2017 NRHA Derby: Day Two

NRHA and FEI competition filled the second day of the 2017 NRHA Derby

Riders vying for 2017 NRHA world championship titles and for a spot on their national team in Fédération Équestre International (FEI) CRI competition showed off their skills during the second day of the 2017 NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) Derby.

Casey Deary tops both the NRHA $6,000-added Open and USA Open classes and ties to win the FEI CRI3* with Mirjam Stillo

NRHA Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary took home both the NRHA $6,000-added Open and the USA Open titles after posting a 148 aboard Who Dat Hot Chic (Wimpys Little Step x Smart Chic Aloha), a 2010 mare owned by Neiberger Performance Horses LLC of Argyle, Texas.

“She’s out of a cow horse mare [Smart Chic Aloha] that won close to $50,000 in the cow horse and was second at the World’s Greatest Horseman. We bought her from [NRHA Professional] Jamie Bissell for Todd Neiberger – who owns [the stallion] In Like Flinn – to show,” Deary explained. “I wanted something that would complement ‘Flinn’ really well, and this mare is bionic in ability, so I thought it would be a good cross on him. This was the first time I’ve ever tried to get a score on her and, if she’s going to let me show her like that and not stress her, I might have to use her a few more times!”

Deary says the mare’s watchful personality can make her difficult to read at times, but it hasn’t hindered her success in the arena.

“She’s got a lot of turn, a lot of stop and is a beautiful mare,” Deary said. “She’s a little looky—her ears are constantly going – so you don’t really know if she’s right where you want her to be. Todd [Neiberger] has done really well on her this year, and he was nice enough to let me steal her for the CRI here. Our goal was for me to use her to get qualified so I can show Flinn next year in FEI competition. That was her main job, but I schooled her at the Redbud and got her qualified for the AQHA World Show.”

Kari Anna Klingenberg of Kari Klingenberg Performance Horses and Mr Electric Spark (Jacs Electric Spark x Sailin Rowdy), owned by Foothills Farm of Sedro-Woolley, Washington, earned reserve honors in the $6,000-Added Open and the USA Open Reining with a 147.5.

Riders representing nine National Federations (Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Uruguay, USA) showed in the FEI CRI3* competition.

Casey Deary (USA) and Who Dat Hot Chic tied for first-place honors in the FEI CRI3* with Mirjam Stillo (ITA) and Ruff Spook (Smart Spook x Ruffle Me Up), a 8-year-old stallion owned by Shannon and Hershel Reid of Pilot Point, Texas.

“I only started riding him two months ago and we’re already qualified for the AQHA World Show. He is an amazing stallion, considering he hasn’t had a saddle on for the last two years since he was in the breeding barn,” Stillo said. “I called Shannon and told her I was trying to find a really nice horse to go to the FEI World Equestrian Games, so she gave me Ruff Spook and Ima Smokin Mister. Hopefully I can make her happy and make myself happy.”

Stillo added that she wanted to run him a little harder, but I didn’t want to overdo anything. “He had a stumble in the circles so I ran him harder to his first stop, and he was flawless,” added the Italian professional based in Pilot Point, Texas. “His stops and rollbacks are amazing. There’s a little more horse in there, but I was happy that the first time he gets back to the pen he wins a check and posts such a great score.”

The NRHA Intermediate Open, Limited Open and Rookie Professional
NRHA Professional Shauna Larcombe guided Spook N Sparkle (Smart Spook x Setting Off Sparks), a 7-year-old gelding owned by NRHA Hall of Fame inductee and Million Dollar Owner Rosanne Sternberg to a winning 144.5 in the NRHA $1,000-added Intermediate Open.

“We just wanted to make a nice clean run and mark a good score in the CRI and ended up winning the Intermediate Open as well,” said the native Australian rider who trains out of Sterling Ranch USA, Pilot Point, Texas.

