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Jennifer Neudorf on Shining in Town (Left) and Adam Donahue on Not Ruf (Right) * NRHA Photos

Neudorf and Donahue Take Adequan® NAAC Championships in Non Pro Classes

The Adequan® Arena at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City has been bustling with activity since the event began on Tuesday, as riders from across North America compete in the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships. It was an exciting day of classes in the Adequan® Arena, with the remainder of the Non Pro classes wrapping up Friday. Making the classes even more exciting was that the Top 10, plus ties, in the NAAC Intermediate Non Pro earned a spot in the Bob’s Custom Saddles Showdown, slated for Thursday, Nov. 30.

Adequan® NAAC Non Pro & Int. Non Pro Champions

The last time Jennifer Neudorf competed on Shining In Town was 2020, the year after the duo swept all four Levels to win the Non Pro title at the NRHA Derby presented by Markel. The pair returned to the OKC Fairgrounds to compete in the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships in 2023.

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Jennifer Neudorf and Shining In Town * NRHA Photo

A 223 in the first section of Adequan® Non Pro classes spelled victory in the NAAC Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro along with the corresponding ancillary classes, resulting in earnings of $11,339.

“(Chubs) was retired for a little bit,” Neudorf said. “We never planned on showing him again, but last minute, I was convinced to show him one more time, and it has been a lot of fun.”

Shining In Town is a 10-year-old stallion by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Hollywoodstinseltown and out of Shine Ann. Shining in Town, bred by Carol Rose, has more than $200,000 in lifetime earnings, and he was as honest in his return to reining as always.

“He is a horse like I’ve never ridden before,” Neudorf said. “He always tries. He always is just super willing. I’ve never had a horse that’s just with you 110 percent every time and just goes and does what you say.”

As part of the Intermediate Non Pro win, Neudorf qualified for the Bob’s Custom Saddles Intermediate Non Pro Showdown, scheduled for Nov. 30.

“I’m very excited about it,” Neudorf said. “I’m so excited to go back into the Coliseum with him and just see how it goes and go have some fun.”

When the update regarding current leaders in the Adequan® NAAC Non Pro classes was posted on Thanksgiving Day, the sentence about Neudorf being a professional barrel racer had some readers scratching their heads.

NRHA staff clarified the situation, noting that “While Jennifer competes as a professional barrel racer, she does not receive remuneration for training horses and does not coach non pros. Questions about eligibility can be directed to Assistant Commissioner Christa Morris at [email protected].”

Adequan® NAAC Prime Time Non Pro Champions

A rough year had a Not Ruf ending for Adam Donahue, who marked 219.5 to capture the Adequan® NAAC Prime Time Non Pro Championship and the win in the ancillary division. Additionally, he and Not Ruf placed in all six of the concurrently-run Non Pro classes for total earnings of $6,384.

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Adam Donahue and Not Ruf * NRHA Photo

“We started the year off real good in Florida, down in Jacksonville, and he’s been showing up every time I’ve shown him this year,” Donahue said. “I got him from Vaughn and Justin Zimmerman his 3-year-old year, and I’ve had him ever since.”

Not Ruf is a 7-year-old gelding by NRHA $1 Million Sire Not Ruf At All and out of the mare Kays Freckles.

“He was really good today,” Donahue said. “He ran really strong. He always turns around well. He kept coming, and when I asked for more, he let me have more. He’s a nice horse, and I will show him a little bit in the maturities next year.”

It was a year of ups and downs for Donahue. Before the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, Donahue was bitten by a tick and developed erlichiosis. He didn’t realize what had happened.

“When I was here at the Derby, I went to the hospital to the emergency room three times,” Donahue said. “They kept telling me I had heat stroke, and I went home on Sunday, and I went to the emergency room on Monday. They started running tests, and the following Thursday night, I was pretty sure I was gonna die.”

It was close enough that Donahue and his wife had said what they thought would be their final goodbyes. The antibiotics did their work on Donahue’s tough system, and he was able to go home. A week later, he was suffering severe disorientation.

Back in the hospital, the doctors discovered Donahue had suffered a small stroke in his brainstem. A physical therapist told him that riding would be good for him, so Donahue and his wife compromised: He only took one 3-year-old to Ocala, Florida, to show.

“And she was really good,” Donahue said. “So that’s how my life goes.”

Donahue will have another chance at winning money on Not Ruf through the Bob’s Custom Saddles Intermediate Non Pro Showdown, scheduled for Nov. 30 in the Jim Norick Coliseum.

Bob’s Custom Saddles Intermediate Non Pro Showdown Qualifiers

The top 10 finishers of the Adequan® NAAC Intermediate Open earn a spot in the clean-slate Bob’s Custom Saddles Intermediate Non Pro Showdown, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 30. All qualifiers must check in and confirm their spot in the Showdown no later than noon Nov. 25, or they will be removed from the draw, and the next place entry will be invited.

Bob’s Custom Saddles Intermediate Non Pro Showdown Qualifiers:

  • Jennifer Neudorf & Shining In Town
  • Courtney Battison & Xtra Little Balou
  • Jenna Webb & MMB Chic Gun Renda
  • Adam Donahue & Not Ruf
  • Kim Friedman & Electalena
  • Ayden Mae Welman & Miss Im In Style
  • Grant Truax & Lady Infernofourosix
  • Bevin Zimmerman & Taking A Mistress
  • Karen Shedlauskas & Gunnabetya
  • Kathleen Armenta & Off N Running
  • Kristen Avila & Gunners Specialdream

Adequan® NAAC competition continues Saturday with the first section of the Toyon Ranch Rookie of the Year, Rookie Level 2, and Prime Time Rookie.