The Tulsa Reining Classic Derby Open, held Sept. 4 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, featured $33,000 in added money thanks to a sponsorship by Cardinal Reining Horses. Every exhibitor in the Derby received a signature Cardinal Reining Horses jacket. Several of the horses competing in the Derby had the chance at an additional $10,000 in added money in the concurrent Whizkey N Diamonds Novice Horse Derby, thanks to a partnership with Rhodes River Ranch.
At draw No. 29, Jordan Larson and Electric Snow posted a top score of 224.5 early in the day, taking the lead in the Level 4 Open. The early lead meant the duo had to sweat out 58 more horses. In the end, the score held, and Larson and Electric Snow became the Cardinal Reining Horses Derby Level 4 Open Champions.
Electric Snow is by Jacs Electric Spark and out of Snow Gun (by Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner]). He was out of commission for nearly all of 2015 after an injury. After finally recovering, he came back even stronger to take his first title in Tulsa on Sunday.
“That’s the best he’s been – pretty much for the whole run,” Larson said. “He ran in and stopped really good, and he turned really, really good. He had a little tiny bobble maybe turning to the left, but everything else was pretty much spot on. I couldn’t have asked him to be much better.”
Larson and Electric Snow took home an Elite Custom saddle, National Reining Horse Association trophy and $7,566 for owner/breeder Andre De Bellefeuille of Equine Plus, located in Saint-Basile-Le-Grand, Quebec, Canada.
Tom McCutcheon, riding Turnabout Farm’s homebred stallion Sunglasses At Nite (Gunners Special Nite x Chexy Dun It x Hollywood Dun It), took home the Reserve Championship in the Cardinal Reining Horses Derby Level 4 Open with a score of 222, worth $4,605.
Derby Level 3 Open
Matching scores of 221.5 in the Cardinal Reining Horses Derby Level 3 Open resulted in a tie between Gabe Hutchins riding FM Shine N Tag Chex and Matthew Armenta riding Lena Who Whizit.
From maneuver to maneuver, FM Shine N Tag Chex, a 5-year-old stallion by Whiz N Tag Chex and out of the Shining Spark mare Shine With Wanda, worked well for his rider.
“He was mister honest and pulled through like he always does for me,” Hutchins said. “He’s just a really good show horse. One thing I’ve been working on with him is running through the gate, and he knocked it out of the park today.”
For the Co-Championship, Hutchins and FM Shine N Tag Chex picked up $4,003 for owner Suzy Simar, of Tamarack Ranch. They also banked $2,837 for tying for third in Level 4.
Matthew Armenta rode Lena Who Whizit to the shared championship with an equally impressive run. Armenta had been prepping his mount for the show and said sticking to his routine is part of what led to the win. The other part he credited to his horse.
“Honestly, it felt really good. It was easy,” Armenta said. “He prepped good all week long, and he schooled really good and easy. I stuck to my program and warmed him up for probably 30 minutes and didn’t do too much, and he showed good from the get go. From the first stop to the last, he was really, really good.”
Lena Spark x WA Hoo Whizit x Who Whiz It) also picked up the championships in the Derby Level 2 Open and the Whizkey N Diamonds Derby Novice Horse Open, and tied for third in Level 4. All totaled, Armenta and his mount collected $12,272.Armenta and Lena Who Whizit (
“I’m happy. It’s always good to win, but I’m just happy my horse showed good, I had him prepped like I thought I did and he showed like I thought he would,” Armenta said. “So, it was good. We came and did what we planned on doing, and now we’re going to pack up and go to the next one.”
Reserve in the Derby Level 2 Open and Co-Reserve in the Whizkey N Diamonds Derby Novice Horse was Stiletto Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Kachina Oak Olena x Smart Chic Olena) and Francesco Martinotti with a score of 220. They also tied for fifth in the Level 3. They took home $4,536 to owner Jennifer Marley, of Plainview, Texas.
Also tying for the Reserve Championship in the Derby Novice Horse Open were Thiago Boechat and Xtra Voodoo Doc (Shiners Voodoo Dr x Call Me Miss Hickory x Doc’s Hickory). They additionally tied for 11th in the Level 4 and fifth in the Level 3, amassing $4,336 for Roger Parks, of Blanchard, Oklahoma.
For information and complete results from the Tulsa Reining Classic, visit TulsaReining.com or follow Tulsa Reining Classic on Facebook and Twitter.