A half-a-point behind the winner, NRHA Professional Josh Tishman reined Chics Love Me Wimpy (Wimpys Little Step x Dream About Magic) to reserve honors in the Intermediate and to top honors in both the $500-added Limited Open and the $500-added Rookie Professional. The Deary Performance Horses trainer rode the 2010 gelding for owner DAG Ventures LLC of Dallas, Texas.

“He’s really consistent and easy to show—he actually didn’t get here until late last night. I got on, went in and showed. We’ve won everything I’ve shown him in this year,” Tishman said. “We’re leading the Rookie Pro and Limited Open rankings, and I am really excited about hauling for the NRHA World titles. We purchased him for his owner Deborah Good from NRHA Million Dollar Rider Mike McEntire last year. Unfortunately, he was injured shortly before the Derby, but once he was better and we put him back in training, we realized he was enough for an open horse.”

Good, who rides with Deary and Tishman, says the gelding is an incredible horse because of his ability to adjust to his rider in the pen.

“He’s a non pro horse, and I’m a green and rookie rider just coming up. Casey and Josh have taken me a long way this year, so it’s great to have a horse at the level of a consistently open rider and then come back to the level I’m at,” said Good who started riding five years ago. “He’s honest in the arena and is a wonderful horse to show. I showed for the first time three years ago and got hooked. I love that I have a horse that constantly takes care of me and Josh.”

NRHA Professional Daniel Gibbs and the 2012 stallion Spooks Full Throttle (Spooks Gotta Gun x Angierilla Boom), owned by Gibbs Farm, placed second in both the Limited Open and Rookie Professional classes.

Ending the day at the Oklahoma State Fair Park were the AQHA and APHA Open and Amateur classes.

The $181,000-added Non Pro Derby first go, first section will start the Derby action on Monday, June 26 at 8 am!

Follow the action live on nrhaderby.com!

2017 NRHA Derby: Day One

Great horse-rider stories fill the first day of competition at the 2017 NRHA Derby

Dunit In Wranglers steers Melissa Wigen to the NRHA $2,000-Added Non Pro win

Opening the day at the 2017 NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) Derby was the $2,000-added Non Pro Show 1 class run concurrently with the $1,000-added Intermediate Non Pro, the $500-added Limited Non Pro, and the $500-added Prime Time Non Pro.

Melissa Wigen of Ogden, Utah, rode her 2007 gelding, Dunit In Wranglers (Starlights Wrangler x A Bueno Poco Dunit), to a 143.5 score as well as the $2,000-added Non Pro title.

“[My run] was pretty good,” Wigen said. “He ran in and stopped well for me, turned good, circled good, and I knew if I could nail my stops, I’d probably be in a good position to win.”

Melissa’s accomplishments in the show pen are remarkable considering that not long ago she had a devastating horse accident, which resulted in multiple surgeries. Only three months ago, Melissa was in surgery once again. Not only has she had to recover physically, but she has had to regain her self-confidence. Her horse, Dunit In Wranglers, has given Melissa that confidence, and she is so very grateful. “I have a nice horse, and I am thankful everything came together,” states Wigen, who is married to NRHA Professional Travis Wigen.

The $2,000-added Non Pro reserve championship went to Adam Donahue on Thata Shiner (Smart Spook x SLJ Smartlikewhinny) with a score of 141.5. The duo also took home top honors in the $1,000-added Intermediate Non Pro class.

“I haven’t shown for 16 years,” Donahue said. “I had some time this year, so I decided to go back to the show pen. I purchased my mare from (NRHA Million Dollar Rider) Jose Vazquez a few years ago and, after a three-year-period in the pasture living the broodmare life, I started riding her in January. Plans are to show her through the rest of the year and then breed her to Not Ruf At All.”

Donahue trains his own horses and rides at Zimmerman Performance Horses Rogersville, Missouri. Donahue’s 2009 sorrel mare was supposed to be a broodmare until Donahue decided to bring her back into the show pen.

