By Katie Hendrickson – NRHA Reiner Assistant Editor
The second section of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Non Pro Derby took over the Oklahoma State Fair Coliseum Arena on Wednesday, June 29. The non pro competition was stout with 167 horses and riders vying for their share of $87,500 in added money.
Yesterday Jessica Sternberg of the United Kingdom and Smart Like Valentino (Smart Like Juice x Smart Little Jewel) made their presence known with a tremendous performance for a score of 221.5. Their lead remains in the Level 4, Level 3, Level 2 and Level 1 Non Pro divisions going into Friday’s finals. The four-year-old stallion is owned by her mother and NRHA Million Dollar Owner Rosanne Sternberg.
Samantha Griffin and Tag This hold second place in the $40,000 added Level 4 Non Pro division with their solid 220.5 go-round score. The five-year-old gelding is owned by her father Lance Griffin and sired by their stallion (Whiz N Tag Chex x This Chics On Top).
Glen Reed and his Its West Coast Cash topped the $5,000 added Prime Time Non Pro division with a 220 after the handicap was applied to their score of 217. The six-year-old gelding is by West Coast Whiz and out of Its All About Cash.
The Youth Non Pro Derby champion is determined by the go-round score. Winning the championship with a 217.5 was Brook Boyle aboard Lil Joe Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Katie Jo Fritz), a six-year-old gelding owned by Mike and Barbi Boyle of Princeton, Ky. And the duo is not done yet. They posted the second highest go-round score in the Level 2 and Level 1 Non Pro divisions and qualified for all four divisions of Friday’s finals.
Alexis Daggett, Montello, Wis., and her gelding Cee Pepto Wood (Sweet Lil Pepto x Cee Miss Hollywood) scored a 217 and the Youth Non Pro Derby reserve championship. The five-year-old is by Sweet Lil Pepto and out of Cee Miss Hollywood.
The inaugural $15,000 added 7 & Up Open Derby featured 24 horses age seven and older. Claiming the Level 4 and Level 3 championships with a 222 was the team of Shane Allen Brown and Shepherd Star (Playgun x Genuine Desire). The eight-year-old stallion is owned by Michelle Kuck of Rifle, Colo. Jordan Larson and Custom Harley (Custom Crome x Peppys Tonette), owned by Rancho El Fortin of Del Rio, Tex., earned the Level 4 Open reserve championship with a 221.5.
Tracy McReynolds and The Whiz Way (Topsail Whiz x Dun It The Hard Way) posted a 221 to win the Level 2 and Level 1 championships and Level 3 reserve championship. Jim Mc Alister of Houston, Tex. owns the nine-year-old stallion.
Thursday activities at the NRHA Derby show include the first-ever NRHA Interscholastic Reining Championship and 7 & Up Non Pro Derby, six ancillary classes, Platinum Performance Non Pro Draw Party, prelims for the Cimarron Trailers Amazing Trailer Race and the NRHA Annual Awards & Hall of Fame Banquet.
Stay Up-To-Date – For the latest news from the NRHA Derby Show, be sure to follow NRHA on Facebook and Twitter. Score updates, event reminders and video will be posted daily to keep reiners around the world informed as the news develops. In addition, NRHA will post the top three runs of the day from the NRHA Open Derby and NRHA Non Pro Derby go-rounds and finals. Complete results for the NRHA Derby and ancillary classes can be found at www.nrhaderby.com.
The NRHA would like to thank the following corporate partners for their support: AdequanR; Arenus, Bob’s Custom Saddles, Cimarron Trailers; Cinder Lakes Ranch and Reproduction Center; Classic Equine; Darling 888 Ranch; Horse&Rider; John Deere; Kiser Arena Specialists; Markel Insurance Company; MD Barns; Merial; Montana Silversmiths; Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau; Pard’s Western Shop; Platinum Performance; Purina Mills; Quarter Horse News; Rios of Mercedes / Anderson Bean Boot Company; Rocky Mountain Clothing Company; Silver Spurs Equine; SmartPak and Xtra Quarter Horses, plus Event Sponsors Back on Track, Cool-A-Zone, Fowler Dodge, Scott Cleaners, Shorty’s Caboy Hattery and Metro Golf Cars.
Incorporated in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is the standard setting body of the sport of Reining. NRHA, with their International Headquarters in Oklahoma City, is responsible for promoting the sport of reining and working to ensure the highest standards of competition. To learn more about the NRHA, its programs and family of corporate partners, visit www.nrha.com.