Smartys Lil Diablo Named Limited Open Bridle World Champion

SmartysLilDiabloSmartys Lil Diablo and Matt Budge • Photo by Kelsey PecsekOn Wednesday, Feb. 18, the first World Champions were crowned in the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Celebration of Champions. The NRCHA also welcomed its newest Million Dollar Rider.

Working last in the set of 10 finalists in the Limited Open Bridle class, Matt Budge rode his own horse, Smartys Lil Diablo (Smart Lil Scoot x Diablos Verdadera x Real Diablo), to scores of 212 in the rein work and 219 in the cow work. The composite 431 score was good for the World Championship, which came with a check for $3,846 along with a Bob’s Custom saddle sponsored by the Neal family, a custom Gist buckle, and boots from Rios of Mercedes.

Budge is also showing the 2005 stallion, bred by S&S Farms, of Shreveport, Louisiana, in the World’s Greatest Horseman. As of Wednesday evening, Smartys Lil Diablo and his owner had a total of 419 (209 herd/210 rein) on two events.

Non-Pro Limited

The other World Champion crowned in Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday was in the Non-Pro Limited division. Shaleah Hester won the title riding CD Smart Brat (Nasty CD x Shesa Smart Brat x Smart Chic Olena), bred by Steve and Carol Metcalf, of Pilot Point, Texas.

The duo earned a 431 composite score – 213.5 in the rein work and 217.5 on the cow – winning a check for $2,490, and taking home a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist buckle and a pair of boots from Rios of Mercedes.

NRCHA Million Dollar Rider Zane Davis

Not only was Zane Davis leading the World’s Greatest Horseman preliminary composite (as of Wednesday, Feb. 18), he celebrated a huge milestone in Fort Worth when his earnings surpassed the million-dollar mark, making him the NRCHA’s 12th million-dollar rider.

For complete coverage of the NRCHA Celebration of Champions and the World’s Greatest Horseman, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.