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.


IEA Individual 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 Saturday, riders in grades six through 12 competed for individual National Championships in Western Horsemanship and Reining. The IEA used a draw-based format for the competition, where riders randomly select the horses they will compete on just minutes before entering the show arena.

More than $9,000 in college scholarship awards will be presented to qualifying high school seniors. 

Ellexxah Maxwell Wins IEA Leading Western Rider at NRHA Derby

The most prestigious of awards for the Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Western Finals is the IEA Leading Western Rider. For the third time in four years, Ohio’s Ellexxah Maxwell, took home the title.

The show pen dynamo is the American Quarter Horse Association’s all-time leading youth point earner, and just last week, her horse Zips Bossy Chip, became the AQHA’s all-time leading point earner in all divisions.

During Saturday’s classes, Maxwell claimed the title of both the Varsity Open Reining and the Varsity Open Horsemanship. “I won the reining on Magnums Lil Jewel, owned by Jim Dudley Quarter Horses. It was exactly what I wanted this morning. I was a little nervous because reining is not my normal class,” Maxwell explained.

The 18-year-old equestrian became involved in reining because a speaker, Katie Moorhead, came to one of the meetings. “I started out on her team, but unfortunately she was just too far away from me,” she said. “I started on Ollie and Debbie Griffith’s team, Autumn Rose Farm. I love reining and thanks to them I have been able to get in it.”

Maxwell now owns a reining horse and has shown him at AQHA events. “I would love to do more reining in the future. It’s a fun event and I don’t think people realize how versatile reiners are,” she said.

For more information about the IEA, visit

First Winners Crowned at NRHA Derby  

The 2019 National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel Insurance kicked off on Saturday, June 15, with the Non Pro ancillary classes.

Shelby Clausen Wins Non Pro [1] and Int. Non Pro [1] on Smart Tinseltown

Shelby Clausen

The big winner of the day was Shelby Clausen, who claimed the $2,000 added Non Pro [1] and the $1,000 added Int. Non Pro [1] on Smart Tinseltown. The duo topped the two classes with a score of 146.5.

Smart Tinseltown is a 9-year-old by Smart Spook out of Tinseltown Lil Step. “I showed him all of 2017, and then we sold him at the end of the year,” Clausen explained. “We got him back in December of 2018. We love him and are super excited to have him back.”

Shelby’s sister Anna has been showing the gelding, but because Anna is showing a horse in the Derby, Shelby got to take the reins. “Today was good. He’s been with my sister a lot, so it’s a little different. He’s more used to her, so it could have been better in a few areas, but he stopped and turned great for me. I couldn’t ask for much more,” the 17-year-old explained.

Next is the 7 & Up class on Wednesday. “I’ll also show him in the second slate of Non Pro classes. I feel like I should go school a little bit. I’m still confident, but I’m glad I showed him today to know what to work on and how to prepare for Wednesday,” she said.

Clausen added, “Thank you to my trainer Patrick Flaherty for all the work he does, and to my parents for allowing me to do this.”

McKinnon Larcombe and Designed With Shine Win Ltd. Non Pro [1]

McKinnon Larcombe

McKinnon Larcombe and Designed With Shine have only been together for a few months, but the pair has already racked up numerous wins. The duo won the Ltd. Non Pro [1]) and tied for third of both the Non Pro [1] and Int. Non Pro [1] with a score of 145.

“She was really good. I was really happy with her. I haven’t had her that long and have just gone to a couple of shows,” McKinnon explained. “We probably had a few rider errors on my part, but she stopped, turned, and circled really well.”

Designed With Shine, nicknamed Daisy, is owned by McKinnon’s aunt Shauna Larcombe. “My aunt trained and showed her, and recently purchased her from Rosanne Sternberg. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to show her” she said of the mare, by Smart And Shiney out of Taris Designer Genes.

Larcombe has her eyes set on the 7 & Up class. “I’ll show in the Limited on Monday, and try to have the same run as today, and then show again on Wednesday,” she said.

Ron Thompson and Taris Dreamer Win Non Pro Prime Time [1]

Ron Thompson

Ron Thompson and Taris Dreamer took the win in the Non Pro Prime Time [1], and tied for third in the Non Pro [1] and Int. Non Pro [1] with a score of 145. Thompson and Taris Dreamer have amassed numerous wins together, including the NRHA Derby Non Pro Co-Championship and the NRBC Non Pro Championship. “He’s won quite a little,” Thompson noted.

Thompson was using the day’s classes as a schooling event for the 7 & Up. “He was pretty good, and kind of did everything I asked,” he said.

McKinnon Larcombe had actually leased Taris Dreamer a year ago. “She did a lot of schooling shows on him. He had some issued before she got him, but he’s better than he was. It was a good deal for us and a good deal for McKinnon,” Thompson said.

Thompson purchased Taris Dreamer, by Magnum Chic Dream out of Taris San Cutter, as a yearling. “I just always liked him,” he said.

Complete results can be found at