The first day of official classes began at the NRBC in Katy, Texas, on April 16, with the first section of the Classic Non-Pro prelims. Of the 167 non-pros entered, the first 84 made smart maneuvers and big stops inside the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Coliseum on Monday.
Leading the Classic Level 4 Non-Pro prelims was Mandy McCutcheon riding Baileys Not Painted (PT) (Gunners Special Nite x Darlins Not Painted [PT] x Smokin Chic Olena [PT]) with a score of 219.5. She and the stallion were the Tulsa Reining Classic Derby Level 4 Non-Pro Co-Champions and the High Roller Reining Classic Stakes Level 4 Non-Pro Champions in 2017. The Level 3 and Prime Time Non-Pro leader was Rick Christen riding Xtra Voodoo Step (Wimpys Little Step x Voodoo Chic x Smart Chic Olena) to a score of 218. The Level 2 leader was Courtney Battison riding Xtra Little Balou (Wimpys Little Step x Lil Chic Balou x Smart Chic Olena), and the Level 1 leader was Mark Blake on Hot Hollywood Whizky (Topsail Whiz x Hot Hollywood Jewels x Hollywood Dun It), the recent Cactus Reining Classic Derby Levels 4, 3, 1, Prime Time and Masters Non-Pro Champion.
The second section of the preliminary round continues Tuesday in the Coliseum. The Intermediate Open, Limited Open and Rookie Professional will also start up in the Tellepsen Arena, and the Rookie Levels 1 and 2, Prime Time Rookie and Yellowstone Rookie Shootout Round 1 will take place inside the Wheless Arena.
The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) will award Gist buckle awards to high-scoring Paint Horses in a select slate of classes during the 2018 NRBC. In the past, entry into this competition was automatic. This year, be sure to stop by the APHA booth located in the walkway between the Coliseum and Wheless arenas to learn more.
In order to be eligible for these awards, Paint Horses must be signed up with the APHA representative by noon the day before the first go of their class. Also, exhibitors must be current APHA members.
“I’m here making contact with the exhibitors and owners that are eligible through either un-shown markings or double registered that may not know they are eligible for the APHA,” said Freddie Alexander with the APHA. “[Our hope for our involvement with the NRBC] is of course to help the association, but also to help the exhibitors and open up other avenues for them to compete for money classes, World championships and provide them more opportunities.”
SmartPak Texas Hold’em Tournament
During Sunday night’s SmartPak Texas Hold’em Tournament at the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC), John McIlravey won the pot and took home top honors when he became the poker champion. Although the tournament is a fun pastime event for reiners, it also offers a benevolent aspect. Part of the proceeds from the poker tournament went to Rein In Cancer, a charitable organization which, to date, has raised over a million dollars for cancer patients in the reining industry.
McIlravey, not being much of a poker player, said his strategy was more of beginner’s luck than a well-versed poker player’s would have been. His main goal was to outlast his trainers and coaches Dany and Fred Tremblay.
“My strategy was to stay away from Dany and Fred Tremblay, because they are such good players,” McIlravey said. “I’m the only one really around the Tremblay’s team that doesn’t ride, so I don’t get to win, everybody else gets to.”
SmartPak has sponsored the Texas Hold’em Tournament at the NRBC for several years, and it has grown to be a favorite event at NRBC. To learn more about SmartPak, visit its website.