NRCHA Derby Finals Herd Work Complete in Paso Robles, California

Author: NRCHA



NRCHA Derby Finals Herd Work Complete in Paso Robles, California







The first leg of finals action, the herd work, is complete at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Jack & Phoebe Cooke Memorial Derby in Paso Robles, California, for both Open and Non Pro finalists. The clean-slate finals continue Saturday, June 16, with the rein work and fence work. The top combined score will earn the title of 2018 NRCHA Derby Champion and a share of the more than $300,000 total prize money.
 
The NRCHA Derby is one of the largest and most prestigious events for 4- and 5-year-old reined cow horses. Shown two-handed in a snaffle bit or a hackamore, horses are judged in three events: rein work, herd work and cow work.
 
Friday night's main event at the Derby was the $25,000-added CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular, sponsored by Holy Cow Performance Horses, in memory of the late, great sire, CD Survivor. New for 2018, Matthews Cutting Horses sponsored the $5,000-added Intermediate Open Bridle Spectacular.
 
 
 
Derby Open Finals High Herd Score
 
NRCHA Professional Justin Wright started off the Derby Open Finals right, by taking a six point lead in the herd work, in a field twenty Finalists. Wright, Santa Maria, California, piloted Shiners Diamond Cat (WR This Cats Smart x Shiners Diamond Lady x Shining Spark) to a big score of 225, for owners Mike and James Draper of Nipomo, California.
 
Derby Non Pro Finals Herd Work High Scores
Two Non Pro competitors topped the leader board of the Derby Non Pro Finals by marking identical herd work scores of 219. Eric Freitas, Santa Maria, California, guided his 2014 gelding, Cat Snacks (Cats Full Moon x Chic Snacks x Snackbox) to the lead. Canadian competitor Bart Holowath and Smart Lookin Nurse (WR This Cats Smart x NurseWare x Dual Rey) matched Freitas' 219 score, later in the set.
 
 
Eric Freitas aboard Cat Snacks
 
Bart Holowath and Smart Lookin Nurse
 
CD Survivor Memorial Open Bridle Spectacular Champion
 
CSR Lay Down Sally ridden by Chris C. Dawson - 2018 NRCHA Derby (Cow, Open Bridle Spec.)
 
Bridle Spectaculars at NRCHA Premier Events were created to showcase the ultimate reined cow horse - the bridle horse. These seasoned veterans have spent years in programs that follow the traditional vaquero training methods.
 
The CD Survivor Memorial Open Bridle Spectacular, named in honor of the late, great stallion owned by NRCHA breeder sponsor Holy Cow Performance Horses, is a $25,000-added event that is filled with some of the best horses and horsemen and women in the country.
 
With entry numbers nearly double over last year, twenty-eight of some of the most elite reined cow horses and trainers took center stage at the Heart Equestrian Center, completing the triathlon of herd work, rein work and fence work in one afternoon. Energy and excitement filled the air, as owners, riders and fans searched for an empty seat or place to stand and watch the thrilling fence work.
 
An incredible fence score of 227.5 came from CSR Lay Down Sally (Dual Spark x Look At Her Glo x CD O Cody) and NRCHA Professional Chris Dawson, giving them an eleven point lead over their fellow competitors. The team's composite of 670 (219 herd / 223.5 rein / 227.5 cow) secured the coveted title of 2018 CD Survivor Memorial Open Bridle Spectacular Champion, along with a CR Morrison resin trophy sponsored by Will Rogers Memorial Center, a Gist buckle, product from Platinum Performance and an $11,675 paycheck.
 
The 2011 mare is owned by Non Pro competitor Meredith Graber, who just six days earlier, captured the Non Pro Bridle Spectacular Championship, here at the NRCHA Derby, aboard "Sally". Graber bought the mare as a five-year-old and showed her in the boxing Derbies through her six-year-old year. According to Graber's trainer, Dawson, Graber is the one who has spent the most time putting CSR Lay down Sally in the bridle.
 
Sharing an Open and Non Pro horse does not come without it's challenges, but CSR Lay Down Sally, Graber and Dawson seem to make it work well. "Meredith is such a great rider. Sally keeps Meredith safe while learning to go down the fence, then I can put more pressure on her for the Open," Dawson said.
"Everything felt aligned today. Sally always feels good," said Dawson. "She found some gears tonight I wasn't even sure she had. Every time I show that mare she just gets better. She is a super horse and she has a lot of heart."
 
"They [Holy Cow Performance Horses] have been such great supporters of the bridle horses. The purpose of this is to build bridle horses," Dawson stated. "These bridle horse classes are so nice to be able to give the owners an incentive to keep a horse in training and let the horses progress through the stages of training."
 
