Trevor Dare Earns First NRBC Open Championship on Jerseys Baby Driver

Trevor Dare & Jerseys Baby Driver Trevor Dare & Jerseys Baby Driver Photo by NRBC
April 24, 2022

On Saturday night, crowd favorites Trevor Dare and Jerseys Baby Driver added another line to their resume, winning the Level 4 Open Championship at the National Reining Breeders Classic.

Dare and Jerseys Baby Driver, by Yellow Jersey out of Wind Her Up Chic, were first on the ground in the last set of horses on Open Finals night. From the moment they ran into the pen, the roar of the audience was deafening, and those cheers built to a crescendo when the score – a 228 – was announced.

“Everyone works really hard to get to the Finals,” Dare said. “For me, I have wondered, ‘Can I ever win it? Is it even possible?’ So to win it is awesome. I feel amazing.”

Jerseys Baby Driver, known to his fan base as Hercules, is known for his in-the-ground stops, and taking advantage of that talent is always part of Dare’s plan.

“I always try to nail that first stop. In the past, I haven’t always hit that first stop as strong as I know he’s capable of, but I said ‘Whoa’ and it just felt right. I backed up, and then another area I might not have shown him to the best of his ability before is his turns, but he turned hard both ways tonight,” Dare recalled. “I remember sitting in the middle thinking, ‘Holy smokes! This might work!’”

According to Dare, Hercules just got better and better the whole run.
For the win, Dare, Jerseys Baby Driver, and owner Janice Laney, were presented with an incredible array of prizes plus a check for $75,000. Adding that to the stallion’s list of accomplishments, which includes the 2021 National Reining Horse Association Derby Open Level 4 Championship, pushes his lifetime earnings to more than $225,000!

But for Dare, it’s not about the money that Jerseys Baby Driver has won, or what he’s done for his career. “We post all the time on social media about how he is with my little boy who is only a year-and-a-half old. That horse is a big, strong man, and my boy will walk up to him and this horse will put his head down and his little ears up. My kid doesn’t know how to really feed treats, but he will and this horse won’t bite his fingers,” Dare said. “This horse is so good to my family, both inside and out of the arena.”

There were numerous people on the list to thank. “I thank my wife. She organizes and manages my whole life, every single day. Without her, I’m pretty much worthless. I thank my whole team, family, and friends. I have a great support system that I can call on any time,” he said.

So what does this win mean for the new champion? “It’s awesome to win for sure, but tomorrow morning is going to be another day, and we’ll be trying to get ready for the next one,” he said. “As for this horse, I’m just going to enjoy every ride I get to have on him.”

Former Champion Casey Deary tied himself for Reserve on two great horses – Down Right Amazing and Americasnexttopgun, with each marking a 226.5 to win $45,000.

Down Right Amazing, owned by DAG Ventures LLC, is by Gunner out of Shesouttayourleague. Deary and Down Right Amazing, whose lifetime earnings were nearing $125,000 prior to the NRBC, won the preliminary round as well.

In 2020, Deary and Americasnexttopgun, by Walla Walla Whiz out of Americasnextgunmodel, won the 2020 NRBC Championship. Deary and the stallion, owned by Puno Performance Horses, have won more than $203,000, not including what they’ve collected at this year’s NRBC.

Level 3 Open Champions – Fernando Salgado & Gunnabeabrightstar
Saturday night in the Open Finals, it was Fernando Salgado’s score of 225.5 on Gunnabeabrightstar that would seal the deal on the Level 3 Open Championship.

That score would also put Salgado fourth in the Level 4 Open with the six-year-old stallion by ARC Gunnabeabigstar out of Abbie Be Tuff.

“This horse is for sure special to us,” Salgado said. “I started him and made all the Level 4 finals as a three-year-old and was second in Tulsa and second in Ardmore. He’s always been great for me. Then when we bought our place, I sold him to the Neibergers so he went to Casey Deary, and he was very successful with Casey as well.”

The horse ended up in Salgado’s string after an injury in 2021 sidelined him for a bit. By the time he was ready to show again, Deary already had a solid string. “They thought about me when they were looking for someone to show this horse, so I was over-the-moon happy,” Salgado shared.

The pair’s run was almost perfect. “I had a little bobble on the left rollback, which was 100 percent my fault, but he did everything I asked of him and a little more. I am so thankful to my team, my customers, the Neibergers, and Casey for sharing this horse.” Salgado laughed, and joked, “If I was Casey I don’t know that I would share a horse as nice as this!”

