NRCHA Celebration of Champions Wraps Up

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The 2014 National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions wrapped up today in Fort Worth, Texas. At the Celebration of Champions, the top horses and riders from each of the NRCHA’s eight geographic regions competed for World Championship titles in 14 events. Held February 14-22, the weather was beautiful and the historic Will Rogers Memorial Center was a perfect venue for the event.

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The event also features the World’s Greatest Horseman contest – an event about one horse, one rider and one very impressive title. In one bit, horses compete in four contests: herd work, rein work, steer stopping and cow work. Since the family, myself and some friends attended the show in person this year, I had the opportunity to snap a few candid shots that I thought I would share:

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Jay McLaughlin makes a reining run in the World’s Greatest Horseman.

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Boyd Rice and Oh Cay N Short were crowned as the 2014 NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman champions. The showdown ended with Spearman, Texas, professional Boyd Rice capturing the $25,000 World’s Greatest Horseman Championship by a half-point aboard Oh Cay N Short (Oh Cay Quixote x Bit Of Shorty x Shorty Lena). His composite 877.5 score on four events (226 herd/214.5 rein/221 steer stopping/216 cow) earned the coveted World’s Greatest Horseman title. Rice has won both the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship and the World’s Greatest Horseman Championship on the same horse.

Photo courtesy of NRCHA.

Boyd Rice & Oh Cay N Short, World’s Greatest Horseman Champions. Photo courtesy of NRCHA.

The NRCHA Celebration of Champions also includes the Aaron Ranch Cow Horse Classic Derby for 4- and 5-year-old cow horses.

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Cody McArthur & Bart Holowath (both riding Red Hot Jade) in the Aaron Ranch Derby earned top honors. Cody won 3rd in the Int. Open & Res. Champion in the Ltd. Open. Bart was Reserve Champion across the Non Pro, Int. Non Pro & Novice Non Pro divisions. Red Hot Jade is owned by Bart & Terri Holowath of Cayley, AB, and this great gelding carried both riders to very exciting finals fence runs of 220 (Bart) & 222 (Cody). To see their stellar ride, check out this video:

However, that wasn’t the only Canadian success at this show! Congratulations also to Keri Hudson Reykdal and Cadilac Rey and Mark Parsons aboard Just Enough Shine who shared the 4th & 5th place cheques in Amateur division of the Aaron Ranch Derby.

In the Celebration of Champions portion of the show, there were several Canadians who bested the preliminary rounds to become one of the Top 10 Finalists in the World. Congratulations to John Murphy and HR Players Trista along with owners Eugene and Maria Murphy for their third place win in the NRCHA Celebration of Champions Non-Pro Two Rein (with high fence score honours)! To see their fantastic go, check out this video:

The Murphy family earned more congratulations in the NRCHA Celebration of Champions Non-Pro Hackamore class when John and Pepto Pepermint finished tied for 6th place in the finals!

Congratulations to Geoff Hoar on brother Greg Hoar’s good mare High Output Dually making the finals in the NRCHA Celebration of Champions Ltd Open Hackamore. They finished 8th in the finals after a gutsy fence run with a unfortunate near fall.

Robbie McKay and his mare Caught Ya Lookin Too were tied 6th place in the NRCHA Celebration of Champions Int. Non Pro Bridle Championships. In the same class, Terri Holowath and her great gelding Pickachiclet added to their many accolades finishing with a strong 8th.

In the Novice Non-Pro Bridle finals, McKay and Caught You Lookin Too collected a 5th place cheque. Congratulations Robbie & Molly on a great show placing in two Championship Finals!

And likewise for Terri Holowath, who aboard Picachiclet placed eighth in a really tough Non-Pro Bridle Championship class (their second Championship Finals as well)!

In the $5K Limited Non-Pro finals, two Canadians made the Top 10 cut. Congratulations to Farrah McArthur and Lightning Hits Twice for their great dry work! Unfortunately they had a difficult cow but this duo still earned a ninth place pay cheque. And it feels strange to mention this in my own blog, but I’m happy to report that myself and the little mare my husband and I own, MS Tyson Chic N Nic, took home a Reserve World Championship. (Insert big smiley face here!) Thanks so much to everyone who helped make it possible – especially my mom who flew to Texas to watch me compete in the Finals, only to stay behind in the hotel room to look after our twins because they had become ill following a grueling week. But also to Jamea Minue, Karen Matlo and Helga Roh and my hubby Clay, for the unfailing support system they provided for me. I could have never done it without them!

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