Dowers and Cabanna Boy Claim Championship at the 2023 Kimes Ranch NRCHA Western Derby
By Larri Jo Starkey
A commanding run in the reined work and a monster run in the cow work propelled Nick Dowers to the champion title of the Open Derby Finals at the 2023 Kimes Ranch National Reined Cow Horse Association Western Derby.
Dowers rode his family’s gelding Cabanna Boy to a 216.5 in the herd work, tying him for 16th place going into the reined work, but he still thought he had a chance to win.
“I was a 223 in the reining prelims, 223 and then then a 23 and a half in the fence work as well,” Dowers said. “I knew if I could match those runs or maybe improve upon them that I would have a chance, and sure enough, we did.”
In the finals, Dowers had the top score in the reining, a 224.5 that pushed him to fifth place in the composite before a score of 226.5 in the cow work powered him to a 667.5 composite.
“I just remember knowing that if I laid down a monster run that I had a shot to win,” Dowers said. “I remember trotting some circles in the back and saying, you know, if I’m gonna go to battle, what better horse than this for this moment? Because he has just been such a reliable fence horse.”
The 2019 gelding (WR This Cats Smart x Shining Madonna) was bred by Wagonhound Land & Livestock and is owned by Triple D Ranches of Dyer, Nevada. Dowers bought the horse through the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity sale.
Dowers became an NRCHA $1 Million Rider in September 2022 on Cabanna Boy. The Western Derby win added $50,000 to horse and rider earnings.
Clay Volmer rode Pitzer Ranch’s Metallic Casanova to the reserve championship. Volmer and the 2018 stallion (Metallic Cat x Dark And Sultry) marked a 220 in the herd work, putting them in third place going into the reined work, where they marked a 222.5. The judges scored them a 224.5 in the cow work to place second overall with a composite of 667. The duo earned a check for $35,000.
Total purse for the Open Derby was $276,500.
In the Intermediate Open Derby, Clay Roeser rode Sliding J Ranch’s Remember The Boon to the title and a check of $15,000 with a composite of 661.5 (H: 219/R: 221/C: 221.5).
In the Limited Open Derby, Tucker J. Clark rode DeeAnna Penna’s DT This CatsDualRey to first place and a check for $4,090 with a composite of 645 (H: 214.5/R: 219.5/C: 211).