Thecrowdlovesme & Shawn Hays Win Open Two-Rein

ThecrowdlovesmeThecrowdlovesme with Shawn Hays • Photo by Kelsey PecsekFive new National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) champions were crowned last night in Fort Worth, Texas, at the NRCHA Celebration of Champions.

Open Two-Rein

A rein work score of 220.5 and a fence work score of 220 moved Thecrowdlovesme (Smart Chic Olena x Shine Smartly x Shining Spark), shown by Shawn Hays, of Nocona, Texas, and owned by Yellow Creek Ranch/D & B Brown, of Franklin, Texas, into the top spot in the Open Two-Rein World Championship Thursday, Feb. 19. 

Hays guided Thecrowdlovesme to a composite 440.5, claiming paychecks totaling $4,928. He also collected some great prizes: a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric & Wendy Dunn, gift certificates from Platinum Performance and Santa Cruz Animal Health, and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Hickory Holly Time/Gardiner Quarter Horses.

“He’s been a really good horse,” Hays said. “He’s a really good fence horse, big stopper, he never gets real hot or tight in the pen, so you can run him as hard as you want in a circle and he always comes right back to you. He doesn’t take a lot of preparation. He’s the type of horse you just get out of the stall and warm his muscles up for about 30 minutes and make sure he’s got all of his air.

“His dam [Shine Smartly: LTE $120,000+ two-time American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Champion in Open and Amateur Working Cow Horse, NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman Reserve Champion and World’s Richest Stock Horse Reserve Champion, multiple NRCHA Open Bridle Champion and producer of more than $100,000, also shown by Hays] was totally opposite. We had to lope her for about two hours before we showed her.

“He’s really a show horse. He goes in there and gives me the same run every time. He was really good all the way through. He felt like he was shutting me out a little bit in his first stop and I ran him a little harder, maybe a little too hard. I got a little out of timing, but it felt like it was me. He took care of me. He’s always good down the fence. It’s a really good win.”

Hays also said, “I would like to thank the owners for giving me the opportunity to ride her, and thank my wife, Tammy Jo, and Cody Patterson for helping me.”

Thecrowdlovesme, who was bred by Walter Greeman and Tammy Hays, of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, won approximately $60,000 in his Derby years and is showing even more promise as a bridle horse, qualifying as a finalist at numerous NRCHA Premier Events. He was crowned the 2013 AQHA Open World Champion in Junior Working Cow Horse. Thecrowdlovesme will be showing in the Open Bridle Championship Friday, Feb. 20.

Hays’ goal for Thecrowdlovesme is to compete in the NRCHA’s World’s Greatest Horseman competition next year. 

Doug Williamson rode ARC Sparkin Chics (Chic Please x Sailing Spark x Shining Spark), owned by Rocking J Ranch Inc., of Glendale, California, and bred by Arcese Quarter Horses, of Weatherford, Texas, to the Open Two-Rein Reserve Championship, scoring a 218 in the reining and a 221.5 in the fence work for a total of 439.5. Williamson, who is from Bakersfield, California, collected $3,942.

Non-Pro Two-Rein

Erin Heim rode her horse Merada Shine (Self Shine x Meradas Joy Elissa x Meradas Money Talks) to the Non-Pro Two-Rein Championship with a composite score of 429 (212 rein/217 cow). Merada Shine was bred by Solum & Solum LLC, of Lamar, Missouri. The Championship paid $1,673 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle, 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. Heim is from Luxemburg, Wisconsin.

Limited Open Hackamore

Ben Baldus started My Boots Are Tuff (Woody Be Tuff x Smoke My Boots x Doc O Boots), nicknamed “Marty,” as a 2-year-old for owner and breeder WT Waggoner Estate, of Vernon, Texas. The pair claimed the Limited Open Hackamore World Championship Thursday, Feb. 19 at the NRCHA Celebration of Champions in Fort Worth, Texas. Baldus rode My Boots Are Tuff to a composite score of 436.5 (217.5 rein/219 cow). They will also be competing in the Open Hackamore World Championship finals on Friday, Feb. 20.

“It’s very exciting!” Baldus said. “This is the first World Championship for me in the cow horse. I want to thank God for the work ethic and the ability and the desire to do it, the Waggoner Ranch for furnishing the horses, the time and the facilities for me to do it, and the industry. Todd Crawford, Boyd Rice, Chris Dawson, Bozo Rogers, and a whole slew of other guys, are very helpful, very encouraging.”

The World Championship paid $3,342 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle, 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. 

Baldus, who is from Electra, Texas, said My Boots Are Tuff has a few quirks, “but every time we go show, she really gives 100 percent when we step in the show pen. She’s a big stopper. She is focused on her job and focused on listening to me. She’s really, really good in the show pen.

