The Four Sixes Ranch/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Western National Championships kicked off on Tuesday, April 29, in its new location of Denver, Colo., at the Western National Complex, and the show has already seen several exciting finals.
In the Open finals, 23 horse-and-rider duos competed for the top title, but it was Zack And Blue and Australian-native Cody Lamont who bested the field. The duo marked a score of 222 to take the Open Championship and a check worth $5,090. Zack And Blue (Mecom Blue x Zacks Lena) is owned by Parri and Jerry Longworth, of Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Open Reserve Championship went to Sues So Smart (WR This Cats Smart x Meradas Little Sue), owned by Bambi Gress, of Ennis, Mont., and Idaho Falls, Idaho, trainer Brian Anderson. The duo’s score of 220.5 earned them the title and $4,097.
The $10,000 Novice finals saw 22 entries, and it seemed Scottsdale, Ariz., trainer Mike Wood and Smart Stingrey were destined to be first throughout the competition. He and the gelding (Dual Rey x Smart Sandhill Kay) topped the $10,000 Novice first go with a 221 and they were first to break the herd in the finals. Their score of 217 held up for the Championship, and the duo earned $5,917 for owners Michelle and Jeff Lemaster, of Las Vegas, Nev.
The $10,000 Novice Reserve Championship went to PKR Big Mac (Starlights Gypsy x Justa Swinging Gal) and Jon Burgess, who marked a 216.5 for the title and earned $4,734.
Brian Anderson seems to be having a run of good luck at the Western Nationals this year. Shortly before landing his Open Reserve Championship, he piloted To High For Sue (High Brow CD x Meradas Little Sue), owned by Sharon Waggoner, of Jackson, Wyo., to win the $3,000 Novice Championship. The duo score of 220 earned them $5,837.
The $3,000 Novice Reserve title went to PKR Big Mac and Jon Burgess after they marked a 217.5, worth $4,048.
$2,000 Limit Rider
The $2,000 Limit Rider Championship went to Cara Glaze and Cee Sophi Cat (Sophisticated Catt x Little Billie Smart), owned by Gordan Roper, of Scottsdale, Ariz. Glaze and Cee Sophi Cat marked a 218 for the Championship, and earned $6,166.
Gianna Pietrafeso rode Smokin Tap (Smokin Trona x Tap O Lena), owned by Ronald and Adrienne Pietrafeso to mark a 216 for the Reserve title and earned $4,930.
The Western Nationals continue through Thursday, May 8. For full coverage of the event, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.