McLaughlin tops NRCHA Open Bridle World Championship


The 2011 National Reined Cow Horse Association World Championship Show presented by John Deere kicked off January 30 during the Celebration of Champions in San Angelo, Texas. Although no prize money is awarded during the preliminary competition, there are thousands of dollars in added money for the finals of every event.

When Jay McLaughlin qualified Shiney Sushi for the Open Bridle finals of the National Reined Cow Horse Association World Championship Show presented by John Deere, he and owner Carol Rose made a decision: if the 7-year-old cow horse won the World Championship, she would be retired.

On Saturday, February 4, the flashy palomino mare left the show pen for the last time. She bested the field, which included some of the most prolific equine athletes in the industry by 2.5 points with a 436 – winning $8,106, a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a $50 gift card from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

For McLaughlin, of Gainesville, Texas, the win proved what he and Rose had never doubted – the mare was born to be a champion. “She’s freaky talented. She’s been easy to train and show – she’s just always had bad draws,” he said, explaining how “Sushi,” who now boasts over $60,000 in NRCHA earnings, didn’t have a major title to her name.

He added that she was also injured after winning the Open Reserve Championship at the NRCHA Stakes in 2009, which resulted in a year off. “Now she does have a title and she can retire and be a broodmare.” He added, “I thank the whole Rose Ranch team, my wife, and my family for all the support – it is a team effort to win something like this.”

Rose, who bred and raised Sushi, noted, “Jay is incredible. He is such a good trainer and an amazing showman. He’s done a beautiful job.”

Shiney Sushi is by Shining Spark out of Docs Sulena – which has proven to be a lucrative cross. Sushi is a full-sibling to stand-out stallions Shiners Lena Doc and A Shiner Named Sioux. “It’s very interesting – last year we only got two Shining Spark embryos, and they both came from Docs Sulena. They’ll be full siblings to Sushi.”

Justin Warneke and Heza Diamond Spark took reserve honors in the Open Bridle with a score of 433.5. The win added $6,485 to the Diamond J Star stallion’s lifetime earnings, which exceed $70,000. He also took home a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Kevin and Sydney Knight, and custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tooled notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Heza Diamond Spark, out of the great-producing mare Sheza Shinette, is owned by Michael Garver of Great Falls, Montana.

NRCHA Limited Open Bridle World Championship

Many championship teams have been together for years. They’ve learned each other’s intricacies and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Brandi Scheer and Who Could Be Smarter didn’t have that luxury – but they still took home the National Reined Cow Horse Association Limited Open Bridle World Championship on Friday, February 3, with a score of 434.

Who Could Be Smarter, by Smart Chic Olena out of Blue Docs Badger, was purchased by owner Barbara Biddix barely six months ago from Don Murphy to be shown in the Non Pro Limited. The 9-year-old gelding had been qualified for the NRCHA World Championship Show presented by John Deere by Adam Johnson. “His real purpose is to be Barbara’s show horse, but I was lucky enough to get to show him,” Scheer said. “This is actually only my third time to show him. He’s gotten better all week.”

Scheer took home $3,623, a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Scheer, who trains at McMahon Farms, noted, “I thank Don Murphy, Todd Crawford, and everyone in the NRCHA. Everyone is so welcoming and helpful – so everyone has something to do with this win,” she said.

The day before the Limited Open Bridle finals, Roy Rich and Half Time Report claimed the Open Two Rein World Championship.

In the Limited Open Bridle, Rich and Half Time Report also had a score of 434 – but NRCHA rules dictate that in the case of a tie for the title, the exhibitor with the high cow work score wins. Regardless, the pair still had a large payday – to the tune of $2,898. The Reserve Championship also garnered a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tool notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Half Time Report, owned by Barbara Hastings of Glendale, California, is by A Chic In Time out of Hustlin Tips.

NRCHA Non Pro Bridle World Championship

Murray Thompson and the veteran cow horse Smart Time Tuck won the National Reined Cow Horse Association Non Pro Bridle World Championship with a score of 435.5. It was Thompson’s first and “Zip’s” second – as he won the Open Bridle title in 2003.

“I didn’t really have as good of a year as I had wanted, but we did ok and got a check at the four big shows for the first time. We didn’t win any, so this was a great way to top off the year,” Thompson said. He won $4,605, a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a $50 gift card from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

“I thank Lyn Anderson, Zip’s breeder Skip Brown, and his former owner, Kathryn Schaefer, for selling him to me.” Murray added, “I also give a very special thank you to my daughter, Jennifer, who got me started with horses.”

