Casey Deary Wins NRBC Open Championship with Americasnexttopgun 

Casey Deary and Americasnextgunmodel Casey Deary and Americasnextgunmodel Photo by IHP Media Partner ©Carolyn Simancik

Casey Deary's career sky-rocketed when he won the National Reining Horse Association Futurity on Americasnextgunmodel. Deary and the incredible mare accumulated nearly $300,000 in earnings, so it was a poignant moment for the Weatherford, Texas, trainer when he rode one of her colts, Americasnexttopgun, owned by Jody Puno of Puno Performance Horses, to win the National Reining Breeders Classic Open Championship on Saturday evening.

The crowd was with Deary and Americasnexttopgun, by Walla Walla Whiz, from the first flawlessly executed stop. When the score was announced - a 226.5 - the crowd erupted. "I knew I had enough horse to win it, so I showed him for what I knew he could do and made sure to not overdo it," Deary shared. "I loved his mother. She's the one who changed my career. This horse is amazing and is maybe the most athletic thing I have ever ridden. There is not a weak spot on him, so I'm grateful to finally put it all together."
While elated about the win, and accompanying check of $75,000, Deary admitted he was exhausted as well. Understandable, of course, because he was riding three horses in the finals, and his friend Jordan Larson had catch rode another of his horses. With Americasnexttopgun's full sibling, Americas Supermodel, Deary tied for the Reserve Championship. His third entry, Gunnabeabrightstar, finished twelfth, while Larson and Lonely At The Top tied for eighth.
"It was a very busy evening," Deary said. "I have an exceptional group of people I work with, from my vets and my farrier. My wife is incredibly supportive. My owners are amazing. I thank Jordan for riding my other horse. I don't think there is anyone better in the business than him to step on one and immediately figure out how to ride it."
Deary added that the Ford Arena and the entire Tulsa facility is a great place to show a horse. "I love that pen. I love to have a horse that can really run, and I like the opportunity to show it off. Tulsa is amazing, the ground is great. The guys who take care of the ground take such good care of us," he said. "I also can't say enough good things about Cheryl Cody and her team. To even dream of putting on that many big horse shows together would give anyone a headache, and they have far exceeded our expectations."
Deary and Americas Supermodel, owned by Whitmarsh Arcese Partnership, marked a 224.5 to tie for Reserve, worth $41,000. Also tying for reserve were Jason Vanlandingham and A Vintage Smoke, who are former NRBC Champions and coming off of a big win at the NRHA Derby. A Vintage Smoke, by A Sparkling Vintage out of Lady Smoke Peppy, is owned by Diane Mesmer.
Ruben Vandorp Wins NRBC Open Level 3 Championship with Spooks Gotta Crush
Competing as the last rider in a finals as tough as the NRBC Open can be rather nerve-wracking. That's why Ruben Vandorp only watched one other run. "I tried not to follow any of the class. I knew what was winning it, but I didn't know how deep it was. I watched the very first horse go, and that's the only one I watched all night," he shared.
It must have been the right strategy, as Vandorp and his horse Spooks Gotta Crush gave it their all. The result? A score of 224 which secured the Level 3 Championship and tied for fourth in the Level 4. All totaled, the night's earnings came to $46,321. "I was tickled pink with my horse," Vandorp said. "I cannot really believe this just happened. You always hope it does, but a buddy of mine explained it to me once. He said the reason winning is so much fun is because it is so damn hard to do, so when it works it is absolutely amazing."
Vandorp purchased Spooks Gotta Crush, by Spooks Gotta Whiz out of Megas Sugar Baby, from Trey Poole as a two-year-old. "I made the Futurity finals on him, and won Tulsa on him. He's just been a blast. Last year I had some health issues and Jason Vanlandingham was kind enough to show him for me and they made the Open Derby finals and were second in the Shootout at the Run for a Million reining," Vandorp said. "He's just been a great horse and is part of the family. We love him."
Inundated with texts of encouragement prior to his run, Vandorp credited his friends. "I can't narrow down my thanks to just a few people. It takes a village with me. I got so many texts from people encouraging me and saying they were praying for me and lifting me up. I had zero worries or reservations when I went into the pen," he said.
Dalton Vanlandingham Wins NRBC Open Levels 1 & 2 on Ruff Little Whiz
Reining fans likely remember watching Not Ruf At All and Jason Vanlandingham compete at the major events, always wearing a signature red shirt and saddle pad. During the first section of the NRBC Open Finals on Saturday, when another Vanlandingham entered the pen wearing the same color scheme. Dalton Vanlandingham piloted Ruff Little Whiz, a colt by the memorable stallion and owned by his father, to a score of 220.5 to win the Championship of Levels 1 and 2.
