PRF Peptos Smart Cat and trainer Jared Jones scored a breakthrough win in the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Derby Intermediate Open.
It was the first premier event victory for horse and the rider, who has placed second or third in several of the major NRCHA-produced events in the past three seasons.
“I don’t even know what to think still,” Jones said. “It’s what all of us hope to be able to do one day, so the fact that it actually happened I guess is kind of unbelievable.”
He and the Tori Simons-owned son of WR This Cats Smart won the big prize with a composite of 660 (217.5 herd/219 rein/223.5 cow). In addition, Jones earned the Intermediate Open Reserve Championship with Remys Merada, a son of Cats Merada he also piloted to sixth in the Derby Open finals.
PRF Peptos Smart Cat arrived at trainer Justin Wright’s barn — where Jones works — as a 2-year-old. He’s competed in both the Open and Non-Pro during his show career, with Jones and Simmons both picking up paychecks.
Simons rode him in the Non-Pro at the 2019 Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity, and both won money on the horse at last year’s NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Jones rode him to a fourth place in this year’s Tres Osos Cow Horse Derby at the NRCHA Celebration of Champions.
He thanked Simons and Wright, as well as Wright’s non-pro client Eric Freitas and assistant trainer Russell Probert for their help. Everyone on the Wright team helped make the premier event victory possible, he said.
“Without them, none of it can happen,” he said.
The combined earnings from PRF Peptos Smart Cat and Remys Merada pushed Jones’s lifetime earnings past the $100,000 mark.
The $9,982 first-place winnings from the Derby Intermediate Championship pushed PRF Peptos Smart Cat’s lifetime earnings to $37,149. He’s one of five money earners out of his dam, Wild Francine, a daughter of Peptoboonsmal with a produce record of just under $100,000.
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