With Smart Dundee (Conquistador Whiz x Smart Oaklyn) between the reins, Cathy Brant won the $500-added Limited Non Pro with a 140, while Paul Queen scored a 138.5 to take reserve honors aboard Outta Dough, owned by Dorothy Queen. “My horse is incredible,” Brant said about her 7-year-old gelding. “My husband, (NRHA Professional) Brandon Brant, showed him in the 2010 NRHA Futurity. Following an injury, my horse wasn’t shown for two years, after which I picked up the reins. We tied to win the NRHA 7&Up Level 4 and Level 2 Non Pro class offered at the Buckeye Reiners Easter Slide, and now here we are!”

Ann Admonius and her own Gunners Genes (Gunner x Taris Designer Genes) paid another trip to the winner’s circle in the Prime Time Non Pro with a score of 139.

“I had so much fun today,” Admonius exclaimed. “This is a new horse for me, so we’re still getting acquainted with each other. I just had a ball!”
A string of unfortunate events delayed Admonius and the 2012 gelding’s progress toward the show ring, and this class was only the pair’s second time showing.

“I ride with (NRHA Professional) Ruben Van Dorp, who found the horse for me last October,” Admonius said. “The first time I went to show him, I fell and fractured my wrist. The second time I went, Ruben was headed to the barn and got hit by a drunk driver. The third time I went to show him, [National Reining Breeders Classic] the horse came up sick. I went to Redbud, so really this is the second time I’ve shown him.”

Admonius is now focused on enjoying her horse as they progress as a team.

“[My plans are] to get better,” said Admonius, who also took the reserve championship in the NRHA Intermediate Non Pro. “I love him! He’s just the sweetest horse.”

Xtra Dun Right and Nathan Piper claim the NRHA Novice Horse Open Level 1 and Level 2

NRHA Professional Nathan Piper of Nathan Piper Performance Horses Aubrey, Texas, rode Xtra Dun Right (Wimpys Little Step x SLJ Dun Juice) to the head both the $1,000-added NRHA Novice Horse Open Level 2 – counting 24 entries – and the $1,000-added Novice Horse Open Level 1 (counting 17 entries) with a score of 146.

“He went in and turned for me both ways, and after I felt him take a big deep breath, I knew he was focused,” Piper said of the winning performance. “He circled right with me and had some pretty stops. I didn’t want to over-show him; I wanted to go out there and half every maneuver and see what he’d do for me.”

Piper has a history with Shannon and Hershel Reid’s 2013 sorrel stallion bred by NRHA Million Dollar Owner Smart Like Juice Inc.

“I had him when he was younger, then sold him, and recently got him back. I brought him here to see what he was like, and hopefully I’ll be able to get him ready for Tulsa,” Piper said. “I knew he was a neat and talented horse, but since I’ve had him back, I’m surprised at how physical he is in his stops. I think he’s matured both physically and mentally since his early days in training.”

NRHA Professional Patrice St-Onge of Gainesville, Texas, earned the reserve championship in both classes with a score of 145 riding Smart Cowboy Whiz (Who Whiz It x Little Smart), owned by Cowboy Partners.

Closing the day was the CRI Jog counting 25 horse-rider combinations. All were accepted. Riders representing nine countries (Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Uruguay, USA) will be moving on to Sunday’s USA Open CRI3* competition.

US Equestrian Names Platinum Performance U.S. Teams for 2017 SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jun 23, 2017, 10:20 AM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has named a group of up-and-coming athletes to the U.S. teams for 2017 SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders, August 9-12, in Givrins, Switzerland. Platinum Performance will serve as the title sponsor for the junior and young rider teams at the inaugural championships.

