NRCHA Celebration of Champions

The last seven champions are crowned in exciting day of reined cow horse competition.

By Larri Jo Starkey
The American Quarter Horse Journal
February 2, 2013

Mr Playinstylish and Robbie Boyce turn a cow on the fence February 1.

Robbie Boyce rides Mr Playinstylish to the open bridle title for owners Kit and Charlie Moncrief of Aledo, Texas, on February 1 at the NRCHA Celebration of Champions in San Angelo, Texas. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) For more photos of the champions, scroll to the slide show at the bottom of the page.

Mr Playinstylish was really only entered in the open bridle competition to school.
At the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s Celebration of Champions, owners Kit and Charlie Moncrief of Aledo, Texas, were focused on the World’s Greatest Horseman competition.

Robbie Boyce of Purcell, Oklahoma, has been riding the stallion for Boyd Rice, who has the horse in training, all during the week. On January 31, Mr Playinstylish qualified for the World’s Greatest Horseman finals. The next day, he had the open bridle finals and drew up eighth.

“I was just trying to have a nice, clean run,” Robbie said. “I was a little upset with my cow. I thought I had more cow than that. I made the first turn and it just kind of died off, but I was really happy with my horse. He was real honest.”

Mr Playinstylish is a 2005 sorrel stallion by Playin Stylish and out of Tari Chick Gay by Doc Tari. He was bred by R.E. Merritt of Dime Box, Texas, and was the 2009 AQHA world champion in junior working cow horse.

On February 1, the judges scored it a 438, just one point ahead of Starlighting, owned by Coyote Rock Ranch and ridden by Ron Emmons of Ione, California.

Open Hackamore
For the second year in a row, Tuckers Smart Cat claimed the open hackamore title with Lyn Anderson of Madera, California, in the saddle.

After winning the preliminaries, the 2007 sorrel gelding got down to business February 1. Working second in the draw, they scored an unmatchable 444.5 for owners David and Barbara Archer of Clovis, California.

“In the prelims, he was a little more chargey in the rundowns to the stops than he was in the finals, so I was really happy in the finals that he waited on me,” Lyn said. “On the cow, both times, I thought he was awesome. He was never more than an inch away from the cow.”

The athletic gelding is by WR This Cats Smart and out of the all-time leading cow horse dam, Smoke Time Tuck, who had a second foal in the same finals, Smart Time Tucker, also owned by the Archers.

Both horses were bred by Bar Eleven Quarter Horses, owned by Skip Brown of Eagle Point, Oregon. Smoke Time Tuck died earlier this year, Lyn said, a great loss for Skip and a great loss for the industry.

“The number of foals she has had that have been money-earners is just amazing,” Lyn said. “I owe a lot to that mare.”

Non-Pro Bridle
For the second day in a row, amateur rider Suzon Schaal of Calgary, Alberta, claimed the winner’s saddle with her good mare, Genuine Brown Gal.

Suzon bought the mare at the urging of a friend, and in the past few years, they’ve become a strong team, winning the intermediate non-pro bridle title January 31 and the non-pro bridle title February 1.

“We just started in the boxing and went from there,” she said.

Genuine Brown Gal is a 2003 brown mare by Listo Pollito Lena and out of Genuine Emerald by Genuine Peppy. She was bred by Marian Stav of Turner Valley, Alberta.

On February 1, she was the same solid performer she has been during the entire week for Suzon.

“She felt pretty good in the reining (portion),” Suzon said. “She felt tired. It has been a tough week on her. She tried her guts out for me. As far as the cow goes, we maybe could’ve had a little harder-running cow, but it got the job done, so I can't complain.”

Youth Bridle
Kelly Valdez of La Junta, Colorado, claimed her first NRCHA championship on Smart Tic Tack.

The 2003 sorrel mare has a long history with the Valdez family. Among other wins, Kelly’s mom, Betty Lou, was the 2010 reserve world champion in Versatility Ranch Horse with “Tic Tack.”

 Most recently, Kelly was third at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show with the mare in working cow horse. But she was still nervous in San Angelo.

“I was so nervous, before I went in, I thought I was going to start crying,” Kelly said. “I don't know why. But once I got in the arena, the nerves went away and I just showed my mare. She was so good for me.”

Kelly won the limited youth title in 2012, and she made the decision after that win to start going down the fence.

“It was time,” she said.

Plus, she was on Tic Tack.

“She’s the best,” the 14-year-old said. “She’s so easy to show. She does the same thing every time.”

Other winners from the day:
Novice Non-Pro Bridle – Grant Lindaman II, riding Meradas Little Miss, a 2002 bay mare by Meradas Money Talks-Missies Promise by Doc’s Hickory

Non-Pro Limited – LaDona Emmons of Ione, California, riding Anuther Mister 505, a 2005 sorrel gelding by Mister Dual Pep-Anuther Olena by Quanah O Lena

Youth Limited
– Adrianna Adams of Oakdale, California, riding Wynsome Chex, a 2005 bay gelding by Chex Out This Remedy-Miel Classic Tejon by Mr San Olen

Journal Coverage of the NRCHA Celebration of Champions