Set against the backdrop of the royal blue curtains around the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Coliseum in Katy, Texas, Non Pro riders pulled out all the stops as they worked to earn a finals berth in the 2011 National Reining Breeders Classic. The NRBC has the distinction of being the largest added-money reining in the world, and simply being a finalist is a great accomplishment - so the competition in this first section was intense.
At the end of the first day of competition, Jessica Sternberg of Aubrey, Texas, has the high score of not only the Non Pro - but also the Intermediate Non Pro, the Limited Non Pro, and Non Pro Level 1. Sternberg, who was a finalist in the 2010 NRBC Non Pro on Pop Top Whiz, was riding Shiners Chic, by Smart Chic Olena out of Ebony Shines. The pair marked a score of 221.5. Shiners Chic is owned by Rosanne Sternberg.
Topping the Non Pro Prime Time was former NRBC Non Pro Champion Jose Vazquez on SLJ Ruf Juice with a 219. SLJ Ruf Juice, owned by Smart Like Juice Inc., is by Smart Like Juice out of Ruf Catalyst.
The Non Pro preliminary competition concludes Tuesday afternoon. The top-30 entries in the Non Pro, along with the top-20 entries in the Intermediate Non Pro, Limited Non Pro, Non Pro Level 1, and Non Pro Prime Time will advance to the clean-slate finals on Friday, April 22.
The NRBC also features a full-slate of National Reining Horse Association-approved classes, which run in the East Arena while the Classic is held in the Coliseum. The National Reining Breeders Classic is the most successful stallion incentive program in reining history. In just fourteen years, the NRBC has grown to include nearly 200 subscribed stallions. Annually, the payout at the National Reining Breeders Classic exceeds $1.4 million. For information on the NRBC, visit the web site at www.nrbc.com or call 580-759-3939.