Casey Deary and Magnum Starlights Win the NRHA Open Derby

View the open and non-pro results from the 2016 National Reining Horse Association Derby.

From the National Reining Horse Association

Casey Deary and the 5-year-old stallion owned by Antler Ridge Ranch LLC posted a score of 223 to take the open win.

Six NRHA Million Dollar Riders, one Two Million Dollar Rider, two Three Million Dollar Riders, one Five Million Dollar Rider, past NRHA open and non-pro Futurity champions, past NRHA Derby and NRBC champions, and an impressive number of horses with earnings that surpass the $100,000.00 mark in lifetime earnings. All on stage in the 2016 NRHA open Derby finals on Saturday in Oklahoma City.

Winning the Level 4 open Derby championship with a 223 score was NRHA Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary aboard Magnum Starlights (Magnum Chic Dream x Starlights Sugarwhiz), a 5-year-old stallion owned by Antler Ridge Ranch LLC and nominated by George Lawrence with $84,378.60 NRHA LTE. The win was especially sweet for Deary. Not only did he show Magnum Starlights’ grand sire, he also showed the talented stallion’s grand dam. “We have a long history together, and Magnum Starlights was raised on our ranch,” said Deary following his win. “We won the Vegas Futurity and had huge runs at the NRBC, and we’ve always felt that he would achieve a major win sometime."

Two riders posted a 222.5 for the reserve championship: NRHA Million Dollar Rider Jason Vanlandingham and NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani. Vanlandingham rode his past NRBC Open Champion, Not Ruf At All (A Sparkling Vintage x All Ruffed Up), a 6-year-old stallion owned by Vaughn Zimmerman and nominated by Petra Zeitler Connor with $416,766.08 LTE. Fappani rode Pinesail Jac (Tinsel Jac x Sailin Lil Ruf), a 5-year-old gelding owned by Rancho Oso Rio LLC and nominated by Raul Leal, who to date has won $93,487.29.

Fernando Salgado and Electric Cha Ching win the Level 3 and 2 Championships

2016 NRHA Derby Level 2 and 3 Winner Fernando Salgado and Electric Cha ChingFernando Salgado and Electric Cha Ching (Jacs Electric Spark x Kipper Lady Nic) set the bar early in the second section of the open finals by posting a 221. The 5-year-old sorrel mare is owned by Heritage Farms/Silver Spurs Equine and was nominated by Haworth Family Partnership Ltd.

At a half point behind the champions, there was a three-way tie for reserve honors in the Level 3 division: Matt Mills and Wimps Cool Breeze (Tinsel Jac x Sailin Lil Ruf), a 5-year-old stallion owned by Janice Dickson and nominated by Raul Leal with $93,487.29 LTE; Martin Muehlstaetter and Late Night Stopper (Jacs Electric Spark x Best Stop), a 5-year-old stallion owned by Marc and Kathy Gordon and nominated by Wagman Ranch Inc. with $61,303.71 LTE; and Jimmy Van Der Hoeven and Black Hails Gold (Shine Like Hail x Dun Its Black Gold), a 6-year-old gelding owned by Casey and Kathy Hinton and nominated by Rhodes River Ranch with $147,166,92 LTE.

2016 NRHA Derby Level 1 Reserve Champion Daniel Schloemer and Electric GridThe reserve championship in the Level 2 division was claimed by the Level 1 champions, Daniel Schloemer and Electric Grid (Jacs Electric Spark x GVS Cherokee Jac). The 6-year-old gelding is owned by Jennifer T. Deweese and was nominated by Troy and Andrea Heikes. Before coming to Oklahoma City, his LTE were $34,125.91. “I am thrilled with these two titles and I cannot thank the owner enough for giving me this great opportunity,” said the German rider, now based in Arizona as assistant trainer for Arno Honstetter. “I was draw 17 in the go-round, having switched the horse from the non-pro to the open Derby, and my score held to top the Level 1 division. Tonight Electric Grid was just great and gave me all he had. It’s the first time that I made the Derby finals, and making it back in all four levels and competing against the best is just incredible.”

