After finishing fourth in the National Reined Cow Horse Association Limited Open Level 1 Derby yesterday, Mike Miller and Playin With Taz added to their earnings today, winning the Limited Open Hackamore Championship with a 275.5 composite score. Miller claimed a trophy plaque and a $1,440 check for the 5-year-old mare's owner, Madison Funk.
The Collinston, Utah, horseman purchased Playin With Taz when she was a yearling, from his close friend and fellow trainer Brandon Buttars. Last fall, Miller sold the good-minded mare to the Funk family, to be 13-year-old Madison's first reined cow horse. Playin With Taz made back-to-back runs today, going in the Youth Limited class with Madison shortly after her winning run in the Limited Open Hackamore.
"She's always solid. I didn't run her very hard in the reined work, because Madison was showing her in the Youth right after that, and I didn't want her all out of gas. We just ran a nice, even-keel reining pattern," Miller said. "In the fence work, she was really good. She really hooks on to a cow. Today, I think she went down the fence as well as she ever has."
Miller described Playin With Taz as "just a sweetheart of a horse. She never cheats you. Anybody can ride her. I've had a lot of fun with her. She's one of my favorite horses - and she gets in the money everywhere we go."
He also thanked Brandon and Sophia Buttars and the Funk family, Madison and her parents, Mike and Shelley Funk.
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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