The preliminary scores at the 2016 NRCHA Derby determined finalists as well as champions in several divisions, including the Open Novice Horse. The Novice division is for 4- and 5-year-old horses with less than $5,000 in NRCHA earnings.
The Open Novice Horse Champion was Caymus Pepto (Peptoboonsmal x Bet On Merada x Bet On Me 498), shown by NRCHA Hall of Fame horseman Ken Wold, Wilton, California, and owned by Joe Putnam.
Wold said the win lifted the cloud that had been hanging over the 2012 stallion’s limited age event career.
“He’s kind of been a hard luck horse. Every aged event we took him to, something happened that wasn’t his fault. At Reno, he stubbed his toe in the cutting and didn’t make the finals. We took him to the Stallion Stakes and he was on track to make the finals but drew a rotten cow down the fence. I brought him to the Mother’s Day Quarter Horse Circuit [in Paso Robles in May] and in two rein and fence runs, he won 28 AQHA points, but at the aged events, he’s just been snakebit,” Wold said.
Caymus Pepto put all the pieces together at the Derby, scoring a 649 (216 herd/214.5 rein/218.5 cow), winning $2,910 and a gift certificate package from Platinum Performance and San Juan Ranch/Santa Cruz Animal Health. The composite score was also enough to put the stallion into Saturday’s clean-slate Derby Intermediate Open finals, which is positive for Wold’s program all the way around.
“Having this Novice Horse division, his owner felt comfortable to keep going with him, and now he wins a good check, makes the finals, and is on track again,” he said.