Auburn, California - National Reined Cow Horse Association World Championship Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion and World’s Greatest Horseman Bob Avila rode Shine By The Bay to win the NRCHA Stallion Stakes at WestWorld Horse Park in Scottsdale, Arizona March 27-29.
Shine By The Bay led a contingent of five Shining Spark sons and daughters that qualified for the finals. The 4-year-old was ridden by multiple roping world champion Robbie Schroeder to the 2001 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Limited Open Reserve Championship and to a finals slot at the 2001 National Reining Horse Futurity. According to Avila, Schroeder, co-owner with Zach Greg, had sent the horse for him to ride at the Stakes because his own early-season showing commitments made it impossible for him to get to Scottsdale.
As is usual in reined cow horse competition, the title chase at the Stakes came all the way down to the fence work – and a very tough set of cattle. Avila had won the rein work and, in his words,” just wanted to get through the cow work.” He laughed and added, “The cow gods were looking out for me!” His score of 219 was enough to bring his total to 655, good for the win.
Shine By The Bay’s earnings received a $20,000 boost at the Stakes and he was sold at the show’s end to Rhodes River Ranch of Arlington, Washington.
Teddy Robinson gave a strong bid to earn the Stakes title, posting a score of 221.5 in the fence work, but that still left him three points shy of Avila’s total. Robinson and Sonnys Shining Spark, owned by Wendy Moore of Snohomish, Washington would have to be content with the Reserve Championship and a $15,000 payday.
Robinson was more than pleased with his finish on the Shining Spark daughter. "I have a new outlook on Sonny Shining Spark this year. I feel that she really has matured and become a lot quicker that she was at the futurities last fall."
Scottsdale’s own Al Dunning rode Betcha Boom by Boomernic, to a score of 641.5 to win the Limited Open Stakes Championship and this was another horse that changed hands at the WestWorld Horse Park. Betcha Boom was owned by Anke Frolje before being purchased by Jim Babcock just prior to the fence work. Reserve Limited Open honors went to Shadd Parkinson on Coeur D Mister (by Lenas Wright On) owned by Debra and Dorn Parkinson of Prescott, Arizona.
Another hometown favorite Dema Paul rode Ally McBoom to the Non Pro Stakes Championship and a $7,000 payday. Dema and husband Jim own the Boomernic daughter that she rode to a top five finish in the 2001 NRCHA World Championship Futurity Open division and she was thrilled with the mare’s performance. Considering the long list of outstanding horses Dema has shown, her praise of Ally McBoom is impressive and her fence score of 219 on the tough Stakes cattle gave credence to her statement when she said, "I believe Ally is one of the best fence horses I have ever ridden!
The Reserve Non Pro Stakes title went to Anne Reynolds of Hammett, Idaho. Her score of 646 on Teena Cash Flo (by Nu Cash) netted $6,000.
Rachel Eady of Sisters, Oregon, rode Dunnit By Chex, owned by her father, Theodore Eady, to win the $50,000 Non Pro Championship. Her score of 633.5 on the Bueno Chexinic son netted her $1,350. Whose Your Papa (by Poppa Chex) was the Reserve $50,000 Non Pro Champion, ridden by Bo Davis of Kingsburg, California and this duo also earned the Amateur Reserve Champion title.
Flo Huston of Madras, California won the Amateur Stakes Championship on A Rainy Day Plan (by A Master Plan) with a score of 639.5. Shortly after the win, she commented enthusiastically, "I am so excited! This is a dream come true!"
In the 5-Year-Old Stakes, the top exhibitors weren’t satisfied with just one title. Jamie Beamer rode Ginger Play Hickory (by Docs Hickory) to both the Open and Limited Open Championships. Their score of 647.5 netted $1820 for owner Jean Yuen of Lemoore, California.
Tara Miller of Big Piney, Wyoming made her return to the show ring in high style, as well. She rode Nu And Genuine by Nu Cash to Non Pro dual titles, winning both the 5-Year-Old Non Pro and Limited Non Pro Championships.
The NRCHA Stallion Stakes is a sire program, where foals by enrolled sires are eligible to compete, so it was fitting that NRCHA Stakes Sire Awards were presented to the owners of the sires of the Stakes Champions. Shining Spark was the sire of the 4-year-old champion and his owner, Carol Rose, was on hand to accept the award. Besides siring the champion, Shining Spark had five get to qualify for the finals.
NRHA Futurity Champion Boomernic won the Sire Award for the Non Pro Champion and his award was accepted by Al Dunning. The National Reined Cow Horse Association presented both sire winners with beautiful hide-covered boxes with silver award plates.
Another highlight of the Stakes was the silent auction held during Stakes week for a yearling stallion by Doc N Jose out of Playin Chub Bingo that was donated by 5B Quarter Horses of Cave Creek, Arizona. Dee Ann Baker of Park City, Utah became the new owner when the auction was complete.
Joining the media representatives attending the event was the crew of America’s Horse, the AQHA’s weekly television program. Exciting NRCHA Stakes action will be featured on America’s Horse at 7 pm, May 7, on the Outdoor Life Network.