SJR Diamond Rey and Corey Cushing Win 2016 NRCHA Stallion Stakes Open Championship
National Reined Cow Horse Association Million Dollar Rider Corey Cushing, Scottsdale, Arizona, claimed the 2016 NRCHA Stallion Stakes Open Championship riding SJR Diamond Rey (Dual Rey x Shiners Diamond Girl x Shining Spark), a 2012 gelding bred and owned by NRCHA Corporate Partner San Juan Ranch.
Cushing and “Dugan” earned the $36,452 paycheck by a 6.5 point margin, scoring a 665.5 composite (219 herd/221 rein/225.5 cow) at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“He’s little, but he’s mighty,” Cushing said, describing the powerhouse horse that also carried him to the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity finals in 2015. SJR Diamond Rey is a half brother to CD Diamond (x CD Olena), the San Juan-bred and -owned stallion that Cushing piloted to the 2012 Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship.
The $3,500 Sire Award check went to Linda Holmes, who owns SJR Diamond Rey’s sire, Dual Rey, and nominated him for the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion program. Cushing’s prizes included a Bob’s Custom Saddle, Gist buckle, a CR Morrison Trophy, boots from Rios of Mercedes, and a gift Certificate from Platinum Performance.
Cushing brought three horses to the Stallion Stakes, and qualified them all for the Open Finals. He placed 3rd on Sippin Boons Farm (Smart Boons x Peppy Nicolena x Nic It In The Bud), scoring a 657 (214 herd/221.5 rein/221.5 cow), earning $22,063 for owners Eric and Wendy Dunn; and tied for 15th aboard On The Fence (Smart Boons x Starlight On The Bay x High Brow Cat), earning $3,834 for owners Kevin and Sydney Knight.
The Stakes Reserve Champion was Dual With A Shiner (Reys Dual Badger x Miss Shiner Dear x Shining Spark), shown by Matt Koch for owner Wagonhound Land and Livestock. Koch piloted the 2011 gelding to the high fence work score, an incredible 227.5, on the way to a 659 composite (215.5 herd/216 rein/227.5 cow) and a $26,859 payday. Koch also collected a $2,000 Reserve Champion Sire Award check for Wagonhound Land and Livestock, who paid Reys Dual Badger into the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion program.
The Metallic Cat $10,000 Incentive prize, awarded to the highest-scoring offspring of leading sire Metallic Cat in the Stakes Open Finals went to Cats Picasso (Metallic Cat x Playboys Vixen x Hickoryote), shown by John Swales for owner Robbie McKay.
The Stallion Stakes Intermediate Open Champion was Dualin Stargun (Dual Rey x Amanda Stargun x Playgun), shown by Justin Lawrence, Alzada, Montana, and owned by the Dualin Stargun Partners – made up of Lawrence and his wife, Kelcie, along with John and Heather Kennedy of Sundance, Wyoming.
Lawrence and the gray stallionwon the herd work finals round with a 223, then earned a 215.5 in the rein work and 217.5 in the cow work. Besides the $7,594 Intermediate Open Champion paycheck, they earned $17,257 for 4th place in the Stakes Open.
“This is my biggest paycheck, and it’s a horse that Kelcie and I are partners in, and it’s pretty special,” Lawrence said.
In the Limited Open, Tucker Clark, Tucson, Arizona, claimed the top two placings on horses owned by Rogers Heaven Sent Ranch, where Clark is the resident trainer. He won the Championship on A Smooth Pepto (Smooth As A Cat x Pepto In Pieces x Peptoboonsmal), and earned Reserve on O Nic A Pepto (Peptoboonsmal x A Nic O Chic x Smart Chic Olena).
Stakes Non Pro Champion
The Stallion Stakes Non Pro Champion was Shannon McCarty, Solvang, California, riding Chicaroos Cat (Hick Chicaroo x Kat Five x High Brow Cat) to a total 645 score (218 herd/219 rein/208 cow), earning $6,979. McCarty also took home a Bob’s Custom Saddle, CR Morrison Trophy, Gist buckle, boots from Rios of Mercedes, and a Platinum Performance gift certificate. A $1,500 Sire Award and CR Morrison Trophy went to Latigo Canyon Ranch, who nominated Hick Chicaroo, the sire of Chicaroos Cat, to the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion Program.
Eric Freitas, Santa Maria, California, claimed the Intermediate Non Pro Championship when he scored a 640.5 (213.5 herd/214 rein/213 cow) aboard Reyvon (Stylish Rey x Starlight Playgirl x Grays Starlight). Freitas earned $2,864, along with a Gist buckle, a CowTrac system sponsored by CowTrac, and a gift certificate from Platinum Performance. A $1,000 Sire Award check went to Linda Holmes, who nominated Stylish Rey for the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion Program.
Lyle Proctor, Ravensdale, Washington, captured the Novice Non Pro Championship aboard SJR All Time Cash (One Time Pepto x Shesa Lota Cash x Nu Cash), scoring a 634.5 (208 herd/206.5/220 cow). Their score down the fence was the top score of any rider in the Non Pro finals. Proctor took home a $1,610 check, a Gist buckle, and a gift certificate from Platinum Performance. The $500 Sire Award went to NRCHA Breeder Sponsor Matthews Cutting Horses, who owns One Time Pepto and nominated him to the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion program.
The NRCHA Stakes is one of five NRCHA Premier Events, and annually boasts a payout of approximately $300,000. Part of the event’s success is its tie to the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion program. Subscribed stallion owners pay a fee every year, and their 4- and 5-year-old offspring are the only horses eligible to show at the Stakes.
Stakes entries are shown in a snaffle bit or hackamore, competing in herd work, rein work and cow work. The event attracts many top Snaffle Bit Futurity horses from the past two years, as well as those who might have missed the Futurity but are now ready to perform competitively.
Besides paying lucrative checks to the Stakes winners, the NRCHA also presents a monetary award to the nominator of the Stakes Champion’s sire in each division.