horse spins in NRHA Derby Open
Baileys Sidekick & Josh Tishman. • Photo by Molly Montag.

Josh Tishman Wins NRHA Derby Open Level 1

Josh Tishman rode to a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby Open Level 1 Championship aboard Baileys Sidekick with a score of 222.5.

Tishman expressed his gratitude for his team and the 6-year-old gelding owned by Kathy H. Thompson.

“It’s pretty special [to win], and especially on this horse. This horse, Balieys Sidekick, he’s tried his heart out. He was actually shown [by] the non-pro [Thompson] and myself this week and the non-pro made level four finals on him. I missed level four finals by half a point, he just gave everything he had,” Tishman grinned. “He was perfect, and he was shown hard four times, and he was perfect every time in the pen. He’s a special horse.”

Balieys Sidekick is sired by Equi-Stat Elite$2 million sire Gunners Special Nite and out of the mare A Shining Sidekick, a mare that earned $45,854 and has produced two money-earning offspring.

The win by her leading son, Baileys Sidekick, at the NRHA Derby has pushed his lifetime earnings to $63,913. The horse brought home checks in both the open and the non-pro, totaling nearly $16,000. The versatility of this gelding is shown through his ability to trade between riders, Tishman said. 

“He has an amazing mind and he’s just — special. I mean it’s hard for a horse to just go in there and just, constantly make hard runs back-to-back-to-back-to-back without schooling” he said. 

This Level 1 Open win is a big victory for Tishman, who started seriously riding reining horses in 2013. Although Tishman is relatively new to the reining industry, horses are something he has known his entire life.

Tishman started riding English from a young age, jumping horses in the Northeastern portion of the United States. Originally from Jefferson, Maine, Tishman attended college in Montana, rodeoing for Rocky Mountain College. According to Tishman, the equestrian team coach begged him to ride for them. He agreed, under the stipulation he could ride the reining horses. 

“I kind of got the [reining] bug. I thought I wanted to do cow horse at first and then I realized I didn’t want to deal with cattle, so then I just kind of found the niche of reining.”

The industry has embraced him, and he currently works for Equi-Stat Elite$1 million rider Casey Deary. 

Tishman’s varied equine background and Baileys Sidekicks’ willingness to perform has made them a dynamic team. According to Tishman the Tulsa Reining Classic, Las Vegas High Roller Derby and the American Quarter Horse Association’s World show are on the agenda. 

For his victory at the NRHA Derby, Tishman will be taking home a Bob’s Custom Saddle, a Montanna Silversmiths Buckle, a pair of Anderson Bean boots, gift certificates to Smartpak and Shortys Caboy Hatery and prizes from CINCH, Classic Equine, Bluebonnet Feed and Platium Performance. 

Reserve in the Level 1 Open went to Todd Wright and SJR Karinas Lil Step (Wimpys Little Step x Whizs Katrina). The pair marked a 220.5 and will be taking home $4,845 for owner Teresa McCarthy. 

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