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Miller Wins NRCHA Non Pro Derby

Mike Miller and his mare, Bucks Little Fever (Playboys Buck Fever x Cashs Genie), triumphed in the Non Pro Derby at the The National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Derby Finals June 24, 2007 at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA. Their score of 651.5 was eight points above the next placing horse! According to Mike, the mare did well because she is extremely broke. Those are simple words, but they ring true for a real-life cattle operation that produces extremely talented show horses.

Mike and his wife Tara run Miller Land and Livestock an extensive cow-calf operation in Big Piney, Wyoming. They use their two-year-olds for all the ranch work, and eventually take them to the show pen if they show some talent.

"They all start out doing ranch work," explained Mike. "If they arent behaving right in the show pen, they go back to being ranch horses."

Mike explained that Bucks Little Fever was not a great horse as a 3-year-old, but got better as a 4-year-old.

"Shes seen more than her share of ranch work," laughed Mike.

Now, as a five-year-old, the mare is giving testimony to her breeding, as shes by Playboys Buck Fever, a stallion the Millers own and that Mike showed to great success in reined cow horse competition. The get of their stallion collected big in Paso Robles. Along with the $12,496 paycheck for the Non Pro Championship, Mike also placed sixth on Brave Nu Fever a half-sister to his champion. That placing earned an additional $4,686.

The Reserve Championship went to Michelle Cowan on Reward Me Please (Chic Please x Reward Me Peppy). Michelle and Reward Me Please scored 643.5 and took home $9,997.

Eric Freitas claimed the Intermediate Non Pro Championship with Chic Snacks (Snackbox x Smart Playing Chic), scoring 635. The victory came with $5,306 and, according to Eric, the mare felt strong in all three phases of competition.

"Shes very solid. Its one of the things that is great about her," he explained. Eric bought the mare as a two-year-old, and has trained the mare with a lot of help from Ted Robinson.

Eric plans to continue showing Chic Snacks, hopefully making the transition to a hackamore horse next year.

Kathy Wilson won the Intermediate Non Pro Reserve Championship on Sis Is Smart (Ill Be Smart x Sis Royal Mahogany), earning $4,359 for her score of 634.5.

Courtesy: The HorseTV Channel News, http://www.horsetv.com


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