Playin Motown and Ben Baldus took the Open prize at the National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance National Championship show. • Photo by Shane Rux, courtesy of NRSHA

Ben Baldus and Playin Motown Win National Ranch Horse and Stock Horse Alliance Crown

The National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance crowned seven All Around Champions and 35 class champions at their National Championship Show held in conjunction with the AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championship at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

More than 470 entries competed in NRSHA ranch trail, ranch reining, ranch riding, ranch cutting, ranch boxing and ranch cow work across seven different divisions. Riders qualified for the National Championship Show by competing at three or more shows with one of the NRSHA partners.

Open Champions

In the Open, the seven-time champion did it again, as Ben Baldus of Gainesville, Texas, captured the All-Around Championship riding Playin Motown, a 2013 gelding by Mr Playinstylish and out of Mo Flo (by Mr Peponita Flo). 

Playin Motown was bred by Kit and Charlie Moncrief and Lee Tennison and is owned by Catelyn Walker, of Prairie Grove, Arkansas. 

In addition to the NRSHA All Around, Playin Motown also earned the VRH Senior World Championship. 

“It was fun to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. There’s a lot of growth in the versatility. I was very happy with the course set up,” Baldus said. “Playin Motown has been in our program for quite a few years now, and it is exciting to go show him; he loves to do his job.”

Amateur & Youth

National All-Around Champions were also crowned in six Amateur and Youth divisions. Sara Gugelmeyer, of Dalhart, Texas, edged the competition by one point to win the Amateur Division aboard OTP Rio. The 2011 gelding is by One Time Pepto and out of Hickorys Tornado Rio (by Doc’s Hickory). He was bred by Dan Churchill, of Moline, Illinois. 

“I really appreciate NRSHA working hard to get the added money so that it is financially rewarding to do well at the show,” Gugelmeyer said.

Sara finished the week first in cow work, first in ranch riding, second in cutting, fifth in trail and sixth in reining to earn $2,641. Each national All-Around Champion took home a prize package that included a sterling-silver buckle, bronze trophy, champion neck ribbon, specially-designed logoed jacket and champion patch, in addition to their share of the purse.

Other all-around winners

In the Limited Amateur Division, Bruce Rice and Sweet Lil Oak took the title back to Berthoud, Colorado. Sweet Lil Oak is a 2009 gelding by Sweet Lil Pepto and out of Oak N Sugs UFO (by Doc’s Oak), and was bred by the San Juan Ranch, of Weatherford, Texas. 

Bodelles Blue Boon and Liz Turney of Comanche, Oklahoma, captured the Novice Amateur Division title in their first ever NRSHA National Show. Bodelles Blue Boon, a 2010 mare by Perfect Pepto and out of Chickita Rey Shorty (by Shorty Lena), was bred by Nonie Casselman-Reed. 

After dominating the arena this past week, Maisen Avent, of Elbert, Colorado, and Ellie May Rey left Guthrie with two youth all-around titles – NRSHA and VRH. Ellie May Rey is a 2015 mare by Rey Dual and out of Starlights Prize (by Smokums Prize), and bred by the San Juan Ranch ,of Weatherford, Texas.

Allora Leonard of Voca, Texas, repeated as the Limited Youth All-Around Champion at the NRSHA National Show. She was also the VRH Limited Youth Champion aboard Stylish Lil Boon, a 2017 gelding by Mr Playinstylish and out of Shesalittleredboon (by Peptoboonsmal). He was bred by Kit and Charlie Moncrief, of Fort Worth, Texas. 

The Novice Youth All-Around title went to Klare Segura of Schulenburg, Texas. Klare rode Smoothly Done, a 2011 mare by Smooth As A Cat and out of Gracefully Done (by Dual Pep), and bred by Philip & Mary Ann Rapp.