Our Condolences – Dick Pieper

On May 15, 2022, National Reining Horse Association Hall of Famer Dick Pieper passed away at the age of 82.

Dick Pieper & Texas Kicker

Dick was born on his family’s farm in Southern Ohio, where they raised cattle, sheep, and horses – both draft and saddle horses – that were used on a daily basis. Upon high school graduation, Dick attended Ohio State University and served a tour of duty in the United States Navy.

While life kept him busy, he still spent every spare moment riding and training horses. Early on, he turned to reining horses and held NRHA member number 113.

In 1977, he won the NRHA Futurity on Spanish Mountain, then returned two years later, in 1979, to take Co-Reserve Championship honors on Cee Blair Masota.

Between 1976 and 1995, Dick rode 23 NRHA Futurity finalists and was a top twenty money earner for many years following. In 1985, he showed Miss Cee Blair to the title of NRHA World Champion Open Horse, setting a record for money earned in one year that was not broken until 1994 when her son, Cee Blair Sailer, also trained by Dick, established an even higher record. In 1991, Dick showed Texas Kicker to American Quarter Horse Association World Champion Junior Reining Horse setting another record score of 228 in the finals.

Dick held judges cards for the NRHA, AQHA, National Cutting Horse Association, and the National Reined Cow Horse Association.

During his career spanning four decades, Dick won or placed in every major reining event on the North American Continent and several in Europe. His last recorded NRHA event was in 1996, and he held NRHA lifetime earnings exceeding $225,000.

Dick served the industry in a variety of ways, including a tenure as NRHA President. He was at the helm of the organization when the association adopted its judging system, as well as when it moved its marquis event, the NRHA Futurity, moved to Oklahoma City in 1986.

When Dick purchased cutting stallion Playgun in 1993, his attention shifted to NCHA, and he earned more than $350,000 in the sport. Playgun, an $8 million sire, and AQHA Reining World Champion Texas Kicker both made their home at the Pieper Ranch in Marietta, Okla.

Dick was a master horseman and well-respected in the industry. He shared his wisdom, insights, and techniques through books, videos, and with anyone who wanted to learn. Cheryl Cody, who co-wrote The Language of Horsemanship with Dick, said, “His love of horses, the horse industry and people defined him. Sharing his knowledge was as natural as breathing, and he was a master storyteller who never failed to see each new day as an opportunity for adventure.”

Services for Richard “Dick” Pieper:

Wednesday, May 18
5-6 p.m. – Visitation at Smith Funeral Home in Crowell, Texas.
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Fellowship and meal following at the Circle Bar Lodge.

Thursday, May 19
8 a.m. – Breakfast before services at 8 a.m. at the Cookhouse, across the road from the Lodge.
10 a.m. – Graveside service at Circle Bar Cemetery

For any questions, please contact Eugenie at 940-655-8065

Magnum Chic Dream is Newest NRHA Eight Million Dollar Sire

Less than a year after becoming a Seven Million Dollar Sire in the National Reining Horse Association, Magnum Chic Dream has passed another milestone. It was at the 2010 National Reining Breeders Classic that the stallion first joined the elite group of NRHA Million Dollar Sires, so it’s fitting that this latest accomplishment was achieved at the same event.

Prior to the NRBC, held April 18 – 24 in Katy, Texas, Magnum Chic Dream, owned by Viola Scott, was less than $35,000 from $8,000,000 in offspring earnings. Throughout the week-long competition, Magnum Chic Dream progeny kept showing up in the results, and by the time the last run had been ran, the great stallion’s foals had won more than $70,000.

Magnum Chic Dream, by Seven Million Dollar Sire Smart Chic Olena out of Sailin Barbee, was the eighth leading sire for the 2022 NRBC Classic and was fourth on the leaderboard for sires in the ancillary classes.

Magnum Chic Dream’s leading foal at the NRBC was Onecoolchic (out of Skeets Red Dunit), who won the Classic Open Level 2 Championship and finished fourth in the Level 3 with Jimmy Van der Hoeven. All totaled, Onecoolchic earned $19,791 between the preliminary round and finals.