The NRBC was only the pair’s second event since reuniting. “I ran him first at the Run For A Million Qualifier at the Cactus Classic, and we qualified for the Million there,” Salgado said.

With almost $65,000 credited to his name before the NRBC, Gunnabeabrightstar has always been a winner.

“I have been coming here for 10 years to compete, and this is the first time I’ve been that close and on the same level as all those guys I’ve been trying to learn from,” Salgado said. “Next up for this horse is to give him some time off, take care of him, and then go to Las Vegas for the Run for the Million.”

Level 2 Open Champions - Jimmy Van der Hoeven & Onecoolchic
It has been a long road for Jimmy Van der Hoeven to get to where he is today. Originally from the Netherlands, Van der Hoeven qualified for the NRBC Open Finals 10 years ago, and walked away with the Level 2 win. Fast forward to the 2022 NRBC, and Van der Hoeven won the Level 2 for the second time.

“There’s a little bit of a goofy side to her,” he said of Onecoolchic, a five-year-old mare by Magnum Chic Dream, now unofficially an $8 Million Sire, and out of Skeets Red Dunit. “I think that gives them grit and makes them good.”

Van der Hoeven has had a lot of success with the Magnum Chic Dream lineage, and said when that line of breeding is trained and ready to go, they last a long time.

“They ride the same outside as they do inside,” he said. “They never change their ways of doing things.”

 Onecoolchic will be rebred this year at Cedar Ridge Stallion Station, in Whitesboro, Texas, where Van der Hoeven trains under Casey Hinton. At the same time she will get ready to show at the NRHA Derby.

“Reining is exciting to me,” he explained. “Everything is fast, but precise, and I can be just as satisfied when something works whether I’m riding at home or in the show pen.”

Van der Hoeven thanked the Hinton family and the entire team behind him.

Level 1 Open - Katie Davis & Starfire Sixtysix
Winning the Level 1 Open Classic Finals at the NRBC is every young trainer’s dream, and for Katie Davis that dream came true on Saturday. She rode Starfire Sixtysix to the win with a score of 219.5.

“It’s wonderful every time I get to ride that mare,” she said. “I have a really good support system, and everybody cheering definitely moves you along. It makes a difference when you hear everybody cheering, you want to keep doing well for them.”

Davis explained her plan was to run hard on the five year old mare who is by Inferno Sixty Six and out of Wind It Up Chic.
“I squeaked into the Level 1 Finals, and I was out for a redemption run,” Davis said. “My favorite thing to do on that mare is run and stop, so I was grinning ear to ear.”

Owned by Kevin Corcoran, Davis started the mare as a two year old and could tell from the beginning she had something special.

“We knew from the first time I ran her down as a two year old and asked for her to stop with shoes on. She was always so good with her front end. I’ve always had confidence in her.”

The mare Davis calls Fire, will enjoy some pasture time before it is time to tune up for the next show.

“I think today really helped my chances of getting to show her in the Derby,” Davis laughed.

Davis is an assistant trainer for Deary Performance Horses and thanked the Deary family, the Corcorans, farrier Glen Spalding, and veterinarian Frank Fluitt.

Prime Time Open Champions - Cody Sapergia & Chicowhiz
Chicowhiz’s huge stops and pretty appearance in the show pen impressed the judges during the first section of the Open Finals. Cody Sapergia rode the seven-year-old stallion, by Smart Chic Olena out of Whizicle, to a score of 222 (includes handicap) to win the Prime Time Open title.

“For me, it felt very good,” Sapergia explained. “He ran in and stopped great, backed up really good. The turns were on the money, too. They were really clean, and he was just with me the whole time.”
The Gainesville, Texas, trainer calls the horse Jimmy and has ridden him since he was a four-year-old. Jimmy came from Canada through Andre De Bellefeuille’s breeding program and is owned by Larizza Rizzi.

“At the NRBC, it’s always a great event to be a part of,” Sapergia said. “It’s been a great show all these years, and I’m really happy to win something here. I thank Garth Brown and Francesco Martinotti who have both been very helpful. I always think back to when I rode with Duane Latimer, and I try to remember what he told me at that time. Of course, I thank Larizza Rizzi, the owner, for giving me the opportunity to show this horse.”

By NRBC Press Release