The 2012 show year was hit-and-miss for some riders. But National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Million Dollar Rider Annie Reynolds found success in many areas. Reynolds claims the Equi-Stat Non-Pro Rider Award following a winning season with a grand total of $176,107 in earnings.
“It’s really shocking, actually, in some ways, because I didn’t imagine it,” Reynolds said. “I didn’t imagine the success that I’ve had. But I’m very grateful for all of it. I realize that I’ve been blessed with some really great horses and some great opportunities in my life, and I’m grateful for all of that.”
Much of Reynolds’ success can be traced to her Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Reined Cow Horse Sire Very Smart Remedy (Smart Luck x Gunna Be Lucky x Gunna Smoke). Very Smart Remedy has four foals with six-figure earnings, including some of Reynolds’ best mounts.
“He’s just a natural athlete and everything’s easy for him,” she said of Very Smart Remedy. “His babies have all been good-minded and easy to show. They’re naturally low-headed and pretty lopers and very cowy. They’ve been great.”
Among the Very Smart Remedy babies, there’s Very Black Magic (out of Magical Lena by Little Lenas Legend). The 2009 stallion, owned by Reynolds’ mother, Joyce Pearson, Hailey, Idaho, carried Reynolds to third place in the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finals for a $60,000 payday. The 3-year-old, who was nicknamed “GSP,” after cage-fighter George St. Pierre, topped out with Equi-Stat earnings of $82,889 in 2012 alone.
“I’m really fond of Very Black Magic,” she said. “He’s just got such an amazing mind. He tries to think so hard about what he’s doing.”
Reynolds’ 2006 stallion, Shiney And Verysmart (Very Smart Remedy x Shirley Shine x Shining Spark), contributed $23,570 to her earnings.
The King Hill, Idaho, rider made headlines by winning the NRCHA Non-Pro Bridle Spectacular aboard homebred 2002 stallion More Magic Please (Chic Please x Magical Lena x Little Lenas Legend). The duo’s 652.5 composite score earned them a check worth $4,312. More Magic Please has Equi-Stat lifetime earnings of $98,198.
Through all her success, Reynolds credits her mother with being one of her biggest supporters, and the reason she got into horses in the first place.
“She was showing reined cow horses before I was born, so she’s always encouraged me to do what I’ve loved to do, and she’s raised a lot of great horses that I’ve had the opportunity to show. She was there the first time I was in a horse show, and she’s been there at most of them ever since,” she said. “I think I fell in love with horses when I was a little kid, and I don’t think that’s changed.”
And, like any horsewoman, Reynolds’ deep-seated appreciation for her hard-earned success is genuine and pure.
“I can’t emphasize enough how gratifying it is and how grateful I am because I really understand the big part luck plays in these sorts of things, and I have been very fortunate,” she said.
Reynolds’ career as a non-pro has come to an end, as she has surpassed the $100,000 earnings limit for non-pros, set by the NRHCA from Nov. 16, 2009 forward. Despite that fact, she said she is ready for the challenge of moving up into the Open division.
“I just think that it’s time,” she said. “I’m ready, that’s all I can say.”
For anyone striving to reach the level of success that Reynolds has seen, she offers a simple, but useful, piece of advice: “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and a willingness to learn and be your own best critic.”