Ruckman and Rufanicki Win Four NRHA Non Pro Derby Championships

The 2011 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby featured the $40,000-added Level 4 Non Pro; $22,500-added Level 3 Non Pro; $12,500-added Level 2 Non Pro; $7,500-added Level 1 Non Pro and $5,000-added Prime Time Non Pro division finals on Friday, July 1 at Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, Okla. Out of the original 546 entries, the top 58 qualified to compete in Friday’s finals.

Shaunda Rai Ruckman of Scottsdale, Ariz. continued her stellar year aboard Rufanicki by scoring a 222.5 to sweep Level 4, 3, 2 and 1 divisions of the Non Pro Derby. The duo has dominated in first year of competition together – claiming all four division championships at the Cactus Reining Classic Derby, National Reining Breeder’s Classic Derby and now the NRHA Derby. Ruckman owns the five-year-old gelding by Lil Ruf Peppy and out of Chexanicki.

For her championship run, Ruckman earned over $22,200 and the use of a four-horse Cimarron Trailer, NRHA Lawson trophies, Bob’s Custom Saddles trophy saddles, Montana Silversmiths trophy buckles, gift certificates from Pard’s Western Shop, Purina, Shorty’s Caboy Hattery and SmartPak and products from Arenus, Classic Equine, Back on Track, Platinum Performance and Rios of Mercedes.

Samantha Griffin of De Winton, Alberta, Canada, rode Tag This to a 222 and the Level 4 Non Pro reserve championship. The five-year-old gelding is owned by her father, NRHA Million Dollar Owner Lance Griffin, and sired by his stallion Whiz N Tag Chex and is by This Chics On Top. They earned $8,058.

As the sire of Tag This, Whiz N Tag Chex won the NRHA Sire & Dam Program sire award, including $1,500 and an NRHA Lawson trophy for his owner Lance Griffin.

Jose Vazquez earned the Prime Time Non Pro championship with a 219 aboard SLJ Ruf Juice (Smart Like Juice x Ruf Catalyst). Smart Like Juice Inc. owns the five-year-old stallion who also placed 8th in the Level 4 Non Pro division. Vazquez took home a total of $5,900, an NRHA Lawson trophy, Bob’s Custom Saddles trophy saddle, Montana Silversmiths trophy buckle, gift certificates from Pard’s Western Shop, Purina and SmartPak and products from Anderson Bean Boot Company, Arenus, Back on Track and Classic Equine.

The Youth Non Pro championship was determined by the go-round score earlier this week. Winning the championship with a 217.5 was Brooke 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.

Boyle made an impressive showing in Friday’s finals as well, scoring a 213.5 to earn the Level 1 Non Pro reserve championship and a third place finish in the Level 2 Non Pro division. Overall, Boyle took home a substantial check plus an NRHA Lawson trophy, Bob’s Custom Saddles trophy saddle, Montana Silversmiths trophy buckle, gift certificates from Pard’s Western Shop, Purina and SmartPak and products from Anderson Bean Boot Company, Arenus, Back on Track and Classic Equine.

The Level 3 Non Pro reserve championship was awarded to Sally Broten of River Falls Wis. Broten rode her four-year-old gelding Rio Grande Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Dunnits Daisy) to a 218.

Ruben Pacheco Cuevas of Wynnewood, Okla., and Sugar Chics Gunnit (Gunner x Sugar Chics Dunnit) marked a 214 to win the Level 2 Non Pro reserve championship. Cuevas owns the five-year-old stallion.

Michael Garnett, Lincoln, Neb. and his five-year-old gelding Arc Smokin Gun (Gunner x Custom Mahogany) scored a 215 (216.5 with handicap applied) and the Prime Time Non Pro reserve championship.

The Youth Non Pro reserve championship was earned by Alexis Daggett of Montello, Wis., and her five-year-old gelding Cee Pepto Wood (Sweet Lil Pepto x Cee Miss Hollywood).

Activities during tomorrow’s final day of the NRHA Derby show include the $155,000-added Open Derby finals, NRHA Collegiate Reining Championship, the USEF National Youth Reining Championships, an Affiliate Summit and 14 ancillary classes.

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 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.