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National Reined Cow Horse Association Hackamore Classic Champions Crowned
Hackamore Classic Open Champion Shine Smarter, with owner Linda Mars (left) and rider Sarah Dawson.
Bridget Kirkwood photo.
Sarah Dawson Guides Shine Smarter to Hackamore Classic Open Championship
Marking a composite score of 442 and riding Shine Smarter, Sarah Dawson claimed her first Hackamore Classic Open championship and a check worth $14,562.
"I feel like I'm out here amongst my heroes," Dawson said after the win. "For that mare to shine like she did, and especially because she's five and this is her last big derby, to go out with a win like this, is very special."
Shine Smarter (WR This Cats Smart x Shiney Tari x Shining Spark) has been in training with Dawson from the get-go. She first caught Dawson's eye as yearling when she was making big moves in breeder Carol Rose's round pen. Earlier this year the mare was purchased by her current owner, Linda Mars, from Dawson's parents Cheryl and Richard Winters.
"We've been through a lot together," Dawson said of Shine Smarter. "She was my first great horse. She was the first horse I made the open finals on at the Snaffle Bit and the first horse that I made open finals on at the derbies, so she's been a very special horse for me."
Shine Smarter marked a 148 in the herd work to share second place with two others.
"She was great in the herd. I was very happy with her. She cut three good cows and went out and did her job and I did mine and it all worked out," Dawson said.
Their 146 in the reining had them amongst the top ten.
"That mare can really run down and stop and she did that great, you can't hardly get her to not stop," Dawson said. "She turned pretty good too. She's pretty solid in the reining and if you have her mentally with you, she'll go be good."
A 148, the second highest score marked in the cow work, sealed the win.
"She's a fence horse. She's an extremely cowy and smart horse," Dawson said. "We got two good turns each way and went and circled up in the middle. She answered me everywhere and never lost working advantage with that cow. She was exceptional."
Dawson has enjoyed showing at the Hackamore Classic in Fort Worth.
"The Will Rogers has so much history, especially with the cutting, so for us to be in Fort Worth and to show in that pen is pretty cool," Dawson said.
Dawson's composite score was two points ahead of reserve champions Peptosboonshakalaca (Peptoboonsmal x Arosesuchaclatter x Smooth As A Cat) and Cayley Wilson who marked a 440 to win $11,201. The Canadian duo also claimed the Intermediate Hackamore Classic Open championship.