National Reined Cow Horse Association Million-Dollar Rider Jake Telford, Caldwell, Idaho, piloted Once A Von A Time (Von Reminic x Sheza Shinette x Shining Spark) to the NRCHA Open Bridle Championship on Thursday, Oct. 3. The 2004 stallion, owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses, Weatherford, Texas, scored a combined 444.5 (223 rein/221.5 cow), besting a field of eight Open Bridle finalists.
The Championship paid $7,000, and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by the NRCHA; a custom saddle rack sponsored by Sunmoon Ranch; a Gist custom buckle sponsored by Debby Sanguinetti and Tish Wilhite; a 10 pound bucket of UltraCruz Sand Clear plus a $50 gift certificate and a coffee tumbler in a cooler tote bag, sponsored by San Juan Ranch, a division of Santa Cruz Animal Health; Platinum Equine from Platinum Performance; Back On Track product from Back On Track; and a monogrammed Cinch jacket from Bob’s Custom Saddles/The New West.
Once A Von A Time’s career NRCHA earnings now exceed $47,000. Before entering Telford’s reined cow horse program, he was successfully shown as a reiner by leading National Reining Horse Association professional Craig Schmersal. The stallion’s total lifetime record in both disciplines is nearing $80,000.
“Von” is out of leading NRCHA dam Sheza Shinette, also owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses. Sheza Shinette’s foals have earned more than $340,000 in NRCHA competition. Once A Von A Time’s half sister, Sheza Roo (Gallo Del Cielo x Sheza Shinette) also won big here in Reno, claiming the Limited Open Bridle Championship with Erin Taormino in the saddle.
The Open Bridle Reserve Champion was Stressolena (CD Olena x Stressin x Dual Pep), shown by 2013 NRCHA Hall of Fame inductee Sandy Collier for owner Luann Beach. Stressolena earned a composite 437 (210 rein/227 cow). The Open Bridle Reserve Championship paid $5,600.
Open Hackamore Champion
National Reined Cow Horse Association Hall of Fame horseman and Million-Dollar Rider Doug Williamson, Bakersfield, Calif., took command of the Open Hackamore class on Thursday, Oct. 3, winning the Championship aboard the flashy buckskin stallion ARC Sparkin Chics (Chic Please x Sailing Spark x Shining Spark), owned by Rocking J Ranch.
ARC Sparkin Chics scored a 220 in both the rein work and the cow work, besting the field of 14 Open Hackamore finalists. The Championship came with a $9,380 paycheck, elevating the 5-year-old stallion’s career NRCHA earnings to $101,924.
“I’ve got a great horse, and he came through today just like he always does,” Williamson said. “He’s so good-minded, and he really wants to be a show horse.”
The next stop for Williamson and ARC Sparkin Chics will be the American Quarter Horse Association World Show in November, where they have qualified for the Junior Cutting. As a 5-year-old, the stallion has now completed his hackamore career; next year, when he turns six, Williamson will campaign the stallion in NRCHA two-rein and bridle competition.
“He’ll be a great horse in those events, too,” Williamson said. He plans to show ARC Sparkin Chics in the 2014 World’s Greatest Horseman competition in Ft. Worth, Texas, in February.
The veteran trainer said talented horses and consistent hard work keep him at the top of the results sheet.
“We have to work seven days a week, all day long. The people who work the hardest usually end up winning the most. We have to teach these horses so much, at such a young age, for them to be competitive,” Williamson said.
The Open Hackamore Reserve Champion was BFR Igniting Sparks (Shining Spark x Sliden Wright By x Smart Little Lena) shown by Boyd Rice for owner Beechfork Ranch. They scored a 218 in the rein work and 218.5 in the cow work, earning $7,035.
Limited Open Bridle Champion
Standout performer Sheza Roo (Gallo Del Cielo x Sheza Shinette x Shining Spark), owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses, Weatherford, Texas, made her final trip around the show arena in Reno, Nev., Tuesday. The 2005 mare has worked her way to nearly $57,000 in NRCHA earnings and is on her way to broodmare retirement – but she left a lasting impression when she scored a 432 (213 rein/219 fence) to win the the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Limited Open Bridle Championship with Erin Taormino, Eagle Point, Ore., in the saddle.
Million-dollar rider Jake Telford, Caldwell, Idaho, trained and showed Sheza Roo for the majority of her career. He approached Taormino, an assistant trainer to leading NRCHA Professional Todd Bergen, with the last minute request.
“It was a total catch ride. Jake just called me a couple of days ago and asked if I would be willing to show her, and I said ‘Sure.’ I rode her twice before I showed her. It was fun. She’s super easy to show. Just point and shoot,” Taormino said, smiling.
Besides the $1,350 paycheck, the Championship came with a CR Morrison Trophy from the NRCHA; a Gist buckle sponsored by Estelle Roitblat in memory of Harold Farren; a monogrammed Cinch jacket from Bob’s Custom Saddles/The New West; Platinum Equine sponsored by Platinum Performance; and Back on Track products sponsored by Back On Track.
The judges whistled Taormino a new cow after the first one shot out into the arena and refused to honor the horse.
“My first cow was a little scary. It was wild. The second cow was really easy. I boxed it three or four times and went own the fence with it, made two easy turns and circled up right in the middle,” Taormino said.
She thanked the Telfords, as well as Nancy Crawford-Hall and Phil Hall, Holy Cow Performance Horses’ owners, for allowing her to be a part of Sheza Roo’s farewell run.