He added, “I also have to give so much credit to my horse. He deserves so much credit. He’s intelligent and athletic and has a lot of try.” Smart Time Tuck, by Senors Lil Brudder, is a half-sibling to Anderson’s Open Hackamore World Champion Tuckers Smart Cat – both are by the mare Smoke Time Tuck. “They’ve all been really good – but I know that Zip is still her favorite of all of them.”

Thompson, of Atwater, California, recently retired from his career in the aerospace industry. “I bought a place just forty miles from Lyn and I’m planning to ride at least five days a week,” he said. He also recently bought a 3-year-old from Carol Rose. “Lyn will show him at the Snaffle Bit Futurity, and then I’ll probably show him some after that.”

Only a half-point behind with the Reserve Championship was Todd Thieszen of McCook, Nebraska. He rode his horse, Shinerbock Nic, to win $3,684, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Kevin and Sydney Knight, custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Shinerbock Nic is by Night Time Shiner out of Diggers Diamond Nic.

NRCHA Intermediate Non Pro Bridle World Championship

It began as the California Reined Cow Horse Association, but as the thrill of reined cow horse competition spread, the budding organization had to make a change. Years ago, the CRCHA amended its name, becoming the National Reined Cow Horse Association. Since then, cow horse competition has spread across the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America.

On Friday, February 3, that international flair was evidenced as two Canadians took the top spots in the Intermediate Non Pro Bridle of the NRCHA World Championship Show presented by John Deere. For the third year in a row, Suzon Schaal will return as a World Champion to the Wild Rose Country of Alberta, Canada.

“It feels pretty good. I’m having a hard time believing that it’s actually happened,” Schaal said of winning her third world title in three years. Schaal was riding Genuine Brown Gal, who she’s ridden for every championship. “She’s been very good to me.”
Schaal and Genuine Brown Gal, by Listo Pollito Lena and out of Genuine Emerald, marked a 215.5 in the rein work and 216 in the cow work. “The rein work felt good, even though our first stop could have been a little better,” she said. “The cow work could have been a little tighter and quicker, but it was enough for today and I’m really happy.”

On Saturday, Schaal and Genuine Brown Gal will take another stab at a world championship in the Non Pro Bridle. Schaal, an equine veterinarian, said her friends, family, and co-workers were a large part of her success. “I couldn’t do it without them. They help me so much,” she said. “I also thank my trainer John Swales. I wouldn’t be here without him. He’s been a huge supporter and keeps me calm.”

Schaals took home $3,318, a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Jackie Miller won the Intermediate Non Pro Bridle Reserve World Championship on her horse, Pepinics Fancy, with a 427. Miller, of Okotoks, Alberta, won $2,607. The Reserve Championship garnered a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tool notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Pepinics Fancy is by Pepinics Master and out of Docs Fancy Dudette.

NRCHA Non Pro Limited World Championship

Winning world championships runs in the Valdez family. On Thursday, February 2, Betty Lou Valdez took home the National Reined Cow Horse Association Non Pro Two Rein Championship. Two days later, daughter Kelly took the Non Pro Limited World title.

Valdez was riding Smart Tic Tack, and piloted the 9-year-old mare to a 216.5 in the rein work and a 222 in the cow work for a total score of 438.5. She won a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion. She also won $2,319.

“It feels really good to win a World Championship. I’ve been waiting a long time to do well here in San Angelo – and it’s finally happened,” Valdez said. “It’s really cool because my mom did so well too. There was some pressure on me, and I was happy I did well, too.”

Valdez, of La Junta, Colorado, gave a lot of credit to her mare, by Smart Mate out of Tic Tackatoo. “We worked her last night and this morning, and she was good all day. When I went in she did her job. We got a cow that was kind of wild, but she stayed with him.”

Valdez didn’t have much time to talk – she had also qualified for the finals of the very next class – the Youth Limited. She and Smart Tic Tack finished with the Youth Limited Reserve title.

“I thank my mom and dad – Robert and Betty Lou Valdez – and Don Murphy and Nelle Murphy for all their help,” she said.

Birgit Self and TR Miss Graygun finished as the Non Pro Limited Reserve Champions with a 432. Self, of Pilot Point, Texas, won $1,855, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tool notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

TR Miss Graygun is by Playgun and out of JK Carlita Bruce.

NRCHA $5K Non Pro Limited World Championship

She’s been hoping to win a saddle since she began reined cow horse competition. On Friday, February 3,Birgit Self did just that and more when she claimed the National Reined Cow Horse Association $5K Non Pro Limited World Championship!

