- Created on Saturday, 16 June 2012
- Written by Stephanie Duquette
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He scored a total 643.5 - 209 in the herd work, 211.5 in the reined work and 223 in the cow work. The Amateur Derby win came with a Gist Silversmiths Championship buckle, a C.R. Morrison Trophy, and a check for $1,720. His score also garnered a spot in Sunday's finals in the Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro and Novice Non Pro Derby divisions.
It was only the third time for Murphy to show at a major NRCHA event. He and Pepto Pepermint competed at last year's Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, and then made a big impression earlier this year at the Circle Y Derby in San Angelo, Texas, where they swept all four Non Pro and Amateur divisions.
"His strength is the fence work," Murphy said of the 4-year-old stallion that he has trained himself, with coaching from leading Canadian cow horse professional John Swales and other top riders, including Boyd Rice. "I ask a bunch of guys questions. Wherever I go, I just watch and learn."
The unpretentious young rider thanked his herd helpers, Chris Dawson, Jake Telford, Boyd Rice and Todd Crawford. He also appreciated the support of his parents, Eugene and Maria Murphy, who own Pepto Pepermint. The family purchased him as a yearling from the Billings Livestock Sale. Pepto Pepermint is sired by Surely A Pepto and out of Haidas Peppermint, a Haidas Little Pep mare.
Murphy recently graduated high school, and plans to apprentice under his father, who is a farrier, while continuing to train reined cow horses as a non pro.
"It's always been my goal to show a three-year-old, and I started two yearlings, took them all the way to the futurities, and I've been hooked ever since," he said, smiling.
The Amateur Derby Reserve Champion was Elizabeth Kania, Hillsboro, Oregon, riding her gelding, Tuckin Smart. They scored a total 633.5 on three events to earn $1,433. Tuckin Smart is sired by WR This Cats Smart and out of the mare Tucks A Lil Better.