NRCHA Celebration of Champions

Nabisco Roan closes out his career with a win as more champions are crowned at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Jake Telford and Nabisco Roan win their last competition together for Holy Cow Performance Horses during the NRCHA Celebration of Champions in Fort Worth, Texas

In their last competition together, Nabisco Roan and Jake Telford win the open bridle competition for Holy Cow Performance Horses during the NRCHA Celebration of Champions in Fort Worth, Texas.



With one last victory, Nabisco Roan is going out on top.

The two-time AQHA world champion picked up another title February 19, this time the open bridle championship at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions in Fort Worth, Texas, with his longtime trainer, Jake Telford, in the saddle.

“He’s getting harder to keep sound,” Jake said. “He’s got some age on him and I was really happy with his rein work here today. He tried super-hard. He was just gritty-tough and got down the fence.”

Jake has trained “Triscuit” since the stallion was 3.

“We’ve had a lot of miles together,” Jake said. “This is kind of bittersweet, I guess. It’s probably his last run. It makes me really happy to see him go out on a high note.”

Nabisco Roan is a 2006 red roan stallion by Boonlight Dancer and out of Crackin by Smart Little Lena. He was bred by Polo Ranch of Marietta, Oklahoma, and is owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses of Weatherford, Texas.

"I can never thank Nancy Crawford-Hall (of Holy Cow) enough," Telford said. "She took a chance on me when I wasn't really well known, and she raised my training to the level that it is now. She provided me with some horses that just made a world of difference.”

In 2012 and 2013, Nabisco Roan was reserve world champion in senior working cow horse at the AQHA World Championship Show. He was fifth in 2014.

Nabisco Roan has earned more than $89,500 in NRCHA competition, and Jake is already riding some of his offspring, including a 3-year-old pointed toward the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in September.

Open Hackamore

It all happened fast for Kelby Phillips and Hickory Holly Time.

Dean Tuftin of DT Horses in Bend, Oregon, bought Hickory Holly Time recently and asked Kelby to show the horse in Fort Worth.

“I didn’t even realize (the horse) was qualified (to compete here),” Kelby said. “I didn’t take him to any hackamore shows.”

Kelby and Hickory Holly Time were fourth at the World Show in junior working cow horse, which qualified them for the NRCHA show and the win in open hackamore.

“As soon as I got him back, he was good,” Kelby said. “The first go-round he was great, really solid in the reining. I didn’t school him much last night. Today, as soon as I walked in, he was on. It’s so easy for him. I felt like I could ask him for as much as I wanted to and he was going to be good.”

Hickory Holly Time is a 2010 red roan stallion by One Time Pepto and out of Hickorys Holly Cee by Doc’s Hickory. He was bred by Arcese Quarter Horses of Weatherford, Texas.

“He’s always going to stop,” Kelby said. “He’s one of the biggest stopping horses I’ve seen. As long as I do my job and run him down, I know he’s going to stop.”

Non-Pro Bridle

Working first in the draw, Kassi Ryff of Westcliff, Colorado, stepped up to win the non-pro bridle championship with Chico Flo.

“I have a great horse and I had nothing to lose, so I laid it all out there and it worked,” she said. “I got lucky. My horse gave me everything he had.”

Chico Flo is a 2006 bay gelding by Chic Please and out of Scarlet Flo by Mr Peponita Flo. He was bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder Wagonhound Land & Livestock of Douglas, Wyoming. Kassi bought him four years ago.

Kassi had a rough road to get to the title. In 2015, Kassi and “Howard” fell during the non-pro bridle finals. This year, just before leaving snowy Colorado for Texas, Kassi had an accident that totaled her truck and trailer. She thanked her friends for helping her get to the top in Fort Worth.

“I need them all,” she said, especially her husband, Jim, at home with their two daughters, and trainer Don Murphy, who coaches Kassi.

She also thanked Howard.

“No matter what’s going, you just throw your hand forward and he’s going to get there,” she said. “My little girls call him Superhero.”