Ricotta Reins in a Million

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is proud to announce NRHA Professional Marco Ricotta as the newest NRHA Million Dollar Rider. Originally from Tuscany, Italy, Ricotta joins an elite group of reining professionals who have achieved this milestone in their NRHA career.

Ricotta’s passion for reining began when he would ride a scooter to the barn at 14 years old. That passion led him to become an NRHA Professional, a role in which Ricotta has consistently impressed audiences with his talent and horsemanship. Throughout his career, he has ridden numerous champions and claimed victories across various NRHA divisions.

Ricotta’s impressive resume includes recent success on Savage Love (SG Frozen Enterprize x Miss Whizzletown), a horse that holds special meaning to the Ricotta family. The Ricotta-bred, -owned, and -nominated 2020 stallion is out of a mare nominated and owned by Ricotta’s wife, Jenny. Miss Whizzletown’s NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE) of $104,940 were earned exclusively with the Ricottas at the reins.

“I came from Italy, so I was dreaming, and those dreams came true,” said Marco. “To be a little trainer, this means a lot. I say all the time, ‘We got lucky.’ We raised this mare [Miss Whizzletown] from day one, and she was an orphan. We both showed the mare, and we were successful, and she produced some babies, and it all looks like it is working. Overall, they are all show horses and winning, and that doesn’t happen often.”

Savage Love, known as ‘Lucifer’ because he is devilishly handsome, and Marco earned ninth place in the Level (L) 4 Open and third place in the L3 at the 2023 NRHA Futurity. Recently, the pair scored a 225.5 to finish third at the 100X L4 Open Cowtown Classic Stakes to help push Marco over the NRHA Million Dollar Rider mark. His ability to build successful partnerships with the horses he breeds, trains, and competes with, including Savage Love, has been instrumental in his achievements and makes the journey even more meaningful to him.

“With all the prize money coming up lately, becoming a million-dollar rider is something you can achieve quicker than compared to the past. I am old school and achieved it check by check,” said Marco. “With Savage Love, I don’t have the clients to provide me what I need to compete at this level compared to the larger trainers who are overloaded with horses, so we decided to keep him, and it has worked out.”

Throughout his career, Marco’s top finishes are:

  • 2009 NRHA Derby L4 Open Reserve Champion on Hollywoodstinseltown earning $33,848
  • 2009 National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) L3 Open Champion on Hollywoodstinseltown earning $28,854
  • 2010 NRBC L4 Open fourth place on Hollywoodstinseltown earning $39,000
  • 2017 NRHA Futurity L3 Co-Champion on Shine Plum Shine earning $21,946
  • 2023 NRHA Futurity L4 Open ninth place on Savage Love earning $37,237
  • 2023 NRHA Futurity L3 Open Futurity third place on Savage Love earning $26,190

NRHA congratulates Marco Ricotta on this well-deserved accomplishment. We look forward to seeing his continued success in the reining industry. To learn more about Marco’s trip to the million, check out the September issue of the NRHA Reiner Magazine.

Reining Horse Foundation Announces 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Reining Horse Foundation Scholarships (RHF) have steadily increased and now include 10 awards in varying amounts from $1,500 up to $5,000. These scholarships are part of a larger program that awards over $70,000 annually through the Varsity Reining Club, Affiliate Regional Scholarships, NRHyA’s CINCH Speaking contest, and the new RHF Merit Scholarships.

The 10 RHF Scholarships are structured as three at $5,000, three at $2,500, three at $2,000, and one at $1,500. Selection is based on financial need, academic record, involvement in the school and community, a special essay, and references.

To apply, students must be members of the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) for at least 24 months and be seniors in high school pursuing an undergraduate degree in a two- or four-year institution, trade, or technical school. A previous recipient of an RHF Scholarship may reapply if she or he meets all other criteria and can earn two total awards.

The RHF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the charitable arm of NRHA. It supports NRHyA, including youth leadership development woven throughout youth programming. Donors are invited to support NRHyA in numerous ways, including individual donations, memorials/honorariums, and fundraisers. To learn more, visit reiningfoundation.com.

$5,000 Scholarship Recipients

Szonja Pankotai

Szonja Pankotai of Hungary has been an active member of the NRHyA, significantly contributing to the Hungarian affiliate organization, competing in European Affiliate championships, and representing her country in the 2023 World Youth Reining Cup.

