Saltgrass Steak House National Reining Breeders Classic Comes to an End

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Byars, Oklahoma - In the Sunday (April 21) finale of NRBC week, Mandy McCutcheon of Pilot Point, Texas claimed the Non Pro Championship on Dont Miss This. The mare is a daughter of Missin James out of Caronas Vogue that is owned by her parents Tim and Colleen McQuay. McCutcheon earned $25,184 for the win and added to her earnings with the two other horses she qualified for the finals – boosting her 2002 NRBC Classic total past the $40,000 mark.

McCutcheon was quick to praise her horse. “She always does her best. Her strongest point is her stop, but she’s always just ready for whatever comes next, and very willing to please. She really gives me confidence because I know she has that attitude.” Indeed, the mare’s consistency has made her a favorite mount, and Mandy has qualified on her for the 2002 USET Futures Reining.

Going toward the end of the finals and knowing what she had to do was an advantage, Mandy said, but she added. “I had to be careful not to overshow or have that top score too much in my mind.” In the 2001 NRBC, she had ridden Dont Miss This to finish as the Reserve Champion, second by a half point to Josh Hattig. This year, the roles were exactly reversed. Hattig was second by half a point on Fridays Gold Eclipse (Steady Tradition X Bar Good Friday) to earn the Reserve title and $15,329.

Hattig finished third on 2001 NRBC Non Pro Champion, Steadys Dude (Steady Tradition X Bar Good Friday) and earned another $11,496. Both horses are owned by his father, Brad Hattig.

The Intermediate Non Pro championship went to Dave Archer from nearby Richmond, Texas, on Dun It 1998 (Hollywood Dun It X Dry Papoose). He admitted that being a “hometown favorite” added both excitement and pressure. “It did feel good to hear all the yelling.”

Archer, 61, has been an NRHA member for over 30 years. His son, Steve, trains his horses, leaving Dave to enjoy competing. “I have a lot of fun chasing the kids in the Non Pro.”
Archer raised Dun It 1998, and still owns his great grandmother. “She’s still alive and is 37 years old.”

He was more than complimentary about Dun It 1998 – a horse that came back sound after suffering a broken shoulder. “He’s the best horse I’ve ever had – he’s so solid. When I came into the arena, today, I didn’t think he was there, mentally, then we did the first turn and I realized he was on.”

The Intermediate Reserve Championship went to Linda Hamilton of Scottsdale, Arizona and Gyrating Gentleman (Lenas Gyrator X Jac Maple Sugar). Their score of 214 was good for a $5,005 win.

Ron Fisher of Fort Walton Beach, Florida rode Toodies Big Gun (Playgun X Toodies Bubble) to win the Limited Non Pro Championship, but only after a run off with Lee Scheffers of Riverside, California on SB Top Dun (Hollywood Dun It X Juanita Chex).

Fisher, who owns a custom cabinet company, got Toodies Big Gun from George Shifrin. Tim McQuay had won the 2000 Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity on the stallion. A former western pleasure rider, Fisher has made the switch to reiners in recent years and the team-up with Toodies Big Gun – orchestrated by trainer Charlie Smith – has been a good one.

Lance Griffin earned the Prime Time Championship on Trademark Whiz and he gives much of the credit for his success to his trainer, Duane Latimer, with whom he has ridden for four years. Griffin rode the Topsail Whiz colt out of Angel’s Rosie to a score of 217.5, good for the Prime Time title, and $2,400. He also finished fourth in the Non Pro division, good for another $9,854 in earnings.

In Griffin’s case, the success was especially sweet, for a horse that has been a favorite. Trademark Whiz was diagnosed with EPM last year and, although he had begun to recover, he just missed making the 2001 Non Pro futurity finals. Now, much closer to being 100 percent, the win was a good reward for his recovery.

The Reserve Prime Time Championship went Dave Archer on Dun It 1998.

The Saltgrass Steak House National Reining Breeders Classic concluded on Sunday at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas, and another highlight of the last day’s performance was Craig Schmersal’s win of the $10,000 Open on Tidal Wave Jack, owned by BS Syndicate. His score came after a runoff from tying at 220.5 with Scott McCutcheon and was worth $3,751.

Scott McCutcheon finished as the reserve $10,000 Added Open Champion on Inwhizable, owned by the Inwhizable Partners, earning $2,979.