The Protect The Harvest Derby Non-Pro at the Cactus Reining Classic, held March 2-6 in Scottsdale, Arizona, was packed with excitement, but Harper Conner stole the show when he rode to the Level 4 Non-Pro Championship and Reserve titles.
Conner first entered the pen aboard Vintage GQ (A Sparkling Vintage x LF Remelynx x Reminic), a 5-year-old gelding bred by his wife, Petra Zeitler Conner. The duo marked a 220 to take the lead from the 24th draw out of 77 entries. But with two more horses to show, Conner needed to stay focused.
From draw 38, he turned it up a notch with Jacs Princess (Jac O Rima x RS Monita Dry Doc x Dry Dox Alejos). The 6-year-old mare, bred by Dennis Schulz, of Neustadt, Austria, finished Reserve in Level 4 at last year’s Cactus Classic; however, this was her time to shine. She garnered a 221.5 from the judges, earning her the Level 4 Non-Pro Championship and a $5,630 paycheck.
Vintage GQ finished as the Reserve Champion, picking up $3,427 for his owner, who lives in Dallas, Texas. Conner also rode Revolutionary Jewels (Einsteins Revolution x Whiz Jewels x Topsail Whiz) to a 216, finishing in a tie for 11th in Level 4 and pocketing another $673.
Kim Muehlstaetter, of Scottsdale, picked up the Level 3 Non-Pro Championship and a fourth-place finish in Level 4 when she piloted Lil Magnum Chex to a 218.5. The 4-year-old stallion (Magnum With A Dream x Pay Chex Delight x Peppy Badger Chex), owned by Tom Dooley, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and bred by David Zimmerman, of Kodiak, Alaska, garnered a total of $5,841.
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