NRBC Day 5: Neudorf Wins Yellowstone Rookie Shootout

A highlight of Friday evening’s performances inside the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Coliseum was the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout Finals featuring the top five rookies from two rounds of competition. The Yellowstone Rookie Shootout finalists were Jennifer Neudorf, Madison Rafacz, Nancy Brugato, Ava Bush and Todd Neiberger.

Jennifer Neudorf’s 10-year-old gelding Blue Collar Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Kachina Oak Olena) has been performing well for Neudorf all week picking up paychecks in the rookie classes to qualify her for the shootout. The pair showed big in the Coliseum to turn in a crowd-pleasing performance and earn a score of 72.5 to top the class and win the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout.

“It was my first time [showing in the Coliseum] and it felt really good. I had a lot of fun,” Neudorf said. “I pushed him more in my circles and I just put my hand down and said ‘whoa’ in his stops and it felt really cool to win [the Shootou] and I’m really happy.”

Rafacz became the reserve champion riding Whizenboonsmal to a score of 72, followed by Bush with a 71 on Shes A Shinging Gun. Neiberger finished fourth from a score of 70.5 on Who Dat Hot Chich, and Brugato finished fifth riding Mister Black Magic.

Taylor Sheridan, writer, director and producer of Paramount Network’s new series “Yellowstone” – the namesake of the new rookie challenge – and Cole Hauser, one the show’s stars were on hand to present awards to the rookies, including the custom golf cart awarded to Neudorf.

Bertolani Dominates Open Reining Night On Wimpys Littlecolonel

Franco Bertolani took home big wins in Friday night’s NRBC Open Reining Night presented by Kimmel Reining Horses. Bertolani was first in the draw and scored a whopping 226 which held up through thirty riders and won the National Reining Horse Association $25,000-added Open, the NRBC Open Classic Challenge and the CRI 3.

Bertolani rode Wimpys Littlecolonel (Wimpys Little Step x One right Chic) owned by George Lawrence.

“I have a couple of horses that I listed before I started to try to be apart of the Brazilian team and Wimpys Littlecolonel was on my list and I talked to the owners and they were pretty excited,” Bertolani said. “I will decide after NRBC which one I will choose for WEG.

“This is a very big pen, so the judge has a lot of time to look at you, because the pen is so huge, so it’s very important that you stay out of the penalty box,” he continued. “If you want to mark you need to run. If you go slow, or if you go medium speed it looks too slow, because it’s so big. So, I tried to show hard and stay out of the penalty box. He’s a good horse; he has a big heart.”

Although the big check was a welcomed reward Bertolani said being able to represent Brazil is always a noble and humbling moment.

“It’s always nice, I like the international competition. It’s like you are giving back to your country,” Bertolani said. “The reining isn’t as big in Brazil as it is here in the US, but they follow along and watch on the internet and cheer, so I think the way I represent my country is the way I give back to them also.”

Larson Wins USA Reining

Jordan Larson rode ARC Gunnabeabigstar (Gunnatrashya x Wimpys Little Chic) an 7-year-old stallion owned by HDC Quarter Horses to a score of 225.5 to take the USA Reining championship, reserve in the Open Challenge, reserve in the NRHA Open, and tied for second in the CRI 3 with Casey Deary.

“He was good, it was kind of like a dress rehearsal for the WEG trials. He turned awesome,” Larson. “I have some things I want to work on – I didn’t show him full speed, but I was really happy with him. This will be the last thing I do with this horse. He’s been really special to me and my family, so I’ll just go try to do as good as we can and represent the US.”

Casey Deary rode Heavy Duty Chex (Nu Chex To Cash x Rhondas Tio) to a score of 75 for the silver medal in the CRI 3. 

Larcombe Tops Limited Non Pro

The competition continued with the ancillary classes, plus the start of the youth classes. McKinnon Larcombe rode Taris Dreamer (Magnum Chic Dream x Taris San Cutter) to a score of 145 to top the Limited Non Pro.

“I’ve only had him for four months now, so I’m just getting to know him,” Larcombe said. “This is the biggest show we’ve been to so far and I haven’t really ran him super hard yet, so I went out there with a plan to push it a little more and I told myself to trust him and it paid off.”

In second place was Tina Ellis riding Whatacromedmercedes (Cromed Out Mercedes x What A Sunrise) to a score of 142.5.

Youth Champions Named

The Youth classes saw a lot of action with Faith Horner riding Bit Of Magnum (Magnum Chic Dream x Bitsy Bye Remedy) to the Youth 13 & Under win with a score of 137.5.

