The first day of competition at the 2011 National Reined Cow Horse Association Stakes finished on Wednesday, March 23, and with it, the first leg of preliminary competition - the herd work. Topping the field of 76 in the Open Division were the 2009 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Champions Zane Davis and Reymanator. The Whitehall, Montana, trainer and the Dual Rey gelding, out of Savannah Hickory, marked a 222. Reymanator, whose NRCHA lifetime earnings exceed $107,000, is owned by John Semanik. The go-round win netted a check for $900.
Todd Crawford, of Blanchard, Oklahoma, and Moms Silverado Cat, owned by Rhodes River Ranch, had the second high score of the Open division with a 220, collecting $750. Moms Silverado Cat is by High Brow Cat out of Moms Stylish Pepto.
Placing third in the Open and finishing first in the Intermediate Open preliminary herd work was Ione, California, trainer Ron Emmons on Reygans Smart Lena, owned by Douglas Granade. Emmons and Reygans Smart Lena, another Dual Rey foal out of Smart Fancy Lena, marked a 219.5. Emmons took home $600 for the Open and an additional $250 in the Intermediate Open division.
In the Limited Open division, it was Nick Dowers who marked the high score of 215.5, riding former NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Non Pro Champion Shiney And Verysmart for Anne Reynolds. Reynolds, who piloted the Very Smart Remedy stallion, out of Shirley Shine, to the Futurity title, received $75 in go-round money.
Riding Im Dual Smart for Clear Lake Land and Cattle Ranch, NRCHA Million Dollar Rider Jon Roeser topped the new Novice Horse Open division with a 216.5. Im Dual Smart is by Mister Dual Pep out of Im Smart Remedy. The Novice Horse Open is for any horse that has not won more than $5,000 in NRCHA Limited Age Events.
Another Limited Age Event division that debuted at the NRCHA Stakes was the Level 1 Limited Open, which is open to riders who have not earned more than $7,500 at NRCHA Limited Age Events. It is run as a stand-alone class, without a finals.
Currently leading the Level 1 Limited Open race is Mike Miller and Playin With Taz with a 214.5. Miller owns Playin With Taz, by Pepto Taz out of Playin With Taco.
In the Non Pro division, Anne Reynolds and Very Shiney, and Carol Roberts and Oaks Dual Rey both marked scores of 217 to tie for the high score, with each receiving go-round money of $179. Very Shiney, who Reynolds piloted to a top ten finish in the Open division at the 2010 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, is a full sibling to Reynold's 2009 Snaffle Bit Futurity Non Pro Champion, Shiney And Verysmart.
Roberts and Oaks Dual Rey, by TR Dual Rey out of Docs Pearly Oak, were also entered in the Intermediate Non Pro division, collecting an additional $113 for the Intermediate Non Pro division.
Like the Level 1 Limited Open, the Amateur Championship is decided in the preliminary round, and with a score of 209, Elizabeth Kania and Very Mild Remedy have a 7-point lead over the competition. Very Mild Remedy is by Very Smart Remedy out of Dry N Mild.
The NRCHA Stakes is one of five NRCHA Premier Events, and annually boasts a payout near the $300,000 mark! Part of the Stake's success is its tie to the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion program. Owners of NRCHA Subscribed Stallions pay a fee every year, making that stallion's foals eligible to compete in the NRCHA Stakes. Only foals of enrolled stallions are eligible to compete.
But the Subscribed Stallion program is far-reaching, as offspring of those stallions are giving priority at the prestigious NRCHA Sales at the Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nevada.
Along with the Stakes, which is open only to 4- and 5-year-old reined cow horses, the event also hosts a full slate of NRCHA Approved classes, including the Coyote Rock Ranch Open Bridle Spectaculars. Whereas the Stakes showcases the up-and-coming talent, the Bridle Spectaculars highlight the skill of the most experienced reined cow horses.
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. Thanks to NRCHA Official Videographer Galloping Video, the entire show is offered by free webcast. Just visit the NRCHA website or www.gallopingvideo.com to watch the event live.
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.