Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Charlie Smith of DeFuniak Springs, Florida, earned his fourth National Reining Horse Association title in 2001, capturing the Intermediate Open World Championship on Jac Pic A Nic. Smith, who began his career as a Non Pro, put together a sterling record of aged event wins and year-end titles before becoming a professional in 1993. Since then, he has worked with over 30 world champions and two Horse & Rider Rookie of the Year winners.
His own showing had taken a back seat to coaching duties in the last decade, but that changed in 2001, when he rode Jac Pic A Nic (by Dolls Union Jac out of Nifty Lady Nic by Reminic) to the Intermediate Open championship and claimed the NRHA Open Reserve title as well.
The year of winning big was as much a surprise to Smith as anyone. Originally, the 9-year-old stallion had been purchased by Bonnie Hippensteel of DeFuniak Springs, for resale. Charlie would take Jac Pic A Nic to some shows to help get him sold.
He remembers, "I took him to a show in Florida in February and only entered him in the Intermediate Open. Then I stood and watched as my score held up to win the Intermediate and it would have won the Open, too." The next day, Smith cross-entered and won both divisions!
It was on to Williamston, North Carolina the next week where he won again in both the Intermediate and the Open. Back-to-back Intermediate Open wins at the Carolina Classic followed, as did the championship of the $2,000 Intermediate Open at the 2001 NRHA Derby. By then, it became apparent that Jac Pic A Nic was a championship contender and the focus changed.
It had been eleven years since he'd hauled for a world title, but as opportunity presented itself, Smith proved that he was still up to the challenge. By years end, Jac Pic A Nic, a horse that had started the year with just about $6,000 won, had stockpiled lifetime earnings over $38,917.53.
Smith will receive his World Championship buckle in Oklahoma City during the NRHA Derby. The National Reining Horse Association World Champions will be recognized at the annual Awards Banquet, held May 16 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
The National Reining Horse Association is the world-wide governing body of reining, responsible for promoting the sport, working to insure the highest standards of competition and educating its members and the public about reining. For information on the National Reining Horse Association, call 405-946-7400 or visit the NRHA Official Web Site at www.nrha.com.