"It's actually the same shirt and pad," the 21-year-old shared.
The ensemble apparently retained some of the good luck, as Dalton and Ruff Little Whiz earned checks totaling $11,402.
"When I ran in there, I could tell he was locked in from the time I ran into the gate. He's a little trickier horse to get locked in, but he definitely showed up for the finals," Vanlandingham shared. "He was super in the preliminary round. I had a little late lead change, and that kept us from making the Level 4 finals, but it is what it is."
Dalton has ridden Ruff Little Whiz off and on since the colt was two years old. "I started him as a two-year-old, and he was a little, tiny thing. We actually nicknamed him 'Little Man.' Ever since the beginning he has been a nice, fun horse to ride. Dad thought he was a superstar going into his three-year-old year, but he got hurt so he sat out from the NRHA Futurity and Derby," Dalton shared. "So this is his first major event."
The two Vanlandinghams work well together. "We have some similarities, but also some differences. I like to go ahead and pitch it to them, and he likes to make sure everything is perfect. When I can get on one after him, though, it's easy to pitch it away and let them do their thing," Dalton said with a smile. "I thank my mom and dad for sure. They have always been right behind me no matter what I did. They have been there every step of the way."
Ann Salmon-Anderman and Ruf Lil Joe Take Open Prime Time Championship
Ann Salmon-Anderman and her homegrown mare Ruf Lil Joe took home the Open Prime Time Championship of this year's NRBC. Anderson and the mare, by Lil Joe Cash out of Dunit A Lil Ruf, marked a 221.5 (includes handicap) in the finals to take the title. They also finished tied for fourth in the Level 2, bringing total earnings for the night to $5,061.
Anderman's blue hen mare Dunit A Lil Ruf has produced earners of more than $406,000, included such standouts as Patriot and Ruf Lil Magnum. Surprisingly though, almost all of her offspring have been colts, so when Ruf Lil Joe was born, Ann and her husband Monte decided to keep her.
"We had seven babies, and this was the only filly. I felt it would be terrible if we ever lost Dunit A Lil Ruf and not had one of her babies to continue the line," she said. "This mare has already had two foals, and I love them."
Anderman shared that Ruf Lil Joe's career got off to a slower start; the filly was a bit immature. "She was really nervous and feely, so we decided if she made the Futurity it would be fine, and if not, that would be fine, too. Shortly before the Futurity she started coming around, and now she has really matured into such a fun horse," Anderman said.
As for their finals run, Anderman had only one goal. "I wanted to do better than I did in the go rounds, and I wanted to go harder, and she did. I was really happy," she said. I thank my husband Monte and my vet Dr. John McCarroll. I also have the greatest crew in the world to ride with daily, and that is Ruben Vandorp and his crew, and Brian Bell and his crew. We're like a big family. I watch them and strive to be as good as them every day. They are wonderful inspirations to ride with."
Looking ahead, it looks like Ruf Lil Joe will get a well-deserved break. "I think we might pull her shoes and let her have the rest of the year off," Anderman said. "Then we will go to the derbies as a seven-year-old. I'd love to get her lifetime earnings up a little more, and it's nice to have one more year to do that."
Marie Kleiner and This Gun Works Win NRBC Development Division
The Development Division at the NRBC adds another opportunity to win money for those horses who might not have as much show expensive. With $10,000 in added money, the division pays well, and for no additional entry fee. The Development Division is decided in the preliminary round, and Marie Kleiner and This Gun Works taking first in the division with a 217.5. The win was worth $6,101.
"He is a four-year-old, and this was his first major event," Kleiner said of the colt, by Gunners Tinseltown out of Reminic At Work. "I have been riding him with Craig Schmersal for the last four months. I didn't really know what to expect going in, but he was super hooked and he turned real nice. We did have an underturn the first direction which was totally my fault, but after that he was really nice."
Kleiner noted that she has been pleased with the colt's progress. "We have just been working on making sure the maneuvers are coming along and that everything is coming together. Craig has been watching me constantly and helping and coaching me to where we had him ready for this," she said. "I thank his owner, Jennifer Greenleaf, for letting me ride and show this horse. I also thank Craig and Ginger and the whole team at Schmersal Reining Horses. They have been super supportive. I also thank everyone else that has been helping me and encouraging me and trying to get me ready for this."

By NRBC Press Release