When she is not riding, Szonja volunteers at the Hungarian Tibetan Mastiff breed rescue club and started a monthly garbage collection campaign. Szonja plays handball as well as volleyball for her school and serves as a class representative and class secretary

Szonja is an enthusiastic member of the reining community and hopes that reining in Hungary will reach the popularity it has in the U.S. She shares her story and how reining has impacted her life on several internet platforms and has even appeared on a radio show to report on her time competing in the World Youth Reining Cup. Her goal is to become a physiotherapist.

Lillian Bains

Lillian Bains, a two-time winner of the RHF Scholarship, currently attends Mississippi Gulf Coast College and is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In high school, Lillian participated in Key Club, Beta Club, Yearbook Club/Staff, and the National Honor Society. Since starting college, Lillian has been involved in Phi Theta Kappa, Reflections Team, and OAK Club and is in the Honors College.

Along with being a member of the NRHA, Lillian states that receiving the RHF Scholarship in 2023 was her greatest academic achievement to date and that it has opened up many doors in her education. Lillian recently submitted a video presentation about the sport of reining. This project helped her win the Southern District Representative position for the Mississippi-Louisiana Region of Phi Theta Kappa.

Adrianna Runzo

Adrianna Runzo is another two-time winner of the RHF Scholarship. Currently attending California State University, Fresno as an equestrian student-athlete, Adrianna is studying chemistry with plans to become a physician’s assistant.

Adrianna has served in many roles with the NRHyA, including regional delegate, NRHyA treasurer, NRHyA vice president, and NRHyA president. She also served as a director with the Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Youth Association and was a member of her local 4-H club.

In high school, Adrianna served as captain of the track and ultimate frisbee teams, Ohio Model UN Council President, and Lake High School Model UN Cabinet Member. She was a four-year academic letter winner. In her first year of college, Adrianna volunteered as a Student-Athlete for Fresno State’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day clinic and cleaned up Fresno State’s campus for equestrian civil engagement.

$2,500 Scholarship Recipients

Graci Reeder

Graci Reeder of Mason, Michigan, has been a member of the NRHyA and the Michigan Reining Horse Youth Association (MRHyA) since 2015. She has succeeded in her region by serving as the NRHyA Delegate of the East Central Region. Graci helped found the MRHyA Board through that position, where she served as president. Graci has benefited her region by working as a scribe, working the gate, and fundraising. As a result of her hard work, Graci has been nominated as an NRHyA Liaison in Michigan.

Graci looks forward to studying business at her future university and has already gotten a head start by opening her own small business, Simply Grace. Graci has spent the last four years setting up as a vendor at reining and livestock shows to sell her homemade jewelry.

Cooper Leather

Cooper Leather hails from Wahoo, Nebraska, and is also a recipient of an NRHyA Affiliate Regional Scholarship. Along with being an NRHyA North Central Region Delegate for three years, Cooper served as the Nebraska Quarter Horse Youth Association treasurer, president, and vice president. Cooper served as the president of the Yutan Shamrocks 4-H club, was an active participant in his FFA Chapter, and was a three-year varsity golf letter earner.

Cooper hopes to put his experience in the equine and agriculture fields to good use by pursuing a major in Agribusiness and Animal Science.

Landon Hasenkamp

Landon Hasenkamp from Beemer, Nebraska, looks to use his RHF Scholarship to pursue a career in equine management. Landon has always been successful in the equine and agricultural fields. In his six years as an NRHyA member, Landon has served as the Central Plains Reining Horse Association Affiliate Delegate for two years, where he led youth meetings, organized fundraisers and awards, and hosted breakfasts at shows. Landon has also been active in AQHA, serving as the 2023 Nebraska Quarter Horse Youth Association (NQHyA) treasurer. He served as the West Point FFA Chapter treasurer and local county 4-H officer.

Landon found success in high school as a letterwinner in football and golf, a National Honor Society member, and on the High Distinction Honor Roll for four years.

