The second leg of the National Reined Cow Horse Association Stakes Open preliminary competition, the rein work, concluded Thursday, March 24, following the rein work. The NRCHA Stakes is held at the Idaho Horse Park in Nampa, Idaho.
After marking the go-round high score of 222 in the rein work, Todd Bergen and Smart Luck gained a one-point lead in the preliminary composite with a 440. The rein work go-round win paid $900.
Bergen and Smart Luck, by Very Smart Remedy out of Gunna Be Lucky, were the 2010 NRCHA Derby Open Champions, and the 5-year-old stallion has NRCHA lifetime earnings exceeding $68,000. Bergen and Smart Luck, owned by Cable Creek Ranch LLC, also placed fifth at the National Reining Horse Association Futurity in 2009.
Bergen is a former Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion, and is a Million Dollar Rider in both the NRCHA and NRHA.
On Wednesday, Ron Emmons topped the Intermediate Open herd work with Reygans Smart Lena, and on the rein work day marked the high score on another entry - Chic N Fried Oak E, owned by Mel Smith and Nichole Scott with a 220. That high score put Chic N Fried Oak E, by Olena Oak out of High Time Playboy, into second in the Intermediate Open composite with a 433. Emmons and Chic N Fried Oak E collected $250 for winning the go.
Emmons and Reygans Smart Lena, owned by Douglas Granade, held the lead of the composite with a 437.5, having marked a 218 in the rein work. Reygans Smart Lena is by Dual Rey out of Smart Fancy Lena.
John Swales and CD Ben, winners of the 2011 NRCHA Circle Y Ranch Limited Open Derby Championship, topped the division's rein work with a 217.5, collecting $75. CD Ben, by Soula Jule Star out of CD Precious Gem, is owned by Mary Reti. The former Canada's Greatest Horseman Champion and CD Ben currently sit in second place for the Limited Open behind Nick Dowers and Shiney And Verysmart.
Shiney And Verysmart, by Very Smart Remedy out of Shirley Shine, won the 2009 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Non Pro Championship with owner Anne Reynolds. With Dowers at the reins, the 5-year-old stallion marked a 215.5 in the herd work and a 216 in the rein work to go into the final preliminary leg of competition as first in the Limited Open.
Corey Cushing and Dualin With Nitro had the high score of the Novice Horse Open preliminary rein work with a 221, moving to second in the composite with a 432. Dualin With Nitro, owned by Kevin and Sydney Knight, is by Nitro Dual Doc out of Shootin Poo.
NRCHA Million Dollar Rider Todd Crawford and Wright About Now lead the Open Novice Horse composite with a 433.5, thanks to a 215 in the herd work and a 218.5 in the rein work. Wright About Now, by Lenas Wright On out of Pandalita Star, is owned by Garth and Amanda Gardiner.
In the new Level 1 Limited Open, Chase Trahern and Smart Little Laredo and Ryan Thomas and Fletch My Slippers tied for the lead of the rein workwith a 214.5. Trahern owns Smart Little Laredo, by Laredo Blue out of Smart Little Spring, while Fletch My Slippers, by Royal Fletch out of Roseanna Dual, is owned by Greg Bieker.
Lauren Ashton Porter and Little Pistol Peach lead the Level 1 Limited Open composite with a 425.5, with a 212 in the herd work and a 213.5 in the rein work. Little Pistol Peach, owned by Keith Vogel, is by Playgun out of Lone Star Peach.
The preliminary competition concludes Friday, March 25, with the rein work.
The event begins at 8am daily, and a complete schedule can be found at www.nrcha.com. The Stakes concludes on Sunday, March 27, with the clean-slate finals.
The National Reined Cow Horse Association, now in its 62nd 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 Adequan, Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance Company, Nutrena, Pfizer Animal Health, Platinum Performance, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, Running W Designs, the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, and Merial products UlcerGard and EQUIOXX, 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.