Mandy McCutcheon Leads NRHA Derby Non Pro Preliminaries on Party Nite

The Non Pro preliminary round of the 2019 National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel Insurance kicked off on Monday, June 17. Just a few runs into the first section, power went out across the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds. A construction vehicle had cut a power line, trapping the operator in the rig due to live electric wires.

Luckily the State Fair Park personnel were able to get the lights back on quickly, and the heavy equipment operator was rescued.

Despite the delay, many great scores were marked in the Jim Norick Coliseum Arena. Leading the Non Pro Level 4 preliminaries with a 222.5 is NRHA Million Dollar Rider Mandy McCutcheon on Party Nite. Party Nite is by Gunners Special Nite out of Topsail Survivor (by Topsail Whiz), and was bred and raised by Sarah Willeman of Turnabout Farm, Inc.

McCutcheon and Party Nite, a 4-year-old mare, are coming off a big win at the National Reining Breeders Classic, where they won the Non Pro Level 4 title. Party Nite is owned by Mandy and her husband Tom McCutcheon of Aubrey, Texas.

Kim Muehlstaetter and Spooks Grand Slam lead the Non Pro Level 3 with a 219.5. Spooks Grand Slam, a five-year-old by Spooks Gotta Whiz out of Shiney Diamond Lady, is owned by Kim and Martin Muehlstaetter of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Morris Kulmer and NVR What A Lucky Joe are currently tied for the lead of the Non Pro Level 2 with Jennifer Neudorf and Shining In Town with scores of 219. Kulmer and NVR What A Lucky Joe (Lil Joe Cash x What A Lucky Hit), also sit solo atop the leaderboard for the Non Pro Prime Time and Masters Division.

Neudorf and Shining In Town (Hollywoodstinseltown x Shine Ann), also lead the Non Pro Level 1 and the Non Pro Youth.

Holding steady with the top score of the Bob’s Custom Saddles Novice Non Pro Derby is Gina-Marie Schumacher and All Right Magnum with a 218.5. The Bob’s Custom Saddles Novice Non Pro Derby Championship will be decided at the completion of the preliminary round, so Schumacher and All Right Magnum, by Magnum Chic Dream and out of All The Right Motion, are sitting pretty.

Non Pro preliminary competition continues Tuesday. The top 30 in the Non Pro Levels 4-1, as well as the top 20 in the Non Pro Prime Time and Non Pro Youth, will advance to the clean-slate finals on Friday. The draw for the finals will be decided during the Platinum Performance Non Pro Draw Party on Wednesday evening.

Day Three NRHA Derby Presented by Markel Insurance Ancillary Winners

Oklahoma City, OK – Winners competing in both slates of ancillary classes at the National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel Insurance have the chance to win High Point Championships. Each High Point Champion receives a gorgeous Montana Silversmiths buckle. 

Int. Open [2] Class Winner and Int. Open High Point Champion – Nick Valentine and Double Loaded Gun, owned by Doug Forzani
On Sunday, Nick Valentine and Double Loaded Gun tied for the win of the Intermediate Open and came back on Monday to take sole possession of the title. That second win, with a score of 145, secured the High Point Championship, as well as a check for $1,323.

“My horse is very consistent. We had the same score as yesterday, but he felt a little better today,” Valentine said. “He was a little tired yesterday, so I didn’t ride him last night and just let him chill and get more sleep. He had an easy warm up just to let him stretch his legs. He knows his job.”

Double Loaded Gun, owned by Doug Forzani, has been working as both a show horse and a breeding stallion. His oldest foals are now weanlings. “This horse is really talented physically and is bred really, really well. His mind is very special,” Valentine explained.

Valentine and Double Loaded Gun, by Colonels Smoking Gun and out of KR Anniegityergun, will likely go to Tulsa for their next event. “I thank his owners for trusting me with him, and my wife and family and everyone that helps me. You can’t get here by yourself, that’s for sure,” he said.

Ltd. Open [2]/Rookie Pro. [2] Class Winner and Ltd. Open/Rookie Pro. High Point Champion – Shalene Chartier and Jacd Up Dually, owned by Tony Dudley
Shalene Chartier and Jacd Up Dually won not one, but two, high point buckles. She and the five-year-old gelding topped the Ltd. Open and Rookie Pro. classes on Sunday and returned to the Adequan Arena on Monday to repeat the wins, clinching the high point wins and more than $514.

“It was very exciting for me. He was very honest both days I showed him, so I’m really happy,” Chartier said.

The young trainer, who works for Matt Armenta in Whitesboro, Texas, had a feeling Jacd Up Dually would do well. “He felt really great warming up, and I knew he would be good from the time I rode him into the pen. I worked on the turn arounds a little bit before we showed and got some help from Matt, but this horse was good yesterday, so there wasn’t much prep for today,’’ she explained.