“It was really fun, he ran really fast and he did all of his maneuvers very well,” Horner said. “He’s a two-time world champion, so I love him a lot.”

Emma Lane won the Youth 14-18 with a score of 146 riding Gunner Gump, who’s by Colonels Smoking Gun out of Little Patrasha Gump. Lane also won the USA Reining Youth 14-18.

Emily Opell topped the Unrestricted Youth riding HA Tears Of The Sun (Lena Spark x HA Chic A Tune) with a score of 144.5.

Becca Schaffhauser rode Dunitwithasmokingun (Colonels Smoking Gun x Dun It Doll) to a score of 70.5 to win the 10 and Under Short Stirrup.

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.

NRBC Day 4: Schmersal Tops Open Classic Prelims

The competition continued at the National Reining Breeders Classic on Thursday with the second section of the Open Classic Prelims. The tough competition featured big stops and smooth maneuvers inside the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Coliseum. The ancillary classes also saw big scores with the Novice Horse Open, Limited Open, Rookie Professional, Yellowstone Rookie Shootout Round 2 and American Quarter Horse Association classes.

Craig Schmersal held onto his lead in the Level 4 with Phantom Face and a score of 224. Phantom Face is a 2013 stallion by Pale Face Dunnit out of Blazing In Black, owned by the Wranglen Partnership. Schmersal and Phantom Face earned $13,554.

Loris Epis and Spooks Gotta Spark (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Dolittle Lena) won the Level 3 and earned $3,500 for owner Gaynia Revenberg. The duo turned in a score of 222.5 for the win.

Gabriel Borges won both the Level 2 and Level 1 with a score of 220 riding Checksworthy (Big Chex To Cash x Banjoes Shining Star). Checksworthy is a 4- year-old mare owned by Terry Leffew. Borges earned $1,102 for the Level 2 finish and $760 for the Level 1 finish.

Duane Latimer leads the Prime Time with a 222.5 riding Modern Gun, a 2013 stallion by Gunners Special Nite and out of Taris Modern Design, owned by MS Stables. Latimer and Modern Gun earned $650 for their efforts.

Willey Sweeps Limited Open

The ancillary classes continued with the Limited Open and Rookie Professional classes in the Wheless Arena where Ethan Willey took top honors in the Limited Open and Elisabeth Bourassa won the Rookie Professional.

Ethan Willey rode Slidin Smartly, (Smart Spook x Slidin On Sunshine) to a score of 73. Slidin Smartly is a 4-year-old mare owned by Brad and Amanda Kelly. The partnership with Willey and Slidin Smartly is young, but it is proving successful.

“I’ve only shown her one time before here and she was really good both times I’ve shown her,” Willey said. “She was really fun [today] I just tried to stay out of her way and let her do her thing. She’s a good mare.”

Bourassa Wins Rookie Professional

Bourassa won the Rookie Professional riding RR Gundun, who’s by Colonels Smoking Gun and out of Dun It With Grace, to a score of 72.5. The relationship between Bourassa and her 8-year-old gelding can be seen from across the show pen. Bourassa holds “Bear,” as he’s affectionately known, close to her heart and it’s easy to see why.

“Usually older horses will cheat you somewhere, but he just let me show him,” Bourassa said. “He was so good. I really love my horse. This was my first show here and the plan was just to come here and get ready and I’m really for my first show to have that rhythm.”

Estival Wins Rookie Pro High Point

Glen Estival won the High Point Rookie Professional buckle riding Thatza Good Question (Wimpys Little Step x Sheza Bonita Whiz), owned by Janine Inmon. Estival and “GQ” won Tuesday’s Rookie Professional and tied for third with Leslie Bingham on two of her horses, in today’s class.

“I’m really happy, he’s a good horse and he did really good again today,” Estival said. “I was really happy with him.”

Smith Wins Novice Horse Open

In the Novice Horse Open Levels 1 and 2 Sam Smith rode Magnums Lil Hercules (Magnum Chic Dream x Great Black Cody) to a score of 145.5 to take the wins for owner Sherry Sumpter.

“I’m just trying to put him together and get him seasoned,” Smith said of the 4- year-old gelding. “I was thinking more about showing [in the Open Classic Prelims] I really didn’t do a lot to prepare him. He was real good in the circles, turned really good and that horse is really a good stopper. He was spot on today, so I was really proud of him for that.”

Rafacz, Tesmer Share Rookie Level 1 Win

High stakes in the Rookie classes resulted in top-notch performances from the Rookies competing in the Tellepsen arena. Along with awards going to the Rookie Levels 1, 2 and Prime Time the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout finalists were name, which were determined by the top five scoring rookies from the two rounds.

