For Deborah Wise, winning the Intermediate Non Pro Bridle class at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby on her gelding, Smartlookinboots, was a dream come true. She had always admired the son of Smart Little Pepinic when he was still a stallion, being shown by John Ward in the Open Bridle classes.
"I purchased him in August of last year. He always was my favorite horse. Some dear friends of ours owned him, so when they were done with him and gelded him, it was fun for me to step up and take him on," Wise said.
She piloted "Boots" to scores of 213 in the reined work and 217 in the cow work. The 430 composite score earned a C.R. Morrison Trophy and a $1,275 check.
"The high point was definitely the fence work. Boots is a super fence horse. We got through the reined work good. I'm usually pretty conservative, and I finally let him run to his stops, so I felt good about that. Then, we drew a great cow, and he was so good. He makes great fence turns."
This is Wise's third year to show down the fence. She won the Novice Non Pro Bridle at the 2010 NRCHA Derby aboard her former horse, Dusty Smart Oakie. Getting to know "Boots" has been a challenge because of his high level of sensitivity as an open-caliber horse, she said.
"I've had to slow him down to my level, and step up to his level. We're trying to find that happy medium together," she said, smiling.
She thanked her trainer, John Ward, and the Ward Ranch staff. She also appreciates the support of her parents and her husband, Geordy, who rides cutting horses but also travels with her to the cow horse shows. The couple has two daughters, aged nine and six.
The Intermediate Non Pro Reserve Champion was Stephen Silva, riding Talkin Prize. Silva's 426.5 composite score earned $1,062.
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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