Bridle Spectaculars at NRCHA Premier Events deliver some of the best cow horse action a reined cow hose fan will ever see. The bridle horses are the veterans of the NRCHA, with all the ingredients: talent, training and years of experience.
The CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular, named in honor of the late, great stallion owned by NRCHA sponsor Holy Cow Performance Horses, is a $50,000-added contest that never fails to thrill spectators, year after year.
A perennial crowd favorite horse rose to the top of the field of fourteen elite equines, ridden by the NRCHA’s most accomplished professionals, to win the Championship Friday, June 17, at the NRCHA Derby in Paso Robles, California.
Shown by Hanford, California, professional Jake Gorrell, the gritty 2005 gelding Smooth N Cash (Smooth As A Cat x Dox Gavacash x Miss N Cash), claimed the $22,350 championship check when he scored a 668 composite (222 herd/220 rein/226 cow), winning the title by a six point margin. Smooth N Cash had the high score in the herd work, and the second high score in the rein and fence work.
It was the first time for Gorrell and the little sorrel he calls “Gadget,” owned by Roloff Ranch, to win this particular coveted title, although they have come close before.
“It’s awesome. It’s nice to put it all together, finally. Last year I fell down [in the fence work], the year before I had a switch [penalty in the herd work], came back and marked a 232 [down the fence] and almost got a check, but this was the first time for me to win it,” Gorrell said.
The CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular paycheck elevates Smooth N Cash’s NRCHA earnings right to the $230,000 mark. They also took home a Gist buckle, a CR Morrison Trophy, product from Platinum Performance and San Juan Ranch/Santa Cruz Animal Health, and they will have their names inscribed on the perpetual CD Survivor Memorial Trophy.
Over his long and successful career, Smooth N Cash has won the hearts of many fans due to his particular flair for the fence work. His grit and ability in that event shined again in Paso Robles.
“He fell on the first turn, and he almost fell down. He still gathered himself up and ran down there and made a turn in the middle. There’s no better horse. I’ve never trained one like that. I’ve never had one train ME like that,” Gorrell said, laughing. “He’s like my best friend. I started him. My clients who own him are the best in the world.”
Gorrell had unlimited admiration for his fellow competitors and their horses, and he thanked Nancy Crawford-Hall of Holy Cow Performance Horses for providing the outstanding showcase for bridle horses.
The big 226 fence work by Gorrell and Smooth N Cash was goosebump-inducing, but it wasn’t the highest fence score of the night. That particular honor belonged to the CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular Reserve Champion, High Brow Shiner (Shining Lil Nic x High Brow Meow x High Brow Cat), a 2009 stallion shown by NRCHA Million Dollar Rider Doug Williamson for owner Belle Meade Ranch.
The pair scored a 228 down the fence, an exceptional wrap-up to their other performances, a 216 in the herd work and 218 in the rein work. The 662 composite came with a $18,625 paycheck.
“That’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on!” Williamson said, laughing, after the tremendous run on the fancy palomino he calls a natural at the fence work.
“That horse is such an amazing fence horse. He just loves his job, and I go along for the ride,” the NRCHA Hall of Fame horseman and two-time Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion said. “A great bridle horse has to have heart. That horse has so much grit, so much heart. I’ve showed his wheels off, every time I go someplace, and he’s quiet. If a cow attacks him, he says, ‘No way can you beat me.’ He just has it in him. He’s such a great horse.”