The partnership between Tracey Pearson and Gun Code may be new, but spectators at the Carolina Classic in Williamston, North Carolina, most likely couldn’t tell. The duo quickly hit their stride and rode the wave straight to the top of the Derby Non-Pro, held May 12.
Gun Code (Electric Code x Gunners N Roses x Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner]), bred by Mary Ann Jansma, of Tioga, Texas, gave his new owner confidence when they walked in the pen for the Derby Non-Pro from draw 20. That trust ended with a 214.5 from the judges, sweeping all four levels.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Pearson said with a smile from ear to ear. “It’s only my second time showing him, so he’s pretty new to me.”
Pearson, a physical therapist from New Hampshire, grew up riding all-around horses on the American Quarter Horse Association circuit. Reining grabbed her attention about six years ago, and she posted her first check to Equi-Stat in 2011. When she arrived for the Carolina Classic, her lifetime earnings totaled more than $26,000.
With around $5,500 in earnings prior to this show, 6-year-old Gun Code is the only money-earner out of Gunners N Roses, who is a daughter of $129,000-plus producer Slidin Miss Daisy (Steady Tradition x Flips Lady Te x Hesa Te N Te).
In total, Pearson took home $8,286 in exchange for her performance in the Derby Non-Pro with Gun Code, more than doubling the horse’s record. While some would expect a horse and rider with so much potential to set their sights on the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby, Pearson said they will stick closer to home and their team.
“I owe a lot to Dan Sanborn and MDS Farms,” said Pearson, who also showed John Wayne Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Kachina Oak Olena x Smart Chic Olena) to a 204.5 from draw six. “I’ve come a long way in a couple years and they got me through it all.”
After marking a 213.5 aboard Nics Custom Dually (Mister Nicadual x Custom Whizper x Custom Crome), bred by Jeffrey Upton, of Waller, Texas, Mike Hancock secured the Carolina Classic Derby Levels 4, 3 and 2 Reserve titles, as well as the championships in the Prime Time and Masters divisions.
“He’s a nice horse,” Hancock said, adding that he will take Nics Custom Dually and the other horse he showed, Babys Steady Star, to the NRHA Derby next. “The horse I won on is my favorite horse. My wife likes the bald face horse better, but that’s another story.”
Along with the $7,521 they garnered for his Carolina Classic Derby Non-Pro finish, Nics Custom Dually and Hancock, of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, picked up checks totaling $4,503 for winning the Atlantic Breeders Incentive (ABI) Derby Levels 4, 3 and 2 Non-Pro.
Evie Laney, of Monroe, North Carolina, and 2012 gelding Wally Wonka Whiz (Walla Walla Whiz x Pocita Senorita x Smart Chic Olena), bred by Keith Tidmore, earned the ABI Level 1 Non-Pro Championship with a 211.5 that was worth $2,706, including a third-place finish in Level 3 and Reserve in Level 2. The duo also garnered $1,472 in the Carolina Classic Derby Non-Pro.
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