Co-champions Madison Rafacz and Isabella Tesmer shared the win in the Rookie Level 1 with scores of 143.5.

Rafacz rode Whizenboonsmal (Peptoleap x She Whiz A Star) and also qualified for the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout about the 2012 gelding from a composite score of 215. “I didn’t have any bobbles today like I did yesterday,” Rafacz said.

“I had a nice clean run and I made it to the top five [Yellowstone Rookie Shootout].” Rafacz and Whizenboonsmal topped Wednesday’s Rookie Level 1 class and combine with today’s win she says she’s excited about the shootout. She plans to give it her all in Friday’s finals.

“I’m going to run really fast,” Rafacz said with a laugh of her game plan for the shootout.

Tesmer rode the 2009 stallion Itsa Last Wimpy (Wimpys Little Step x Itsas Last Chic) to the co-championship. Tesmer and Itsa Last Wimpy have been partners for a little over a year. Tesmer is new to the game having only been reining for about a year, but her standout partner makes her job as a rider easy.

“He’s a really good boy. He’s calm and he really does what I ask him to do,” Tesmer said.

Neudorf Wins Rookie Level 2

Rookie 2 winner was Jennifer Neudorf riding Blue Collar Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Kachina Oak Olena) with a score of 146.5. Neudorf says she enjoys riding the 10-year-old gelding for many reason, including his laid back personality, but she especially enjoys his big stops.

“He’s fun to ride and fun to stop, and I’ve never had a good stopping horse, so it’s really cool to ride him,” Neudorf said. “Today felt way better [than yesterday during the rookie classes], I felt more concentrated today… and our run felt way better.”

Neiberger Wins Rookie Prime Time

Todd Neiberger rode Who Dat Hot Chic (Wimpys Little Step x Smart Chic Aloha) to the Rookie Prime Time win with a score of 142.5. Neiberger and the 2010 mare also qualified for the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout in the No. 5 position with a composite score of 212.5.

“She’s a wonderful mare, always there and extremely talented,” Neiberger said. “[Today’s run] was good, I have been working on some things and the turns I didn’t quite get what I wanted, but that’s alright I kind of improve as we go, but it was good.”

Yellowstone Rookie Shootout Finalists Named

The Yellowstone Rookie Shootout finalists are Neudorf in the No. 1 position with a composite score of 218.5, followed by Rafacz with a 215 in second place. Nancy Brugato riding Mister Black Magic and Ava Bush riding Shes A Shining Gun tied for the third and fourth place qualifications with scores of 213. Neiberger finished fifth with a 212.5.

The Yellowstone Rookie Shootout finalists will meet Friday night in the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Coliseum for the finals, where one talented rookie will be crowned as the inaugural Yellowstone Rookie Shootout Champion and receive the cash prize and a custom golf cart. 

Tamarack Ranch Open Draw Party

The Tamarak Ranch Open Draw Party pulled together the Open Classic finalists, their friends and family for an evening of great food and entertainment. Along with the food and camaraderie, the Open finalists were given the chance to draw for their running positions in the Open Classic Finals.

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.

NRBC Day 3: Craig Schmersal Leads Open Classic Prelims

Competition continued at the National Reining Breeders Classic on Wednesday with the first section of the Open Classic Prelims. The tough competition featured high scores and smooth moves inside the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Coliseum. The ancillary classes also saw big scores with the Novice Horse Non Pro, American Quarter Horse Association classes and the start of the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout Round 1.

The Open Classic Prelims first section began Wednesday with 96 out of 193 entries making their bids for the finals.

Craig Schmersal scored a 224 riding Phantom Face (Pale Face Dunnit x Blazing In Black) to take the lead in the Level 4. Phantom Face is a 2013 stallion owned by the Wranglen Partnership.

Level 3 leader, Pedro Baiao, rode Spooksgottachicolena (Spooks Gotta Gun x Braz Us) to a score of 222 to take the lead in the level. Spooksgottachicolena is a 2012 gelding owned by Michael Garnett.

Gabriel Borges leads the Level 2 and Level 1 with a score of 220 riding Checksworthy (Big Chex To Cash x Banjoes Shining Star). Checksworthy is a 4- year-old mare owned by Terry Leffew.

Duane Latimer leads the Prime Time with a 222.5 riding Modern Gun, a 2013 stallion by Gunners Special Nite and out of Taris Modern Design, owned by MS Stables.