“It feels great! It’s been on my ‘bucket list’ to win a saddle like this since I was a little girl. I won one in barrel racing but this one means so much more,” she said.
Birgit was riding her horse, TR Miss Graygun, and the pair marked a 217.5 in the rein work and 222 in the fence work.

“I was a lot less nervous than normal. My friends have been praying and I could just sense them,” she said following the awards ceremony.

Self, of Pilot Point, Texas, received $2,694, a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Although she began riding reining horses several years ago with Gaetan Gauthier, Self never purchased a reiner and only began riding cow horses in the last couple years.

“I ride with Benton Bland at the Circle Y Ranch, and they have been a tremendous help – they let me ride there all the time and work a lot of cattle. Thank you so much to Benton and Penny Youngblood,” Self said. “Thank you also to my husband, Mark. It would not be possible without him. He’s the one who bought me my dream horse two years ago.”

And what’s next for Self and TR Miss Graygun? “Benton told me that if I won it today I’d get to start going down the fence!” she said.

Karen Reed won the $5K Non Pro Limited Reserve World Championship on her horse, ARC Tassa Me Please with a 432. Reed, of Porterville, California, won $2,155. The Reserve Championship garnered a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tool notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

ARC Tassa Me Please is by Chic Please and out of Tassas Little Peppy.

NRCHA Novice Non Pro Bridle World Champion

Lyle Proctor actually purchased Millionheir Boon for his wife, Debbie. But when he began to ride the 9-year-old cow horse, he enjoyed it so much that he bought Debbie a different horse, and began competing, as well.

On Friday, February 3, Proctor won the National Reined Cow Horse Association Novice Non Pro Bridle World Championship. He and Millionheir Boon, by Bodee Boonsmal out of Candle Bar Holly, marked a 216 in the rein work, and followed that with a 214 in the cow work for a total score of 430.

“I can’t even speak I’m so excited. I just knew we had to step it up today. We worked on getting him to stride out last night, and everything just worked for us today and he felt really good,” Proctor, of Ravendale, Washington, said.

Lyle and Debbie both made the Novice Non Pro Bridle finals. Proctor said, “I have had a great year traveling all over and spending time with and competing against Debbie,” he said. “I thank Debbie, as well as my trainer Mike Helsen of Washington for everything.”
Proctor won a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion. He also collected $3,300.

Only a scant point behind with the Reserve Championship was Ashland, Kansas, Non Pro Garth Gardiner. Gardiner was riding Just Rein Or Shine, by Smart Shiner out of Just Pebbles, and marked a 213 in the rein work and 216 in the cow work. He won $2,640, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tool notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Youth Bridle World Championship

Chantz Stewart has won several titles throughout her equestrian career – but a National Reined Cow Horse Association World title has eluded her.

That changed on Friday, February 3, when the 18-year-old skillfully piloted her horse to the NRCHA World Championship in the Youth Bridle. Stewart and Shining Cielo marked a 217 in the rein work and 211 in the cow work for a 428 total – winning the championship by a mere point.

“Yesterday I didn’t run him well in the reining, and I was told to step it up. Today I asked for more than I ever have in the reining, and it paid off because we didn’t do as well in the cow work,” she said following the awards ceremony.

During the awards, she was presented with a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a $50 gift certificate from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion. She also won $540, and a $2,000 scholarship from the National Reined Cow Horse Foundation.

Stewart, of Cave Creek, Arizona, purchased Shining Cielo, by Shining Spark out of Miss Cielo, in 2008. She has since ridden with Cal Cooper, Al Dunning and Sam Rose. “I thank all the trainers who have helped me – especially Sam and Al. I also thank my parents, Rod and Lissa Stewart, for all their support,” she said.

Former NRCHA Youth Limited World Champion Alexa Beaty rode her horse, Mad About Chics, to the reserve title with a 427. Beaty, of Aubrey, Texas, won $450, and a $1,000 scholarship from the NRCHF. She also took home a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tool notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Mad About Chics is by Smart Chic Olena out of Echolettes Freckle.

NRCHA Youth Limited World Championship

Ask almost any accomplished trainer what it takes to make a dream a reality. Most will answer that it’s sweat, hard work, and determination.

Waylon Widler, Burneyville, Oklahoma, apparently has all the ingredients. Two years ago he won the National Reined Cow Horse Association Youth Limited World Championship, and on Saturday, February 4, he returned to the Spur Arena in San Angelo, to reclaim the title.

“He is the hardest working and most dedicated 13-year-old around,” Patty Ralls, wife of Widler’s trainer Ron Ralls, shared. “He’d stay with us this summer and get up at 4am every morning to ride his horse with us and get better. He’s very determined.”

