John Swales wins at NRCHA World Championships

The final leg of the 2011 National Reined Cow Horse Association Circle Y Ranch Derby was completed mid-day Monday, January 31. The Circle Y Ranch is one-third of the Celebration of Champions, which also hosts the NRCHA World Championship Show presented by John Deere, and the World’s Greatest Horseman. The Celebration of Champions is held annually at the 1st Community Credit Union Spur Arena in San Angelo, Texas.

The fast-paced action of the signature cow work resulted in high scores, “ah” moments, and a lucrative payout that exceeded $120,000!

Limited Open

John Swales, aboard CD Ben, winning the Limited Open Championship. Photo by Primo Morales, courtesy of the NRCHA

John Swales and CD Ben were the Limited Open Champions with a composite score of 428. Swales and CD Ben, owned by Mary Reti of Elnora, Alberta, Canada, will return to Canada nearly $5,000 richer, thanks to also placing in both the Intermediate Open and Open divisions.

Swales and CD Ben marked 143 in the herd work, 145 in the rein work, and finished with a 140 in the fence work. “He felt really good in the herd work, but I didn’t get the cows cut that I wanted for him. He felt good in the rein work, but things didn’t go as well as I wanted in the fence work,” he said.

Swales has ridden CD Ben, by Soula Jule Star and out of CD Precious Gem, since March of 2010. “I believe that he is the first cow horse for Mary. They’ve mainly owned reiners,” he said.

Swales, a two-time NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman finalist, was the 2010 Canada’s Greatest Horseman Champion. He has a busy week – not only does he have another World’s Greatest Horseman entry, he is also competing in the NRCHA World Championship Show in the Open Bridle, Open Two Rein, and Open Hackamore.

Kelby Phillips and One Time Tonite, by One Time Pepto and out of Shortys Rooster, were the Limited Open Derby Reserve Champions with a 427.5. One Time Tonite, owned by RT Stuart Ranch of Waurika, Oklahoma, earned $1,792 in the Limited Open division.

Open Champions

Prior to the cow work of the Derby, Boyd Rice and Boonie Toons were sitting in second place – 5.5 points behind the leaders. With a little luck and a cow work that resulted in a 147, the Spearman, Texas, trainer and the Peptoboonsmal stallion, out of Shiney Tari, won the Open Championship and the accompanying check for $9,212. “He was good in the cutting. We cut some soft cattle but he worked well,” noted Rice, who has won nearly $3 million in National Cutting Horse Association competition. “He was the best he’s ever been in the rein work, and we were a 147.5. The cow didn’t run as hard as he could, but my horse was just perfect and gave it everything he had.”

Boonie Tunes is owned by Danny Poole of Texline, Texas, and was shown at all the major NCHA events with Rice in the saddle. “I started to have some trouble with him and decided to show him in the cow horse. He was pretty natural at it,” Rice said. Boonie Tunes won his first cow horse event – the Faith Performance Horses Derby in Ardmore, Oklahoma – and was a finalist in the Open Hackamore at the 2010 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. In fact, the Circle Y Ranch Derby is only the stallion’s third cow horse event.

Rice explained that he’s trained and ridden cutting horses for Poole since 1985. “This is Danny’s first cow horse. He went to a clinic that Todd Crawford and I did, and he’ll start showing cow horses soon,” he said.

After the awards ceremony, where Circle Y Ranch trainers Gerald Cosby and Benton Bland presented the awards, Rice said, “I thank Penny Youngblood and the Circle Y Ranch for sponsoring this event every year. Everyone appreciates her and the Circle Y Ranch.”

Intermediate Open

Although Rice and Boonie Tunes won the title, Madera, California, trainer Lyn Anderson and Tuckers Smart Cat didn’t make it easy, marking a 151 in the cow work to come within a point of the championship with a 440. However, along with winning $7,369 for the Reserve Championship, Anderson and the 4-year-old cow horse, by WR This Cats Smart out of Smoke Time Tuck, also won the Intermediate Open Championship and $2,240. Tuckers Smart Cat is owned by David Archer of Clovis, California.

“That cow work was pretty exciting. I’ve never ran him that hard or fast – I didn’t know he could go that fast yet! It was really cool,” she noted. The 151 was the highest score marked during the entire day of competition. Anderson has ridden several horses out of Smoke Time Tuck to major titles. “All of these babies have been spectacular fence horses so I knew he had it in him – but I was just really impressed that he was able to do it when not everything was perfect.”

Anderson and Tuckers Smart Cat also marked 141 in the herd work and 148 in the rein work.

Anderson thanked her herd help, which included Dan Roeser, Todd Crawford, Ron Ralls, and Mark Luis. “I didn’t make it easy for them, but they were great,” she said. “Thank you also to David and Barbara Archer for being such great owners and supporters of the NRCHA.”

Ron Emmons rode Chic N Fried Oak E, by Olena Oak and out of High Time Playboy, to win the Intermediate Open Reserve Championship with a 432. Owners Nichole Scott and Mel Smith, of Dunnigan, California, collected $1,792 for the win.

Novice Horse Open

NRCHA Hall of Famer Doug Williamson won the Novice Horse Open title on Moon Me Pepto, owned by Barbara Hastings. That win netted $2,266, and they took home an additional $4,066 for a fourth place tie in the Open division.

It’s actually the first show for the 5-year-old cow horse, by Peptoboonsmal and out of Lenas Sissy Moon. Moon Me Pepto was injured as a 3-year-old, and unable to be shown his Futurity or first Derby year.

Williamson, of Bakersfield, California, and Moon Me Pepto marked a 146.5 in the herd work. “He’s a neat little cutter. He’s still a little green in the rein work and was a 144, and then he was a 146 down the fence,” he said. “How can you beat that? I couldn’t have asked for more from him!”

Williamson has ridden several horses for Hastings, of Glendale, California. “Barbara is a great lady and a great customer. She stands behind me so well. She’s got some good colts coming up, too,” he said.

Williamson was the 2010 NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman Reserve Champion with Hes Wright On, and the pair will be taking another shot at the title, beginning with the preliminary competition on Wednesday, February 2.

Finishing as the Novice Horse Open Reserve Champion was Robbie Boyce and Smart Little Dillon, who finished the Derby with a 426. The reserve title netted Sherman Living Trust, of Sheridan, Wyoming, $1,813. Smart Little Dillon is by Matt Dillon Dun It out of Little Suzana.

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