What an exciting Open Bridle World Championship round it was at the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Celebration of Champions on Friday, Feb. 21! John Swales was first in the draw and immediately laid down an untouchable score aboard Maximum Echo.
The stallion, owned by Flo Houlton, of Caroline, Alberta, Canada, and bred by Twisted L Ranch, of Greenville, Texas, marked a 220 in the reining and an incredible 232 down the fence. Swales and his mount won the Championship by an amazing 17.5-point margin, taking home a $7,913 paycheck.
The World title also came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Carol Rose, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric & Wendy Dunn, boots from Rios of Mercedes, a Platinum Performance gift certificate and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Hickory Holly Time/Gardiner Quarter Horses.
Swales, describing his run, said, “In the circles, I tried to run him as hard as I could. He slowed down good for me, and stopped as good as he can stop. He turned OK one way and pretty good the other way. In the cow work, I had a great cow; he rated really good and got a long run both ways, and he circled up pretty good. I was blessed with a really good cow.
“This horse is a really, really good stopper and he’s pretty quick with his front end,” Swales continued. “He’s very aggressive. Everything he does, he tries 110 percent all the time, especially as much as he’s been shown!”
When asked if he expected the 232 fence score, Swales said, “No, I didn’t. I thought he was going to be pretty good, but not that good. I couldn’t believe it when they announced his score!
“This is pretty exciting. It means a lot to me. It was terrible waiting until the end. There were some really good horses in there, and quite a few of them that could have done that.”
Swales, of Millarville, Alberta, Canada, is planning for Maximum Echo (Playboys Remedy x Dry Sans Echo x Dry San) to go to the NRCHA Stakes and show in the Bridle Spectacular.
Steve Metcalf, of Pilot Point, Texas, showed Im No Wimp (Wimpys Little Step x Smart Little Calena x Smart Little Calboy), owned by Mark Miers, of Abilene, Texas, to a 434.5 composite score for the Open Bridle Reserve Championship, which paid $6,330.
Doug Williamson, of Bakersfield, California, and High Brow Shiner (Shining Lil Nic x High Brow Meow x High Brow Cat), nicknamed “Samson,” claimed the Open Hackamore World Championship with a big 445.5 composite score (216.5 rein/229 cow). The homebred stallion is owned by Belle Meade Ranch, of Longmont, Colorado.
“This horse is as good as any horse I have ever ridden,” Williamson said. “If there is any horse in the world that can do the fence as good as this one, I would be surprised. I started him as a baby and I have a full sister coming up, so I’m excited about that. He’s such a great horse. He has heart and he’s good-minded, and I just go along for the ride.”
The World Championship paid $9,062 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Branding Resources; a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric & Wendy Dunn; Rios of Mercedes boots, a Platinum Performance gift certificate; and a commemorative World Finals jacket from Hickory Holly Time/Gardiner Quarter Horses.
The Open Hackamore Reserve World Champion was Shinin Peaches (Shining Spark x Ima Smart Remedy x Smart Little Lena), bred by Clear Lake Land & Cattle, of Reno, Nevada, and shown by Jay McLaughlin, of Commerce, Texas. McLaughlin piloted Shinin Peaches to a composite 444.0 (220 rein/224 cow), earning $7,092 for owners J.T. and Sandra Neal, of Pilot Point, Texas.
Alexa Beaty and Star Dustn Wrangler, who won the Non-Pro Bridle preliminaries on Wednesday, continued her winning streak at the Celebration of Champions, securing the Non-Pro Bridle World Championship with a 215 in the rein work and a 217 down the fence. The 432 composite score paid $4,060 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons and Eric and Wendy Dunn, a CowTrac system sponsored by CowTrac, and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Hickory Holly Time and Gardiner Quarter Horses.
Beaty, of Aubrey, Texas, bought Star Dustn Wrangler (Starlights Wrangler x Pines Dusty Modle x Pines Dusty Dude) as a 4-year-old.
“I’m just so happy; I wasn’t expecting it at all,” she said of her win. “It’s something that I have been working for, something that I have been wanting to accomplish and I did.”
