The Tulsa Reining Classic, held at Expo Square Aug. 28 – Sept. 3, saw smart maneuvers and big stops during the SmartPak Derby Non-Pro in the Ford Truck Arena.
It was an epic day for Mandy McCutcheon in Thursday’s SmartPak Derby Level 4 Non-Pro when she tied for the win with herself aboard two standout horses. McCutcheon scored a 222.5 aboard both Hollywood Starburst and Baileys Not Painted (PT) for the dual championship.
Hollywood Starburst is a 4-year-old mare by Hollywood Dun It and out of Chic Olena Starbuck (by Smart Starbuck) that recently led McCutcheon to the NRHA Derby Level 4 Non-Pro Championship. The mare continues to be a force in McCutcheon’s arsenal.
“They are both really nice, great-minded horses. The buckskin mare I just recently won the NRHA Derby on, so there is always that nervous part of ‘I don’t want to make her look like a fool after a big win,'” McCutcheon said with a laugh.
The mare looked like anything but a fool, turning in a stellar performance in Tulsa.
Baileys Not Painted, who is by Gunners Special Nite and out of Darlins Not Painted (PT) (by Smokin Chic Olena [PT]), has only been with McCutcheon for three days. Although the gelding has been McCutcheon and her husband, Tom’s, training program since the start, McCutcheon bought him only recently.
“When the opportunity came up to buy him, I jumped on it,” McCutcheon said of purchasing the gelding.
The decision proved successful when he turned in an equally impressive run as McCutcheon’s mare.
“They were both very similar [in their runs today],” McCutcheon said. “They were just easy and showed honest and pure and just tried to be good horses.”
Derby Levels 3 & 2 Non-Pro
The Level 3 saw another tie, this time between Kara Gray-Frye and Catherine Crandon with scores of 220.
Frye rode Juice N Silk (Smart Like Juice x Silk N Sable Pine x Okie Paul Quixote) to the Co-Championship. He has been with Frye since he was 3 years old. The now-6-year-old has been a great addition to Frye’s program.
“He’s definitely a special guy. He doesn’t take any training – you just keep him fit and get on him and go show,” she said. “He steps up and if I call on him, he’s there.”
Crandon took home a plethora of prizes when she topped the Level 3, Level 2 and Prime Time with her score of 220.
The 5-year-old gelding RC Fashion Chic, who’s by RC Fancy Step and out of Shesa Fashion Chic (by Smart Chic Olena), has only been with his owner since March and stepped up in Tulsa to prove his worth in the reining pattern.
“This was kind of the first time we’ve shown and were penalty free,” she said. “That was quite an accomplishment for us today, so we’re pretty excited. I could not be happier. We just kept trying and trying, and I knew we’d get it eventually, so I was pretty happy.”
The Level 2 Non Pro Reserve co-champions were Mark Blake riding Hot Hollywood Whizky (Topsail Whiz x Hot Hollywood Jewels x Hollywood Dun It), and Laura Parker riding Shirley Your A Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Shirleys Folly x Great Pine) with scores of 219.
The Prime Time Non-Pro Reserve co-champions were Frye riding Juice N Silk and Nancy Murfin-Moxley riding Who Whiz Hot Choclat (Who Whiz It x Chocolat Almond Chic x Chocolate Chic Olena) to scores of 221.5.
The TRC continues on Friday with the Turnabout Farm Futurity Non-Pro and the 2017 United States Equestrian Federation Reining Championship.