The Derby Non-Pro at the High Roller Reining Classic proved that anything can happen, even when a win seems like a sure bet. The class, held Sunday, Sept. 20, consisted of 123 riders in the draw, and it was from the 116th draw that the Champions made their presence known.
For most of the class, Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider Mandy McCutcheon, of Aubrey, Texas, was in the lead. Her first run was in the 37th draw, where she and Taris Little Gunner marked a 221.5. She later came from the 63rd draw to top her own score, riding My Darlin Tonite (PT) to a 223. She led the class until Josh Hattig, of Berthoud, Colorado, and Gunners Snappy Chic marked a 224 from the seventh-to-last draw.
McCutcheon and Turnabout Farm Inc.-bred My Darlin Tonite PT (Gunners Special Nite x Darlins Not Painted [PT] x Smokin Chic Olena [PT]) took the Protect The Harvest Derby Level 4 Non-Pro Reserve Championship and $3,896 home to McQuay Stables. They were also Reserve Champions in the Whizkey N Diamonds Stakes Level 4 Non-Pro, which came with an additional $4,103. McCutcheon and Taris Little Gunner (Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner] x Taris Modern Design x Mr Boomerjac) placed third in both classes, while McCutcheon and her third mount, Shootin Forthe Stars (Gunner x Dun It On A Star x Hollywood Dun It), tied for eighth in the Derby Non-Pro and tied for sixth in the Stakes Non-Pro. Altogether McCutcheon earned $16,836.
Hattig and Gunners Snappy Chic received $6,400 for winning the Protect The Harvest Derby Level 4 Non-Pro and $6,741 for winning the Whizkey N Diamonds Stakes Level 4 Non-Pro Championship. They also won the Derby Level 3 Non-Pro and Stakes Level 3 Non-Pro championships, for an additional $6,437 total.
“The goal was to just show her really well finally, to try to just be good in every single maneuver,” Hattig, who now boasts $459,311 in Equi-Stat, said. “She was just dialed in today.”
Gunners Snappy Chic (Gunner x Chics Miss Snap x Smart Chic Olena) is a homebred mare belonging to Hattig’s father, Brad Hattig, also of Berthoud. Prior to the High Roller Reining Classic, she had posted earnings of $43,980 to Equi-Stat. She and Hattig were the 2015 National Reining Breeders Classic Level 3 Non-Pro Champions, earning a $9,745 paycheck.