Becomes First-ever NRHA Million Dollar Non Pro
Everyone Attends the John, Lyle and Randy Concert
Mandy McCutcheon admitted she was uncharacteristically nervous before she competed on Friday. Small wonder!
Besides the normal butterflies of competing in the Non Pro Finals of the National Reining Breeders Classic where first place paid $35,417, she had another goal looming very large. Before the finals began, she was only about $18,000 away from becoming the National Reining Horse Association’s first-ever Million Dollar Non Pro.
“I was trying not to think about it. I kept telling myself it didn’t matter and that it was just another horse show, then my Mom told me not to worry about the paycheck”, Mandy said. She continued, “Then I really started thinking about it and at one point I was so nervous I couldn’t feel my feet!”
She had quite a few things going her way, though. “My horses, my family and my help! They were all there for me. They’re the reason I can do this – from the people helping me to someone taking care of the kids while I show. I’m so fortunate to have them all.”
And her partners in the arena were certainly able to hold up their end of the bargain. She went first on Rawhides Banjo (Dunit Rawhide X Barb A Cita), the horse on which she won the 2005 NRHA Futurity and the co-championship of the 2006 NRBC. “Jake’s been an unreal show horse. I keep thinking I’ll wear him out and then he just gives me more and more. When I went in I knew Sarah Johnson had scored a 220 and I talked to Gunny Mathison and Monica Hicks and they saw her run and said she was really good. I knew I needed to try to not get crazy but I’d have to stand on him with that score to beat. And when I got out there, each time I said ‘come on’, a little more, he did!”
It was a world-class run, and when the score was announced, 225, it put her in the lead of the event. The countdown began and she began to prepare her next horse, I Spin For Chics (Tangys Classy Peppy X Chics Koko Angel).
Her father, Tim McQuay, purchased him just a month before the 2006 reining futurity after friends Todd Crawford and Debbie Arballo saw him at Reno at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. ‘They called and said he would make a reiner and Dad bought him after Rachel Eady rode him in the finals at the Snaffle Bit Futurity.”
When she entered the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Coliseum arena on him, she felt a little out of sync, but only temporarily. “I was a little off at first, I think just from the excitement of the first run, then we got together and the run just kept getting better.” That effort resulted in a score of 221.5 and the countdown began to see if the scores would hold up for the championship and the million dollar milestone.
They did both. When it was over, Mandy was the Non Pro Champion on Dunit Rawhide AND the Reserve Champion on I Spin For Chics. She won nearly $57,000 and achieved NRHA Millionaire Status – the first Non Pro and the first woman to do so.
She laughed and added, “I really wanted to be the youngest, too, but Andrea beat me to it,” referring to the most recent Million Dollar Rider, Andrea Fappani.
The Million Dollar status earned her another accolade at the NRBC where the Open Former Champions and NRHA Million Dollar Riders will be introduced during Opening Ceremonies at the Open Finals on Saturday. She’ll be introduced as one of the elite group.
Andi Paul scored 220.5 to finish third in the Non Pro and claim the Intermediate Non Pro Championship. She was thrilled with the finish, which netted her over $27,000 and with her horse, Darlins Not Painted (Smokin Chic Olena X Mi Hollywood Darlin), on whom she won the NRBC’s Non Pro Mare Incentive – good for another $4,110.
“I love this mare,” she said. “Tracer Gilson trained her when he worked for Rancho Oso Rio, and he made the finals on her at the NRHA Futurity. But she got a tendon injury after the futurity. The injury sidelined the mare and an effort by her husband, Randy, to show her some time later revealed that she hadn’t healed yet.”
“I had the opportunity to buy her because she was broken,” Andi said. “Randy told me she would really fit me so I bought her without ever riding her and started rehabbing.” She laughed and added, “He’s smart that way – he’s my favorite trainer!”
She credits her vet, Dr. Skip Page and friend Tricia Gilson with helping her rehab the mare. But the rehab came right to the wire for the NRBC! She’d never shown her before this show and she’d never stopped her or turned her around until she got to Katy!