Magnum Chic Dream, born in 1996, was bred by Guy A Du Ponchel. The colt was purchased as a two-year-old in training with Patti Brownshadel by Viola Scott, who was looking for a new non pro horse to compete on. The plan had originally been to geld him, but his good nature and willing temperament kept that from ever happening.

As the 20th century came to a close, Patti Brownshadel piloted him to the NRHA Futurity Open Level 2 and Level 3 Reserve Championships. The pair also placed in the Level 4 Finals. The next year the duo was the NRHA Derby Level 3 Co-Reserve Champions.

In 2002, Viola Scott finally took the reins of her stallion, racking up wins in Non Pro classes over the next couple years.

The stallion’s final recorded win was a big one when Casey Hinton showed him at the 2004 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show to win the Senior Reining title.

Although Viola and her husband, Jack, had numerous offers on the stallion, she said she never thought twice about keeping him.

Magnum Chic Dream’s first performing foal crop arrived in 2001, and as the stallion’s offspring excelled in the show pen, his popularity grew. He has now sired numerous champions of the NRHA Futurity, Derby, and NRBC.

Magnum Chic Dream’s Top Offspring (not including 2022 NRBC earnings):

  • Chic Dreamin (Skeets Red Dunit) $242,272
  • Taris Dreamer (Taris San Cutter) $194,311
  • Msdreamy (A Gal With A Gun) $191,720
  • Mega Maggie Mae (Cinco De Mega) $185,138
  • Made By Magnum (Ready Make Cowboy) $176,484
  • Chics Dream (First Ex Flame) $170,047
  • Lil Magnum Jessie (Lil Ruf Jessie) $166,274
  • Mr Farenheit (Wimpy Little Girl) $159,845
  • Chicsdundreamin (Goody Goody Dun Drop) $154,964
  • Magnum Starlights (Starlights Sugarwhiz) $144,800

Magnum Chic Dream stands at Cedar Ridge Stallion Station in Whitesboro, Texas. For more information, visit MagnumChicDream.com or CedarRidgeStallions.com.

Sliding photo courtesy of NRBC.

Our Condolences – Guy Vernon

On April 20, the reining world learned that National Reining Horse Association Professional Guy Vernon had passed.

Vernon, of Kiowa, Colo., has served the reining world in a variety of ways. He was a former NRHA Board member who was active on numerous committees, an NRHA Judge, and filled a wide range of roles. In addition to training and showing reining horses, he was known for his dedication to his non pro clients.

“Guy was kind and smart. He didn’t think exactly like everyone else, which was part of his charm. He was a champion for NRHA’s affiliate program and devoted to his wife, Valerie, and daughter, Lacey,” noted NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter. “On behalf of NRHA, I extend our most sincere condolences to Valerie, Lacey, and all of Guy’s friends and family.”

Memorial is set for May 3 with details to follow.

If you live in the Kiowa area and would like to help the family by volunteering for barn chores, please use this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4ea9ac22a3f5c52-guyvernon

We will share more information as it becomes available.

Nathan Piper Surpasses $1 Million in NRHA Earnings

It was nearly three decades ago that Nathan Piper showed for the first time in a National Reining Horse Association-sanctioned event. He and Faith Dry Doc topped the Youth 14–18 class at a Texas Reining Horse Association show, and the scene was set for a career that would take him to the highest levels of reining competition.

In mid-March 2022, Piper surpassed a career milestone, becoming an NRHA Million Dollar Rider after a great week at the Cactus Reining Classic. On hand for the important moment? Several members of his family.

“I knew I was getting close at the end of last year, and that it would just depend on how shows went. My mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, and their two kids wanted to be there. They came to the NRHA Futurity in case it happened there, and then went again to the Winter Slide in Ardmore,” Piper explained. “I won about $1,400 there, and we were counting it down.”

Piper didn’t expect his family to show up for the Cactus Reining Classic, but they traveled West for the event. “They drove all the way out to Arizona for it, so it was pretty special,” he shared.

Piper, of Whitesboro, Texas, secured the necessary earnings aboard Patriot (Smart Spook x Dunit A Lil Ruf), owned by Shannon and Hershel Reid. The pair finished third in the Run For A Million qualifier, took third in the Level 4 Open Derby, and won the Level 3 Open Derby Championship. “To finish the first million with a run like that on Patriot was just icing on the cake. He’s one of a kind,” Piper said. “Becoming a Million Dollar Rider is definitely one of the major goals I’ve had. I remember when Bill Horn first won a million, and how much I looked up to him for that.”

