The Derby Amateur at the Breeder’s Invitational will be renamed to honor one of the event’s great supporters.
From now on, the class will be called the Harland Radomske 4-Year-Old Amateur. Its namesake, Harland Radomske, has been a part of the Breeder’s Invitational since he was named a director in 2000.
The honor was announced during a ceremony in the arena at the show on Thursday, May 27. It was hosted by show announcer Tom Holt.
Holt lauded Radomske for the work he’s done over the years to make the Breeder’s Invitational a success, as well as his efforts to promote cutting in his home region of the Pacific Northwest.
“In 2000, when he became a director of the Breeder’s Invitational, he played a major part in the policies that are being set and used today,” Holt told the audience in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Radomske, who has been fighting cancer since 2008, was at this year’s Breeder’s Invitational earlier during the show, but fell ill and was not able to be at a ceremony. The event was intended as a surprise, and his daughter, Raley Mae Zebrauskas, who was in on the secret, said beforehand that she thought her father would appreciate the recognition from a show that he truly believed in.
“The Breeder’s Invitational has been a really big, a passionate thing that he’s been involved with for a very long time,” said Zebrauskas, who later relayed that the family watched the livestream of Thursday’s ceremony. “And, he has truly loved every bit of it.”
One of the things Radomske appreciates about the Breeder’s Invitational was that it is a professional, quality event, she said, that strives to go “above and beyond to make everybody enjoy that event.”
“He just is a big advocate for what that particular event stands for and he’s just real passionate about making it about the people,” she said Thursday before the ceremony. “He loves always supporting the Amateur division and just making that event super special [and] successful in a way that not all of the other events are.”
Zebrauskas said her father held many shows at their facility in Ellensburg, Washington, and always strove to have a quality event that people could enjoy, while trying to promote the sport in the Pacific Northwest.
An NCHA Members Hall of Fame inductee, Radomske is credited with helping create both the Novice Non-Pro class and the Amateur division, as well as urging the existing cutting organization in the Pacific Northwest to become an affiliate of the NCHA.
He was an NCHA director for more than two decades, and over the years also has been active in the association’s committees, according to the NCHA.
The Radomske cutting horse operation, Venture Farms Inc., is best known as the owner of 1985 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open Champion The Gemnist. Trainer Kathy Daughn rode the horse, who was sired by the Radomske family’s stallion Doc Bar Gem and out of Miss Fancy Zan (by Black Gold Zan).
The Gemnist, nicknamed “Wally,” had official EquiStat earnings of $368,547 and lived the rest of his days with the Radomskes. In addition to his sire, Doc Bar Gem, one of the main stallions the family stood at Venture Farms over the years was The Gemnist’s maternal half brother, The Dualler, a son of Dual Pep and out of Miss Fancy Zan (by Black Gold Zan).
The two stallions sired the earners in EquiStat of more than $717,437 (Doc Bar Gem) and $483,527 (The Dualler). In all, Radomske and Venture Farms together have so far bred the earners of more than $1.7 million, according to EquiStat.
Though Radomske no longer competes in cutting, he and his family continue to breed cutting, rope and barrel horses in the name of Venture Farm. One of their cutting broodmares is Shesa Spoonful A Fun, a daughter of Hes A Peptospoonful and out of Opus Cat (by High Brow Cat) that Radomske rode to the 2013 NCHA Super Stakes Derby Senior Limited Non-Pro title.
Overall, Radomske himself has so far amassed an EquiStat record of more than $448,077 as a rider.
His horse operation is based in Weatherford, Texas, and also in Ellensburg in Central Washington State.