Chris Dawson

Shiney Sparklette and Chris Dawson Top Aaron Ranch Derby Open

Chris DawsonShiney Sparklette & Chris Dawson • Photo by Primo MoralesFinals night at the Aaron Ranch Cow Horse Classic Derby was a fast and furious affair, as talented 4- and 5-year-old cow horses handled some tough cattle on Monday, Feb. 15 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

After the preliminaries, Whitesboro, Texas, professional Chris Dawson was leading the Open on Reys A Shine (Dual Rey x Lil Miss Shiney Chex x Shining Spark), owned and bred by Carol Rose; and he was third on Shiney Sparklette (Shining Spark x Docs Sulena x Doc O’Lena), also bred by Rose, and co-owned by Rose and Dickson Varner. 

After the finals, Dawson emerged once again in first and third places, but the horses were reversed. Shiney Sparklette stepped up to the plate with a brilliant 151 fence work, and combined with her 439.5 preliminary score (144 herd/146.5 rein/149 cow), she took home the $12,330 paycheck.  

“That mare, she’s so good down the fence. She runs really easy, she’s soft, and she’s patient. She’s one of the smarter ones I’ve had. She’s a Shining Spark mare, and I’ve not had one yet that wasn’t good down the fence. I just let her take the wheel a little bit, and go on with it,” Dawson said. 

Shiney Sparklette’s barnmate, Reys A Shine, banked $7,664 for third place, scoring a composite 586.5 (144 herd/147 rein/150 cow/145 finals cow). 

The Reserve Champion was Cashed My CD (CD Lights x Shiney Sushi x Shining Spark), shown by Commerce, Texas, horseman Jay McLaughlin for owner Aaron Ranch. McLaughlin guided the palomino stallion to a total 589 score (144.5 herd/146.5 rein/150 cow/148 finals cow), earning $9,331.

The Derby Open Champions and Reserve Champions took home Gist buckles and other prizes sponsored by Aaron Ranch, Classic Equine and Platinum Performance. 

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