Ten horses vied for the Open Bridle World Championship at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions on Feb. 22, and it was draw seven, Dera Cat and BJ Avila, who came out on top with a composite 428.5 (212.5 rein/216 cow).
“His big deal is on a cow,” Avila said. “He’s a really good fence horse. He can run, he can cut really good, he’s a three-event horse. I’ve shown him twice at the World’s Greatest [Horseman] and just kind of had some bad luck in the roping and stuff. He’s a very adrenaline-driven individual.”
Dera Cat, also known as “Magnum,” is by Equi-Stat Elite $26 Million Sire Smooth As A Cat and out of the Dual Pep mare Dera Dually. She is a producer of six money-earners, including cutters Bens Equalizer ($64,856, by Smart Equalizer) and Joes Last Lena ($59,672, by Smart Little Lena). With the champion’s paycheck of $8,904, Magnum is now her second-highest earner with a bankroll worth $60,828.
Avila has been training Magnum, who is owned by Rainlynn LLC and was bred by Mahler and Meredith, for about three years. He found out about the horse through trainer Zane Davis.
“Harry De Haan owned him, and Harry was showing him at the time in the two-rein,” Avila said. “Zane trained him, and Zane is the best trainer on the face of the planet in my opinion. I’d buy anything from him.
“I went up and spent three days and rode him [Magnum] for about eight hours, fell in love with him and took him home. Don Murphy’s helped me with him to kind of get him in the bridle a little better down the wall, and it’s really helped.”
Avila appreciated everyone who supported him, including Magnum’s owners.
“It’s the first belt buckle I’ve won the owner since I worked for him the last two years,” Avila said. “This was his first big time show horse, so it’s kind of neat to win him a buckle that says World Champion on it.”