First Slate of Novice Horse Open Champions Crowned at 6666 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

The 2024 6666 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby presented by Markel celebrates the next generation of reining superstars, not just with talented riders, but also with exceptional equine athletes. Today champions were crowned in the first slate of the Novice Horse Open. These gifted young horses, partnered with skilled trainers, have captivated audiences with their athleticism and potential.

$1,000-added Novice Horse Open Level 3 and 2 Champions – Sean McBurney and Americasnextdiamond

NRHA Professional Sean McBurney and the Rhodes River Ranch-bred, -nominated, and -owned Americasnextdiamond scored a 146.5 to win both the Level 3 and 2 $1,000-added Novice Horse Open classes.

“Americasnextdiamond was great to show today,” said McBurney. “She was in the broodmare field for a while but she looked real good, and we wanted to get more money on her. We started showing her, and hopefully, we get to use her for The Run For a Million qualifier this year.”

The 9-year-old mare by NRHA $3 Million Sire Whizkey N Diamonds and out of Americasnextgunmodel has $10,591 in NRHA lifetime earnings (LTE) all with McBurney at the reins.

$1,000-added Novice Horse Open Level 1 Co-Champions – Lucas Gayoto Ocanha, Jordan McBurney, and Jared Leclair

There was a three-way tie for the lead of the Novice Horse Open Level 1 with a score of 143.5.

Lucas Gayoto Ocanha rode LV Doo The Hustle (Shiners Voodoo Dr x Steppin N Hustlin), a 5-year-old gelding owned by Oxbow Ranch LLC.

“‘Caesar’ been such a unicorn for me,” said Ocanha. “I started riding him because I have that bond. He’s special for me because he has a great mind. He is just the same every day, every time. He gives me everything every day and that’s why he’s special for me.”

Bred by Ixtul Quarter Horses LLC, the horse has nearly $2,200 in NRHA LTE, while his pilot—a fairly new NRHA Professional—has just under $1,500 in NRHA LTE.

Scott DeTro’s Chic On The Town and Jordan McBurney were the second set of leaders in the Level 1. The 2017 Rosanne Sternberg-bred and -nominated mare is by Gunners Tinseltown and out of Sugarplum Chic.

“‘Paris’ is a great mare to have in the barn,” said Jordan. “She has been a super fun horse, and I’m really proud of her today. Scott has been showing her and let me take a trip on her here and she was really fun. She is a kind horse and great to have.”

Jared Leclair Rode rode Sparkling Magnum (Magnum Chic Dream x Electric Sparkle) to also tie for the title.

“I showed the mare all year and won multiple bronze trophies on her,” said Leclair. She’s a real gritty, big stopper, big turner. She’s your typical show horse mare. She’s strong and I look forward to showing her for the rest of the year.”

The 6-year-old mare is owned by Lisa Mauzerall and was bred by Wendy Hausner.

The future of reining shines bright as the Novice Horse Open champions are celebrated. These exceptional young horses have proven their talent and promise, leaving the crowd eager to see them develop into future champions. The 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel continues to showcase the very best in the sport, and these Novice Horse Open champions represent the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.