Lexi Lacoste raised the bar at the 2023 Bloomer Rookie Championship at The Run For A Million. Lacoste piloted Warlocks Last Step (Shiners Voodoo Dr x SDP A Lasting Step x Wimpys Little Step), affectionately known as Bond, to a leading score, and an unforgettable run-off.
Fans and competitors flock to The Run For A Million Aug. 16-19 at the renowned South Point Arena & Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The growing event recently incorporated The Bloomer Rookie Championship, which aims to showcase the National Reining Horse Association’s (NRHA) up-and-coming non-pro competitors.
What began as an invitational competition in 2019 evolved into a well-established event for rookie NRHA members to qualify and partake in the prestigious The Run For A Million. The 2023 rookie draw list showcased 94 qualified riders and their top-tier equine athletes.
During the draw party, it was clear to Lacoste and her family that her late father was present at South Point Arena. Drawing his lucky number 22 for the rookie championship, Lexi Lacoste knew she wouldn’t be showing Bond alone.
Early in the draw, Lacoste scored an impressive 219. The score held first place through 51 competitors until Shea Gilson aboard Rolex N Chex (Nu Chex to Cash x Miss Moth Money x Smart Little Calboy) matched it.
Breaking the tie, Lacoste and Gilson took center stage in a runoff to determine the victor. Lacoste drew first, dominating with a heartfelt score of 222.5 to earn her Rookie Championship title. To Lacoste, showing Bond was an opportunity and blessing. Her victory and the presence of her late father made this one of her most memorable horse shows, leaving her with high honors, hardware, and $1,016 in prize money.
“It still doesn’t feel real. I want to thank my fiancé Cade, Tom, and Mandy [McCutcheon] for teaching me all I know. As well as my friends and family who made it all possible,” Lacoste said.
With a final runoff score of 219, Bloomer Rookie Reserve Champion was Shea Gilson, and Rolex N Chex, cashing $618 in prize money.