Laurie Ward and Kiss Me A Little Win 2010 Hackamore Classic Non Pro Bridle Sweepstakes

Paso Robles, CA - The first day of competition at the 2010 National Reined Cow Horse Association Hackamore Classic, held April 23-25 at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, California, not only featured the herd work of the limited age event, but also three NRCHA approved horse show classes. In the Non Pro Bridle Sweepstakes, Laurie Ward and Kiss Me A Little (Smart Little Pepinic x Kiss Me Mister) captured the title with a 290 total, collecting $2,460. "Kiss (Kiss Me A Little) is the best ever! She's my absolute favorite horse in the world," Ward said following the awards ceremony.

"She was really on in the rein work. She was right there the whole time. She hit all three stops and her turns and circles were great," noted the Kingsburg, California, Non Pro. "We had a tough cow that tested us on the end, and Kiss held it, even though it tried to get away from her. It ran hard and she was right there."

With Ward at the reins, Kiss has earned well over $100,000 in earnings, including a Reserve finish in the Non Pro and an Intermediate Non Pro Championship at the Snaffle Bit Futurity. She also recently won the NRCHA Non Pro Two Rein National Championship and at the NRCHA Stakes just a month ago won the Non Pro Bridle Spectacular.

"I thank my parents (Ronnie and Karin Richards) for giving me the opportunity to have such a great horse. We were partners on her, and right before the Futurity they gave their share to me. I'm so blessed," Ward said.  She also thanked her husband John, and her daughter and son-in-law, Bo and Casey Branquinho, for their support. "My girls, Monica and Melonie, also deserve a lot of thanks. They work for us and are such a great help. They're the best," she said.

Former NRCHA World and National Champions Tish Wilhite of Clovis, California, and Hes A Smokin Indian won $2,050 for the Reserve Non Pro Bridle title. Hes A Smokin Indian is by Hickorys Indian Pep and out of Baroak Again.

Ernie Beal Takes Intermediate Non Pro Title/Joie Coxon Wins Novice Non Pro Championship
Riding Reminics Smokin Pep (Reminics Pep x Shesa Smoker), Ernie Beal took the Intermediate Non Pro Bridle Championship and earned $780 with a score of 282.5. "My horse was real good in both the rein and fence work," he said of the 9-year-old stallion.

Beal bred, raised, and did all the training on Reminics Smokin Pep, nicknamed Fabio for his long forelock and mane. "John Ward helped me a lot, and I consider Ronnie Richard to be my mentor. I thank John and Laurie Ward, Ronnie and Karin Richards, and John Pascoe. They've all been great," he said.

The pair has a winning history. Beal and Fabio were the Non Pro Two Rein Champions at the 2007 NRCHA Stakes in Nampa, Idaho.

Jayson Fisher and Nu Cash Cutter earned a 280.5 to take the Intermediate Non Pro Bridle Reserve title and $650. Nu Cash Cutter, by Smart Cash Cutter out of Nu Cashlynn Rose, is owned by Jayson and Teresa Fisher.

Former NRCHA Youth Limited World Champions Joie Coxon and her horse Gallo De Diablo won the Novice Non Pro Bridle Championship and a check for $1,350. "He was real good and calm in the rein work. He was just perfect the whole way through and I was proud of him. He was pretty much perfect in the fence work, too," said Coxon of her 11-year-old gelding, by Gallo Del Cielo out of A Smart Little Girl.

The 17-year-old high school junior admits that school keeps her busy, but noted that she hopes to eventually qualify for the NRCHA World Championship Show again. "I'm going to keep showing as much as I can through the season, and we'll see how it goes," she said.

Taking Reserve honors in the Novice Non Pro Bridle were Cindy Mendoza and CP Remedy, who earned a 281.5. Mendoza and CP Remedy, by Tangys Classy Peppy out of Miss Remedy, took home $1,125. CP Remedy is owned by Cindy's husband Tony.

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