The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby is one of the great highlights of the summer reining season. This year, the Level 4 Open Champion was Magnum Starlights, a 5-year-old stallion owned by Antler Ridge Ranch LLC. He was nominated by his breeder, George Lawrence, and ridden to the Championship by Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Casey Deary. A look at his pedigree shows an interesting twist through his sire and some interesting ties to NRHA Hall of Fame stallion Topsail Cody.
When Russell Dilday and Topsails Rien Maker won their third World’s Greatest Horseman title in 2011, they cemented their place in the annals of reined cow horse history as a legendary team. The recent loss of Topsails Rien Maker brings an end to the saga of this great team, but not to the legend of Topsails Rien Maker, one of the most versatile horses to grace the performance arena.
Heavy Duty Chex and Moonlite Chex combined to bring home three titles at the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC), held April 17-24 in Katy, Texas. Both horses were both bred by Hilldale Farms in Brashear, Texas. Tammye Hutton, daughters Jessicah Keller and Sarah Locker and son David Hutton are the people behind Hilldale Farms. Locker and Heavy Duty Chex marked a 225 in the finals of the Derby Level 4 Non-Pro, cementing their second consecutive win. Moonlite Chex and Keller earned two titles, winning the Novice Horse Level 2 Non-Pro and tying for first in the Novice Non-Pro.
The 2016 Lucas Oil National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Open will be remembered as the Kenny Platt and Moms Stylish Player show. Platt and the 4-year-old gelding won the first go and led the composite, then topped the semifinals and the finals. Moms Stylish Player also won the Gelding Open title and sent a total check of $100,137 home to owner Robert Tregemba, of Castle Rock, Colorado.
Playful Highbrow CD marked a 222 with owner Walt Erwin in the saddle to win the Open at The Four Sixes/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Eastern National Championships. The $2,881 winner’s share gives Playful Highbrow CD an Equi-Stat record of $34,355.
It would be an understatement to say that Harper Conner was on a roll at this year's Cactus Reining Classic. He co-owns Lucas Oil Derby Level 4 Open Champion Platinum Vintage with Silver Spurs Equine LLC, and Conner also showed three horses in the finals of the Protect The Harvest Derby Non-Pro. He won the Non-Pro with Jacs Princess, was Reserve with Vintage GQ and placed 11th with Revolutionary Jewels. The earnings for these four horses was $22,678.
The World’s Greatest Horseman competition showcases the versatility of American Quarter Horses and the men who ride them. The 2016 event was held as a part of the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Celebration of Champions in Fort Worth, Texas. The competitors showed their versatility by working in four events – herd work, rein work, steer stopping and the always-thrilling fence work. Clayton Edsall, riding his gelding Skeets Oak Peppy, earned a combined finals score of 883 to win the event, giving him the title of World’s Greatest Horseman.
When Austin Shepard rode High Brow Clay 012 into the James Brown Arena on Jan. 24, he was riding to a record third straight Augusta Futurity 4-Year-Old Open Championship. They scored a 224, winning the first-place check of $12,000.
High Brow Clay 012 is owned by Plantation Farms LLC, of Denham Springs, Louisiana. He was bred by James Eakin, of Hondo, Texas, who is the current owner of his dam, Cash N Scooter. His sire is High Brow CD, the 2007 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open Champion.