The following athlete-and-horse combinations will represent the U.S. (in alphabetical order):

Platinum Performance U.S. Junior Team

Sam Flarida (Springfield, Ohio) with Katsy Leeman’s Footwork Revolution, a 2010 Quarter Horse stallion

Emma Lane (Gates, N.C.) with Bundy Lane’s Gunner Gump, a 2008 Quarter Horse gelding

Emilia Reutimann (Sherrills Ford, N.C.) with Lisa Reutimann’s Black Hails Gold, a 2010 Quarter Horse gelding

Alternate – Bo Van Duys (Westcliffe, Colo.) with her own and Holly Van Duys’s Wimpy’s Lucky Girl, a 2009 Quarter Horse mare

Platinum Performance U.S. Young Rider Team

Gabriella Kammerer (Mt Sterling, Ky.) with her own Gunners Star, a 2009 Paint gelding

Dani Latimer (Marietta, Okla.) with Fancy Sailor Oak

Cade McCutcheon (Aubrey, Texas) and Tim and Colleen McQuay’s Yellow Jersey, a 2004 Quarter Horse gelding

Jack Medows (Cuba, Mo.) with his own Wimpys Show Stopper, a 2006 Quarter Horse gelding

Alternate – Aubrey Galbraith (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) with Nadine Galbraith’s Cortez Conquistador, a 2008 Quarter Horse gelding

Find out more about the 2017 SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

NRHA Receives Multiple Awards at AHP Equine Media Awards Banquet

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, Okla. – June 22, 2017 –  During the American Horse Publication’s (AHP) three-day conference, held June 15-17, award winners in the AHP Equine Media Awards were honored for their hard work and expertise. This year’s competition for materials published in 2016 had over 783 entries from 105 members.

The National Reining Horse Association’s (NRHA) monthly publication, the NRHA Reiner, and NRHA Inside Reining’s production team, Sandbur Video, received multiple accolades at the AHP Equine Media Awards. “The publishing business is constantly evolving and becoming more and more competitive every day, and I could not be more proud of the team involved with the NRHA Reiner. The hard work and dedication they display every month is outstanding. They’re proud of NRHA and our sport, and that shines through in each issue,” said Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner. This isn’t the first time the NRHA Reiner has taken home a prize at the AHP Equine Media Awards. It won the General Excellence Association Publication award in 2012, an Honorable Mention in 2014, and numerous other awards for editorial, design and event programs.

The award-winning team for the NRHA Reiner includes: Simona Diale, Senior Director of Publications; Carol Trimmer, Editor Emeritus; Bucky Harris, Director of Art, Advertising & Design; Martha Haglund, Graphics; Sharon Barr, Advertising Manager; Chris Maedche, Advertising Account Executive; and Jana Thomason, Senior Manager of Creative & Design. Jennifer Reynolds, Producer and Chris Cook, Co-Producer/Videographer, make up the team for Sandbur Video.


NRHA Reiner

Inside layouts are where the artists shine. Nice packaging for the big show. Awesome writing. Very engaging. Really gives you a flavor of the people.

NRHA Reiner – July 2016
Ann Fonck and Roosters Attitude
Jana Thomason, Designer
Bucky Harris, Designer
Andrea Bonaga, Photographer

This is a gorgeous cover design. The lines, motion and depth in this composition make the page come to life. Every design element is handled expertly; from the color pallet, to fonts that complement each other, to the perfect amount of outlines and shadows that embellish the type, to the balanced positioning of text.


Honorable Mention
NRHA Reiner – December 2016
My Reining Journey
By Cullen Le Roy

This heartfelt first-person story may have a slight word count but it absolutely nails the significance of the human-horse bond. Cullen talking about his failures before his success just makes you root for him and keep reading. A sweet read.

Honorable Mention
National Reining Horse Association
2016 Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary – December 2, 2016
Sandbur Productions/Jenifer Cook Reynolds, Producer
Chris Cook, Co-Producer/Videographer

Video done well. Great use of video clips and using them in the appropriate places.

The AHP Equine Media Awards contest started in 1974 and provides an opportunity for AHP professionals and businesses to be recognized for excellence in equine publishing, print and online, as well as provide professional critiques for improvements.

Since 1980, the NRHA Reiner magazine has been the “Source” on all things “Reining.” The NRHA Reiner is the official publication of the National Reining Horse Association and as such covers all aspects of the association’s activities – from local NRHA Affiliate events, to the prestigious NRHA Futurity and Derby, to worldwide international competitions. To view the magazine online or to subscribe, visit www.nrha1.com/reiner.