The 4- and 5-year-old National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Stallion Stakes horses had a day off from competition on Thursday, March 31, as their older peers, the bridle horses, stepped into the spotlight.
A field of 22 phenomenal horses and elite riders vied for the Open Bridle Spectacular Championship, and in the final reckoning, the proven team of CD Dee Vee Dee (CD Lights x Shiners Missy Jay x Shining Spark), shown by NRCHA Professional Jay McLaughlin, of Commerce, Texas, turned in a gritty 225 fence work, the high score of the round, to win the Championship. It was the second year in a row for McLaughlinand “DVD” to win the Stallion Stakes Bridle Spectacular.
McLaughlin owns the 2005 gelding with his wife, Wendy McLaughlin. The team earned a 659 composite (215 herd/219 rein/225 cow), winning by a 2-point margin over the Reserve Champions – 2016 NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman Champion Clayton Edsall and Too Long Til Autumn (Autumn Acre x Lil Lena Long Legs x Smart Little Lena), owned by Lisa Krogh. The Championship paid $6,272 and came with a CR Morrison Trophy sponsored by John Pascoe, an embroidered sheet from Classic Equine and a gift certificate from Platinum Performance.
CD Dee Vee Dee shined brightest in the fence work. The steady performer drew the perfect cow to suit his style, and worked it so skillfully that he nearly left his rider behind during the circles.
“I kind of came out of the buggy when we switched. That steer jumped back to the right and he went with it and jumped my stirrup out. I had to reach for the wood, and then sit back down,” McLaughlin said, laughing.
McLaughlin credits his son, Cutter McLaughlin, as CD Dee Vee Dee’s primary rider. Cutter, who is qualified for the Stallion Stakes Intermediate Non-Pro and Novice Non-Pro finals, and the gelding have multiple Youth and Non-Pro championships to their credit.
“There’s no sharing at home. I borrowed him here. Cutter has been working him at home and doing everything since the World’s Greatest. He’s done all the work and kept him up,” McLaughlin said.
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