Officials anticipate a record number of entries at the 2021 DT Horses Western Derby. Last year, the Scooter Kat and Justin Wright won the Open Championship. • Photo by Primo Morales.

Cow Horse Competitors Blow Up Entry Box at DT Horses Western Derby

The 2021 show year has been a big one for many events, and the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) says it anticipates a record-high number of entries for the DT Horses Western Derby.

The show, scheduled for June 2-13 in Scottsdale, Arizona, would be the third NRCHA premier event of the year to see record entries. It comes on the heels of record participation in the NRCHA Celebration of Champion sand the NRCHA Stallion Stakes.

This is the second year for the NRCHA to host the Derby at WestWorld of Scottsdale, and the first year the event is supported by title sponsor DT Horses. With a full slate of horse show classes, the Western Derby show has $100,000 added to the Derby Open. Officials say entries in the Open divisions total 164. The Derby Non-Pro has more than 50 entries for this event. 

“We are so excited to be back in Scottsdale, Arizona, for a second year in a row thanks to the help of our friends at DT Horses,” Premier Event Manager Emily Konkel said in a statement. “It was a snap decision to have our Derby at WestWorld in 2020, but we are grateful to be able to call this place one of our premier event homes! We have seen a 20% increase in overall entries and more than a 130 stall increase for 2021, so we think this is a perfect fit for NRCHA and our growing reined cow horse community.”

Part of the increase is due to added money in the Non-Pro Limited. Competitors in that division will ride for more money than ever at the Western Derby, with the NRCHA Board of Directors voting to add $1,000 more to the Non Pro Limited Derby and to increase the Non-Pro Limited horse show class purse to $10,000.

In its eleventh year, the CD Survivor Open Bridle Spectacular, sponsored by Holy Cow Performance Horses, includes $25,000 in added-money to the top Open bridle horse at the event. Additionally, another $5,000 in support was provided by Holy Cow Performance Horses for the inaugural CD Survivor Bridle Horse Super Spectacular, an event that adds roping as the fourth element to the traditional three parts of the Spectacular. 

Horses ridden by Open and Non-Pro competitors that are entered in the Bridle Spectaculars, where horse and rider teams show in herd work, rein work and cow work to be crowned a three-event champion, are eligible for this Super Spectacular. The roping will be held on June 10, and broadcast on the Equine Promotion-facilitated webcast on

After the Western Derby, the next NRCHA premier event will be the the Dom Conicelli Memorial Eastern Derby, sponsored by MARS Equestrian™, scheduled for July 10-17, in Cordova, Tennessee. The premier events wrap with the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity® in October in Fort Worth, Texas.