Ancillary Competition Continues at 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel

The horse show action continued in the Adequan® Arena at the 6666 National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel. Monday started with the second slate of the Intermediate Open, Limited Open, and Rookie Professional, then wrapped up with the second slate of the Limited Non Pro.

High point titles were also awarded, with the winners presented with buckles from NRHA Platinum Event Sponsor Montana Silversmiths.

Intermediate Open (2) Champion – Markus Gebert & MAQ Voodoo Doll

Markus Gebert of Germany won the second slate of the Intermediate Open aboard MAQ Voodoo Doll, a 2019 mare owned by Iris Austin.

MAQ Voodoo Doll, or “Frenchie,” as she’s known around the barn, is sired by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Shiners Voodoo Dr and out of Gunners Doll. She was bred by La Maqueline and was shipped to the United States as a yearling.

Markus and Frenchie are a new team- in fact, Markus just started riding the mare two weeks ago. He and his family came to the United States so his son, Emanuel, could compete at the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel and qualify for the Run For The Million. That plan left Markus without a horse to show. However, the mare’s owner, Iris, has known the Gebert family for over a decade and was happy to have Markus show Frenchie.

Iris explained, “She was supposed to be my Derby horse. I’m an open rider also, but I’m swamped with ranch riders, and since Markus had nothing to show, I told him to just take her so she has something today.”

Markus made a point to thank Iris, his family, and everybody at home in Germany for their support.

Limited Open (2) Co-Champion – Yali Avraham & Alpha Taris Chic

Yali Avraham and Alpha Taris Chic won the Limited Open (2) in a three-way tie with a score of 140.5. Alpha Taris Chic, a 2018 gelding owned by Jordan Wright Du Plessis, is by Wimpy Chic and out of Taris Attraction.

“He was just a good horse to show,” Avraham said. “It was very fun.”

Avraham thanked Jordan Wright Du Plessis for letting her ride Alpha Taris Chic and Gunny Matheson for his coaching.

Limited Open (2) Co-Champion – Janina Gauthier & Smart N Up

Janina Gauthier and Smart N Up won the Limited Open (2) in a three-way tie with a score of 140.5

“I’m super excited,” Gauthier said. “I have not been in the show pen for almost eight years now, so to be back at it and be here is definitely amazing.”

Smart N Up is a 2018 mare by NRHA Eight Million Sire Smart Spook and out of Ruffle Me Up. She was bred by Rosanne Sternberg and owned by Eileen Crane. Gauthier will show her two more times throughout the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel.

Gauthier thanked her husband and his team at Jonathan Gauthier Performance Horses for supporting her in this opportunity to be in the show pen.

Limited Open (2) Co-Champion – Luca Cozzo & Pretty With A Twist

Luca Cozzo and Pretty With A Twist won the Limited Open (2) in a three-way tie with a score of 140.5.

Pretty With A Twist is a 2019 mare by NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz out of Make It With A Twist, owned by Brianne Forrest.

“I just put my hand down, said whoa, and let her do the rest,” Cozzo said regarding his high-scoring stops.

Cozzo will show Pretty With A Twist again throughout the duration of the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel and is excited to continue watching this mare mature in the show pen. He graciously thanked Kole Price for his help and support throughout both at the show and at home.

Intermediate & Limited Open High Point – Fabricio Suris Da Silveira & Spooks Gotta Juice

Fabricio Suris Da Silviera and 2019 stallion Spooks Gotta Juice won the high point for the Intermediate and Limited Open Classes.

Spooks Gotta Juice is by NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Shiner Like Juice. He was bred and is owned by NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner Smart Like Juice Inc.

Rookie Professional High Point and (2) Champion – Lucas Gayoto Ocanha & Xtra Magic Doctor

Lucas Gayoto Ocanha won the Rookie Pro’s second slate and the Rookie Pro High Point aboard Xtra Magic Doctor.

This 2014 stallion, known around the barn as “Magic Mike,” is owned by Eric Mendrysa and has lifetime earnings of over $60,000. Bred by Cache Performance Horses, LLC, Magic Mike is by Three Million Dollar Sire Shiners Voodoo Dr and out of Aleena Starlight.

This was only Lucas’s third time to show Magic Mike, an opportunity he is very thankful for, “I have to say thank you to Eric and Trevor for the opportunity to show this horse. He’s a fun horse… a big stopper, big turn, big circle…and he improved a lot from the first round.”

Today’s wins are just adding to this horse’s success so far at the Derby – he won the Rookie Level 2 yesterday with his owner, Eric.

Limited Non Pro High Point – Adele Cunningham & KB Bucks N Guns

Adele Cunningham and KB Bucks N Guns won the Limited Non Pro High Point, placing first in the Limited Non Pro (1) and reserve in the Limited Non Pro (2).

KB Bucks N Guns, a 2014 gelding owned by Kaylene Cunningham and bred by Koen Brutsaert, is sired by NRHA 13 Million Dollar Sire Gunner and out of Smart Whizzin Jenny.

“He was a little more fired up today,” Cunningham said regarding KB Bucks N Guns. “He was just ready to go out there and do his job.”

Cunningham gave a special thanks to the Tishman barn, her parents, and her sister for allowing her the opportunity to ride KB Bucks N Guns.

Limited Non Pro (2) Champion – Jenna Ratke & Rio One Step Closer

Jenna Ratke won the second slate of the Limited Non Pro today on her 2012 gelding, Rio One Step Closer.

The 11-year-old gelding, sired by NRHA 12 Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step out of Miss Remi Chic, has over $17,000 in lifetime earnings. “Rio” and Jenna have had quite a bit of success since becoming a team in 2019, including winning the 2022 14-18 Youth World Championship. However, this was their first win at the Derby, but they’ve been in the Top 5 and Top 10 in the past.

“He’s really surprised me, like he’s 11 this year. I was not expecting this at all from him,” explained Jenna. “I’m very happy that he’s still with me here.”

This talented duo still has a couple more runs this week, then they are on to the Central Ohio Reining Horse Association show in Findlay, Ohio, in a couple of weeks. Jenna made a point to thank her mom, as well as Jesse and Stephanie Gentile, for their support & guidance.

Ancillary action continues Tuesday with the first slate of the NRHA Novice Horse Non Pro classes. A complete schedule, results, link to the live webcast, and more can be found at