When Bart Holowath and Smart Lookin Nurse rode to the top of the herd and rein works in the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Cow Horse Classic Derby, it was a sign of things to come. In the fence work, the duo marked a 148, which gave them a composite 442 (148 herd/146 rein) to win the Non-Pro and Intermediate Non-Pro championships.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Holowath, of Cayley, Alberta, Canada. “I finally allowed myself to smile after my fence run today. He was good. He’s been just super all weekend.”
Despite their lead coming in, Holowath was not 100 percent confident going into the cow work.
“We were in that same boat last year and didn’t get a good fence run done, and we ended up third by a little bit,” he said. “That’s why it’s a three event deal, you’ve got to have all three of them. I don’t allow myself to be overconfident at any point in time.”
The duo collected paychecks of $4,409 and $1,950 for the titles. They won an additional $864 from the different works. Holowath’s lifetime earnings now total more than $120,000.
He purchased “Finn” (WR This Cats Smart x Nurseware x Dual Rey) in the fall of his 3-year-old year and said he’s gotten better with time. The 5-year-old Wagonhound Land and Livestock-bred gelding is in training with John Swales.
“He rides him, and I go over and take lessons,” Holowath said. “He helps me get him prepared and stuff. He’s done an awesome job.
“I never rode him actually in the New Year until we got here,” he continued. “I figured every day I’m on him is one less day John’s on him, so I let him ride him as much as possible. He’s just been really good to help with. He’s low-key, and obviously he’s a World’s Greatest Horseman. He’s got a lot of knowledge to share so I tap into that well whenever possible.”
Four months after winning the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Amateur Championship, Abbie Phillips and Special High Brow were in the spotlight again. Their 435.5 total on three (144 herd/145 rein/146.5 cow) ended up on top in the Novice Non-Pro, and the duo went home with another championship.
They banked $848 for the title, plus $100 for having the highest scores in the Novice herd and rein work, and $19 for tying for the third-highest score in the cow work. In the Non-Pro they were third overall, which came with $3,086, and they took Reserve and $1,526 in the Intermediate Non-Pro. They also banked $564 from the Non-Pro and Intermediate Non-Pro herd, rein and cow works.
Special High Brow, who was bred by Sunrise Ranch LLC, is a daughter of High Brow CD and is out of the Playgun mare PG Special Edition. Her Equi-Stat record now stands at $28,455, and Phillips’ was elevated to $42,050. The Bend, Oregon resident was also competing in the World’s Greatest Horseman competition.
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