Chris Dawson and CSR Lay Down Sally rode a monster fence score to win the $25,000-added CD Survivor Memorial Open Bridle Spectacular Friday night in Paso Robles, California.
The trainer from Perrin, Texas, and the mare (Dual Spark x Look At Her Glo x CD O Cody) took the title with a composite of 670 (219 herd /223.5 rein/227.5 cow). They won a CR Morrison resin trophy sponsored by Will Rogers Memorial Center, a Gist buckle, products from Platinum Performance and an $11,675 paycheck for owner Meredith Graber.
“Everything felt aligned today. Sally always feels good,” Dawson said in a statement. “She found some gears tonight I wasn’t even sure she had. Every time I show that mare she just gets better. She is a super horse and she has a lot of heart.”
Earlier this week, Graber and “Sally” captured the Non-Pro Bridle Spectacular Championship at the NRCHA Derby. She’d bought the mare as a 5-year-old and showed her in the boxing derbies through her 6-year-old year, winning last year’s NRCHA Derby Non-Pro Limited Championship.
Sharing an Open and Non Pro horse does not come without it’s challenges, but CSR Lay Down Sally, Graber and Dawson seem to make it work well. According to Dawson, Graber is the one who has spent the most time putting CSR Lay down Sally in the bridle.
“Meredith is such a great rider. Sally keeps Meredith safe while learning to go down the fence, then I can put more pressure on her for the Open,” he said.
With entry numbers nearly double over last year, twenty-eight of some of the most elite reined cow horses and trainers took center stage at the Heart Equestrian Center, completing the triathlon of herd work, rein work and fence work in one afternoon. Energy and excitement filled the air, as owners, riders and fans searched for an empty seat or place to stand and watch the thrilling fence work.
“They [Holy Cow Performance Horses] have been such great supporters of the bridle horses. The purpose of this is to build bridle horses,” Dawson stated. “These bridle horse classes are so nice to be able to give the owners an incentive to keep a horse in training and let the horses progress through the stages of training.”
Dawson Performance Horses has had a very successful week, so far, at the NRCHA Derby, taking several championship titles back to Perrin, Texas, making tonight’s win icing on the cupcake for the Dawson.
An Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider, Dawson thanked the Grabers, his wife, his assistants, his herd help and the whole reined cow horse family.
“The Lord puts good people and horses in your life. The Grabers are awesome people,” Dawson said.
Grader credited the success to the team at Dawson Performance Horses, her family and her horse show family.
“Without them, none of this would be possible,” she said.
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