It was because of Piper’s sister, Lauren, that he first began riding horses. “My sister wanted a pony when I was a kid, so we got into 4-H and begin showing horses. We saw reining, and I got a ‘kind of’ reining horse, and have been hooked ever since,” Piper recalled.

As a teenager, Piper would go spend time in Marietta, Oklahoma with James Davidson and legendary horseman and NRHA Hall of Famer Dick Pieper to hone his skills. He then went to college at Texas A & M University to pursue a degree in Animal Science and continued to train horses on the side. It was at A & M that he met his future wife, Jean.

“She’s the love of my life and the one who convinced me I could do this for a living. Other people had insisted I needed to pursue a ‘real job,’ but she encouraged me to just do it,” he said. “There have been a lot of ups and downs, and it’s a hard business to break into, but the good Lord kept picking us up, and setting us on the right path. Jean never gave up on me or this dream through it all.”

Piper isn’t one to rest on his laurels, and he’s already looking forward to earning the next million. He’d also like to help a special horse become even more successful. “My next big goal is to get Patriot over $500,000 in earnings,” he said of the stallion.

When asked about the people who have helped him get to this point, Piper said, “There is not enough space to list all the people who deserve thanks. From 4-H leaders in the beginning to all the customers, there have been so many. I also have to thank the other horse trainers. I love this industry because we all help each other. There is probably not a single guy out there who hasn’t helped me become a better reiner.”

So what advice would he give to someone looking toward a career as a trainer? It’s something that has gotten him in trouble with parents. “Just quit school and go for it,” he shared with a laugh.

Piper’s Top Five Wins:

  • 2012 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open 4th Place – In Like Flinn – $65,750
  • 2019 NRBC Level 4 Open Co-Championship – Patriot – $63,000
  • 2020 NRHA Derby Level 4 Open Reserve Championship – Patriot – $45,193
  • 2021 The Run For A Million 7th – Patriot – $40,0000
  • 2014 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open 8th – Independencedayspook – $30,504

Follow Nathan Piper Reining Horses on Facebook here or visit his website at NathanPiper.com.

NRHA Announces Leading Events for 2021

National Reining Horse Association events around the world have grown dramatically in recent years, both in size and payout. Nowhere is that more evident than on the 2021 Leading Event rankings. Sorted by total purse, the shows span the globe and give an idea of the importance of reining worldwide.

Not surprisingly, the NRHA Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships Show leads the field, with a total payout of $2,636,355! The NRHA Futurity Challenge supporters helped boost the purse, as did increased added funds from the NRHA. Ultimately, those added dollars along with incredibly large entry numbers resulted in a record-setting Futurity.

Second on the list for 2021 was the Four Sixes NRHA Derby presented by Markel. The show grew dramatically in 2021 as well, thanks to new sponsorships from 6666 Ranch, Yellowstone, Bosque Ranch, Colston Paving, Tamarack Ranch, GlycoGuard and Story Book Stables.

Along with the two NRHA-produced events, The Run For A Million presented by Teton Ridge and the National Reining Breeders Classic also boasted payouts in excess of $1,000,000. The Run For A Million in Las Vegas featured the highest amount of added money for any event with $1.2 million added.

Making the Top 50 list for NRHA’s Leading events is an honor for any show, and a testament to show managers and committee members working hard to promote reining, worldwide. Excitingly, 10 different countries were represented in the Top 50 Events list for 2021.

“The show organizers and affiliates who conduct our events are the quiet stars of our galaxy. Their tireless and often unacknowledged work is what makes our industry go,” Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner, noted.

NRHA President Rick Clark agreed, “We celebrate and reward the top riders and horses, but this segment of our industry is essential for our industry’s growth and continued success. The opportunities created by these great shows, worldwide, are amazing, and each year you can see that they are working to become even better.”

Exhibitors have shown their appreciation for those opportunities in 2021, with a five-year high of 112,929 total entries and more than 10,000 different horses shown. They competed for a record total annual purse of $19,157,953.

For the complete list of the 2021 Top 50 events, click here.