The Level 1 reserve championship went to Kari Anna Klingenberg – Schloemer’s girlfriend – riding Gunner Special Twist (Gunners Special Nite x Miss Boo Twist), a 5-year-old mare nominated by Teresa Wynn and owned by Angela Olson. “So much has happened in such a short amount of time! We moved from Washington to Arizona, I qualified to represent Team USA at the FEI World Reining Championships which will be held in Switzerland this coming August, and now this,” said an enthused Kari, also an assistant trainer for Arno Honstetter. “This is the first time I actually made the Derby finals, and riding against these incredible horses and riders here has been awesome.” The pair scored a 214.5 for the win.
Prime Time Open

Two riders tied to win the Prime Time open Derby championship with a 220: Jamie Bissell and Todd Sommers. Bissell rode Who Dat Hot Chic (Wimpys Little Step x Smart Chic Aloha), a 6-year-old mare owned by Lisa Bissell and nominated by Labourdette Ranch LLC. Sommers rode Sparkin Whiz It (Who Whiz It x Sparin Personality), a 4-year-old stallion owned by Stephany S. Monteleone and nominated by Craig Schmersal. The two NRHA Professionals – whose friendship dates back to the "pleasure horse days," as they both stated – decided not to run-off for the title.

The Prime Time open division is open to riders age 50 or older, as of January 1, entered in the Levels 1, 2 or 3. Winners are determined by the go round score, using a handicap system.

William Rhoads and Mega Maggie Mae are NRHA Non-Pro Derby Champions

2016 NRHA Derby Non Pro Champions William Rhoads and Mega Maggie MaeThe non-pro Derby champions were crowned following an exciting finals. Riders and fans were on the edge of their seats until the very end, and one of the riders who had to wait was Dr. William ‘Bill’ Rhoads. Draw 14 in the second section, aboard his Mega Maggie Mae, he had scored a 219. It wasn’t until the very end before he could celebrate their win.

“It was nerve racking. I was reading an e-book, trying not to think about what was happening in the show pen. I did have some emotional break downs but I made it,” said Rhoads, who also tied to win the Level 4 qualifier. “I still don’t believe this is happening. It’s surreal. I was a nobody with just a little over $5,000 in LTE last year, until I rode ‘Mae.’”

‘Mae’ is his 4-year-old mare by Magnum Chic Dream and out of Cinco De Mega, bred and nominated by Martin Bonneson. Last year, the duo claimed the NRHA Futurity Level 4 non-pro reserve championship and swept the Levels 3, 2 and 1. Today, the duo won the $80,000-added NRHA Derby Level 4 non-pro division, adding $18,932.15 to their earnings. Rhoads came to Oklahoma City with $102,883.22 LTE. Mega Maggie Mae, who the Texan-based veterinarian purchased as a yearling, has won $83,825.37 in NRHA competition.

In a tie for the reserve co-championship was Lyndsey Jordan riding her 6-year-old stallion, Made By Magnum (Magnum Chic Dream x Ready Make Cowboy), who she nominated; and the 2015 Derby Level 4 non-pro champions, Cade McCutcheon and Custom Made Gun (Gunner x Custom Made Dunit), owned, bred and nominated by McQuay Stables LLC. Each earned a score of 218.5.

Young Cade McCutcheon and the 5-year-old stallion also earned the win in the youth non-pro division where Gina Schumacher, at the reins of Judys A Little Moody (Wimpys Little Step x Smart Connection), a 4-year-old mare owned by XCS Ranch and nominated by Sergio Elia, took reserve honors.

Level 3

2016 NRHA Derby Level 3 Champion Frederick Christen and Msdreamy

With a score of 217, Frederick Christen guided his Msdreamy (Magnum Chic Dream x A Gal With A Gun) – a NRHA Sire & Dam offspring bred by Jana Simons – to the championships in three divisions: the $60,000-added Level 3, the $5,000-added Prime Time and the Jackpot Masters non-pro divisions.

