In a thrilling finish at the Paso Robles Events Center, Todd Crawford and Sinful Cat delivered a big fence work score when they needed it most, to clinch the newly renamed Jack and Phoebe Cooke NRCHA Derby Open Championship and win a check for $32,742. The finals wrapped up Sunday, June 17 in Paso Robles, California.
Crawford and Sinful Cat began their finals performance with a less-than-ideal 216.5 herd work score, then built some momentum in the reined work, marking a 220. Finally, the clutch performance in the cow work netted a 224, the highest score of the finals round.
The 660.5 composite represented a major breakthrough in Sinful Cat's career. Although Crawford describes the 4-year-old stallion as "probably the best horse I ever trained," the fancy sorrel hasn't been able to catch a break in the show pen, until today.
"He just hasn't had the best luck showing. I lost a cow in the Snaffle Bit Futurity finals, and then he comes back and marks a 221 in the reining and 219 down the fence. He was third at the Circle Y Derby this year. He didn't make the finals at the Stakes, but he was real good. He placed 7th in the Hackamore Classic. He's always been there, he just hasn't been on top," Crawford said.
Crawford started training Sinful Cat, who is by WR This Cats Smart out of Sinful Playgirl, a Freckles Playboy mare, early in his 2-year-old year. The horse originally was destined to be a Non Pro horse for his owner, but he showed more promise as an open competitor.
Sinful Cat's owner, Stacy Lynch, spends every other month working in the oil fields in Iraq, and that's where he was when his horse won the Derby Championship. "It's real early in the morning there, and we got him woke up and told him," Crawford said, smiling.
Besides the paycheck, the Championship came with a Bob's Custom Saddle sponsored by Mark Borjon and Golden Hills Auto Center, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Robertson Ranch, ten pounds of UltraCruz Equine Wellness/Joint Care supplement from Santa Cruz Biotechnology, a pair of boots from Rios of Mercedes, and a C.R. Morrison Trophy from the NRCHA.
The National Reined Cow Horse Association had announced a name change for the NRCHA Derby the night before during the Platinum Performance dinner and it will henceforth be called the Jack and Pheobe Cooke NRCHA Derby in recognition of the Cooke's enduring support of the event.
The Reserve Championship went to Docs Catty Jo, shown by Corey Cushing for owner Suzanne Clark. The 5-year-old gelding, by Cowboy Cattylac and out of the mare Lena Jo Doc, scored a 221 in the herd work and identical 219 scores in the reined work and fence work, garnering a check for $24,126 and ten pounds of UltraCruz Equine Wellness/Joint Care supplement from Santa Cruz biotechnology.
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 Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance Company, Platinum Performance, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, Merial products UlcerGard and EQUIOXX and Clinton Anderson's Downunder Horsemanship, 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.