtra Smart Swiss x Smart Little Lena) to the Non Pro Hackamore championship and $1,092 win check with a 284 composite (140.5 rein/ 143.5 cow).
Claiming top honors in the Open Hackamore was Nick Dowers, Dyer, Nevada. He rode Wares The Nurse (WR This Cats Smart x Nurseware x Dual Rey) , owned by Brigitte Belin, to a 146.5 in the reining and 150.5 down the fence. The 297 composite score came with a $1,440 win check.
Placing first in the Intermediate Open Hackamore was Darrel Norcutt and WR This Cats A Champ (WR This Cats Smart x Zacks Nu Star x Zack T Wood). The Nevada horseman piloted the 2016 gelding, owned by Ty and Melissa Fowler, to 285.5 composite (143.5 rein/142 cow).
Wilson McCray and Heart Shaped Box (Smart Boons x Rica Olena x CD Olena) captured the Limited Open Hackamore championship for his wife and owner, Aileen McCray. The 285.5 composite (141 rein / 144.5 cow) scored a $900 paycheck.
Reigning NRCHA Derby Open champions, Bet He Sparks and Clayton Edsall, returned to the prestigious premier event to capture two more championship titles - the Open Two Rein Spectacular and Open Two Rein.
The California horseman piloted Bet He Sparks (Bet Hesa Cat x Sparking Train x Shining Spark), owned by K & L Phillips, LLC, to a 148 in the herd work, 146.5 in the rein work and 151 in the cow work. The 445.5 composite score came with combined winnings of $7,201, a CR Morrison bronzed finished trophy, UltraCruz product, a Dennis Moreland Tack headstall and Platinum Performance.
For the second year in a row, NRCHA Million Dollar Rider Phillip Ralls was crowned the NRCHA Derby Open Bridle Champion aboard Short N Catt (Sophisticated Catt x Shortys Sugar Sue x Shorty Lena). The Paso Robles, California, horseman scored a 146.5 in the rein work and 149 down the fence for a composite of 295.5 and $1,860 payday for owner Sarah Davis.
Wyatt Fisher, of Nipomo, California, rode Prize Winning Gal (Smokums Prize x Ill Be A Winning Gal x Ill Be Smart), owned by his parents Jayson and Teresa Fisher, to first place in the Intermediate Open Bridle. The 295 composite score (144 rein/ 151 cow) was accompanied with $420 in earnings. This is the second consecutive year this team has claimed the title.
Claiming the Limited Open Bridle championship, for owners, Scott and Darnell Trueblood, was Andrew Steiger aboard Cash Master T (Cat T Masterson x Nu Cash Box x Shining Spark). Steiger earned a 288.5 composite and $1,275 paycheck.