“Today was the fourth time I’ve shown this phenomenal mare,” said Christen about his 6-year-old mare, whom he rode to win the 2016 NRBC Level 4 non-pro reserve championship as well as NRBC Level 3 non-pro and Prime Time championships. “I tried to follow my trainer, Dan Huss’s, advice to ‘stay out of her way and stay light.’ In the qualifying go round I did. Today, I could have done much better in my approaches.” Plans for the athletic 6-year-old mare are to put two more runs on her at the Reining By the Bay and at the High Roller Classic before retiring her.

Christy Brasier and her Chics Want My Number (Wimpys Little Step x Dixie Chic Olena), a 5-year-old gelding bred and nominated by Green Valley Ranch, scored a 216 for the reserve champion title. 

Level 2

2016 NRHA Derby Level 2 Champions Shaunda Rai Ruckman and Valentino TagLucky draw 13 in the first section of the non-pro finals was Valentino Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Kachina Oak Olena) and owner Shaunda Rai Ruckman. After posting a 216.5, not only did the Scottsdale, Arizona non-pro rider have to wait until the first section was over, whether or not she would earn the championship was determined when only two riders were left to go in the second section, 57 entries later! “It feels amazing to finally get it right in the pen and know that he’s the good horse that we knew he was,” said Ruckman about the 6-year-old gelding, bred and nominated by Lance Griffin, with LTE $184,482.85.

Chics Dream (Magnum Chic Dream x First Ex Flame), owned and ridden by Morris Kulmer, bred by Nancy Wilkerson, and nominated by Stanley and Susan Scott LLC, scored a 214.5 for the Level 2 and Level 1 non-pro reserve championships.

Level 1

2016 NRHA Derby Level 1 Champions Kimberly French Horner and Dreamin RufKimberly French Horner, riding her horse Dreamin Ruf (Magnum Chic Dream x Lil Ruf Jessie), a 4-year-old gelding nominated by Casey Hinton with $14,484.69 LTE, scored a 216 to capture the Level 1 non-pro champion title. “I wasn’t expecting this win, even though I did have more confidence going in today. My horse was so good, he is so true, so honest. And, if I do my job well, we do well together,” said an enthused Kimberly who has been riding with Casey Hinton for the past 10 years and gives credit to him for her win. 

NRHA Markel Futurity Consignments and Graduates

These past NRHA Markel Futurity Sale consignments and graduates made the 2016 NRHA open Derby finals: Legend Slides Wright, Whiz A Pretty Spook, Dun Lost My Mercedes, ARC Gunnabeabigstar, Not Ruf At All, FM Shine N Tag Chex, Shine N Spook and Xtra Voodoo Doc.

2016 NRHA Derby Numbers

Open Derby Entries:

Level 4: 233

Level 3: 189

Level 2: 125

Level 1: 77

For all Derby and ancillary results, visit

NRHA Derby Show Supporters

The NRHA would like to thank the following corporate partners and event sponsors for their support: Adequan®, Anderson Bean, Rios of Mercedes, Bluebonnet Feeds, Cardinal Reining Horses, Cruel Girl, Classic Equine, Downunder Horsemanship, John Deere, Kiser Arena Specialists, Lucas Oil & Protect the Harvest, Markel Insurance, Merial, Montana Silversmiths, OKC Convention and Visitors Bureau, Platinum Performance, Quarter Horse News, Santa Hill Ranch, Silver Spurs Equine, Silver Spurs Saddles, SmartPak, Trailguard, Xtra Quarter Horses.

In addition, NRHA thanks NRHA Derby Event Sponsors: Twin Cities South Trailers, Sandbur Productions, Scott Cleaners, Shorty’s Caboy Hattery, Not Ruf At All, Bob Moore Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Elite Stall Mat Rentals, Equine Oasis, Continental Saddlery, Star Spangled Whiz, Story Book Stables and Sundowner Trailers.

Founded in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is a nonprofit association dedicated to promoting and encouraging the development of and public interest in the sport of reining. The focus is on developing and maintaining suitable standards of performance and judging and in providing a fun filled, family-oriented atmosphere. The NRHA would like to continue the celebration of our 50th anniversary with our corporate partners, members and supporters for making this association a true success.