Fernando Salgado and Shineoncrazydiamond (Shine Chic Shine x Cashing In Diamonds x Lil Joe Cash) were victorious leaving the High Roller Reining Classic. They scored 229.5 and were crowned the Level 4 Open Derby and Stakes Champions, accompanied by a $50,138 payday.
As thousands of reining competitors disperse from the six-day reining competition at the renowned South Point Arena and Events Center, there are a magnitude of memorable stories to be told. For Salgado and his team of staff and supporters, these memories expand beyond the current championship.
Acquiring Shineoncrazydiamond was a smooth process for Salgado. At the NRHA Derby, he was prompted to give the horse a test drive, hoping to incorporate another successful horse into his program.
“I rode him for 5 minutes, and I knew he would fit me well. I called our great friend and amazing supporter, Kristen Cantacuzene, and she bought him for me without seeing him,” Salgado said.
Starting their season in the pen, Salgado and Shineoncrazydiamond took on the prestigious The Run For A Million (TRFAM) $100,000 Open Shootout. Together, the team marked a 223.5 for an impressive first outing.
“I drew first [at TRFAM], and I only had him for a month; I was thrilled, but watching the videos, I saw what I needed to do differently,” Salgado said.
For many in the reining industry, mental preparation is essential to becoming a successful showman. There are various components that competitors examine to prepare themselves and their horses to have an exceptional show. Standing last in the draw for the event gave Salgado a competitive edge. He could assess the competition and adjust his mental preparation for his run.
“We got lucky; we were last in the draw this time, and he was fun to show. It makes it fun to work with friends and family. With everybody involved in the horse and you show that well, it’s such a cool feeling,” Salgado said.
Like many others, the life of a professional horse trainer is busy. With a great team of staff and supporters, the organized chaos was blissful. As one horse show ends, the training for the next event begins. Salgado is gearing up for the Arizona Reining Horse Association Best of the West at the WestWorld of Scottsdale, October 3-8 in Scottsdale, Ariz..