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.
The reining bug has taken Europe by storm. Just look at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Open World champions for the past five years. They have European ties in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Austria. NRHA Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck, who is from Belgium, has won four Open World championships since 2010, with the latest in 2015 aboard What A Wave.
Smart Chic Olena was bred by Emily Woodall, of Dallas, Texas. He was purchased as a weanling by The Venturous Five Partnership and placed into the hands of Bill Glass. He made it to the semifinals of the 1988 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open, where he lost a cow. He came back in the 1989 NCHA Super Stakes to place third, and life was looking up for this young show horse.
The outstanding show mare Miss Ella Rey has carried Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Ed Dufurrena and his children, Brandon and Rieta Dufurrena, to earnings of nearly $400,000. Her latest accomplishment put Rieta in 12th place in the 2015 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Non-Pro World standings. As a broodmare, Miss Ella Rey has now given the Dufurrena family the NCHA Futurity Open Champion Stevie Rey Von and NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year Purple Reyn. Brandon is the breeder of record for the full siblings by Metallic Cat.
Like last issue’s featured horse, May I Be Wild, Peptos Stylish Foxy is another cutting horse doing double duty early in her career. The Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA)/Holy Cow Performance Horses Futurity Champion carried Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Grant Setnicka to the win in the Open with a 220.5. She followed that up with double titles in the Futurity Amateur and Unlimited Amateur divisions with Hannah Gamble in the saddle, scoring a 219. Her triple at the PCCHA Futurity earned a total of $42,221.
May I Be Wild served double duty in the Calgary Stampede Wrangler Cutting Horse Futurity, held Oct. 14-18 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She rewarded her owners, Russ and Julie Elrod, of Terrebonne, Oregon, with the Open Championship and Non-Pro Reserve Championship. She carried Russ in the Open, winning $17,026, and Julie in the Non-Pro, earning $6,569.
May I Be Wild is a 2012 filly bred by Jeffrey Paul Boggess, of Bend, Oregon. The Elrods officially became the owners of this filly in October 2013.