Indy Roper Wins Level 4 Non Pro Championship on Spooks Show Time at NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

Indy Roper Wins Level 4 Non Pro Championship on Spooks Show Time at NRHA Derby Presented by Markel Photo by NRHA

Indy Roper was all smiles as she exited the Jim Norick Coliseum Arena on Friday evening, June 19, after her first run in the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby presented by Markel Non Pro Finals.

She knew her performance on Spooks Show Time was good, and when the score, a 222.5, was announced, the cheers were resounding. However, Roper had drawn number 2 in the Level 4 Non Pro Finals, meaning she had to sweat through 31 additional runs before she was declared the victor.

When the last rider had cleared the arena, it became official: Indy Roper had won her first Non Pro Derby Championship; several great prizes, including a year’s use of a beautiful Kyle Zanetti Trailer, a Bob’s Custom Saddle, Anderson Bean Boots, a custom Montana Silversmiths belt buckle, product from Classic Equine, and gift certificates to Platinum Performance, Bluebonnet Feeds, SmartPak, Shorty’s Caboy Hattery, and CINCH; and a check for $18,800. Nominator Bobby Lewis will receive 5% of the total payout.
“I’m speechless. When we started this, winning the Derby was on our bucket list. My dad and I sat down and wrote down what we wanted to accomplish, and this was it. I’ve had many ups and downs in that arena, and this is definitely the pinnacle,” Roper said.
Spooks Show Time, nicknamed “Raymond,” is known for his big stops, so the run-in stop of pattern 10 fit him perfectly. “He ran in, stopped good, and backed up nice. We got through the turns, and then I knew I could push him hard. Like I said, his claim to fame is his stops, so the final three stops showed what he could do,” Roper said.
Roper’s father, Tim, purchased Raymond in 2018 from NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner Rancho Oso Rio. “Andrea and Tish Fappani encouraged us to try him. I liked his demeanor because he’s fun to be around, and he’s smooth to ride,” Roper shared.
Spooks Show Time is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz out of Dolittle Lena. “He’s 7 now, so he’s done with his derbies, and he has a home for life at Roper Farms. I have twin nieces who are going to be over the moon that he’s coming back. We’ll take him back home and just enjoy him.”
Roper added, “We were so excited when they allowed us to show 7-year-olds in the derbies. Last year we had a little bad luck, so we gave him time off so he could be the healthiest he could be.”
Although Raymond has resided in Arizona with trainer Marco Ricotta, Roper keeps several reining horses at her home in Indiana. “I’m fortunate that we have some reiners at home, and that’s how I stayed in riding shape. Plus, Marco does a great job preparing my horses,” she said. “I thank Marco and Jenny Ricotta and their whole team. I thank my mom and dad, Tim and Linda Roper, and my fiancé, Trent Sidabras. I have a whole cheering crowd back in Indiana.”

Kim Muehlstaetter took the Level 4 Non Pro Reserve Championship and $12,758 on Spooks Grand Slam with a 220. Owned by Kim and her husband, NRHA Professional Martin Muehlstaetter, Spooks Grand Slam is a 6-year-old stallion by Spooks Gotta Whiz out of Shiney Diamond Lady. Spooks Show Time was nominated by Bobby Lewis.

Samantha Smith and Drinkin Moonshine Take Level 3 Non Pro Derby Championship