Dawson Performance Horses has had a very successful week, so far, at the NRCHA Derby, taking several championship titles back to Perrin, Texas, making tonight's win icing on the cupcake for the Dawson.
 
The Dawsons and the Grabers are a big help to one another. "The Lord puts good people and horses in your life. The Grabers are awesome people," Dawson said. He also thanked his wife, his assistants, his herd help and the whole reined cow horse family.
 
Graber wanted thank the team at Dawson Performance Horses, her family and her horse show family. "Without them, none of this would be possible," stated Graber.
 
 
Reserve Champion
 
The CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular Reserve Champion was Sonita Lena Rey (Dual Rey x Sonita Lena Chick x Smart Chic Olena), a 2011 stallion shown by Scottsdale, Arizona, Professional Corey Cushing, and owned by Sheri Jamieson. Sonita Lena Rey marked a 659 (217 herd / 223 rein / 219 fence), claiming a paycheck of $9,340. 
 
Intermediate Open Bridle Spectacular Champion
 
Brother Jackson ridden by Ken L. Wold - 2018 NRCHA Derby (Cow, Open Bridle Spec.)
 
If you don't succeed it's a heck of a fall, but you can't be afraid of that," said NRCHA Hall of Fame member Ken Wold, reflecting on his fence run from earlier in the evening. "You've got to feel that I can do it!"
 
The 2017 CD Survivor Memorial Open Bridle Spectacular Champions, Brother Jackson (Peptoboonsmal x Shes Icing Onthe Cat x High Brow Cat) and Ken Wold returned to the Paso Robles Event Center on the hunt for another championship title. With the 2009 stallion being fresh out of the breeding barn, Wold pondered how he was going to duplicate last year's spectacular run. Being the great individual he is, "Brother" was as laid back and solid-minded as ever throughout the week.
 
As the evening came to an end, the duo's composite score of 657 (218.5 herd / 212.5 rein / 226) lead to winning the Intermediate Open Bridle Spectacular and an overall third place finish in the Open Bridle Spectacular. The team took home winnings totaling more than $9,000 and products from Platinum Performance, DM Tack and Farnam.
 
New to the class roster for 2018, the $5,000-dollar Intermediate Open Bridle Spectacular was sponsored by Matthews Cutting Horses. "I think it's great," Wold said. "The reined cow horse shows have gotten so competitive. You have to have a place where people can feel success. It doesn't matter whether it's in the Intermediate or in the Open."
 
The California horseman's game plan was to separate Brother Jackson, from his fellow competitors, in the first leg of the event, the herd work, by showcasing his cutting style. Even though Wold had his heart set on a clean reining run, the team ran into some trouble. Not being one to give up on the ship, Wold put his trust in Brother Jackson, knowing he would rise to the occassion in front of the large crowd in the fence work. "All I've I got to do is have a big fence run, and he's done it before," Wold said. "I need to set things up for him and let him do it. When I went into that fence work I was telling myself we can do this. There was not any doubt in my mind we weren't going to mark a 225. I wasn't going to accept, mentally, anything but that. I really believe in mentally imagery and setting your goals." The pair exceed the expectation of 225, scoring a 226 down the fence.
 
Perez, a client of of Wold's for over a decade, felt very satisfied with tonight's performance and win. When asked what he enjoys most about the NRCHA professional's training program, Perez stated, "He is an honest man. His heart is with the horse and so is mine. He lives for the horse and that is rare." It's a true family operation at Ken Wold training Stables.
 
Owner, Perez, has lots of goals set for Brother Jackson, including a return trip the World's Greatest Horseman and to be one of the great reined cow horse sires. "He holds a very, very close place in my heart," Perez said. He hopes the best "Brother" and all the reined cow horse sires. Perez thanked the National Reined Cow Horse Association, Holy Cow Performance Horses and all the breeders and supporters inside this industry.
 
Wold was quick to thank his friend and owner Daniel Perez. "He is the backbone of this operation. He is a great owner and a great person." Wold also thanked his wife Ramona and his family for all their support. "Holy Cow Performance Horses has been great. Without them, we sure couldn't have this event. To have them back us and sponsor is is a real thrill," Wold said.
 
"If a trainer can have one great horse in his life, you're lucky - and this is mine," said Wold.
 
 
Reserve Champion
 
The CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular Reserve Champion was Mister OMG (One Time Pepto x Sallie B Badge x Playboys Badge), A 2010 stallion ridden by Goodyear, Arizona horseman Jason Grimshaw for owner Lauren Boychuk. The pair mark a 215 in the herd, a 218.5 in the rein and 221.5 down the fence for a composite of 655 and a payout of more than $2,200.

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