Reined Cow Horse Events
The Open finals aren't until Saturday night, but several riders have already secured Championships at the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Derby.
Jorge Cid, of Caracas, Venezuela, captured the NRCHA Derby Amateur Championship with his mare, Wright On Hickory. They won the class with a composite score of 640.5 (215 herd/215 rein/210.5 cow), banking $1,620.
Cid bought Wright On Hickory to get back into regular cow horse competition after focusing on his family's business in Venezuela.
"I was out for three years," said Cid, who returned to Venezuela after graduating North Central Texas College. "I didn't show for three years, so being able to come back and win the amateur in this big event, it means a lot to me."
Wright On Hickory (Hes Wright On x Hickorys Miracle x Docs Hickory) was previously trained by Sarah Dawson for the Wright On Hickory LLC syndicate. Although he'd looked at several horses, Cid knew he wanted Wright on Hickory as soon as his trainer, Shawn Hays, pointed her out to him.
"I really liked her and when we tried her she was so easy to get ready," Cid said. "And that's the thing, I need an easy horse to ride because I don't get to ride at home. I just ride whenever I come to the shows, so it's quite a challenge, but I really need and easy horse to show and she is."
He said the plan is to continue to show Wright on Hickory and eventually compete in the hackamore horse show classes at the NRCHA Futurity.
Level 1 Limited Open & Novice Horse Open
Daniel Sanchez and Mi Smart Ichi Girl continued their productive partnership by grabbing the NRCHA Derby Level 1 Limited Open Championship. An assistant trainer to Justin Wright, Sanchez knows the mare well. He began working with the 2012 mare (Cat Ichi x A Smart Laker Girl x Laker Doc) at his previous job with trainer Jake Gorrel.
"She's been an awesome mare for me for the lower levels and she's been tough, but I've been very blessed to have her also," Sanchez said. "We've accomplished a lot together, In Paso Robles, they scored a 641.5 (211 herd/212 rein/218.5 cow).
Sanchez was most excited by the mare's fence run.
"We've always believed she could make a big run down the fence and it was little fast and a little wild, but she was right there with the cow," he said. "She did what she needed to do and I was very, very happy with her."
They earned $2,123 for owner Mary Hobbs.
Sanchez's boss, Justin Wright, also won a title at the NRCHA Derby when he piloted Light and Sassy to the Novice Horse Open Championship. The mare (CD Lights x Dual Sass x Dual Pep) scored a 653.5 (214.5 herd/219.5 rein/219.5 cow) for owners Mark and Kimberly Rauch, who took home the winning check of $2,999.
In reined cow horse, many times, it's the cow work that determines who will earn the championship. Meredith Graber knew the 219 she and CSR Lay Down Sally marked in the Non-Pro Limited was enough to take the title.
"We knew going in that I had to get either a 215 to tie or a 216 to win it, so we knew a 219 got it. Dad kept track of that."
Robert Graber always keeps track.
"Ever since when I was starting in 4-H, dad has his own little book and he keeps track of each point, and what I do, in it and who gets other points," said Meredith, 18, of Cannelburg, Indiana.
They finished with a composite score of 654.5 (216 herd/219 rein/219.5 cow), which was good for a winning check of $2,430.
Graber hopes the 2011 mare (by Dual Spark x Look At Her Glo x CD O Cody) will be her future fence horse.
"She's my fence horse," she said. "She's a pretty sweet fence horse."
The NRCHA Derby continues Saturday with the Open and Non-Pro finals.
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