The Non Pro Bridle Spectacular results sheet read like a who's who among top bridle horses. The top four horses have combined lifetime earnings exceeding a half-million dollars, and the riders have all proven to be fierce competitors. Bridle Spectacular classes at NRCHA events are structured to showcase the most seasoned cow horses - those that are finished in the bridle.
Patty Ralls grew up in Santa Maria, California, just a short distance away from Paso Robles, where the 2009 National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby was held. On Saturday, June 20, with friends and family watching, the transplanted Texan piloted her great horse, Chromium Cowboy, to a 217 in the rein work, and a 217.5 in the cow work - perfect compliments to the 211 marked earlier in the week for the herd work.
Those high scores translated to the Non Pro Bridle Spectacular Championship, and a $4,760 payday. "I had a really tough first cow in the cow work, and the judges whistled me out. I was a little disappointed, because I was sure we could have handled it and I thought it would have been an exciting cow to work - especially with all my family there to watch it. Luckily, I drew another really good cow, and everything worked great," Ralls said. "I'm so happy that everyone was able to come and see us do well."
Patty has owned Chromium Cowboy since he was a 3-year-old, shortly before he earned the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Reserve Championship with her husband, Ron. Since then, Patty and Chromium Cowboy have won NRCHA World Championships, qualified numerous times for both the NRCHA World Show and the American Quarter Horse Association World Show, and won many other major titles. "He's the greatest horse. I always said everyone should have one great horse in their lifetime - he is definitely mine," she said.
Kylie Knight earned the Non Pro Bridle Spectacular Reserve Championship, and the Provisional Intermediate Non Pro Bridle title on Reminic Moon Shine. For Knight, who has been plagued with back injuries over the last year, the win was extra special.
"This is my first big NRCHA show back since I hurt my back the last time. It feels great to be able to ride this horse again and compete," she said. A year ago, when she was recovering, Knight's trainer, Corey Cushing, rode Reminic Moon Shine to the 2008 NRCHA Derby Jack and Phoebe Cooke Open Bridle Spectacular Championship.
Knight and Reminic Moon Shine began the week with a 207 in the herd work, but came back strong with a 219.5 in the rein work and a 214.5 in the cow work. "The herd work is not really my strong point. He's really good, but I have a little trouble," she admitted. "But he was really good in the rein and cow work. I want to thank my parents, Kevin and Sydney Knight, and my trainer, Corey Cushing, for everything they have helped me with." The college Junior took home $1,032 for the Intermediate Non Pro Bridle title, and an additional $3,808 for the Reserve Championship.
Dana Avila rode another cow horse veteran with an illustrious career - Brother White - to the Novice Non Pro Bridle Championship, the Intermediate Non Pro Bridle Reserve Championship, and fourth place in the Non Pro Bridle Spectacular. Those three places equated to earnings of $5,215! "He was awesome, as always," Avila said. "He was really good in the rein work and great in the cow work. I'm just so lucky to have him."
Avila showed Brother White for a year in the NRCHA Non Pro Limited, going un-defeated and winning the 2004 Non Pro Limited World Championship. "I went to showing at AQHA events, because I wanted to get my feet wet before coming back to NRCHA events. I have to say that this Non Pro Bridle class was probably the toughest I've ever seen. I'm very glad I took time to get more experience," she admitted. Since Avila is adamant that she will have Brother White "until he dies," it is likely that their names will become commonplace on NRCHA leader boards.
Chris Mathews took home the Novice Non Pro Bridle Reserve Championship on Ima Chic Please with a 429 total, pocketing $1,656. Ima Chic Please is by Chic Please and out of Smokum Chex Mint. The NRCHA Derby, which began on June 16, is held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, California.
The National Reined Cow Horse Association, celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2009, is the governing body of cow horse competition, 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 John Deere, Adequan(r), Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Inc., Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, MD Barns, Platinum Performance, Inc., Nutrena, Quarter Horse News & Performance Horse magazine, Fort Dodge West Nile Innovator, Rios of Mercedes, Merial products ULCERGARD and EQUIOXX, Markel Insurance Co., and the Silver Legacy Hotel, the association works to keep the vaquero tradition alive in today's equine industry.
The support of the NRCHA Corporate Partners is supplemented by sponsorship from NRCHA Breeders Sponsors, which includes Carol Rose Ranch, Burnett Ranches Ltd., Fairlea Ranch, George & Sue Hearst/Estrella Ranch, Jackson Land & Cattle, LLC, Oasis Ranch, Outback Stallion Station, Polo Ranch, Roeser Ranch, Ward River Ranch, and most recently Holy Cow Performance Horses, LLC. 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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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/patty-ralls-non-pro-bridle-chromium-06-09.html">Patty Ralls Wins Non Pro Bridle Spectacular on Chromium Cowboy</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com