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Terry Christian rode Smoketta Cat to a slew of titles at the 2020 NRCHA Stallion Stakes in Las Vegas, Nevada. • Photo by Primo Morales.

‘Horse Show Dad’ Terry Christiansen Wins Big at NRCHA Stallion Stakes

For years, Terry Christiansen was the ultimate horse show dad. The Snohomish, Washington Non-Pro cow horse rider set aside his show career for 15 years giving his kids his best horses, so they could earn multiple youth world championships.

In a role reversal–his daughter’s family as on-site support and his son watching the homestead, Christiansen claimed the 2020 National Reined Cow Horse Stallion Stakes Non-Pro, Intermediate Non-Pro & Novice No-Pro Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Aboard Smoketta Cat (Dual R Smokin x Fletchetta Cat x High Brow Cat), Christiansen scored 216 in the herd work, a 220.5 in the rein and a 220 in the fence work to win the Stakes Non-Pro Championship. The 656.5 composite score earned a $10,700 paycheck. His total event winnings exceeded $11,500.

“She is comfortable out of the herd and gives you confidence knowing that she is going to stop and come back,” he said of the 2015 mare bred by Switchback Cutting Horses, of Cody, Wyoming. “We are working on smoothing out our turnarounds, circles and lead changes in the rein work but she is way more horse than what she shows. It’s exciting to know there’s way more horse there when I figure her out.”

Christiansen wasn’t shopping when he found “Loretta.” He had horses at Jim Spence’s in Yamhill, Oregon and the mare was there. She caught Christiansen’s eye and Spence convinced him this was the horse that could carry him back into the show pen.

“I had gotten burned out and quit showing for six years,” Christiansen said. 

The pair hopes to qualify for the Celebration of Champions. None of it would be possible without the support of his family, he says.

“My wife, my mom and dad and both my kids’ families are really, really supporting what I do,” he said. “I was more than happy to be the supportive horse show dad. It’s crazy how things work out.”