The 2019 National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel Insurance is in full swing. They Non Pro preliminary round concluded on Tuesday, June 18, and not only determined the finalists, but also the Champion of a new award. For the first year ever, the event features a Novice Horse division in both the Open and Non Pro derbies, and the winners are determined by their preliminary round score.
Lindsey McCutcheon claimed the Non Pro Novice Horse title on Spooky Vortex with a 217, pocketing a cool $3,945 and qualifying for the finals of the Level 4 and Level 3. She also finished in a tie for seventh on her other horse Electalena (by Electric Code), worth an additional $943. “I’m so excited. As someone who always seems to show in the novice horse ancillary classes, I love having the novice horse divisions available. To have it as part of the Derby is awesome,” McCutcheon said.
Although she hasn’t shown the 5-year-old Spooks Gotta Whiz gelding, out of Smart Sugar Pop, much, McCutcheon is very familiar with the horse. “He was owned by Harry and Susan Jones, who were long-term clients of my parents, and we had him through all of his training and my dad showed him. We ended up with him and are so grateful to have him,” she explained. “My dad showed him and I took over this spring. I only showed him at one little derby. My dad got hurt so we missed the NRBC. I’ve just been riding him myself.”
McCutcheon is a veteran competitor, but she admitted that showing this year was a little challenging. “I wasn’t sure what to expect because I never really trust myself when I get a horse ready on my own. My dad’s been hurt so he hasn’t been riding much, and I was just hoping it would work,” she admitted. “But we went in and he was perfect. He turned better than he ever has in the show pen. I had to push him a lot, but he listened perfectly.”
As for the game plan for Friday’s finals, McCutcheon plans to stay the course. “I don’t want to change much, so I’ll just keep him the same. I just want to be ready when it’s time to walk in,” she said with a smile. “I thank Harry and Susan Jones for giving us the opportunity to have this horse. I also thank my parents. They’re the most supportive parents and have given me so many opportunities to show horses. These are two of the nicest horses I’ve ever had to show.”
Finishing Reserve in the Bob’s Custom Saddles Novice Horse Non Pro was Sean Pulley and his horse Spook In Sparks with a 216.5. Spook In Sparks is by Smart Spook and out of Setting Off Sparks. Along with collecting a check for $2,401, Pulley and Spook In Sparks also qualified for the finals of Non Pro Levels 4 – 1.
McCutcheon and Pulley will be recognized at the conclusion of the Open preliminaries along with the Bob’s Custom Saddle Novice Horse Open Champion and Reserve Champion.
Complete results and other information for the NRHA Derby presented by Markel Insurance can be found at www.NRHADerby.com.