A thrilling day of reined cow horse action on Saturday, June 15, wrapped up the main event at the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Jack and Phoebe Cooke Memorial Derby, presented by Cats Picasso. The Derby is one of the most prestigious events for 4- and 5-year-old reined cow horses. Shown two-handed in a snaffle bit or a hackamore, horses are judged in three preliminary events: rein work, herd work and cow work.
Open and non-pro riders took center stage at the Paso Robles Event Center, in Paso Robles, California. The top combined score rode away with a prestigious NRCHA Derby Champion title and a share of more than $340,000.
While Clayton Edsall has many championship titles under his belt, winning the NRCHA Derby Open was a first. The NRCHA professional from Oakdale, California, rode Gardiner Quarter Horses-bred Bet He Sparks (Bet Hesa Cat x Sparking Train x Shining Spark) to a 220 in the herd work, a 219.5 in the rein work and a 222 in the fence work. The 5-year-old stallion is owned by K. & L. Phillips LLC.
In addition to a hefty $30,174 payday, the team also received a DC Cow Horse Gear saddle, Gist Silversmiths buckle, boots by Lucchese, Platinum Performance gift certificate and product from UltraCruz.
“Special thanks to Kathryn and Layn Phillips for giving me the opportunity to train their horses; my herd help, Shadd Parkinson, Justin Wright, Kelby Phillips and Phillip Ralls; Trent Pedersen and Jake Gorrell for jumping in and helping my non-pros when I sick and unable to make it back to the arena; Dr. Marty Gardner and Dr. Joe Carter and crew; the NRCHA for putting on another great show; all of our clients and sponsors for all of their support — Bloomer Trailers, Classic Equine, CR RanchWear, Kimes Ranch Jeans, Platinum Performance, Herring Custom Hats, Serna Custom Boots, Triple Crown Feed, Yucca Flats Saddle Blankets and Zoetis; and last but definitely not least, my beautiful wife, Chelsea,” Edsall said. “She’s amazing. She keeps the barn running, does the books, raises two kids, plus has a full time job. It’s very impressive what she does, and I couldn’t do it without her.”
Metallic Freckle (Metallic Cat x Jasmin Sweet Freckle x Widows Freckles), who was bred by Tom Mason, and Tucker Robinson earned $22,834 for the Reserve Championship. They scored a composite 658 (217.5 herd/216.5 rein/224 cow) for owner Anna Lisa Luna.
Derby Intermediate Open
Claiming the Derby Intermediate Open win was Peptos Stylin Time (One Time Pepto x Stylin Jewel x Docs Stylish Oak) with Kyle Trahern aboard. Trahern, from Saratoga, Wyoming, earned $9,718 for his 653.5 composite (214.5 herd/ 219.5 rein/ 219.5 cow). The 4-year-old stallion is owned by Peptos LLC and was bred by Hanging H Ranch LLC.
Red Hotz (Sweet Lil Pepto x Doc Na Box x Bob Acre Doc) and Jordan Williams earned the Intermediate Open Reserve Championship and $7,475 for owners Wes and Sarah Williams. Red Hotz, whose composite score totaled a 652.5 (215.5 herd/216 rein/221 cow) was bred by Donald Weber and McSherry.
Derby Limited Open
Horse shows have always been a family affair for the Fishers, and Derby week was no exception. Wyatt Fisher, of Nipomo, California, guided Travalinonmoonshine (Cats Moonshine x Travalin Miss Mosa x Travalena), owned by his parents, Jayson and Teresa Fisher, to a 637 composite (212.5 herd/212.5 rein/212 cow), earning the Limited Open Championship. The win was accompanied by a $6,797 paycheck for the Randy Free-bred gelding and his owners.
MC Cowhammer (Metallic Cat x Gunsmart Gay x Playgun) and Trevor Carter took the Limited Open Reserve Championship and $4,077 home to New Mexico for their composite 636 (216 herd/217 rein/203 cow). The stallion is a homebred belonging to Bogle Brothers LLC.
Hope Miller captured her second NRCHA Derby Non-Pro championship title after piloting Sparking Metallic, a half-sister to Derby Open Champion Bet He Sparks, to a 652 composite in the clean-slate finals. After topping the prelims, Miller lead the herd work finals with a 219, then took the top score in the rein work finals with a 221.5. Her 211.5 fence work score sealed the deal on the win and a $7,496 paycheck.
Sparking Metallic (by Metallic Cat) is owned by Miller and was bred by Gardiner Quarter Horses.
Finishing Reserve in the Derby Non-Pro was Debbie Crafton aboard Painted 4P Ranch-bred A Quick Remedy (Very Smart Remedy x A Quick Prize x Smokums Prize). The scored a 647.5 (210.5 herd/217 rein/220 cow), earning $5,996.
Derby Intermediate Non-Pro
Kathy Wilson and Ima Prizcee Hickory (Cee Mr Hickory x Nu Prize x Smokums Prize), bred by Trystin Johnston, were crowned the Intermediate Non-Pro champions. Wilson piloted her 4-year-old gelding, who she won the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity Intermediate Non-Pro Championship with, to a 209 in the herd work, a 213.5 in the rein work and 219.5 down the fence. The 642 composite earned the California non-pro $3,459.
Derby Novice Non Pro Champion
Thanks to a 640 composite, Mandy Lizama and Fitzpatrick Macdevco-bred San Master Peppy (Smart Little Pepinic x Masters Miss Pici x Master Remedy) rode away with the Novice Non-Pro Championship and Intermediate Non-Pro Reserve Championship. Lizama, of Stevinson, California, scored a 213 in the herd work, a 211 in the reining and a 216 in the cow work, earning more than $4,200 in the finals.
Auspicious Storm (Auspicious Cat x Xtra Smart Swiss x Smart Little Lena), bred by Kathy and Dusty Morrison, and Lori Conrow claimed Reserve and $1,153 for their 630.5 (206 herd/210 rein/214.5 cow).