With her grandfather, National Reined Cow Horse Association Hall of Merit inductee Jim Putnam, cheering her on, Lauren Lynch rode Smart Ronnie Shine to the Youth Bridle Championship today at the NRCHA Derby in Paso Robles, Calif. She scored a 143 in the reined work and 146 in the cow work. The winning 289 score came with a trophy plaque and an $880 paycheck.
Smart Ronnie Shine, who is by Shining Spark and out of the mare Smart Nu Penny, belongs to Putnam - he traded horses with his granddaughter after she showed "Ronnie" at an American Quarter Horse Association show this spring and discovered she was a perfect match for the 8-year-old gelding.
"I started riding him in March. I just love this horse," she said. "Today, the reined work was nerve-wracking, a little bit. He felt tense, and I had to work to keep him from leaning in his circles in the reined work, but he's the perfect horse to run down and stop - I just love stopping him. He's really good at the fence work, too - I love going down the fence on this horse."
Lynch, who turned 16 last month, lives in Temecula, Calif., and trains with Glen Aspinall. He couldn't come to Paso Robles with her, so top professional Jake Gorrell, who rides for Putnam, coached her at the Derby.
She has her sights set on competing at the AQHYA World Show with "Ronnie" this fall.
"Going to the AQHA World Show - that's like a dream in our family. It's a family tradition with us. My sister shows in the youth limited, my grandpa rides, and my mom rides, and it's a huge family get together," Lynch 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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