Then it was magic. “I’ve never had one I had more fun on a horse,” said Andi. “In the finals, I just had to go for it. I could hear Lindsey (daughter) when I was circling and knew she’d kill me if I didn’t go fast!”
Sarah Johnson’s 220 on Hes At Bat (Rowdy Yankee X Rambos Smart N Smoke) earned her the Intermediate Reserve title and fourth in the Non Pro, good for about $23,000. Hes At Bat is owned by her grandfather, Burdette Johnson.
Hampton Deck credited his parents, Tim and Jo, and trainer Casey Hinton when he topped the Limited Non Pro Finals on Skeets Scamp (Skeets Peppy X Playalotta Chic) with a 217.
The seventeen-year-old bought the mare from Justin Zimmerman shortly after the 2006 NRHA Futurity and has only shown her a handful of times, since. “Before I went in, Casey said she was really ready. I hit the first stop and I knew she was. She was right there for me all through the run.”
Deck, of Kennett, Missouri, was the 2003 NRHA Youth World Champion, and he plans to continue showing “Scamp” with the NRHA Derby next on his agenda.
Nick Wallis of Kaufman, Texas, was the Limited Non Pro Reserve Champion on Smart Smokin Chic (Smokin Chic Olena X Bar S Docs Gay Bar), with a 215.5 score.
In the Prime Time division, Michael Garnett, of Lincoln, Nebraska, topped the field on Ashleys Great Kid (The Great Kid X Solanos Skip Brick). Garnett, who is a narcotics detective in real life, won the 2005 NRHA Derby Intermediate Non Pro Championship on this home-raised gelding, as well.
Reserve Champion Prime Time honors went to Vicki Santo of Bannockburn, Illinois on Heza Bantie Rooster (Gallo Del Cielo X Angel Oak).
The evening performance of the NRBC featured the $25,000 Open Reining, run concurrently with a $5,000 CRI/USEF Qualifying event.
Jason Vanlandingham rode Gallos Stylish Star (Gallo Del Cielo X A Stylish Queen) to a 225 score to win the $25K Open and $7,181 for Anthony Boerma and Nedpoint Quarter Horses.
Reserve went to Gabe Hutchins on Juiced Up Doc (Smart Like Juice X Jokes Startime), owned by Lee Schild, with a 224.5, good for $6076. Hutchins also won an additional $2,077 for topping the CRI/USEF reining.
Silver Medalist in that class was Tim McQuay on Jerry Kimmel’s Mister Nicadual (Mister Dual Pep X Nicacheka). The Bronze medal went to Tom Foran on Rawhide Kid (Dunit Rawhide X Robin Dun It) owned by Christine Burns.
The trophy saddle for the $25,000 Open was sponsored by Bandalero Saddlery, and there was a special announcement from announcer Jerry Briggs, just prior to the awards presentation.
He noted, “When Gerald Dees, owner of Bandalero, delivered the saddle, Cheryl Magoteaux talked to him about possibly sponsoring some small prize for the new Short Stirrup Class for 10-year-old and younger reiners that will be held Sunday. He said he’d do something, and today he brought back a special custom trophy saddle that he’s donating to the Short stirrup Class.”
Magoteaux noted, “We are thrilled with the generosity of Bandalero Saddlery – both as the saddle sponsor of our Open class and for this great surprise. This is the neatest saddle. It even has Yosemite Sam conchos. The kids got so excited when he brought it out here! What a great thing for our tiny reiners to get to compete for their very own trophy saddle!”
As if the day wasn’t exciting enough, there was more for the exhibitors, sponsors, and owners at the NRBC – the first-ever Concert in the Practice Pen, featuring John Hiatt, Lyle Lovett and Randy Paul. The three entertained the enthusiastic crowd for over an hour and the event was one of the memorable performances, ever.
The National Reining Breeders Classic is the most successful stallion incentive program in reining history. In just ten years, the NRBC has grown to include over 300 subscribed stallions and over 18,000 enrolled foals. For information on the NRBC, visit the web site at http://www.nrbc.com
or call 580-759-3939.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/mandy-mccutcheon-winner-non-pro-4-07.html">Mandy McCutcheon Wins NRBC Non Pro</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com