It was all about open riders at the 6666 National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel on Wednesday, June 22. Between the last section of Open Derby Preliminaries and Novice Horse Open-action in the Adequan® Arena, there was plenty of good watching to be had.
Level 4 Open Finalist Jared Leclair took two levels of the Novice Horse Open, while Shauna Larcombe nabbed one.
Stay tuned as the expectation builds for the Open and Non Pro Derby Finals to be held later this week in Oklahoma City.
Novice Horse Open Level 2 & 3 (1) Champion – Gunningthebay & Jared Leclair
Jared Leclair took over the reins for wife Karla on Gunningthebay, winning the first slate of the Novice Horse Levels 2 and 3 Wednesday afternoon, June 22, in the Adequan® Arena. With a score of 146, Leclair added $2,251 to the mare’s lifetime earnings. Gunningthebay (Gunners Special Nite x Dun It In The Bay) was bred by Cardinal Hill Training Canter LLC.
“My wife showed her some this year in [derbies]. It’s the first aged-event horse she’s shown,” Leclair said. “With all the breeding [at home] this year, my wife really hasn’t had time to ride her, so I decided to show her here instead and get more money on her.”
Leclair’s plan went off without a hitch and he praised the six-year-old for her skills – once they got through the gate.
“I hadn’t been in this pen at all, so I go to run her in normally and she wouldn’t. She did not want to go through the gate. So I had to stop, regroup, walk through the gate and lope her off. Her first stop was really big,” Leclair said.
The rest of the run went well, earning them the title and a bit of redemption.
“I showed her in the Derby the other day, but I didn’t show her well enough. It was kind of my fault. [After this] My wife is going to show her and just enjoy her. She’s a sweet mare – fun to ride. It will be hard for me to give her back to her,” Leclair said.
Leclair thanked his wife for letting him borrow Gunningthebay, and his entire team for their hard work and continued support.
“You’re only as good as your weakest link and I don’t think I have one right now,” Leclair said.
Novice Horse Level 1 (1) Open Champion – Spooks Golden Tune & Shauna Larcombe
The Novice Horse Level 1 Open (1) Championship went to Spooks Golden Tune and Shauna Larcombe, who marked 143.5 and earned $697.
“She’s really easygoing. She’s a sweet mare, never any trouble, always nice-minded,” Larcombe said. “I showed her in the Derby [preliminaries], but we had a couple little things go wrong so I thought ‘We’re already up here, let’s enter something else.’”
The four-year-old mare was bred by Gary Putman. Larcombe and the mare finished as Reserve Champions in the Level 2 and 3 as well, bringing their grand total to $1,957.
“This pattern today was really good for her,” Larcombe said. “I just went in there and tried to make a run.”
Next year Spook Golden Tune (Spooks Gotta Whiz x HA Lenas Tune) will be competing with owner Angelina Widmoser at the helm.
“I want to thank the owners for the opportunity to train her and show her,” Larcombe said.