The Novice Horse Open division Championship of the 2011 National Reined Cow Horse Association Stakes was decided during the preliminary round of competition. In the end, it was Shawn Hays who emerged victorious on CGS Starscommand.
Hays and CGS Starscommand competed first in the herd work, marking a 215.5, and followed that with a 215 in the rein work. “I went out and cut for shape in the herd work. It was a little softer than I wanted, but we cut clean,” he said. “I didn’t get him turned around as well as I wanted to on our left spins, and his first stop wasn’t quite as good as I wanted, but his second set of spins and his second and third stop were good.”
In the final leg of competition, Hays and the Soula Jule Star stallion, out of Spark Command, marked a 217.5 to win $2,815 and the Novice Horse Open Championship. “The cow wasn’t really watching me and my horse wasn’t taking hold in the boxing. We went a little by the first turn and had to loop him. Then he made a huge right turn and jumped out and circled up great. I was really happy with him.”
Shawn and his wife Tammy Jo purchased CGA Starscommand as a yearling at a sale. Hays had seen other Soula Jule Star offspring, and he knew that Shining Spark daughters are proven producers. “He had the look. He didn’t go for much so we gambled on him – it was worth it,” noted Hays.
The pair barely missed the Snaffle Bit Futurity finals, but placed in the Intermediate Open and Novice Horse Open during the NRCHA Circle Y Ranch Derby in San Angelo. “Lately he’s been coming on really well. I knew he’d put it all together,” he said. Hays and CGS Starscommand also made the NRCHA Stakes Open and Intermediate Open finals.
The Reserve Championship and $2,254 went to Todd Crawford and Wright About Now, owned by Garth and Amanda Gardiner. The NRCHA Million Dollar Rider and the Lenas Wright On mare, out of Pandalita Star, marked a 215 in the herd work, 218.5 in the rein work, and 213 in the cow work for a 646.5 total.
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 www.nrcha.com.