It was very close, but Californian Clayton Edsall came out on top of the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) herd work preliminary round.
Edsall, who recently won the 2018 NRCHA Stakes Open and Intermediate Open championships, marked a 224 with Bet He Sparks (Bet Hesa Cat x Sparking Train x Shining Spark). The 2014 stallion — a maternal half sibling to Sparking Train, the Metallic Cat mare Edsall rode to victory at this year’s NRCHA Stakes — is owned by K & L Phillips, LLC.
Combined with his rein work score of 215.5, that put Edsall and Bet He Sparks at a 439.5 composite with the cow work preliminary round left to run. They were in fifth overall behind leaders Shiners Diamond Cat/Justin Wright — 445.5 (222 herd/223.5 rein).
Three horses were tied for second in the Open prelims with a 440 composite going into the cow work round: Very Blu/Clayton Edsall (222/218), rein work preliminary winners Step To The Light/Justin Wright (216/224) and Opus Cat Olena/Clay Volmer (220/220).
The Open cow work preliminary round is slated for Thursday.
Taking an early lead in the Derby Non-Pro Limited was Garrell Williams and Sparks On The Fence (Smart Boons
x Spark Chic Olena x Smart Chic Olena).
Williams, of Scottsdale, Arizona, and her 2012 mare “Carlee” marked a 213 in the herd work sending them to the top of the class of 31 entries. The Non-Pro limited-aged event competitors will compete in the rein work on Wednesday.