With only five classes remining during the last week of The Four Sixes/NCHA Eastern Nationals, held at the Mississippi State Fair Grounds in Jackson, Mississippi, from March 9-21, competitors continued to give it their all for their chance at a championship.
At The Four Sixes/NCHA Eastern Nationals during the Non-Pro finals, 28 horse-and-rider teams continued to give it all they had for their chance at a title. Despite being away from their homes for two weeks, the finalists entered the arena with positive attitudes and marked scores that were lasting, until draw No. 18.
Lauren Chartier and Cees Little Poo (SR Instant Choice x Perry Poo x Perry San), bred by Bar H Ranch, of Weatherford, Texas, marked a 218.5 and had to wait until the end to see if it was going to stick. At the end of the day, it was Chartier and Cees Little Poo who went home with the Non-Pro Championship.
The 13-year-old gelding, owned by Robert and Debbie Middleton, of Flora, Mississippi, carried Chartier to, not only the title, but also a $4,224 paycheck. Now, Cees Little Poo has earnings of more than $235,000 and continues to be his dam’s highest money-earner. Chartier now has earnings that total to more than $500,000.
As the second draw in the finals, Aubrey Pigg piloted Royals Magificant (High Brow Cat x CD Royalty x CD Olena), bred by Dave and Georgia Husby, of Delta, British Columbia, Canada, to mark a 217 and earn the Non-Pro Reserve title. The duo also received a $3,430 paycheck for owners Terry and Catherine Pigg, of Collinsville, Alabama.
Entered in the $35,000 Non-Pro on March 16, as the second to last horse-and-rider in the first set of cattle, was Sandra Patton and Magic Abbie (Abrakadabracre x Little Peppy Polka x Peppy San Badger). Mark Stucks, of Burleson, Texas, bred the 10-year-old mare owned by Patton and her husband, Jeremy Patton, of Washington Court House, Ohio.
At the end of the first set, Patton and Magic Abbie were in the lead with a score of 216. But, it’s not over until the end of the class and there were 15 competitors left who had the championship on their minds. That’s when Colt Moore, of Williston, Florida, and Highwood Dancer gave Patton and Magic Abbie a run for their money.
As draw No. 24 out of 29 competitors, Moore and Highwood Dancer (Lil Lewis Long Legs x Sugar Wood U Dance x Zach T Wood), owned by Moore’s parents, Casey and Sheri Moore, bred by William Patrick Jr., of Cantonment, Florida, marked a 216 to tie with Patton for the Championship. Patton and Moore each received a $5,333 paycheck for their efforts.
Beth Brown rode Chunky Solano (Doc’s Solano x Benjis Miss Peppidox x Peppi Doc) to mark a 213.5 for the $35,000 Non-Pro Reserve title and garnered a $3,051 paycheck. The 1998 gelding was bred by E.C. Bryant Jr., of Weatherford, Texas, and is owned by Brown and her husband, Jeffery Brown, of Orwell, Ohio.
$15,000 Novice Non-Pro
On March 18, another team took home a paycheck and a title during the $15,000 Novice Non-Pro finals. Alexis Stephas, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, piloted her 6-year-old stallion Once You Go Black (Hydrive Cat x RG Sugar Lena x Poco San Lena) to a score that held through the end.
As the fourth horse-and-rider duo to enter the arena, Stephas and Once You Go Black, bred by Ronald Abbott, of Sumner, Texas, marked a 219 but had to wait until the remaining 24 teams went before they could be declared the winners. In the end, the duo earned the Championship with a 4-point lead and garnered $5,603.
Once You Go Black’s Equi-Stat record boasts more than $70,000 and she is her dam’s top money-earner. Stephas has earnings of more than $400,000, according to Equi-Stat.
Taking home the $15,000 Novice Non-Pro Reserve Championship was Page Bowman aboard Roamin Cat (High Brow Cat x Love A CD x CD Olena), bred by Mahler & Meredith, of Olney, Texas. Bowman and the 5-year-old gelding, owned by her parents, Mike and Libby Bowman, of Simpsonville, Kentucky, marked a 215.5 and garnered a $4,468 paycheck.
$5,000 Novice Non-Pro
On the day of March 19, Page Bowman wasn’t settling for reserve again. During the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro, Bowman was aboard Athena Mad Man (Athena Puddy Cat x Puppy Breath x Smart N Slick), an earner of more than $75,000, and left nothing to chance.
The day before the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro finals, Bowman witnessed Alexis Stephas and Once You Go Black take home a title that could’ve been hers. So going into the finals she knew Stephas and her black stallion would go for it again during the competition. But this time was different. Bowman piloted Athena Mad Man in the 27-horse finals straight into the winner’s circle as draw No. 9 and marked a cool 221.
That score gave them a 3-point lead on their competitors, which secured their position as the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro Champion. The 2009 gelding, bred by Jacqueline Streeter, of Pikeville, Tennessee, and Bowman garnered a $4,765 paycheck for owners and parents Mike and Libby Bowman, of Simpsonville, Kentucky.
Alexis Stephas and Once You Go Black (Hydrive Cat x RG Sugar Lena x Poco San Lena) did their best to bring home another championship, but had to settle for their $5,000 Novice Non-Pro Reserve title this time, which still resulted in a $3,836 paycheck.
On the last day of finals, 28 competitors were saddling up to ride in the $50,000 Amateur finals. During the first set, Gary Reichart and Boons Playin, owned by Reichart and his wife, Michelle Reichart, marked a 215.5 to take the lead, but only temporarily. As draw No. 23 in the second set, Wendy Johnson and Lily Shea Rey marked a score that would be the one to beat.
Lily Shea Rey (Dual Rey x Lil Shea Lena x Playdox), bred by Johnson and her husband, Butch Johnson, of Perrin, Texas, has an Equi-Stat record of more than $61,000. However, the 6-year-old mare added another $4,080 to her earnings and Johnson’s, after marking a 217.5 in the $50,000 Amateur finals, earning the Championship.
With their new earnings, Lily Shea Rey continues to be her dam’s leading money-earner, while Johnson now boasts more than $65,000.
Although Reichart didn’t return home with the championship, he and Boons Playin did not go home empty handed. Reichart and the 6-year-old gelding (Mr Boonsmal To You x Aristocrats Playgirl x Smart Aritocrat), bred by Slate River Ranch, of Weatherford, Texas, earned the $50,000 Amateur Reserve title. They also garnered a $3,320 paycheck for their efforts.
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