Oklahoma City, Okla.- Four riders from 14-18 North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) and four riders from National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Top Ten 14-18 competed in the annual NRHA High School Reining Competition today. These eight distinguished riders from across the country drew for the ‘ultimate catch ride.’
Annabeth Payne was the first rider in the pen, riding Chexy Whiz owned by Michelle George. This pair set the bar high, starting the competition with a score of 213.0. Payne’s score was quickly beat by the following draw, which resulted in her taking the Reserve Championship at the end of day.
Terri June Granger rode the 2016 NRHA Collegiate Catch Ride Champion, The Boominator owned by Jim Hotz, to a 213.5 and won the competition by a hair. Granger, a senior in high school, has verbally committed to Auburn University, coincidentally where the Collegiate Champion Blair McFarlin attends. Her plans for the future include riding on the equestrian team and majoring in physical therapy.
Granger explained her catch ride experience, “I was really excited to be here. This was my first year ever coming out to the Derby, and it was definitely a great experience being able to take part in and show at the Derby.”
Following Granger, Emily Morris riding Making Sparks Fly, owned by Mallory Vestal, was third in the competition, scoring a 207.0 and placing fourth.
Kaitlyn Baker drew up forth on Nics Rooster, owned by Daniela Bernabeu. Baker started with a great run but unfortunately ended up with a zero after going off pattern. Claire Streeter followed Baker atop Gangster Chic, owned by Renee D’Ambrosi, and brought in a third place win with a score of 210.
Emily Sitzman and South Side Spook, owned by Randy Reecer, were number five in the draw and scored 202.0, placing them at fifth. Mckenzie Duncan, riding HR Dun By Whiz, another horse owned by Reecer, scored a 195.0, putting them in seventh place.
Kenleigh Wells brought up the end of the competition. Wells rode Captain Jesse, owned by Jacob Cliver, and scored a 201, putting her sixth in the catch ride competition. NRHA would like to thank all of the extremely generous horse owners and donors who allowed these accomplished riders an opportunity to compete.
For more information about the NRHA Derby, including results, the schedule and link to the live feed visit nrhaderby.com.