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Sandy Collier rides Tazs Precious Peppy Win 2008 NRCHA Hackamore Classic

She is a former National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion and is consistently a major contender at all levels of reined cow horse events, but there’s been something missing from Sandy Collier’s show resume for the last few years – a championship at an NRCHA major event.

That changed at the 2008 NRCHA Hackamore Classic, held April 25-27 at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, California. There, she rode Tazs Precious Peppy to a 438 composite, topping the 59-horse field and earning $18,700 for owner Dominic Conicelli.

“It’s always great to win at an NRCHA major event,” she said. “Even making the finals is great. I’m really glad to have won this on her.”

A little bit of team work was needed to earn the Championship. Just a month before, at the NRCHA Stakes in Nampa, Idaho, Collier tore her rotator cuff while unloading a horse. She further injured it during the Stake’s fence work in both the preliminaries and the finals.

She had scheduled surgery for after the Hackamore Classic, but she needed to get her horse shown. Her doctor told her not to injure it any more, so NRCHA President and friend Lyn Anderson schooled “Taz” in the cow work for Sandy. “I couldn’t have done it without Lyn’s help,” said Collier modestly. “She’s a great horseman, and I’m so lucky that she did that.”

So how did Collier overcome her nerves about her arm during the cow work? “The adrenaline just took over,” she laughed. “Actually, I went in there, and there was all the money to win, and this is such a good horse – I just rode her. Luckily, we had a great cow, and everything went according to plan.”

Although Collier says that Taz was the best of the ones she took to the Snaffle Bit Futurity last year – the mare was the only one who didn’t make it to the finals. They had gotten outrun down the fence. According to Sandy though, her horse’s feet are getting faster.

“She’s really coming a long way,” she said. “I love showing her. Her owner will ride her eventually, but I hope I get to show her a long time before he decides he is ready.”

Idaho trainer Jake Telford earned Reserve honors on Spark N Loulena, owned by Floyd Miller and P. Newton White. Telford guided the good mare to a 437 total, consisting of a 145 in the herd work, 144 in the rein work, and 148 down the fence. The Reserve Championship was worth $14,025. Spark N Loulena is by Shining Spark and out of Mary Lou Lena.

In the Intermediate Open division, Shawn Hays earned the Championship on Peppy Nicolena, owned by his wife, Tammy Jo Hays and father-in-law Walter Greeman. Scores of 140 in the herd work, 143.5 in the rein work, and 146 in the cow work combined for a 429.5 total. Hays earned $5,000 for the Championship, and an addition $4,975 for 8th place in the Open. But the Hays family had even more to celebrate – earlier in the day, wife Tammy Jo earned the Intermediate Non Pro Championship!

The Intermediate Open Reserve Championship went to Tucker Robinson and Days Zanolena, a 5-year-old mare by Smart Zanolena and out of Chex Out This Day. Robinson and Days Zanolena have been on a hot streak lately, most recently winning the 2008 NRCHA Stakes. Robinson rode the talented mare to scores of 143 in the herd work, 140 in the rein work, and 142 down the fence for a 425 total. The Reserve Championship garnered a check for $4,000.

The Limited Open Championship and $2,370 was won by Billy Martin and his horse MH Im Just Booning. They marked 143 in the herd work, 128.5 in the rein work, and 144 in the cow work for a 416 total. MH Im Just Booning is by Bodee Boonsmal and out of Little Smart Ginger.

Tommy Thompson and Caros RB Lena clinched the Reserve title with a 415.5 total, comprised of 140 in the herd work, 143.5 in the rein work, and 132 down the fence. The Reserve Championship added $1,975 to the lifetime earnings of Caros RB Lena’s, by Lenas Wright On and out of Wyatts Remalee.

The 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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