Widler and Hesa Especially Foru, by Little Peppy Special out of Jabos Chocolate, marked a 215.5 in the rein work and 216 in the cow work. “He was a lot better than yesterday. During the preliminaries we had some bobbles,” he explained. “Today was really smooth and he was calm. W (Hesa Especially Foru) has a little bit of an attitude and does what he wants to sometimes – but today he let me make those decisions.”

Widler received a check for $765, a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion. The National Reined Cow Horse Foundation also awarded Widler with a $1,250 scholarship.

He noted, “I thank Ron and Patty Ralls, as well as my mom and dad for helping me. I aso thank everyone else who has given me advice.”

Widler and W will begin showing in the Youth Bridle in 2012.

Kelly Valdez and Smart Tic Tack, by Smart Mate out of Tic Tackatoo, won the Youth Limited Reserve Championship with a 429.

She was also rewarded with a $750 scholarship from the NRCHF, and took home a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tool notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Smart Tic Tack is owned by Kelly’s parents, Robert and Betty Lou Vadez, of La Junta, Colorado.

The NRCHA Two Rein World Championships

In 2010, Roy Rich and Half Time Report won the National Reined Cow Horse Association Limited Open Hackamore Reserve World Championship. Fast forward one year to February 2, where the pair took home top honors in the Open Two Rein.

“He was good and fun today. I tried to make everything as smooth as I could – that was my goal today. I just wanted to be smooth and let him do his thing,” Rich said of his finals performance, where he and Half Time Report, owned by Barbara Hastings of Glendale, California, marked a 217.5 in the rein work and 222 in the cow work. “I just tried to stay out of his way, and it worked out.”

Rich was presented with a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a $50 gift certificate from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion. The loot was accompanied by a check for $5,100.

“I thank my vet, Michael Sanders, who is great, as well as my horse shoers, Monty Nicolaites and Nelvin Reynolds,” Rich, who trains at the Green Acres Ranch in Temecula, California, said. “Most of all, I thank Barbara Hastings. She’s great and I really appreciate her believing in me.”

Half Time Report is by A Chic In Time and out of Hustlin Tips.

Earning the Reserve Championship with a 437 was Jake Telford and Sheza Roo, owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses. The Reserve Championship garnered a $4,080 payday, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tool notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Sheza Roo is by Gallo Del Cielo and out of Sheza Shinette.

During the Non Pro Two Rein finals of the National Reined Cow Horse Association World Championship Show presented by John Deere, Betty Lou Valdez won her first world title! Valdez was riding MH Bold Intentions, and piloted the cow horse to a total score of 434.

Valdez took home $1,770.a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

“I was really happy. We’ve been struggling a little with our stops. We schooled him last night and actually changed the bit three times in the last three days.” She added, “It’s hard to tell when he’s stopping well – but I heard people yelling and I knew we got them down.”

Valdez purchased MH Bold Intentions, by Bodee Boonsmal and out of Freckles Docs Oak, from Kyle Trahern in March of 2011. Just a few months later, the pair won the American Quarter Horse Association Amateur Working Cow Horse Reserve World Championship!

“I never believed things would turn out this well this quickly,” she said.

Although Valdez keeps her horses at home in La Junta, Colorado, she gets help from NRCHA Hall of Famer Don Murphy of Marietta, Oklahoma. “We started riding with Don a couple of years ago. We either meet up with him at shows or go to his place a couple times a year. He helps us so much.” She added, “I also thank my husband, Robert, because none of this would be possible without him.”

Russell Greathouse won the Non Pro Two Rein Reserve World Championship on his horse, Smokums Dixie, with a 429. Greathouse, of Clovis, California, won $1,475. The Reserve Championship garnered a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tool notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Smokums Dixis is by Smokums Prize and out of Peppy Jaynelena.

The NRCHA Hackamore World Championships

Lyn Anderson and Tuckers Smart Cat began the National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions with an Open Reserve Championship in the Circle Y Ranch Derby. Less than a week later, they claimed the NRCHA Open Hackamore World Championship!

“He’s an amazing athlete,” Anderson, Madera, California, said. Tuckers Smart Cat is by WR This Cats Smart, and out of the Blue Hen mare Smoke Time Tuck. “He’s a little immature, which is typical of that mare’s offspring – but they’re all really athletic and cowy and good horses.”

Anderson was riding Tuckers Smart Cat for David and Barbara Archer, and the win garnered $8,527, a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a $50 gift card from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Archer purchased Tuckers Smart Cat as a yearling at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Sales in Reno, Nevada. Two years later, Anderson piloted him to the Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Finals. “He was a little immature, like I said, but two weeks before the futurity he hit a new level of maturity. This horse is probably the cowiest I have ever ridden.”