$2,000 Scholarship Recipients

Gracie Stingle

Gracie Stingle of Mt. Sterling, Ohio, has been active in all aspects of her life, especially equine-related activities. Gracie has over 20 hours of service to her local affiliate, Central Ohio Reining Horse Association, and served as an NRHA Affiliate Delegate, helping to grow the NRHyA program in her area. She also served as the Krazy 4 Clovers 4-H Club secretary and president. Gracie is a two-time winner of the FFA Scholar Award while competing on the FFA Equine Judging Team.

Gracie attends Madison Plains High School, where she is a member of the varsity soccer team, Key Club, French Club, and the National Honor Society. She will attend the University of South Carolina to compete on their NCEA equestrian team. She plans to study business and pursue a career in finance.

Madison Wigen

Madison Wigen of Joseph, Oregon, has been involved with NRHyA and the many opportunities it offers throughout her life. Starting in 2019 as a Regional Delegate, Madison has served in many roles with the NRHyA officer team, including NRHyA treasurer, secretary, and vice president. She was a member of the FFA and National Honor Society, a Little Buddies program mentor, and played varsity basketball, volleyball, and track and field for three years.

While being a student-athlete in high school, Madison made the Dean’s list and Honor Roll, was awarded the Scholar-Athlete Award three times, and was elected senior class vice president.

This is Madison’s second time receiving an RHF Scholarship. She is a student at Eastern Oregon University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in psychology.

Emma Schmitt

Eden, New York native Emma Schmitt competes at NRHA reinings and has also worked in the show office, manned the gate, scribed, and helped conduct fundraisers. Emma is the president of her 4-H club, an Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) member, an FFA member, Student Council president, and a member of the National Honor Society.

In her own words, Emma says that reining is more than just a sport; it has given her a sense of belonging. She plans to study animal science and become a veterinarian.

Madison Wieferich

$1,500 John McQuay Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Madison Wieferich of Shepherd, Michigan, has an impressive resume of high school activities. She was a member of the science club, marching band, jazz band, concert band, basketball team, track and field team, National Honor Society, and Student Council. She excelled at many activities, winning Excellence in Algebra and Physical Science and serving as drum major for marching band and section leader in concert band.

Madison has helped with fundraisers for the NRHyA, sold raffle tickets, and volunteered as a gate judge. She has been taking concurrent enrollment college classes at Mid-Michigan Community College and intends to major in interior design.

Celebrating Unprecedented Success at the 6666 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is thrilled to announce another record-breaking year in the 45th edition of the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. This year’s event, held June 11-23 in Oklahoma City, set new records in both participation and prize money, solidifying its status as a premier competition in the reining horse community.

Record-Breaking Purses and Participation

The 2024 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel saw an unprecedented level of competition, with record-breaking entries and purse. The total prize money awarded exceeded $1.67 million, thanks to the consistent, increasing success of the NRHA Nomination Program, generous sponsor support and the dedication of participants. As an additional bonus, exhibitors were paid out at record-breaking speed! Checks were available in the show office the next day, including the Level 4 Non Pro finalists’. The open finalists’ checks were sent out only three days later, with only a handful of champions’ checks held pending medications testing results.

Highlighting Excellence and Dedication

For 45 years, the NRHA Derby has been a celebration of skill, dedication, and the incredible partnership between horse and rider. This year was no exception, as riders from across the world showcased their talents and the culmination of countless hours of training and preparation. The exceptional horsepower was a testament to the dedication of breeders, nominators, and owners who continue to propel the industry forward. The heightened purses rewarded excellence and highlighted the sport’s growth and popularity.

Growth in Fans

This year there were many ways to be part of the action at the OKC Fairgrounds without being physically present. The free live feed at nrhaderby.com hosted 20,545 viewers for the non pro finals and 31,984 viewers for the open finals.

The Level 4 Non Pro and Open Finals were also streamed on the Cowboy Channel with 952 total hours streamed. Additional television coverage was featured on local Oklahoma City news stations, highlighting the horse and rider bonds featured in reining and the excitement of the Derby itself.

Ride Guess, powered by Spooks Gotta Whiz, was a new edition to the show that brought in participants from across the globe. This interactive game placed reining fans in the judge’s seat at the Level 4 Open Finals—allowing them to guess the scores of each horse and rider pair and receive points for the correct answers. Produced by NRHA Corporate Partner Teton Ridge, Ride Guess is a product of Inside Rodeo sweepstakes games, which has taken the Western industry by storm. On a peak night at premier Western events, this game sees 100-300 players. At the 2024 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, over 500 players worldwide participated.

