NRCHA Derby Champions Are Crowned in Scottsdale, Arizona

A thrilling day of reined cow horse action on Saturday, June 13, wrapped up the main event at the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Jack and Phoebe Cooke Memorial Derby. Open and non pro riders took center stage at the WestWorld of Scottsdale in sunny Arizona. The top combined score rode away with the prestigious NRCHA Derby Champion title and a share of more than $330,000.

Derby Open Champion

To say it was a special night for the Justin Wright Performance Horses/ Wrights Quarter Horses crew would be an understatement. Several Santa Maria, California, professionals claimed spots in the clean-slate finals and are taking home major limited age event titles.

NRCHA Million Dollar Rider Justin Wright showed Scooter Kat (Kit Kat Sugar x Scooters Daisy Dukes x Dual Smart Rey) to the 2020 National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby Open championship title with an incredible 673.5 composite. Wright and Scooter Kat, owned by Eric Freitas, won all three go rounds of the Open Finals: 224 herd, 224.5 rein and 225 cow.

Click here to watch Justin Wright riding Scooter Kat

The winning team rode with $33,550, a custom saddle by Bob's Custom Saddles, presented by Heaven Sent Ranch, a Gist Silversmiths custom buckle, sponsored by the Arizona Reined Cow Horse Association, a Preston Williams custom snaffle bit, UltraCruz product, a Handmade Exotics gift certificate and product from Platinum Performance,

Together, the duo have earned several prestigious titles throughout the 2015 stallion's career, including the 2019 NRCHA Stakes Open championship and 2018 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity® reserve open championship. Tonight's win put the stallion's lifetime NRCHA earnings over $250,000.

Derby Intermediate Open Champion

Claiming the NRCHA Derby Intermediate Open win was Jared Jones aboard PRF Peptos Smart Cat (WR This Cats Smart x She Smokes Smart x Senors Lil Brudder). Jones, from Santa Maria, California, earned $9,981 for his 660 composite (217.5 herd/ 219 rein/ 223.5 cow). The 4-year-old stallion is owned by Tori Simons.

Click here to watch PRF Peptos Smart Cat ridden by Jared Jones

Derby Limited Open Champion

Taking home the NRCHA Derby Limited Open title to Weatherford, Texas, is Daniel Sanchez and Reyny Day Nickle (Shiners Nickle x Tootsie Rey x Dual Rey).

Sanchez piloted Donna Russo's 2015 stallion, sired by Shiners Nickle and out of Tootsie Rey, by Dual Rey, to a 656 composite (219 herd/ 217 rein/ 220 cow). The win was accompanied with a $4,414 paycheck. The team also earned $5,935 for their third place finish in the Intermediate Open Finals.

Click here to watch Reyny Day Nickle ridden by Daniel Sanchez

Derby Non Pro Champion

Toni Heath captured the 2020 National Reined Cow Horse Association Jack and Phoebe Cooke Memorial Derby Non Pro championship title aboard Smokum Every Time.

The Oregon-based non pro piloted Smokum Every Time (One Time Pepto x Smokums Dream x Smokums Prize), a homebred horse owned by her husband, Dan Heath, to a 655 composite in the clean-slate finals. Heath marked a 214 in the herd work and 218.5 in the rein work. Her high fence work score of 222.5 sealed the deal on the win and $7,376.

The champion's prizes included a saddle by Bob's Custom Saddles, a Gist Silversmiths custom buckle, a gift certificate to Handmade Exotics, product from Platinum Performance, a straw hat compliments of Shorty's Caboy Hattery and UltraCruz product.

Click here to watch Smokum Every Time ridden by Toni Heath

Derby Intermediate & Novice Non Pro Champion

After capturing the Derby Amateur championship earlier in the week, Erin Mendes piloted Jans Shiney Rey to the Intermediate and Novice Non Pro titles. The 652 composite (218 herd/ 213.5 rein/ 220.5 cow) in the clean-slate finals also placed Mendes reserve in the Non Pro. The duo collected over $11,000 in winnings, two Gist Silversmiths custom buckles and Platinum Performance product.

The 2015 mare, who she owns with her husband, Marcel, is sired by Jans Rey Cuatro and out of Shiney Bit Of Ivory, by Shining Spark.

Click here to watch Erin Mendes piloting Jans Shiney Rey

Horse Show Champions Crowned

$1,000 Non Pro Limited Champion

Erica Ann Katz and Call Me WR (WR This Cats Smart x Call Me Christysue x Doc Olena) topped the 27-entry $1,000 Non Pro Limited with an impressive 292! The Temecula, California, non pro piloted her 2009 gelding to a 144.5 in the rein work and 147.5 in the cow work, collecting $400, a CR Morrison bronze finished trophy, straw hat from Shorty's Caboy Hattery and product form Platinum Performance.

Click here to watch Call Me WR ridden by Erica Katz

$5,000 Non Pro Limited Champion

After solid performance throughout the week in the Non Pro Limited Derby, Elizabeth Poor piloted R Little C D Cat (High Brow CD x Dox Miss N Reno x Miss N Cash) to first place in the $5,000 Non Pro Limited. The 289 composite (140.5 rein/ 148.5 cow) was accompanied with a $510 win check, a CR Morrison bronze finished trophy, presented by Parkinson Performance Horses, a Shorty's Caboy Hattery straw hat and Platinum Performance.

The NRCHA Jack and Phoebe Cooke Memorial Derby is one of the most prestigious events for 4- and 5- year-old reined cow horses. Shown two-handed in a snaffle bit or a hackamore, horses are judged in three preliminary events: rein work, herd work and cow work. In additional to the popular Limited Aged Event, the Derby also offers a full slate of NRCHA-appproved horse show classes and several spectaculars.

Click here to watch R Little C D Cat ridden by Elizabeth Poor

By NRCHA Press Release