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Tucker Robinson Wins 2008 NRCHA Open and Intermediate Open Derby on Days Zanolena

Colonels Cash Cow and Mary Dosek top Limited Open Derby

After winning the NRCHA Stakes, and the NRCHA Hackamore Classic, Tucker Robinson and Days Zanolena again claimed another National Reined Cow Horse Association Premiere event - the 2008 NRCHA Derby. But after the preliminaries and the first two phases of the finals were dominated by other outstanding horses and trainers, even Robinson himself was taken by surprise when his cow work score of 222 put his composite score at a 653 – enough to take over the lead from Doug Williamson, who tied himself for second with identical scores of 650.5.

“By the time you get to the fence work, if you’re within a couple of points, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Robinson, the son of Ted Robinson, one of the NRCHA’s most accomplished trainers. “But I didn’t make it happen, that mare made it happen.” Most watchers would disagree, as Tucker’s aggressive work garnered every point possible from a difficult cow.

Robinson was riding Days Zanolena (Smart Zanolena x Chex Out This Day)for owners Matt and Leslie Day of Bend, Oregon, who got a check for $42,370. The pair marked a 218 in the herd work after being the first finalists to work, and followed up with a 213 in the rein work. Robinson was fifth overall going into the cow work, but a great draw and the heart of an equally talented equine partner gave the pair a 222 down the fence – just enough to pull off the victory.

“There’s not enough words to say how great she is,” Robinson said. “She’s by far the best horse I’ve ever ridden, and I guarantee she may be the best I’ll ever ride in my life.”

Robinson also collected $8,370 for topping the Intermediate Open Derby division.

“After all this, I’m definitely out of the Intermediate for next year!” he said with a laugh.

Williamson had a composite of 650.5 on two horses to tie himself for second – and according to him, that’s not all that unusual.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that in my career,” Williams said with a smile. “I guess I must just train them all the same!”

Williamson was an early favorite to win on Docs Soula, the 2007 NRCHA Derby Champion. He went back to the finals on top after winning the preliminary composite, but some tough draws in the finals kept him just out of the top spot. Still, Williamson earned $28,842.50 for Docs Soula, owned by D & S Quarter Horses of Terrebonne, Oregon, and another $28,842.50 for Gardiner Quarter Horses of Ashland, Kansas, owners of Hes Wright On.

Docs Soula, a 5-year-old stallion by Soula Jule Star and out of Docs Hickory Nut, earned a 216 in the herd, a 214.5 in the rein work, and a 220 down the fence, while Hes Wright On, by Lenas Wright On and out of Shesa Lota Nic, earned a 218 out of the herd, a 211.5 in the reining and a 221 down the fence.

“I’m just happy to be still doing this and winning,” said Williamson, who is 66 and still leading the charts of top cow horse riders.

Finishing second in the Intermediate Open was Shawn Hays riding Peppy Nicolena for Walter Greeman and Tammy Jo Hays. Peppy Nicolena, by Nic It In The Bud and out of Chelsea Lena, had a 641 composite to earn $6,277.50.

In the Limited Open Derby, Colonels Cash Cow took Mary Dosek and owners Tom and Judy Crawford to the pay window. With a 428.5 composite score, Colonels Cash Cow added $4,500 to his lifetime earnings.

“This is a special, special horse, and we owe a lot of the thanks to Mary,” said owner Judy Crawford, of Santa Ynez, California. “She had this horse as a 2-year-old, and she’s just really, really great with her.”

Colonels Cash Cow is a 5-year-old gelding by The Nu Colonel and out of Peppy Leanna.

Finishing as the Limited Open Reserve Champion was Jaton Lord and Libertys Aristocrat, owned by leading Non Pro Anne Reynolds of King Hill, Idaho. The pair had a 421.5 composite to earn $3,600.

The 2008 NRCHA Derby paid out over $500,000 to its exhibitors this year, and despite escalating fuel prices, saw a 10 percent increase in entries.

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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