Ceremonial Honors

The event also featured the NRHA Buckle Ceremony on June 15. Champions and top performers were recognized for their exceptional achievements throughout the 2023 season. The World and Reserve World Champions were presented with custom-crafted buckles by NRHA event sponsor Montana Silversmiths, a testament to their hard-earned victories. The Top 20 Professionals, Non Pros, and Owners were also honored, reflecting the depth of talent and commitment within the NRHA community. This year, the NRHA Professionals of the Year were also recognized on stage and received custom Abby Cosenza spurs.

Looking Ahead

As we celebrate the success of this year’s Derby, NRHA looks forward to continuing to elevate the sport of reining. We remain committed to providing premier events, enhancing prize opportunities, and supporting our members in their pursuit of excellence. The record-breaking achievements of the 2024 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel are a testament to the bright future of reining, and we are excited to build on this momentum in the years to come. Join us at the The World’s Richest Reining—the 2024 NRHA Futurity—the last Futurity to be held in the historic Jim Norick Arena, November 26–December 7.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

We extend our deepest gratitude to our title sponsors, 6666 Ranch and Markel Insurance, and all our NRHA corporate partners, event sponsors, and buckle sponsors, whose support has been instrumental in making this year’s Derby an unparalleled success. Their commitment to the sport and the NRHA community is invaluable.

Non Pro and Youth Competition Takes Center Stage on Closing Day at the 6666 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

The 2024 6666 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby presented by Markel concluded today in Oklahoma City with a thrilling display of equestrian talent in the non pro and youth divisions. Following an electrifying week of competition, riders of all ages showcased their horsemanship and their horses’ athleticism, vying for championship titles and a share of the Derby’s record-breaking purse.

$6,000-added Non Pro Slate Two Champions – Joetta Bell & Dream On Whiz

Joetta Bell has found much success at the Derby. Earlier this week, she won several divisions in the non pro on her mount, Trashy Little Dream. Now, she’s at the top of the leaderboard again at the reins of her own Dream On Whiz (Magnum Chic Dream x Ms Sassy Whiz). The duo’s 220.5 was enough to take home the Non Pro Championship in the second slate of ancillary competition.

“I’ve owned him for a couple of years,” Bell said of ‘Patrick,’ a 7-year-old gelding bred by Hill Country Reiners LLC. “He’s just been a really good horse. We are very connected. I know everything he is thinking just by looking at his eyes.”

After a two-week show, Bell will give her horse a much-deserved break. “Now that the show is over, he’ll get to go home and be turned out. We kind of just let him relax. We do lunge line lessons with the girls on him,  ride him in the pasture, and let him just be a horse.”

$2,000-added Intermediate Non Pro Slate Two Champions / 8 & Up L1 Non Pro Maturity Champions – Dana Wetherell & Spat Toy Boy Gun

Dana Wetherell and her own Spat Toy Boy Gun rode to a 218 and the Intermediate Non Pro Championship as well as an 8 & Up Level (L) 1 Non Pro Maturity Championship. The 2016 stallion is by Spat Split And White and out of Snowy River Gunner.

“I’m obsessed with this horse. You can ask my husband—I keep every judge sheet, every placing, every back number he’s ever had,” said Wetherell of the Chiara Pelosi-bred stallion. “When my husband bought this horse for me, I struggled with auto-immune disease pretty badly and had very weak muscles. When I got him, I couldn’t bend over and take polos off and had to have help getting on and off. This horse is literally giving me my health and something to focus on, a reason to strive to get up in the morning. I can’t thank him enough; he’s giving me my health, which is priceless.”

Wetherell and the horse share a special emotional connection, which is on display any time they are around one another. “My husband gets upset. He’ll walk up to his stall while he’s eating and he just keeps eating, and when I walk up he’ll spin around and come right up to me—always wants to greet me and nickers at me every time he sees me. When [NRHA Million Dollar Rider] Trevor [Dare] shows him at the big events, they don’t allow me on the barn aisle for like two days because when he sees me, he’ll start pawing at the stall door if I don’t come see him, so it’s fun to get to show him because then I get to see him every day.”

