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Mike Miller Wins 2008 NRCHA Non Pro Derby on Bucks Genuine Fever

Bill Cowan and Wheres My Shine Top NRCHA Intermediate Non Pro Derby

It was a repeat performance for Mike Miller, as he topped the NRCHA Non Pro Derby for the second year in a row. This time, it was on Bucks Genuine Fever, a 4-year-old mare by the Miller’s stallion, Playboys Buck Fever, out of Nu And Genuine.

“It’s neat that we can come and win both years with mares out of our stallion,” said Mike’s wife, Tara.

Even more impressive is the fact that Miller, who owns and operates Miller Land &

Cattle in Big Piney, Wyoming, had little time to get Bucks Genuine Fever ready for the show.

“We’ve just done ranch work on her since the end of March, and we’ve had one day of fence, one day of cutting and one day of reining before we came here,” Miller explained. “That’s all I had time to do with her, but she’s already been trained. I just didn’t have time to drill on any horse show things at all. We have to use them on the ranch to keep them in shape, but that’s about the only time we’ve got to work them anyway.”

Miller credited his horse’s ranch work to keeping her in both top shape physically and mentally.

“One thing the ranch work does add to is your good fence, that’s for sure,” Miller said. “On the ranch, you’re doing a lot of that – you’re chasing cows, or cows get sour and try to come back over the top of you. So the fence work is a lot like ranch work. And it helps that the mare is really fast and in shape from the spring calving.”

Miller and Bucks Genuine Fever got better and better as the finals went along. They had a 212 in the herd work, a 217 in the rein work, and were a 221 down the fence – the best fence score by five points. The 650 composite earned Miller $12,740 – not bad for a rancher’s hobby.

“We work a lot on the ranch, but you’ve got to have some fun, too,” Miller said. “This is what we do for fun, and we really enjoy it.”

Jo Anne Carollo and Repeat Plan, by the Carollo’s stallion A Master Plan and out of Lenas Solana, finished as the Non Pro Derby Reserve Champions, with a 648.5 composite. Jo Anne, who owns Repeat Plan with her husband, Jim, of Atascadero, California, earned $10,192 for her work in the Derby.

In the Intermediate Non Pro Derby, Bill Cowan rode Wheres My Shine, owned by he and his wife, Michelle, to a composite score of 643 to take home the first-place check worth $6,524. Wheres My Shine, by Shining Spark and out of Boomerita, is usually Michelle’s horse – especially considering she won the 2007 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Non Pro Championship with the mare. But Bill was in luck when Michelle discovered she was pregnant, due to have a boy in November. That gave him the opportunity to show her best horses.

“Everybody’s been kidding me that I got her pregnant on purpose so that I could ride her horses,” Cowan said with a laugh. “But I guess it’s working out pretty well for me, and this mare is just a great mare.”

Cowan and Wheres My Shine had a 211 in the herd work, a 216 in the rein work and a 216 in the cow work to come up with the 243 composite, winning $6,534.

Finishing as the Intermediate Open Reserve Champion was Buenonic Reins, ridden by Bubba Petty and owned by Rick and Susan Petty of Madera, California. Bubba and Buenonic Reins had a 433 composite to win a check worth $5,359.

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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