On Tuesday, May 24, Dilday Ranch announced the death of legendary reined cow horse Topsails Rien Maker. The stallion (Topsail Cody x Jameen Gay x Toby Gay Bar), affectionately known as “Slider” throughout the industry, was 17 years old.
In an emotional Facebook post that began “Good bye Great One,” Dilday Ranch wrote, “What you didn’t have in size you made up for with heart. You were the little horse who did. You never met a cow you couldn’t catch, you gave everything you had every time you trotted in the gate, you left it all in the arena.”
Topsails Rien Maker, bred by Stellato Revocable Trust, of Redding, California, garnered $371,472 in his lifetime, according to Equi-Stat records, making him the highest-earning cow horse in history. The majority of that total ($366,311) was earned under the saddle of Russell Dilday, of Wynnewood, Oklahoma, while the remainder came from a handful of performances with Glen Aspinall, of Temecula, California.
As a 3-year-old, Topsails Rien Maker finished as the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Limited Open Reserve Champion. The stallion was third in the 2004 NRCHA Derby Open and he won the 2004 NRCHA Open Hackamore World Championship. While all of those accomplishments were impressive, it was the impact Topsails Rien Maker made as a bridle horse that captured the hearts of cow horse enthusiasts.
In 2008, the stallion and Dilday won their first World’s Greatest Horseman title, along with a $30,000 paycheck. The team had a repeat win the following year, and when they topped the event again in 2011, Topsails Rien Maker became the only horse in history to hold three World’s Greatest Championships.
Dilday, who owned Topsails Rien Maker with Kevin Cantrelle, continued to show the stallion through 2013. By that time, his offspring were already performing in show pens.
Topsails Rien Maker’s offspring record reflects 33 money-earners with cumulative earnings of more than $114,000. His performers have garnered money predominately in reined cow horse; however, others have picked up checks in reining, cutting, barrel racing and working ranch horse.
Miss Prize Maker (out of Miss Colonels Prize x Smokums Prize) is Topsails Rien Maker’s leading money-earner with a $29,734 record. The 5-year-old mare kicked off her career winning the 2014 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Non-Pro with Tammy Hays. The stallion’s No. 2 performer, Mister Rein Maker (out of Miss Dual Kiss x Mister Dual Pep), was a 2004 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futuirty Open and Intermediate Open finalist in 2007. His earnings to date total $21,349.
“You will always be the absolute greatest to us,” Dilday Ranch’s post concluded. “Thank you Slider for so many treasured memories, you will be cherished in our hearts forever.”