Jimmy van der Hoeven and “Famous Amos” did it again.
On a night packed with powerful performances, the Dutch native and bay gelding defended their title in the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby Level 4 Open.
They did it by scorching a 231.5 from draw 29 of a 34-horse finals held Saturday (June 22) at Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Afterwards, van der Hoeven said he tried not to overthink the run with the horse owned by Chad and Molly Cherry, of Guthrie, Oklahoma.
“He’s a horse that he takes care of you as much as you take care of him,” van der Hoeven said moments after the win was official. “So, I went in there and I knew if I did my job, he would do his job.”
Their score of 231.5 was just enough to overtake the previous horse in the set, No Smoking Required. The 2013 stallion and Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Rider Craig Schmersal marked a 231 to earn the Reserve Championship.
However, the memorable runs at the 2019 NRHA Derby didn’t end with Champion and Reserve. Earlier in the finals, spectators were treated to a stellar runs by two elite horse-and-rider combinations — reining Triple Crown contender A Vintage Smoke and trainer Jason Vanlandingham, and the talented stallion Patriot and trainer Nathan Piper.
A Vintage Smoke and Patriot entered the Derby off great efforts in the National Reining Breeders Classic, where they shared the Level 4 Open Co-Championship. They finished in a tie again at the Derby, both marking 230.5-point runs that sent the crowd into a frenzy and earned them shared third-place honors.
The crowd got even louder when van der Hoeven and Guaranteed A Magnum, aka “Amos,” entered the arena. Screams of “Go Jimmy!” and “Come on, Amos!” rose about the roar from the stands as van der Hoeven steered the gelding through Pattern 9.
“It’s very special. He’s a crowd favorite. People love him,” van der Hoeven said. “When he goes in there he has such a unique style … We call him ‘Famous Amos.'”
Last year, van der Hoeven and Amos won the NRHA Derby Level 4 Open Championship with a 225. They finished the year with the American Quarter Horse Association Junior Reining World Championship.
Guaranteed A Magnum’s $57,000 first-place money at the 2019 NRHA Derby pushed the Carl and Vicki Lambert-bred gelding’s lifetime earnings to more than $250,000. The horse (Magnum With A Dream x Guaranteed By Amos x Primary Pine) is the leading earner for his sire and his dam.
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