Final Champions Crowned at Eastern Nationals

jeff-byars-lew-byarsJeff Byars and son Lew Byars • Photo by Jennifer K. HancockThe 2017 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Eastern National Championships wrapped in Jackson, Mississippi, on March 17. Skills and some St. Patrick’s Day luck were needed for the testy herds on the final day of competition. The event began March 6.

Kenneth Warner, of Clover, South Carolina, and That Kotn Pikn Pepto (One Time Pepto x Cat N Colonel x High Brow Cat) won the $50,000 Amateur after marking a 215. The pair were the 10th to work in the first set of the 26-head finals.

“Everything worked out for the first time this week thanks to my help,” Warner said.

Warner and “Pixie” have been competing together for about two years. In 2015, Cory Deel rode the mare to the Southern Derby Limited Open Championship, while Warner piloted her to the finals of the Limited Non-Pro and Amateur.

“It’s been a long road, but it’s finally coming together,” he said.

Next up for Warner and the 6-year-old roan mare is the NCHA Super Stakes in Fort Worth, Texas.

Jeff Byars, of Town Creek, Alabama, borrowed MK CD High Roller (CD Olena x Jessies Starlight Ms x Grays Starlight), who is owned by his son Lew, to win the Non-Pro at the Eastern National Championships. The magic score of the day was 215.

Coming into Jackson, the 13-year-old sorrel gelding, who is nicknamed “Roller,” had lifetime earnings of $110,112. Out of 23 finalists, Byars and Roller were the 10th pair to work.

“That first cow never would turn away from me, and we just kept holding and holding until finally it turned,” Byars said. “My help was great. Our trainer Todd Gann took care of us. Everything worked out for the best.”

Byars also won the Non-Pro at the Eastern Nationals in 1991.

“It’s changed a lot, but it’s still fun,” Byars said.

Congratulations to all of the NCHA Eastern National Champions:

  • Open: Austin Shepard and Deluxe Checks and Sam Shepard and Twistful Thinking
  • $25,000 Novice: Austin Shepard and Deluxe Checks
  • $5,000 Novice: Guy Woods and and Ichi Sangria
  • Non-Pro: Jeff Byars and MK CD High Roller
  • $35,000 Non-Pro: Tyler Delange and Louis The Cat
  • $25,000 Novice/Non-Pro: Page Bowman and Tom E Boy
  • $5,000 Novice/Non-Pro: Ashley Davis and CDs Pepto Gal
  • $50,000 Amateur: Kenneth Warner and That Kotn Pikn Pepto
  • $15,000 Amateur: Rhein Standish on Countin On Stella
  • $2,000 Limit Rider: Rhein Standish and Divas On Time
  • Senior Youth: Pittman Turner and Hickorys Handy Cat
  • Junior Youth: Charles Burshaw and Peptotoodie

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