The 2016 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Non-Pro Derby Champions were crowned following an exciting finals. Riders and fans were on the edge of their seats until the very end, and one of the riders who had to wait was Dr. William ‘Bill’ Rhoads. Draw 14 in the second section, aboard his Mega Maggie Mae, he had scored a 219. It wasn’t until the very end before he could celebrate their win.
“It was nerve wracking. I was reading an e-book, trying not to think about what was happening in the show pen. I did have some emotional break downs but I made it,” said Rhoads, who also tied to win the Level 4 qualifier. “I still don’t believe this is happening. It’s surreal. I was a nobody with just a little over $5,000 in lifetime earnings last year, until I rode ‘Mae.’”
Rhoads’ 4-year-old mare (Magnum Chic Dream x Cinco De Mega x Marthas Mega Jac) was bred and nominated by Martin Bonneson. Last year, the duo claimed the NRHA Futurity Level 4 Non-Pro Reserve Championship and swept the levels 3, 2 and 1. For the win at the NRHA Derby, the duo collected $18,932. Rhoads came to Oklahoma City with $102,883 in lifetime earnings. Mae, who the Texan-based veterinarian purchased as a yearling, has won $83,825 at NRHA competitions.
In a tie for the Reserve Co-Championship was Lyndsey Jordan riding her 6-year-old stallion, Made By Magnum (Magnum Chic Dream x Ready Make Cowboy x Master Cowboy Jac), who she nominated; and the 2015 Derby Level 4 Non-Pro Champions, Cade McCutcheon and Custom Made Gun (Gunner x Custom Made Dunit x Hollywood Dun It), owned, bred and nominated by McQuay Stables LLC. Each earned a score of 218.5.
Young Cade McCutcheon and the 5-year-old stallion also earned the win in the Youth Non-Pro division where Gina Schumacher, at the reins of Judys A Little Moody (Wimpys Little Step x Smart Connection x Smart Little Lena), a 4-year-old mare owned by XCS Ranch and nominated by Sergio Elia, took reserve honors.
Continued on page 2