Jacd Up Dually, by Mister Nicadual and out of Footworks Yellow Jac, is owned by Tony Dudley. “I thank Tony and all the customers who are so supportive and fun to be around. It makes it exciting. Thank you to Matt for the opportunity,” she said.

Finishing second in the Int. Open, Ltd. Open, and Rookie Pro. was Kaleigh Geringer and Lil Coded Jac with a score of 144.5. Lil Coded Jac, by Jacs Electric Spark and out of Hot Coded Candy, is owned by Susan Meyer.

Ltd. Non Pro [2] Class Winner and Ltd. Non Pro High Point Champion – McKinnon Larcombe and Designed With Shine
McKinnon Larcombe and Designed With Shine seem unstoppable. They won the Limited Non Pro on Saturday with a 145. They topped that score in Monday’s class with a 146, winning $331 and the High Point Championship.

Designed With Shine is owned by McKinnon’s aunt Shauna Larcombe, who purchased the mare from Rosanne Sternberg. Designed With Shine, by Smart And Shiney out of Taris Designer Genes, has more than $69,000 in lifetime earnings.

Taking second in the Limited Non Pro and pocketing $238 was Grace Bentien and SJR White Knight with a 145. SJR White Knight is by Wimpys Little Step out of Whizs Katrina.

IEA Team Champions Crowned at NRHA Derby

The National Reining Horse Association proudly hosts and sponsors the Interscholastic Equestrian Association Western National Finals on June 15 and 16 during the NRHA Derby presented by Markel Insurance in Oklahoma City.

On Sunday, riders in grades six through 12 competed for Team National Championships in Western Horsemanship and Reining.

Winning the NRHA Rider Sportsmanship award was 14-year-old Jenna Woody, who rides with Flamekissed Equestrian. She has competed in IEA for three years. “There’s just a bunch of people you get to meet and make a bunch of new friends. I just enjoy being with people. I’m an extrovert, and I just love rooting on my friends,” she said. “IEA is awesome. It really has helped me.”

Autumn Rose Farm won both Middle School & High School overall team. This is their third year in a row to win. Coach Debbie Griffith noted, “IEA makes them amazing riders. We’ve been really successful, and the kids work so hard. They put in a lot of time and a lot of hours in the barn.”


Day Two Ancillary Winners at NRHA Derby

The second day at the National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel Insurance saw several more riders win checks in ancillary classes.

Franco Bertolani & Inferno Sixty Six Win Open [1]
Inferno Sixth Six, by Gunnatrashya out of Snip O Gun, has been catching eyes and turning heads since his three-year-old year, when, with trainer Franco Bertolani, he claimed the NRHA Futurity Reserve Championship after a run-off. Now seven years old, Inferno Sixty Six, owned by Slide or Die LLC, is back in the show pen. He and Bertolani claimed the Open [1] win at the NRHA Derby, collecting a cool $2,194.

“I have trained him all his life, and he is such a nice horse. The last time I showed him was last August in Tulsa. I just started riding him again to prepare for the Run for a Million in Las Vegas,” Bertolani explained.

The duo marked a 150.5. “He was good. We just went half-speed. I didn’t need to push harder. I just wanted to see what we needed to work on,” Bertolani, an NRHA Million Dollar Rider, noted.

Bertolani and Gunner Dun It Again (Gunner x Dun Its Deja Vu), owned by Paulo Tripoloni, marked a 149.5 to win second, worth an additional $1,580.

Int. Open [1] Co-Champion Tyson Randle & Suisse Code
Tyson Randle hasn’t been riding Suisse Code for very long, but the pair managed to tie for the win of the Int. Open [1]. “He got sent to me about a month ago, right after the NRBC for a little change of scenery and to be eligible for a few different categories. I showed him one other time in Arizona, so this is his second outing,” Randle said.

The pair marked a 145, worth $490. “He came together nicely today. He’s a real physical horse that can do all the maneuvers well. We got through the turns, which we had a little trouble with in Arizona. He circled really well, and he’s a big stopper with a lot of look,” Randle said.

Suisse Code, by Electric Code and out of Shiney Sushi, is owned by Fritz Leeman.

Int. Open [1] Co-Champion Nick Valentine & Double Loaded Gun
Nick Valentine and Double Loaded Gun also tied for the Int. Open [1] win. Double Loaded Gun, by Gunner and out of KR Anniegityergun, has been pulling double-duty as a breeding stallion and show horse. “He’s been collected three days a week and still in training. To do that and get ready for a horse show is pretty special,” Valentine noted.

Valentine added that Double Loaded Gun will show again on Monday. “He was really good today and was right with me the whole time. He was really quiet and relaxed, stopped well, and did everything I asked him to,” Valentine said.

