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Doug Williamson Leads Open NRCHA Derby with Docs Soula

Doug Williamson competed early on Docs Soula – the second horse to go in the 101-entry 2008 National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby, taking the lead with a score of 222. Then, he had to wait – quite a while – to see if his lead would hold, as the go-round didn’t conclude until after 11 p.m. Tuesday evening at the Paso Robles Events Center in Paso Robles, California.

It could be a repeat of last year, when the pair took home the 2007 Derby Championship after topping the competition by eight points. Docs Soula is a 5-year-old stallion by Soula Jule Star and out of Docs Hickory Nut by Doc’s Hickory, that Williamson called “the best horse I’ve ever trained and shown” .

The 2007 win was the first major title for the talented horse, which now has nearly $90,000 in lifetime earnings. Williamson definitely gave the horse an advantage during the preliminary round, as he now leads the field by four points.

The competition, however, is going to be anything but easy. Three horses piloted by top trainers finished in a tie for second in the preliminary herd work. Nics Black Diamond, ridden by Todd Bergen, Oh Cay N Short, the 2007 Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion, ridden by Boyd Rice, and Little Lotto Lena, ridden by John Ward, all scored 218.

Little Lotto Lena, a 5-year-old stallion by Smart Little Lena and out of Little Tenina, was a substitution and the first horse to compete. Ridden by John Ward and owned by Wright Quarter Horses, Little Lotto Lena set the bar high, scoring a 218. The stallion has been shown in both the Open and Non Pro divisions, and finished sixth in the Non Pro NRCHA Stakes with Justin Wright earlier this year.

Nics Black Diamond, a 4-year-old black stallion by Nic It In The Bud, was the 2007 National Stock Horse Association Open Futurity Co-Reserve Champion, and finished sixth at the Snaffle Bit Futurity the following month. Bergen then took Nics Black Diamond, owned by Mark and Kelly Gowing of Lompoc, California, to the NRHA Futurity, where the pair ended up fourth.

Oh Cay N Short has the attention of many cow horse fans, who watching the Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion to see if he can produce another big win. The 4-year-old bay stallion by Oh Cay Quixote and out of Bit Of Shorty is owned by Kevin and Sydney Knight of Peoria, Arizona.

In the Intermediate Open Derby herd work preliminary round, Busy Lanta Lena and Clayton Edsall topped the competition with a 216. Busy Lanta Lena, a 4-year-old mare by Mylanta Lena and out of Always Busy, is owned by Joe and Bobbie Stone of Clements, California.

Rio Smart Playboy, a 5-year-old stallion by Smart Little Lena and out of Doc And Play Rio, ridden by Billy Martin dominated the Limited Open herd work with a 211. Rio Smart Playboy is owned by Rand Smith of Carmel, California.

The Open competition continues with rein work on Thursday, June 19, beginning at 8 a.m., with the cow work preliminaries being held Friday following the Non Pro Derby cow work. After completion of all three portions of the competition, the top 20 horses and riders will go to the finals on Sunday, June 22. This year’s NRCHA Derby has seen a 10 percent increase in entries over last year, and will pay out more than $500,000.

National Reined Cow Horse Association, 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 Wayne Hodges 4-Star Trailers and Outlaw Conversions, Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Inc., Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, MD Barns, Platinum Performance, Inc., Nutrena, Quarter Horse News & Performance Horse magazine, the Peppermill Hotel/Resort, Fort Dodge West Nile Innovator, Rios of Mercedes, Merial products ULCERGARD and GASTROGARD, Great American Insurance Company and the Silver Legacy Hotel, 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 http://www.nrcha.com.


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