NCHA Summer Spectacular: Open Derby

Homebred cutting horses win first and second at National Cutting Horse Association open derby during the NCHA Summer Spectacular.

Special to The American Quarter Horse Journal

Tarin Rice, left, holds his daughter Charlie as he celebrates his reserve championship with open derby winner Gary Gonsalves at the 2015 NCHA Summer Spectacular. (Credit: Bridget Kirkwood)

Big scores dominated the open derby August 1 at the National Cutting Horse Summer Spectacular when Gary Gonsalves marked a 227 aboard Reyzin The Cash to win $33,383.

Gary’s career in the cutting pen has earned him more than $3.4 million in prize money but this was the 53-year-old’s first win at a Triple Crown event in Fort Worth, Texas. He thinks the win was well worth the wait.

“It felt pretty awesome,” Gary said. “When it’s your time it’s your time; I guess it was our time. We had cows that we obviously liked. We cut two of them, and my last cow was a shape cut - it was a good cow and it finished the run.”

Reyzin The Cash (Dual Rey-Spookys Cash by Miss N Cash) is owned by the breeder Iron Rose Ranch. The Carbondale, Colorado, outfit is headed by Tom Bailey whose focus in on having a handful of top-caliber broodmares. Some of the offspring are sold while the remaining ones are sent to Gary for training. Gary believes that while he has certainly taken other contenders to Fort Worth, that Reyzin The Cash, who went to the derby with earnings of $82,631, is possibly the best.

“He can go run and stop, but he can look good on a softer cow, too. I don’t know if there’s anything that he can’t do. Everything I ask him to do he does. He’s just a good horse; really, he’s a great horse,” Gary said.

Gary showed Reyzin The Cash’s dam Spookys Cash to earnings of $284,313 and sees similarities between mother and son.

“Both of them have huge hearts, and they want to please you. She never, ever tried to pull anything,” Gary said. “She always tried, and she was really cowy and had a big stop, and I think she’s passed that on to this horse.”

The win was a bittersweet one for Gary as his dad Bob, a reined cow horse trainer from California, died during the show.

“I wish he was here to see it. He passed away on the 17th, so it’s been a tough couple of weeks,” Gary said.

Gary was the reserve champion of the 2002 NCHA Open Futurity on Spookys Smarty Pants (Smart Aristocrat-San Starlight by Grays Starlight). Gary credits his success to the good start his father gave him and the support he has had from Tom.

“You dream of having an owner like him. Everybody in this business would love to have a Tom Bailey because he’s done it the right way and he’s been there through the tough times and the wins,” Gary said.

Tarin Rice of Centerville, Texas, picked up $27,831 for being the reserve champion on the Center Ranch’s CR Tuff Lucy (Woody Be Tuff-Lucindas Catolena byHigh Brow Cat). They marked a score of 223.

“That was a very good run,” Tarin said. “The mare was good and strong and confident and let me ride her everywhere she needed to go.”

Tarin’s favorite thing about CR Tuff Lucy is her strength.

“She is so strong that in one stride she can go twice as far as most horses.”

CR Tuff Lucy had prior earnings of $155,434. Tarin was the NCHA Futurity Open co-champion in 2012 on He Bea Cat.