The headline event at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Stakes in Las Vegas, Nev., is for the 4- and 5-year offspring of NRCHA Subscribed Stallions,but the Hackamore and Two Rein horses took center stage Thursday night at the South Point Equestrian Center, marking some big scores in the hunt for paychecks and trophies.
In the Open Hackamore class, Les Oswald, Oakdale, Calif., turned in a sparkling run aboard Tassas Smart Cat (WR This Cats Smart x Tassa Mia), owned by Lesley Cummings. They scored a 146 in the rein work and a 150 in the cow work for a $3,084 payday. The Open Hackamore Championship also came with a CR Morrison Trophy from the NRCHA and a $50 gift certificate and cooler from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies.
The Non-Pro Hackamore title went to Kirk Druey, Adamstown, Md., aboard his 4-year-old gelding Oaks In Montana (Mr Montana Nic x Oak Ill Be), with a composite score of 284.5 (140.5 rein/144 cow). The Championship came with a $1,280 paycheck, a CR Morrison Trophy from the NRCHA and a $50 gift certificate and cooler from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies.
Druey entered the Non-Pro Hackamore class as a consolation after missing the finals in the Stakes Non-Pro divisions.
“I went off pattern in the reining so we didn’t make it back. We entered this for redemption and it went pretty well, I guess,” Druey said good-naturedly. “It was the first time I showed him in the hackamore, and he was pretty good in it. he stopped really well and he was great in the fence work. He was cowy and soft, so I was happy with him.”
The Open Two Rein Championship went to Tuckers Smart Cat (WR This Cats Smart x Smoke Time Tuck), shown by Lyn Anderson for David and Barbara Archer. Anderson piloted the 6-year-old gelding to scores of 146 in the rein work and 150 in the cow work, for a total 296 score and $1,950. The Open Two Rein title also came with a CR Morrison Trophy from the NRCHA and a $50 gift certificate and cooler from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies.
In the Limited Open Hackamore class, Surprized By Chic (Smart Chic Olena x Little Miraclena), owned and shown by Adam Bradley, worked his way to the Championship with a 266.5 (138.5 rein/218 cow), earning $1,375 and a CR Morrison Trophy from the NRCHA.
The Youth Bridle title went to Josh Valdez, Alamosa, Colo., riding Jac Be Light (Jac Daniels Neat x Spooky Lucy), with a 280 (140 rein/140 cow), earning $537.50, a CR Morrison Trophy, and a $50 gift certificate and cooler from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies.
The Youth Limited Champion was Kelsey Lynch, who piloted Dual Awhittle Doceye (Doc O Wena x Jackie Band), owned by Lauren Lynch, to a 279.5 (137 rein/142.5 cow), earning $240 and a CR Morrison Trophy from the NRCHA.
In the Limited Open Bridle division, Matt Kelly guided Genuine Chic Pleaser (Chic Please x Miss Shiner Dear), a 2007 gelding bred and owned by NRCHA Breeder Sponsor Wagonhound Land and Livestock, to a 279.5 (143.5 rein/136 cow) for the $1,300 Championship check. The title also came with a CR Morrison Trophy from the NRCHA.
Kelly has been a trainer at Wagonhound Land and Livestock for the past 10 years. He started Genuine Chic Pleaser as a 2-year-old. At that time, top National Reining Horse Association professional Andrea Fappani’s customer purchased him. Genuine Chic Pleaser stayed in Fappani’s training program for a year, and then his owner took him home and rode him until last year, when Wagonhound bought him back and Kelly started riding him again.
“He hadn’t been on a cow until last year, at all,” Kelly said.
Genuine Chic Pleaser took the accelerated training program well.
“He went from the ring snaffle, to the hackamore, the two rein and the bridle in less than a year,” Kelly said. “He’s come along real quick on a cow. He’s been fun to ride.”
This is Kelly’s fourth year of showing reined cow horses, and he appreciates the knowledge gained from riding with as many top professionals as he can.
“I feel very blessed to be able to do for a living what I’m passionate about, and I love it,” he said.