Fresh off their National Reined Cow Horse Association Hackamore Classic Non Pro Championship last month in Pueblo, Colo., Toni Hagen Heath and Smokums Dream took home another major NRCHA event title in Paso Robles, Calif., Sunday, when they won the Jack and Phoebe Cooke NRCHA Derby Intermediate Non Pro Championship.
Riding in the hackamore, Heath piloted the mare, who is by Smokums Prize and out of I Dream Olena, to scores of 212 in the herd work, 216 in the reined work and 208 in the cow work. The 636 composite earned a $4,409 check for the Intermediate Open win, and another $2,834 for 5th place in the Derby Non Pro division. The Intermediate Open Championship also came with a trophy plaque and Gist Silversmiths buckle from the NRCHA.
"It was a hard fought battle - wow - tough competition!" the La Grande, Ore., non pro commented after the win. "I was so tickled with her. She just did everything I asked. The reining was as good as I've ever done on her. The cow work was less than what I'd hoped for, but it was OK. I had a hard-running cow and just had a tough time keeping up with it. She was wonderful, all the way through."
Smokums Dream was raised by Heath's husband, Dan Heath.
"He is my rock. He just keeps putting me on his nice horses, and I just thank him so much for that," she said.
The National Reined Cow Horse Association, now in its 62nd year, is the governing body of cow horse competition, is responsible for promoting the sport, insuring high standards of competition and educating members and the public about the history and tradition of the cow horse. Through the support of a Corporate Partner family that includes Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance Company, Platinum Performance, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, Merial products UlcerGard and EQUIOXX and Clinton Anderson's Downunder Horsemanship, the association works to keep the vaquero tradition alive in today's equine industry. For information on the National Reined Cow Horse Association, call 580-759-4949 or visit the NRCHA Official Web Site at www.nrcha.com.
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