Intermediate Non Pro High Point Champions- Kent Ray Taylor & Xtra Wimpys Catalyst

After winning several divisions of non pro classes in the first slate of competition, Kent Ray Taylor and his own Xtra Wimpys Step emerged as the High Point Champions in both the Intermediate and Prime Time divisions.

The Millholland Training Inc.-bred stallion is out of NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Wimpys Little Step and out of Im Not Blonde. The duo has been together since 2021 and works hard to take care of one another.

$500-added Prime Time Non Pro Slate 2 Champions / 8 & Up L4, L3 and L2 Non Pro Maturity Champions / Non Pro and Prime Time High Point Champions – Kathleen Armenta & Off N Running

With a score of 218, Kathleen Armenta and Off N Running finished with Championship titles in the second slate of the Prime Time Non Pro and the 8 & Up L2-4 Non Pro Maturities.

By NRHA $4 Million Sire and out of Spook Off Sparks, the 9-year-old gelding has been with Armenta since he was four. “I got him at the beginning of his 4-year-old year, so I did all the derbies on him, and we were pretty successful,” noted Armenta. “He’s probably the most special horse to me because he is the most talented horse I’ve ever had, and it’s hard to get rid of a horse like that when they age out. It’s just fun to keep riding a horse that you’ve done so well on—you don’t just move on. I don’t know if I’ll keep him forever, but right now, I’m having a really good time.”

The pair also won the Non Pro and Prime Time High Point titles after consistently scoring high in the ancillary slates of classes.

Masters Non Pro Slate 2 Champions – Dorothy Sanford & CCR Magnum Guns

Dorothy Sanford and CCR Magnum Guns (Gunnatrashya x Magnum Marilynmonroe) topped the second slate of Masters Non Pro competition. The Center Cross Ranch LLC-bred mare is owned by Sanford, who piloted her to a 208.5 and the title.

Before her success in the show pen in Oklahoma City this week, Sanford had earned $244 in the show pen.

Masters Non Pro High Point Champions – Victoria Riva & GH Cromed Mercedes

After consistently topping the leaderboard in both slates of non pro competition, Victoria Riva and GH Cromed Mercedes claimed the High Point Championship in the Masters Non Pro division. The 2012 gelding by NRHA Million Dollar Sire and out of Chic In The Bar and his owner-pilot made a great team throughout the show.

Legends Non Pro Slate 2 Champions – Sammy Graham & Brother Gun

Sammy Graham will celebrate his 73rd birthday in a few short days as champion of the second slate of Legends Non Pro competition. He earned the title aboard Brother Gun (Gunner x Shesa Smart Sister), a 15-year-old stallion bred, owned, and nominated by Graham.

After sitting the 2023 season out, the duo rode to a 206.5 to claim the title.

Legends High Point Champions – Mary Dodson and MD Shesa Shiney Chic

Consistency was key for 73-year-old Mary Dodson and her MD Shesa Shiney Chic, whose trips into the show pen earned a High Point Championship in the Legends division. Dodson bred and nominated the 2017 mare by NRHA $2 Million Sire Shine Chic Shine and out of Shesa Packin.

Youth 14-18 Champions Lenzi Halling Xtra Voodoo Herman

Lenzi Halling and Xtra Voodoo Herman earned the Youth 14-18 and Unrestricted Youth Championship in slate two and the high point title.

“I love ‘Herman’ because I originally got him as a step-up horse. He is just the best,” said Halling. “He had a little trouble with me at first because I was a new rider, but eventually, it got a lot better. I have been practicing and practicing in the show pen and preparing for each run to be my best. He loves his job and loves to be the best.”

She practices at shows and with different trainers to help her and Herman constantly improve, a journey she enjoys getting to do with her 6-year-old gelding bred by Silver Spurs Equine. 

“We tolerate each other; actually he tolerates me,” she said with a laugh. “I enjoy learning on him. It means a lot to me because of all of the hard work and effort I have put into Herman over the last two years.”

Youth 13 & Under Slate Two Champions – Millie Jean Piper and Never Outta Dough

After earning a 142.5, Millie Jean Piper and Never Outta Dough took home the title in slate two of the 13 & Under division.

“I got my horse on my birthday—it’s actually when we tried him, said Piper. “It was more of a coincidence than a birthday present, but I have had him for one year, and pretty much we have been best friends ever since.”