“I’m really thankful to Jake and Jessie and Nancy and Phil for letting me have the opportunity to show her. It was a great experience and I appreciate it. Nancy was ecstatic. She said it was a great way to end her show career,” Taormino said.
The Limited Open Bridle Reserve Champion was MH Its Only Boon (Bodee Boonsmal x Played Out x Freckles Playboy), shown by Marjie Robinson and owned by Ted Robinson. They earned $1,125 after scoring a 431 (212 rein/219 cow).
Limited Open Hackamore Champion
Tough competition and tremendous cow work scores highlighted the action as 4- and 5-year-old hackamore horses tested their skills at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center Tuesday, Oct. 1.
A huge class of 70 horses went head-to-head with some challenging cattle in the Open Hackamore preliminaries and the Limited Open Hackamore. Besting the field of 21 Limited Open Hackamore horses was Diamond J Starlite (Diamond J Star x Little Chickalena x Smart Little Lena), shown by Ross Ericsson for owner Big Creek Quarter Horses, LLC. The 2008 mare scored a total 439 on two events (216 rein/223 cow), taking the Limited Open title and earning a berth in the Open Hackamore finals on Thursday, Oct. 3.
It was the biggest career win for Ericsson, an up-and-coming horseman who started riding cow horses within the last five years.
“This mare is amazing. I knew if I had a tough enough cow down the fence, we could mark big,” he said.
The Championship came with a $1,890 check; a CR Morrison Trophy from the NRCHA; a Gist buckle sponsored by CD Lights/Winston Hansma & Danny Motes; a monogrammed Cinch jacket from Bob’s Custom Saddles/The New West; Platinum Equine sponsored by Platinum Performance; and Back on Track product sponsored by Back On Track.
Diamond J Starlite was originally trained by top NRCHA professional Zane Davis. Ericsson’s customer, Linda Bond of Big Creek Quarter Horses, purchased the mare this spring. Diamond J Starlite arrived in Reno with more than $27,000 in prior NRCHA earnings; she was a Futurity Open finalist in 2011 with Davis in the saddle.
“Zane did a great job training her. I just have to stay out of her way,” Ericsson said. He admitted the caliber of competition made him a little nervous. Before his run, he watched California horseman Jake Gorrell earn a stratospheric 229 score in the fence work. “There were so many big scores. I had never even seen a 229 score before. It was pretty awesome,” he said.
Ericsson thanked Linda Bond of Big Creek Quarter Horses “for being such a great owner and buying these awesome horses for me to ride.” He also credited Don and Nelle Murphy for their support and coaching.
The Limited Open Hackamore Reserve Champion was Mamas CD Dulces (Dulces Smart Lena x CD Light), shown by Cody Christensen for owner Tom Daughetee. They scored a 438 (212 rein/226 cow), earning $1,485.
Open Two-Rein Champion
The National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity is the signature event for 3-year-old cow horses, but on Friday night, Sept. 27, older horses took center stage with the first of the Snaffle Bit Futurity horse show classes, the Open Two Rein.
Abby Mixon, Marietta, Okla., claimed the Open Two Rein Championship aboard Julgun (Playgun x Julie Christie x Peppy San Badger) with a 297 composits score (148 rein/149 cow). The win paid $2,660, and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Stuart Ranch; a custom saddle rack donated by Sunmoon Ranch; a CR Morrison Trophy from the NRCHA; a Gist buckle sponsored by WW Ranch, LLC; Platinum Performance from Doug Herthel; Back On Track therapeutic equine products from Back On Track; and a monogrammed Cinch jacket from Bob’s Custom Saddles and The New West.
“It felt awesome. He did everything pretty perfect for me,” Mixon said. She has trained the stylish 7-year-old gray stallion, known around the barn as “Hugo,” since he was two. Julgun is bred and owned by Jon and Norma Sather of Winfield Farms, where Mixon is the resident trainer.
Julgun’s career began in the reining arena, where he has accumulated more than $97,000 in earnings, including the 2010 National Reining Breeder’s Classic Open Championship. He crossed over into the reined cow horse arena, qualifying for the 2011 NRCHA Celebration of Champions. While showing there in the Open Hackamore class, Julgun sustained an injury that veterinarians feared was career-ending.
“He actually fractured his sesamoid and chipped it in three places. He had surgery and a year and a half off,” Mixon said. “We had a couple of vets tell us they didn’t know if he would ever be able to show again. For him to get this sound, and be able to come here and do this, is pretty awesome.”
Mixon’s cow horse mentor is NRCHA Hall of Fame Horseman Don Murphy, who taught her “everything I know. I couldn’t have done it without him,” she said. Before she competed in Reno, Murphy urged her to stop worrying about Julgun’s past injury.
“I was a little cautious with him and just kind of scared to hurt him. Don had to tell me, if I’m going to do it, I better do it and get in gear. He helped us out a lot this morning and it definitely paid off this afternoon,” she said. “He told me to keep an eye on my cow, and he got after me about riding past it and making the turns.”
She also thanked the Sathers for being “the best owners in the world. I couldn’t have better people to wrok for. They got to watch it on the live feed and they’re really excited!” Mixon said.
The Open Two Rein Reserve Champion was Sheza Dancingdiamond (Diamond J Star x Sheza Shinette x Shining Spark), shown by Jake Telford, Caldwell, Idaho, for owners Del and Susan Bell. They scored a 295.5 (147.5 rein/148 cow), earning $2,090. The Reserve Championship also came with Platinum Performance from Doug Herthel; and Back On Track products from Back On Track.