News from the National Reined Cow Horse Association

April 02, 2019

While it may have been April Fool's Day, the National Reined Cow Horse Association Stallion Stakes herd work was no joking matter. Non pro competitors took center stage on Monday, April 1, at the luxurious South Point Arena and Equestrian Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Eric Freitas captured the Non Pro Stakes herd work preliminary win, scoring a 219 aboard PRF ExceedinglySmart (WR This Cats Smart X Wild Francine X Peptoboonsmal). Freitas and the 4-year-old stallion were non pro finalists at the 2018 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity ®. The California non pro also piloted CR Tuff Tornado (Woody Be Tuff X CR Shes Uh Secret X Peptoboonsmal) to a 217.5, placing him first and second in the preliminary herd work round.

The NRCHA continues to see incredible growth in the Non Pro Limited divisions, and the Stallion Stakes is no exception. Over the past two years, not only have entries in the Non Pro Limited Stakes doubled in size, but so has the added prize money.
An impressive 28 Non Pro Limited Stakes entries rode through the herd in the Priefert Arnea, and it was Anne Albert, of Roy, Washington, who came out on top. Albert and her 5-year-old gelding, WR Hotshot (WR This Cats Smart X Sunspot Flo X Mr Peponita Flo) earned a 213 from the judges in the herd work. This pair is no stranger to premier events; they finished third place in the Non Pro Limited Stakes in 2018.
It's another robust year for the ever-growing Open Two Rein Spectacular, with 28 competitors entered at the NRCHA Stallion Stakes.
The last entry to walk into the herd captured the highest score. NRCHA professional Shane Steffen and Maytown Moonshine (Cats Moonshine X Bunny Lena X Smart Little Lena) earned an impressive score of 221.5. Maytown Moonshine is owned by non pro competitor Carrie Whisler. In 2018, Steffen was crowned the Open Two Rein Spectacular champion aboard Gunna Be Smartie.
The cow horse action will resume in the Main Arena at 8:00 a.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, April 2. Non Pro and Non Pro Limited Stakes exhibitors will make their way through the second leg of competition - the rein work. Tuesday is also the first day horse show champions will be crowned in the Open Two Rein and Open Bridle divisions. For the free, live webcast, provided by award-winning videographer Equine Promotion, visit
The NRCHA Stallion Stakes is the second of four NRCHA premier events, and it pays out more than $600,000 in prize money. The event's success is largely due to its tie to the NRCHA Subscribed Stallion program. Subscribed stallion nominators pay a fee so 4- and 5-year-old offspring can be eligible to compete in the limited aged event portion of the show. Besides paying lucrative checks to the Stakes winners, the NRCHA also presents an incentive checks to the nominator of the Stakes Champion's sire in each division.
In addition to the Stakes divisions, the event offers a full slate of horse show classes, and several Spectaculars, including the $25,000 added Open Bridle Spectacular sponsored by Holy Cow Performance Horses.
Watch the runs
PRF ExceedinglySmart ridden by Eric Freitas - 2019 NRCHA Stakes Non Pro herd work prelims
WR Hotshot ridden by Anne Albert - 2019 NRCHA Stakes Non Pro Limited herd work
Maytown Moonshine ridden by Shane Steffen - 2019 NRCHA Stakes Open Two Rein Spec herd work
By NRCHA Press Release