This is Beaty’s fourth World Championship, and her fourth year showing down the fence. This is, however, the first year she has shown in the Non-Pro, moving up from the Youth. She noted, “The competition is a little bit stronger, just because they have more experience for the most part.”
Beaty’s plans are to attend Oklahoma State University this fall, pursuing a sociology degree and competing on the reining equestrian team.
Karla Rogers took home the Non-Pro Bridle Reserve Champion title riding BJ Chula Mula (Chula Dual x BJ Tari x Smooth Move Tari). Rogers marked a 213.5 in the rein work and a 208 in the fence work for a composite score of 421.5, earning $3,190.
Novice Non-Pro Bridle
Deborah Anderson, of Langley, British Columbia, Canada, rode Signed Prescription (AP) (High Sign Nugget [AP] x Ima Docs Dolly [AP] x Ima Doc O’Lena [AP]) to the Novice Non-Pro Bridle Championship with a 429 composite score (216 rein/213 cow). The Championship paid $2,694 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Kit and Charlie Moncrief, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric & Wendy Dunn, boots from Rios of Mercedes, a gift certificate from Platinum Performance, and a World Finals jacket from Hickory Holly Time and Gardiner Quarter Horses.
Anderson admitted she was incredibly nervous before her run; however, she said, “This time, I just really wanted to try and do my best, and just enjoy every second of it.”
Anderson has owned “Sadie” since she was a 2-year-old, and until the mare was 5, she hauled her to cutting shows as her turnback horse. When her cutter needed time off, she decided to show Signed Prescription as a hackamore horse in the reined cow horse.
The next year Anderson didn’t compete on the mare, but instead, rode her as a trail horse. She has always wanted to show cow horse seriously, and decided to send her Appaloosa to get trained as a bridle horse. She chose trainer John Swales, who showed her successfully in the two-rein.
This past year, she had a goal to qualify for the World Show and learn how to show a cow horse. This season, she won two shows, and her trainer, Travis Rempel, showed in the Limited Open and won championship titles in Canada and the Northwest Region. Rempel and Signed Prescription also won the preliminaries at the Celebration of Champions and tied for the Limited Open Bridle Reserve Championship, worth $2,308.
“This is my once-in-a-lifetime horse. I will never sell her,” Anderson said. Her plans for Sadie, now 10, is to take her home and raise some foals.
Sarah Clymer, of Pueblo, Colorado, rode Tiger Lilys Award (Peppys Dry Award x Colonel Tigers Trena x Colonel Tiger) to a 216 in the reining and a 208 down the fence for a composite score of 424 for the Reserve title. She took home a check for $2,155.
$5,000 Non-Pro Limited
Cutter McLaughlin, of Commerce, Texas, took the $5,000 Non-Pro Limited World Championship aboard CD Dee Vee Dee (CD Lights x Shiners Missy Jay x Shining Spark), a gelding owned by his parents, Jay and Wendy McLaughlin. He scored a composite score of 443 (220 rein/223 cow), claiming paychecks totaling $4,928. He also collected some great prizes – a Bob’s Custom Saddle from the NRCHA, a Gist Buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric & Wendy Dunn; boots from Rios of Mercedes, gift certificates from Platinum Performance and Santa Cruz Animal Health, and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Hickory Holly Time/Gardiner Quarter Horses.
When Cutter, 11, was asked about his run, he said his horse “worked the cow well. I put my hand down and he just worked it.” McLaughlin is homeschooled in the morning and is in the barn in the afternoons practicing on his horse.
Jay said, “Cutter has worked really hard for this. He showed like a pro!” Additionally, his dad promised Cutter if he won the World Championship, he could start showing down the fence this year.
Cutter qualified for the Youth Limited finals earlier in the day. His career with CD Dee Vee Dee, bred by Carol Rose, of Gainesville, Texas, also includes an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Championship in Youth Boxing. CD Dee Vee Dee has won two World championships and earned $125,609.
Christa Hampton, of Scottsdale, Arizona, rode TR Spooky Cat (TR Dual Rey x Haintscatsnholycows x High Brow Cat) to the $5,000 Non-Pro Limited Reserve Championship, scoring a 215 in the reining and a 220.5 in the boxing for a total of 435.5. She collected a check for $1,895.
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