Matt Koch and Above Da Best Tenino Win Limited Open Hackamore at 2011 NRCHA Stakes

The Limited Open Hackamore Championship of the 2011 National Reined Cow Horse Association Stakes was decided Saturday, March 26, at the Idaho Horse Park in Nampa, Idaho. In the end, it was Arthur, Nebraska, trainer Matt Koch who took top honors, winning the Championship on his horse Above Da Best Tenino, and the Reserve title on FF Black Moon, owned by Haythorn Land and Cattle Company.

Koch and Above Da Best Tenino scored 209.5 in the rein work, and followed that with a 204 in the fence work, winning $1,440. “He was decent in the reining. We had a little trouble down the fence but he kept it together just enough,” he explained.

Koch purchased Above Da Best Tenino as a yearling for a prospect. “I figured that if he didn’t make a show horse I could make a ranch or rope horse out of him,” he said. “He happened to make a show horse.”

Koch’s Reserve Champion mount, FF Black Moon, is owned by Haythorn Land and Cattle, which Koch works for. FF Black Moon, by Figure Four Chex and out of Boon Buttercup, marked 205.5 in the rein work and 205 in the cow work, winning 960.

“I think what is really neat about both of these horses is that they get used on the ranch – they’re not just show horses. They work and rope, too,” he said. “I think that makes them better show horses because they’ve got a work ethic.”

The National Reined Cow Horse Association, now in its 62nd year, is the governing body of cow horse competition, is responsible for promoting the sport, insuring high standards of competition and educating members and the public about the history and tradition of the cow horse. Through the support of a Corporate Partner family that includes Adequan, Bob’s Custom Saddles, Cinch, Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance Company, Nutrena, Pfizer Animal Health, Platinum Performance, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, Running W Designs, the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, and Merial products UlcerGard and EQUIOXX, the association works to keep the vaquero tradition alive in today’s equine industry. For information on the National Reined Cow Horse Association, call 580-759-4949 or visit the NRCHA Official Web Site at