Her 11-year-old gelding was bred by Ryan Appleton and is by Outta Dough and out of Chex Writing Queen.

“He is very willing and puts up with all of my shenanigans,” she added.

Earlier this week, Piper also won the 13 & Under division of the CINCH Youth Speaking Contest after reciting A. General, earning a $700 scholarship.

13 & Under High Point Champions – Gracie Weeks & Its A Cash Only Deal

Gracie Weeks earned the 13 & Under high point championship on Ginger Weeks’ Its A Cash Only Deal after scoring a 142. The 7-year-old mare was bred by Stoney Russell and is by NRHA $2 Million Sire Lil Joe Cash and out of Who Whiz Doll.

Short Stirrup 10 & Under Slate Two Champions / Short Stirrup 10 & Under High Point Champions – Dylan Baker & Rambowhizz

Dylan Baker and Rambowhizz improved yesterday’s score by one point to earn the championship and high-point Short Stirrup 10 & Under title.

“He is patient with me, and he is kind. He is just the perfect horse for me,” said Baker. “It’s really fun, but I wouldn’t be able to win without him. He is a really good horse, and I wouldn’t be here without him. I thank ‘Rambo’ and my barn because they are super supportive of me.

The 7-year-old gelding was bred by Houde & Tremblay Partnership and is owned by Anita Horn.

The 2024 NRHA Derby presented by Markel has solidified its reputation as a premier reining event, attracting the world’s finest equine athletes and riders. From the heart-pounding Open finals to the inspiring displays of horsemanship in the non pro and youth divisions, the Derby has reaffirmed its commitment to showcasing the power, precision, and beauty of the reining horse. NRHA extends its congratulations to all the champions, owners, breeders and competitors and looks forward to another exciting year of competition.

Youth Riders Showcase Talent at the NRHA Derby

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is thrilled to announce the outstanding performances by youth riders at this year’s 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, held at the prestigious OKC Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. This year’s event saw an impressive display of talent, dedication, and sportsmanship from the young competitors, underscoring the bright future of reining.

Ignacio Maximo Diano and MMB Pale Princess (Pale Face Dunnit x Paparazzi Princess) scored a 145 to top the 14-18 youth class and the youth unrestricted.

“This is my first show horse ever and I just started my show career with her. She has been consistent every single show, so I feel like there is nothing better,” said Diano.

Diano said his dad, NRHA Professional Gabriel Diano, chose his show string, as did the other trainers at the barn. Then, he fell in love with the Margarita Buey Arietti bred, Alpha Quarter Horse LLC owned-mare who is now five years old.

“There is a little mare, bald-faced and running around, and I thought, ‘That one is pretty. Let me start riding!’ It scared me when I saw 82 entries. It has been a while since we won, so it was nice to finally be back to where I was at the beginning of the year.”

Gracie Weeks topped the 13 & Under division on Its A Cash Only Deal after scoring a 138. The 7-year-old mare is by NRHA $2 Million Sire Lil Joe Cash and out of Who Whiz Doll.

“I think she is special because she is my first mare,” said Weeks. “Also, she is named ‘Lola’ because of the Barry Manilow song because she is a showgirl like the lyrics. She was kind of a unicorn when we found her. She is such a good mare for me.

“She is super sweet, but she is kind of like me a little bit—I am kind of stingy about being affectionate sometimes,” she said. “She can sometimes be really affectionate, and sometimes she isn’t. It is kind of funny to see me in her. She is very easy peasy.”

Lola was bred by Stoney Russel and owned by Ginger Weeks.

Leading the Youth 10 & Under Short Stirrup were Dylan Baker and Rambowhizz (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Rose Electric Step). The pair scored a huge 145 to take the lead.

“It feels great. I am super grateful for ‘Rambo,’” said Baker, who started competing a year ago. “He is kind and he is patient when I am learning new things, and he is always just great for me. We want to just keep trying to do our best in the short stirrup and keep on winning!”

The 7-year-old gelding was bred by Houde & Tremblay Partnership and is owned by Anita Horn.

As the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel enters the last day of competition, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all youth competitors for their exceptional performances and dedication. We also express our gratitude to the trainers, families and sponsors who make it possible for them to be at the OKC Fairgrounds. Watch the live feed of the youth in their final slate today at nrhaderby.com.