Parsons, who has ridden with Swales for years, said he felt he rode as hard as he could. “I got a real good cow that matched my horse, we managed to come along and get just a good, solid score, which in these events, just a good steady score will win you as much as the big, high scores.”
A cattle rancher, Parsons also owns two professional hunting businesses.
A tied score of 183 determined the Limited Open Bridle Reserve Championship. Smart Lil Boonlight (Boonlight Dancer x Bodocs Highbrow x Smart Lil Highbrow), an 11-year-old stallion bred by Rudy Hostetler, of Sedalia, Missouri, and owned and ridden by Kent Williamson, of Bragg Creek, Alberta, co-shared the title with 10-year-old Jacs Lil Barbie Lena (Hes A Bueno Jac x Kings Smartest Pep x Smartest Little Pep), a mare bred by Lorie Engbrecht, of Lacombe, Alberta, owned by Clint Swales, of High River, Alberta, and ridden by Tyler Albrecht, of Trochu, Alberta.
John Murphy, 21, of Wetaskiwin, Alberta, won the Non-Pro Bridle Championship aboard 7-year-old Pepto Pepermint (Surely A Pepto x Haidas Pepermint x Haidas Little Pep), a stallion bred by Sunrise Ranch LLC, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and owned by Murphy’s parents, Eugene and Maria Murphy, also of Wetaskiwin. They tied for third place in the preliminaries with a 283 cumulative score, then returned to score a 289 in the finals and claim the title with a 571 aggregate score.
Murphy, who would like to be a professional trainer one day, said Pepto Pepermint is a little tougher to show because he’s a stud. “But once you get him figured out,” Murphy said, “he’s got a lot of heart, and he’ll perform for you. He’s a gritty horse.”
Another Swales client, Keri Hudson-Reykdal, of Ashern, Manitoba, Canada, finished as the Non-Pro Bridle Reserve Champion riding her 11-year-old gelding Don Quejana (Quejanaisalena x Little Squallita x Rum Squall), bred by Leatherman & Sons Farms, of Millsap, Texas. Reykdal was all smiles on Thursday, when she rode Don Quejana to the Novice Non-Pro winner’s circle with a cumulative score of 292.5 that also tied them for a second-place finish in the Non-Pro Bridle preliminary round.
Reykdal, who is a veterinarian, has only owned the horse since last September.
“He’s an awesome, all-around horse,” she said. “He did a great job.”
Dancin Angel (Boonlight Dancer x Hickorys Angela x Doc’s Hickory) an 8-year-old mare bred by Tom Chambers, of Scottsdale, Arizona, and owned and ridden by Jacelyn Brochu, of Calgary, were the Novice Non-Pro Bridle Reserve Champions with a cumulative score of 278.5