Anderson added, “I thank David and Barbara Archer. They’ve not only been wonderful to me, they have been great supporters of the NRCHA. I also thank all of the great sponsors, the city of San Angelo, and everyone who works to make this event what it is. I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to meet all the different people I have if it weren’t for this event.”

Zane Davis and Reymanator (Dual Rey x Savannah Hickory) and Jeremy Meador and Smart Remedy Olena (Very Smart Remedy x Peppys T Bar) tied for the Open Hackamore Reserve World Championship. Each finished with a score of 438.5, and took home $6,117. Each will receive a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Kevin and Sydney Knight, and they split prizes which include custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tool notebook from Classic Equine, an ESP saddle pad, two vests sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, CR Morrison commemorative medallions.

Reymanator is owned by John Semanik of Jacksonville, Florida, while Smart Remedy Olena is owned by Meador of Star, Idaho.

Chase Trahern, of Walsh, Colorado, won the National Reined Cow Horse Association Limited Open Hackamore World Championship with a score of 440 – 7.5 points higher than the reserve champion!

While Trahern and his horse, Smart Little Laredo, had a respectable rein work score, they took a commanding lead after an impressive cow work that resulted in a score of 224!

“She felt really good today. She drug a lead in the rein work, which made me a little nervous, but she was good everywhere else.” He added, “She was super good in the cow work. I was really happy.”

Trahern and Smart Little Laredo, a 5-year-old mare by Laredo Blue out of Smart Little Spring, are familiar with the large Spur Arena – during the 2011 NRCHA Celebration of Champions, the pair won the Circle Y Ranch Derby Intermediate Non Pro Championship and Non Pro Reserve Championship.

The 19-year-old, who works for NRCHA Million Dollar Rider Jake Telford, purchased Smart Little Laredo as a long yearling, and has done all the training. “I thank Jake Telford, my older brother Kyle, and Robbie Boyce – they’ve all helped me a lot with this mare,” he said. “I plan to keep showing her until someone decides they would like to buy her.”

Trahern won $3,112, a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Ashley Taylor, an assistant trainer to Jay McLaughlin at Carol Rose Quarter Horses, piloted Shining Diamond Rose to the Limited Open Hackamore Reserve World Championship. The pair, who first competed together at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in September of 2011, had a total score of 432.5.

The Reserve Championship was worth $2,594, and came with a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, custom spurs from Tom Balding Bits & Spurs, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a tool notebook from Classic Equine, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.
Shining Diamond Rose, owned by Kitty Boeddeker of Craig, Colorado, is by Shining Spark out of Squeak Toys Lady.

Steelville, Missouri, Non Pro Karey Franz dominated the competition at the 2011 National Reined Cow Horse Association World Championship Show presented by John Deere. She and her horse, Nics Long Pants, won their first NRHCA World Championship by 9 points!

“He felt pretty good. He really came through in the reining,” Franz said of Nics Long Pants’ (Nic It In The Bud x Shiney Pants) 217.5 rein work score. That rein work was followed with a 215 in the cow work. “I was really struggling this week in the cow work. That’s pretty weird for me – usually the rein work is harder. I was just glad to have a clean cow work.”

Franz noted that the struggle was a mental one. “I’m about ten weeks pregnant, so maybe that had something to do with it. Regardless, it felt good today,” she said. Along with a check for $3,915, Franz also won a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a $50 gift certificate from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

Franz, who won an American Quarter Horse Association Amateur Working Cow Horse World Championship last fall on her bridle horse, thanked her husband, Jess Franz, as well as NRCHA Hall of Famer Don Murphy.

Franz wasn’t able to relax and enjoy her win – she had to get ready for the Non Pro Bridle finals, where she finished in the top five on her horse Nuchex N Diamonds.

Tish Wilhite and The Fresno Fox, who won the Non Pro Hackamore World Championship in 2010, finished as the Reserve Champions with a 423.5. Wilhite, Clovis, California, and The Fresno Fox, by Heart Of A Fox out of Oaks Jewel Doll, also won a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Smart Boons, Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes, a vest sponsored by Gist Silversmiths, a CR Morrison trophy and a CR Morrison commemorative medallion.

The NRCHA World Championship Show presented by John Deere is held as part of the NRCHA Celebration of Champions, held January 28-February 5 at the First Community Credit Union Spur Arena in San Angelo, Texas. The Celebration of Champions also features the Circle Y Ranch Derby and the World’s Greatest Horseman competition.

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 Bob’s Custom Saddles, Cinch, Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance Company, Platinum Performance, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, 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.