“The cow came out, and she boxed really clean, went down the fence good for a big first turn, big second turn, got a little hung up on the third turn before I went and circled, she circled really clean, really pure, I was really happy with her. She’s been such a good mare….I knew I needed to be aggressive in the reining and be really clean on the cow.” 

The Limited Open Hackamore Reserve World Champion was Gotta Dun Gun (PT) (Spooks Gotta Gun x Codys Dun Jac [PT] X Mr Barbie Cody Jac), shown by Trapper Rodgers, of Phoenix, Arizona, for Christine Lytle, of Wickenburg, Arizona. Trapper piloted Gotta Dun Gun, who was bred by Loyd Smith, of Danville, Alabama, to a composite 434 (214.5 rein/219.5 cow) worth $2,674.

Non-Pro Hackamore

Amy Bailey and Callme Mister Mister secured the Non-Pro Hackamore Championship with a 218 in the rein work and a 216 down the fence. The 434 composite score paid $3,342 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.

Bailey, of Sparta, Tennessee, bought Callme Mister Mister (Mister Dual Pep x Travelin With Sass x Travalena) in November of 2013. He was bred by Jim Babcock, of Valley View, Texas. Bailey and her trainer, Robert Chown, have both shown him, with Bailey qualifying for the AQHA World Show and the Celebration of Champions.

“He was soft in the reining, he was soft on the cow, he was just supple in my hands today,” Bailey said of her World Championship run. “I enjoyed showing today, I have struggled for the last 3 or 4 years to make the finals. I have been Reserve in the hackamore before, but never won it. My favorite thing about this horse is that you are not going to get out run by a cow.”

Bailey, a seasoned non-pro reined cow horse competitor, has an ambitious list of things she wants to accomplish in the show arena, and today’s win brought her one step closer.

“My ultimate goal is to win five World Championships. This is number four,” she said. 

Bailey thanked her husband, Paul, for his support. She will be showing Paul’s horse, A Time Of Caution, in the Non-Pro Bridle finals on Feb. 20. The Baileys’ son, Caleb, 12, will be competing Feb. 20 in the Youth Limited preliminaries.

Terry Stuart Forst, of Waurika, Oklahoma, took home the Non-Pro Reserve Champion title riding Seven S Crazy Horse (Hickorys Indian Pep x Seven S Babe x Seven S Zanaday). Stuart Forst marked a 213 in the reining and won the fence work with a 219, for a composite score of 432, earning $2,674. Seven S Crazy Horse was bred by Stuart Forst.

Intermediate Non-Pro Bridle

Sareece Brown celebrated a career highlight and a dream come true in Fort Worth when she won the Intermediate Non-Pro Bridle Championship with her mare, Very Smart Playmate (Very Smart Remedy x Gunna Be Mine x Gunna Smoke). Brown guided “Bunny” to a 215.5 in the reining and an amazing 224 down the fence. Her total 439.5 composite was good for the Championship and a paycheck for $3,017. The World title also came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle, 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.

Emotions were high and tears flowed as Brown, of Franklin, Tennessee, expressed thankfulness for her blessings and dreams achieved. Her fence run in the Non-Pro Bridle Championship round marked the highest fence work score she has ever had. She had dreamed of the perfect fence run, and at one point thought to herself, “My gosh, is this really happening? Oh, I better ride.” 

She described Very Smart Playmate as a talented horse who knows her job. 

“As long as you put her in her spot, she just takes care of you the whole entire way. We made two really good big turns down the fence, and the cow just really wasn’t set up to circle right, so I turned her one more time and dropped my hand and kicked a little bit, and the rest is history. It was sweet,” she said.

Brown plans to take “Bunny” home after breeding season to enjoy riding her and dreams of the day her 3-year-old daughter, Bella, might also show her.

Brown is thankful for the support she receives from her husband Raiford, her mom and dad, her friend Diane Albert Miller who flew in from Florida, her trainer, Shawn Hays, and his wife, Tammy Jo, and their assistant, Cody Patterson.

Very Smart Playmate is owned by Yellow Creek Ranch, of Franklin, Tennessee, and was bred by Joyce Pearson, of Hailey, Idaho.

Tyler Burkey, of Milford, Nebraska, showed Survive These Lips (CD Survivor x Lipschic x Smart Chic Olena), bred by NRCHA sponsor Holy Cow Performance Horses, of Santa Ynez, California, and owned by Burkey, to a 430 composite score (213 rein/217 cow) for the Intermediate Non-Pro Bridle Reserve Championship, worth $2,371.

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