Jake Telford and Shady Lil Starlight Win 2010 NRCHA Hackamore Classic Open Bridle Sweepstakes

Darrel Norcutt Tops Limited Open Bridle with Fairlea Steady Betty

The Open and Limited Open Bridle Championships at the 2010 National Reined Cow Horse Association Hackamore Classic in Paso Robles, California, came down to the last two entries. Jake Telford, of Caldwell, Idaho, won the Hackamore Classic Open Bridle Sweepstakes Championship on Shady Lil Starlight for the second year in a row!

"We were the last Open Bridle entries and I'd already shown two horses and didn't have a lot of luck. I was a little nervous because I really wanted to win something, so I felt a lot of pressure," Telford explained of his run, which the judges awarded a 296.5 total. "But my horse is really good. He had a really tough cow and he just made everything work."

To win the class, everything had to work - the draw sheet was littered with other big-name horses and trainers. "There was some really tough competition. There were definitely a lot of great bridle horses showing today," Telford said.

Last year's Hackamore Classic was the first time that Shady Lil Starlight, by Grays Starlight out of Shady Little Cat, won money in the Open Bridle. Prior to that, he and Telford had won major titles in both Open Hackamore and Open Two Rein competition. "He's such a consistent horse. He's really turning into a great bridle horse."

Shady Lil Starlight, who won $5,460 for the win, is owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses LLC. "I give a million thanks to Nancy Crawford-Hall. She's such a great reined cow horse supporter, and I'm very lucky that I get to ride her great horses,"

Lyn Anderson and Lil Time To Smoke took Reserve honors and a check for $4,368 for a 292. Lil Time To Smoke is owned by Anderson, and is by Senors Lil Brudder out of Smoke Time Tuck. Anderson and Lil Time To Smoke won the Open Two Rein at the NRCHA Stakes in March.

In 2009, Darrel Norcutt and Fairlea Steady Betty topped the Limited Open Hackamore at the Stakes, and this year claimed the Limited Open Bridle Championship! The win netted $1,440.

Coming in as the last in the draw, the Fallon, Nevada trainer piloted the 6-year-old mare to a 141.5 in the rein work and a 139 in the cow work for a 280.5 total. "The reining went pretty well. We had a tough cow and we just got through that," he said.

Norcutt had originally planned to show Fairlea Steady Betty, by Smart Steady Date out of Fairleas Qwik Pic, in the Open Two Rein. "I hadn't had her in the Two Rein very long, and I switched the bridle at the show," he said. "I'm proud of her for doing so well."

Fairlea Steady Betty is owned by Therese and Basil Kehoe, whose horses Norcutt has trained for three years. "I thank Therese and Basil for keeping their horses with me. They're really great clients," he said.

Casey Branquinho piloted Me And Mister to a 276, collecting $1,080 for the Reserve title. Me And Mister, by Mister Dual Pep out of Me O Lena, is owned by Ronnie and Karin Richards.

The National Reined Cow Horse Association, now in its 61st year, is the governing body of cow horse competition, is responsible for promoting the sport, insuring high standards of competition and educating members and the public about the history and tradition of the cow horse. Through the support of a Corporate Partner family that includes Markel Insurance Company, Wide World of Horses, John Deere, Adequan®, Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Inc., Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, MD Barns, Platinum Performance, Inc., Nutrena, Quarter Horse News, Pfizer Animal Health, Rios of Mercedes, Merial products ULCERGARD and EQUIOXX, Running W Designs, and the Silver Legacy Hotel, the association works to keep the vaquero tradition alive in today's equine industry. For information on the National Reined Cow Horse Association, call 580-759-4949 or visit the NRCHA Official Web Site at www.nrcha.com.