Morris Kulmer Wins Novice Horse Non Pro

In the Tellepsen arena the Novice Horse Non Pros skillfully piloted the pattern for top honors Wednesday. Topping both the Level 1 and 2 was Morris Kulmer with a score of 144. Kulmer rode NVR What A Lucky Joe, who’s by Lil Joe Cash out of What A Lucky Hit to the win. Kulmer and his mount also topped the AQHA Select Amateur class with a score of 144.

“Today’s run was good. I was relaxed, he was relaxed; we had a good time,” Kulmer said. “He’s a great horse and a lot of fun.”

Kulmer has had the 4-year-old stallion since the 2017 NRHA Futurity and the pair has found an easy partnership in the show pen. Kulmer’s looking forward to future success and coming back to NRBC next year.

Following Kulmer in the Level 1 second place position was Laura MunteanSumrall riding Guns N Whizes (Gunners Special Nite x Ima Remin Whiz) to a score of 143.5. Laura Fourre rode Lime A Rita (Custom Legend x She Slides Wright) to the second place finish in the Level 2 with a score of 143. Felicia Linner riding Gunnersshineybrunett (Colonels Smoking Gun x Scats Ebony Shiner) and Samantha Roper riding Lil Whizzer Gun (Lil Gun x Sugar Baby Whiz) tied for the win in the AQHA Amatuer with scores of 141.

Madison Rafacz Wins Rookie Level 1

In the Wheless arena the first rounds of Rookie competition began with fierce competition. Along with ancillary classes the first round of the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout also began.

Madison Rafacz topped the Rookie Level 1 with a score of 71.5. Rafacz rode Whizenboonsmal (Peptoleap x She Whiz A Star) to the win and hopes to clean up a few things for tomorrow’s Rookie classes.

“He’s very sweet,” Rafacz said. “Today’s run was really good. I would have gotten a little higher score, but I over turned and my left set of circles were sloppy, but oh well.”

The duo has only been together since the AQHA Congress. Their early success foreshadows a bright future for the pair to get the kinks worked out and continue winning in the pen.

The Rookie Level 2 winner was Jennifer Neudorf riding Blue Collar Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Kachina Oak Olena) to a score of 72. For winning the Level 2 Neudorf earned an NRHA plaque plus a NRBC Cobalt vase.

Five Tie for Rookie Prime Time Win

A five-way tie from a score of 71 took the No. 1 spot in the Rookie Prime Time between Maria Renzi, Nancy Brugato, Linda Jacobs, Denise Pippin and Terry Saxton.

Renzi rode Cat Shiner by Cats Moonshine out of Toulouse Lena, and the 2011 gelding’s original profession was as a cutting horse. He’s transitioned almost flawlessly from the cutting world to the reining industry and continues to impress Renzi in the show pen.

“I’ve been riding him for two years and I love him; he’s very honest,” Renzi said of her mount. “He’s going to end up with me for the rest of his life! He’s a good boy, he’s honest and hopefully he’ll stay that way.”

Brugato and Mister Black Magic (Mister Dual Pep x Lenas Black Witch) have been partners for two years and Brugato hopes to make the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout. The 2010 stallion performed well for Brugato in Wednesday’s class, even despite a minor hiccup.

“It felt great. He tried to cheat me a little bit, but overall he was really good,” Brugato said with a laugh of Mister Black Magic’s run.

Jacobs rode Special Kinda Nite (Gunners Special Nite x Cowgirl In A Benz) a 2012 mare owned by 4 Lazy J Arizona. For sharing the win in the Rookie Prime Time each contestant will receive an NRHA plaque and were each awarded a commemorative NRBC Cobalt trophy. Jacobs was unavailable for an interview.

Pippin and Chant For Chics, who’s by Hesa Smart Chic and out of Doc Otoe Chant, have been partners for a short time and have been progressing well together. Pippin has big plans for her 6-year-old mare and was excited about their showing together in NRBC so far. “It was awesome; lots of good things happened,” Pippin said of her run. “My plan is to take her to the [NRHA] Derby.” Saxton rode Jacs Electric Whiz (Jacs Electric Spark x Whizards Baby Doll) to the shared win. Saxton has owned the 2011 gelding for two years, and they have found their stride at NRBC. Marking only their fourth show together in the show pen, Wednesday’s win promises a bright future for the pair.

“I really had a blast on him! I had nice slides and everything came together on him,” Saxton said.

Markel Insurance Non Pro Draw Party

Another crowd-pleasing activity was the Markel Insurance Non Pro Draw Party, where the Non Pro finalists enjoyed an evening of camaraderie while they picked their draw for the finals. A highlight of the party is the presentation of the NRBC Markel Non Pro Commitment Award, which was awarded to Dave Silva.