Double Loaded Gun, an eight-year-old owned by Doug Forzani, was shown as a young horse by Jordan Larson, and then did a spell as a non pro horse. “I’ve had him for about a year. He’s a really talented and good-minded athlete,” he said. “We need to make a plan for him. We might go to Tulsa and maybe Vegas.”

Ltd. Open [1] and Rookie Pro [1] Shalene Chartier and Jacd Up Dually
With a score of 144, Shalene Chartier and Jacd Up Dually won both the Ltd. Open [1] and the Rookie Professional [1], worth $522. “He was great. I was more than happy with him in the circles and everywhere else. He was very solid. I look forward to showing him again tomorrow in the same class,” Chartier said.

Jacd Up Dually, a five-year-old gelding by Mister Nicadual and out of Footworks Yellow Jac, is owned by Tony Dudley. “I’ve shown him for almost a year now. He’s been so consistent and great for me to show,” Chartier said.

Chartier has worked for Matt Armenta in Whitesboro, Texas, for more than a year. “I thank Matt for all of his help and encouragement, and Tony for letting me show this horse,” she said.

Tying for second in both divisions with scores of 143.5 were Eva Rittner and Diego Gaona. Rittner was riding Whiz Ann Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Mifs Doll), owned by JM Reining Inc., while Gaona rode his horse FM Dual Smoken Gun (Colonels Smoking Gun x Dual Cheked).

Nov. Horse Non Pro Level 2 [1] Co Champion Jessicah Keller and Coronarita Time
Non Pro Jessicah Keller has shown many great horses in her career, and homebred Coronarita Time is no exception. The flashy palomino mare is by Shine Big Time and out of Corona Lite Chex. “We raised her. I showed her mother, and my sister showed her grandmother,” Keller explained. “She’s very similar to her mother. Her mom was a huge stopper, and was a palomino, too.”

Keller and Coronarita Time tied for the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 win with a score of 143.5, worth $511. “She was great. She really stopped, turned nice, and circled pretty, and she was right there with me,” Keller said. “We started back riding with Trent Harvey in October, and since then we’ve won 11 or 12 thousand. She’s won quite a bit.”

The long term goal for Coronarita Time, owned by Hilldale Farm, is “to win as much as I can then keep her as a broodmare. We’ll show her again on Thursday in the Novice Horse.”

Nov. Horse Non Pro Level 2 [1] Co Champion Alicia Rapp and Loaded And Dancin
Tying for the win of the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 was Alicia Rapp and Loaded And Dancin, nicknamed Dirty. “He’s an eight-year-old gelding I purchased at the end of last year from Mark and Shannon Rafacz. I bought him to have a non pro horse and to compete in the 7 & Ups,” Rapp explained.

The pair marked a 143.5, worth $511. “He was great today. He dialed in nicely for me, almost a little too much, but he stayed with me in the run downs. He got turned really nice and circled up good,” Rapp said.

Rapp, of Tampa, Florida, rides with Ted Chancey. She made the trip with her new daughter Loretta. “It was about a 21 hour trip. It was quite the drive with a 13-week-old baby,” she said with a laugh.

Rapp and Loaded And Dancin, by Hes A Loaded Gun and out of One Dancin Diamond, will be quite busy this week, showing Wednesday in the Non Pro and 7 & Up, and Thursday in the Novice Horse Non Pro.

Nov. Horse Non Pro Level 1 [1] Champion Jennifer Gilliam and Darlin Get The Gun
Finishing third in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2, and winning the Level 1, was Jennifer Gilliam and Darlin Get The Gun with a score of 143. Total earnings exceeded $949. “She showed really well. We had an early draw and she came out and overall was really good,” Gilliam said. “We will show again in the Novice on Thursday.”

Gilliam, of California, purchased Darlin Get The Gun, by Colonels Smoking Gun and out of Darlins Not Painted, early in the year. “She’s been a lot of fun. I showed a few times in the novice, and my daughter shows her in the short stirrup, so she’s a family horse. She’s been great,” she said.

Gilliam hopes to qualify Darlin Get The Gun for the North American Affiliate Championships in November, and make the 31 hour trek back to Oklahoma City.

Landon Augustin and Chics Dig My Shine finished second in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 with a score of 140.5, collecting $406. Chics Dig My Shine is by Shine Chic Shine out of Starlenas Joy.

Markel Insurance Ice Cream Meet & Greet          

It was the first year for the Markel Insurance Ice Cream Meet & Greet at the National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel Insurance, and the event was a resounding success. Held in the Barn 6 Concourse, the Meet & Greet gave youth riders from both the NRHA and the Interscholastic Equestrian Association the opportunity to visit with Markel’s Director of Western Disciplines Frank Costantini as well as a few of the NRHA’s top riders.

NRHA Professionals Mirjam Stillo, Casey Deary, Cade McCutcheon, and Fernando Salgado as well as National Reining Horse Youth Association Officers, took time to visit, sign autographs, and take photos with attendees.