After a year of hauling thousands of miles and competing against each other week after week, the final dollars of the year were earned on Dec. 3 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Mercuria National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Finals. Soon after the last horse walked out of the Watt Arena, the party began to celebrate the champions and the top 15 in each of the 10 divisions.
Sitting on top of the world in the Open Division is R.L. Chartier and Gary and Karen Fields’ A Little Bossy. After hauling to 75 shows this year, Chartier and the 11-year-old CD Lights gelding went into Fort Worth leading the standings with $90,159. But with $120,700 in purses for the Open division at the World Finals and $30,175 of that reserved for winning go-rounds and the average, the title wasn’t completely secured. Chartier and A Little Bossy tied for first in the second go and finished eighth in the average to end the year with total earnings of $98,247.
Philip Rapp and Reyzin, a 7-year-old High Brow CD mare owned by Lori and Bobby Gale, went into the World Finals in 12th place in the Open. Their runs improved each go – marking a 219 in the first go, a 221 in the second and a 224.5 in the third go. Rapp and Reyzin saved the best for last and won the fourth go with a dominating 231 while securing the World Finals Open Show Championship. They added $18,346 to their earnings at the World Finals and jumped up to sixth place in the year-end standings.
Kaitlyn Wimberly and Light N Lily had a solid lead in the Non-Pro after hitting 78 shows in 2016, but after finishing second in the first go and third in the second go, she gave herself some breathing room and set her sights on another goal – winning the Show Champion title. She did just that after marking a 223.5 in the fourth and final go. Wimberly and the Light N Lena mare ended the year with total earnings of $131,437 and two new titles.
Eric Schmoyer, of Macungie, Pennsylvania, and Ms Nita, an 8-year-old Nitas Wood mare, and put the finishing touches on their World Champion year in the $15,000 Amateur in the first go by winning the round with a 222. They had so much fun, they decided to take the second round with a 220.5 and to add to the collection with a Show title, too. Schmoyer and “Nita” competed at 76 shows and ended the year with total earnings of $17,670.