“Dave SIlva has been involved with reining for a very long time and has supported the industry and the NRBC consistently,” Frank Constantini said. “He’s a Million Dollar owner with great – even Hall of Fame horses, but he’s always been much more comfortable behind-the-scenes.”

“This award was created to recognize the commitment of the Non Pros in our industry and we think Dave is a most worthy recipient.”

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.

Magnum Chic Dream Earns Another Million

For Immediate Release – April 27, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The 2018 National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) in Katy, Texas produced many shining moments for the sport of reining. With great talent in both the Open and Non Pro Classic competitions, multiple horses and riders carved their way into the history books. Among those receiving accolades was Magnum Chic Dream, who became only the sixth National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Five Million Dollar Sire.

Magnum Chic Dream is a 22-year-old stallion by NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Fame Inductee Smart Chic Olena and out of Sailin Barbee (by NRHA Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Fame Inductee Topsail Cody). Bred by Guy Du Ponchel and owned by Viola Scott, the sorrel stallion stands at Cedar Ridge Stallion Station in Whitesboro, Texas.

Scott owned and rode “Magnum” during her career as a non pro from 2002-2004 after taking the reins from NRHA Professional Patti Brownshadel. Boasting more than $44,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE), the stallion’s top finishes in the show pen include:

  • 1999 NRHA Futurity Open Finalist, Intermediate Open Finalist and Limited Open Reserve Champion ridden by Brownshadel
  • 2000 NRHA Derby Intermediate Open Co-Reserve Champion ridden by Brownshadel
  • 2004 AQHA Senior Reining World Champion ridden by NRHA Professional Casey Hinton

Magnum’s true success came within the breeding pen. Producing many talented offspring, he has sired many champions, including the 2015 NRHA Level (L)4 Non Pro Futurity Reserve Champion, the 2016 NRHA Non Pro L4 Futurity Champion and the 2017 NRBC L4 Open and Non Pro Champions. At the 2018 NRBC, Magnum had 10 horses competing in the Open and Non Pro Classic finals, earning him more than $38,873 and pushing the infamous sire over the five million dollar mark.

His most notable offspring include:

  • Taris Dreamer (out of Taris San Cutter): NRHA LTE over $179,753
  • Msdreamy (out of A Gal With A Gun): NRHA LTE over $167,934
  • Lil Magnum Jessie (out of Lil Ruf Jessie): NRHA LTE over $166,274
  • Chic Dreamin (out of Skeets Red Dunit): NRHA LTE over $163,829
  • Chicsdundreamin (out of Goody Goody Dun Drop): NRHA LTE over $153,342

Photo: John Brasseaux

Dr. James Morgan, DVM Becomes NRHA’s Oldest Million Dollar Rider

For Immediate Release – April 25, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – With a rich tradition of athletic horses, talented riders and successful owners, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) celebrates each opportunity to highlight the hard work and accomplishments of its members. After a successful trip to the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) in Katy, Texas, Dr. James Morgan, DVM crossed a monumental milestone and is unofficially an NRHA Million Dollar Rider.

Dr. Morgan earned his first official paycheck at the 1974 NRHA Futurity for an amount of $114.60. Since then, he has ridden on to win the NRHA Level (L)4 Non Pro Futurity in 1984-86 and has eight reserve championships within the same division. He furthered his NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE) through finals appearances at many other shows such as the All American Quarter Horse Congress, NRHA Derby and NRBC. Adding to this impressive resume, Dr. Morgan is an NRHA Lifetime Member, Hall of Fame Member, past-member of the NRHA Board of Directors and an NRHA Judge. He has participated in every industry event imaginable, all while continuing his work as a veterinarian.

During NRBC, Dr. Morgan rode and qualified two horses to the Non Pro Classic Finals that helped him cross this historic milestone. Shiney Workboots (Smart And Shiney x Reminic At Work) earned a third place finish in the Prime Time division and tied for fourth in the L4 with a score of 219. Atop Reiningwiththestars (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Wimpys Memorabilia), Dr. Morgan placed in the top 20 in the Prime Time and top 30 in the L4.

At the age of 72, Dr. Morgan is the oldest person to ever reach the NRHA Million Dollar Rider mark and is only the third non pro rider to reach this milestone. “All this time, I’ve been planning on this run here,” said Dr. Morgan when describing how it felt to achieve this long-awaited goal. The years of planning and preparation came down to one run, and it worked out perfectly—earning the pair enough money to deem Dr. Morgan an NRHA Million Dollar Rider.