The Oklahoma State Fair Park, host to the 2016 NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) Derby, has welcomed over 600 horses to the grounds in preparation for this year’s event.
The first day of competition opened with a full slate of NRHA Ancillary classes, the USA Reining Open, and the inaugural AQHA Ranch Riding, a brand new addition to the NRHA Derby.
AQHA Open Ranch Riding Champion Matthew Armenta and FS Vintage SidekickWinning the AQHA Open Ranch Riding class with a 77.5 was NRHA Professional Matthew Armenta aboard Ann Elizabeth Tebow’s FS Vintage Sidekick (Starbucks Sidekick x Taris Little Vintage).
“My horse was really good for me today. He does the reining, the roping, and the ranch riding. And, the more things he can do, the better he performs! This morning we tied to win the NRHA Intermediate Open and were third in the Open,” said Armenta.
“Ranch Riding is a really good event, especially for horses that have been shown a lot in reining. They get a chance to take a deep breath and get rid of their anxiety. It is also very good for the youth and the amateurs because reining is so precise. We tell them to go in there and not move. Here they can steer them and lope them and trot them…it’s really good for them. I think this class will really catch on; people like to show horses!”
Taking home first place honors in the Amateur class with a 73.5 was Haiden L. De Jane riding A Smokin Whiz (Topsail Whiz x PF Nu Miss Royal Rsk). In the AQHA Youth class, Courtney Yohey and Imasmartlittlecheese (Magnum Chic Dream x Poco Fifty Pine) scored a 76.5 for the win. “I started ranch riding two years ago just to give my horse something different to do,” said the young rider who trained her horse herself. “This is a really good class to get your horse to enjoy the show pen and not think about the reining all the time! I’m planning on showing him here in the 7 & Up, and we are also qualified for the AQHA World Show!”
Rider: Justin Mathison, Horse: Snap Dun The Bases, Owner: Lewisville Development LP
$1,000-added Intermediate Open
Rider: Aires C De Mello, Horse: Wimpys Smart Whiz, Owner: Morgan Stables LLC
Rider: Matthew Armenta, Horse: FS Vintage Sidekick, Owner: Ann Elizabeth Tebow
$500-added Limited Open
Rider: Josefine Spangfors, Horse: Shiners Banjo, Owner: Euro-Vets Inc
$500-added Rookie Professional Show #1
Rider: Massimo Tallone, Horse: Hangten In Wrangler, Owner: Massimo & Amanda Tallone
USA Reining Open
Rider: Tom Foran, Horse: Blue Collar Tag, Owner: Sleipner LLC
Jackpot Green Reiner L1 & L2 Show #1
Rider: Carlee McCutcheon, Horse: Shiney Enterprise, Owner: McQuay Stables Inc.
$500-added Limited Non Pro Show #2
Rider: McKinnon Larcombe, Horse: Blazinginmywranlgers, Owner: XCS Ranch LLC
To watch the livestream, go to nrhaderby.com.