The National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Celebration of Champions World Show kicked off in Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 12. The first World champions were decided on Valentine’s Day in the John Justin Arena at the Will Rogers Memorial Center.
Limited Open Bridle
Naomi Bancroft, of Stratton, Colorado, earned her first World title in the Limited Open Bridle riding Meradas Golden Rey. The 2008 stallion (Rockin Lockin Rey x Meradas Trouble x Master Merada), bred by Wilford Adolf, of Bethune, Colorado, is owned by Setting Sun Ranch LLC, of which Bancroft is part owner.
Meradas Golden Rey marked a 214.5 in the rein work and a 215.5 down the fence for a 430 composite score, which topped Reserve World Champions Smoked Gouda (Smokums Prize x Quesadiya x Quanah O Lena) and Reanna Dillman, of Calhan, Colorado, by a single point.
“I don’t really know how to feel,” Bancroft said with tears in her eyes. “I’m just excited. The preparation finally paid off.”
Bancroft and Meradas Golden Rey took home a $3,685 paycheck for their performance on Feb. 14. This win brings the stallion’s Equi-Stat record to $21,240, while Bancroft’s lifetime earnings are nearing the $28,000 mark.
The Non-Pro Two-Rein finals offered a challenging field of cattle; however, Susan Stoltz, of Fort Collins, Colorado, put together a run worth the World Championship. Riding her 2010 gelding A Time For Jazz, she accumulated a composite score of 428 (215 rein/213 cow) to win the class by a 4-point margin.
A Time For Jazz (by One Time Pepto), bred by John McCoy, of Houston, Texas, is out of the Grays Starlight mare Starlight And Jazz. Starlight And Jazz earned nearly $30,000 as a cutter and has five money-earning offspring to her credit. Her dam record totals almost $70,000.
Although Stoltz was struggling with what she believed to be the flu before her class, she refused to let the illness stand between her and her first World title. She was rewarded with a check for $2,558. A Time For Jazz also competed with trainer Brad Barkemeyer in the Open Two-Rein, where he finished sixth for another $1,145.
“I’m so sick, so this was a complete shock,” Stoltz said. “He’s a really nice horse.”
The Non-Pro Two-Rein Reserve World Championship went to Morgan Holmes, of Sarasota, Florida, who piloted her 2007 gelding Dun It On Que (Dun It Big x Que Uno x Smart Little Uno) to a 424 (204.5 rein/219.5). The duo received $2,046.
Following a theme of first-time winners at the World Show, Jennifer Neel picked up the Non-Pro Hackamore title with Z Martinalena. The Millsap, Texas-based cowgirl topped the 10-horse finals after marking a 217.5 in the dry work and a 216.5 in the cow work.
Neel, who works in real estate, and her 2011 homebred mare (Zezes Pepto Cat x Fussy Hanky x Lotsolena) garnered $3,942 for their 434 composite, which bested Myles Brown and Ima Wynna RAB (PG Shogun x Right On Eddie RAB x Right On Tivio), who settled for Reserve and $3,098.
On hand to help Neel celebrate was her father, Tom, who trains cow horses professionally. Following in his footsteps as a successful showwoman, Neel has already amassed lifetime earnings of around $70,000. Z Martinalena, who has also been shown a few times by Tom, boasts an Equi-Stat record of more than $38,000.
Kaitlin Ormson found a passion for reined cow horse after spending time showing in the Stock Horse of Texas association in college. She proved she has what it takes to win when she showed TR Playing Chic to the Non-Pro Limited World Championship.
Ormson, of Sanger, Texas, and her 2007 mare (TR Dual Rey x Smart Playing Chic x Smart Chic Olena), bred by Liz Armenta, of Whitesboro, Texas, started strong with a 219.5 in the rein work that topped all of her competitors. The team then took on a tough cow and their stylish moves resulted in a 217 in the boxing, bringing her to a 436.5 total on two events.
All told, Ormson added $2,745 to her existing $3,335 in lifetime earnings as one of the first new World champions of the year. She and TR Playing Chic returned in the $5,000 Non-Pro Limited finals to score a 217.5 in the reining and a 215.5 in the boxing for a 433 composite score and her second win of the season. That title was worth an additional $3,305, which pushed TR Playing Chic’s Equi-Stat record to nearly $17,000.
Melissa Miller and Little Bunny Fou Fou took home the Non-Pro Limited Reserve World Championship and $2,196 to Belton, Texas. The 2006 mare (Meradas Money Talks x Lucky Baylite x Grays Starlight) and her owner scored a 214 in the rein work and a 220 in the boxing.
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