Toni Hagan-Heath has only been showing cow horses for a year, but in that time she has won several National Reined Cow Horse Association awards, including Amateur Limited Age Event Championships, a Reserve World Championship, and a National Championship.
And now, as she begins her second official year of competition, Hagan won her first-ever Non Pro Two Rein class. Competing in Nampa, Idaho, at the NRCHA Stakes, Hagan piloted her horse Just Ask Me Nice to the title with a 434 total, winning $800.
“It was all new. She worked really nicely in the dry work, even though you could tell she was a little green,” she said. “Our cow work was really cool! She was so awesome and absolutely inhaled the cow!”
When asked how her showing has changed since her first competition last March, Hagan-Heath noted, “I thought I wouldn’t be as nervous this year but my heart was pounding. I do feel that I can think a bit better during our run and do more for my horse,” she said. “I was really tickled with Justi today. She’s really going to be just as nice in the Two Rein and Bridle as she was in the Hackamore.”
Hagan-Heath, a former National Finals Rodeo qualifier in barrel racing, thanked her husband of two weeks, Dan Heath. “He’s such a wonderful man and he’s given me this great opportunity. I also thank Dan Roeser for being there for me. We also spent the winter with Jim Paul, Sr., and he really helped me, too,” she said.
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.