winning the Derby Level 4 Open Championship at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby, his record continues to grow, making him the NRHA’s newest Two Million Dollar Rider.If you look at Todd Bergen’s show record, you will see multi-millions earned at multiple competitions in multiple disciplines. And after
His latest win came on finals night of the NRHA Derby, a show where 4-, 5- and 6-year-old horses compete for thousands in cash and prizes. He and a flashy golden palomino stallion ran a thrilling pattern with energy and excitement as the 19th draw out of 35 horse-and-rider teams. For their efforts, Bergen and Platinum Vintage (A Sparkling Vintage x Starjac Miss x Hollywood Jac 86), owned by Harper Conner, scored a 225.5. Their score held through the last ride, making Platinum Vintage an NRHA Open Derby Champion and bumping Bergen well over the Two Million Dollar Rider mark.
When asked what he planned to do after the Derby, Bergen said, “Go home and get to riding the 3 year olds.” It’s that kind of effort that produces winners, and it’s been said that Bergen’s operation is “the launching pad for champions.” With a sincere curiosity and passion for understanding how a horse thinks and functions, training has been a life-long interest for the Eagle Point, Oregon-based trainer. Bergen is widely known for his achievements in the reining arena and has also found success in reined cow horse events and in the cutting pen.
Bergen claimed his first major NRHA open championship title in 1995 at the NRHA Derby on the 1990 stallion Lean With Me (Smart Little Lena x Chexy Lady x King Fritz), owned by Jon Sather. That was quite the year for Bergen, as he returned to the NRHA show pen later that year in the NRHA Open Futurity. Riding Todaysmyluckyday (Doc O’Lena x Doc Alice x Doc’s Sug) for owner Tetsuro Kawashima, Bergen landed the 1992 stallion in the winner’s circle, claiming a cool $100,000 paycheck.
Throughout the years, Bergen has continued his winning ways in NRHA competition. His wins include the 1996 NRHA Derby Open Championship on Jerry Lees Surprise (Surprise Enterprise x Mizzen Topsail x Topsail Cody) then owned by Douglas Holmes. Two years later, Bergen was once again on top as he rode Chic Please (Smart Chic Olena x San O Lenita x Tenino San) to the 1998 NRHA Futurity Open Championship. At the time Arcese Quarter Horses owned the 1995 stallion. Chic Please was also a strong competitor in the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA), proving his versatility by claiming the 1998 Reserve Championship at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity.
A true horseman, Bergen stays humble. Knowing and understanding the bond between horse and rider is what keeps him in the show pen, and more importantly, winning competitions.
Incorporated in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is the standard-setting body for the sport of Reining. NRHA, with their International Headquarters in Oklahoma City, is responsible for promoting the sport of Reining and working to ensure the highest standards of competition. To learn more about the NRHA, its programs and family of corporate partners, visit nrha.com.