It was a full day of big classes, bigger runs and lots of titles at stake on Thursday, August 29 in both the Ford Truck and Mustang Arenas at the 10th Annual Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic. Tulsa’s Expo Square was bustling with activity and the action began at 8 am in the Mustang Arena with the Rookie Level I and II, run concurrently with the Prime Time Rookie.
Michelle Ratliff swept the Rookie Level I and II, taking top honors in both with a score of 141.5 on BOS Peppy And Smart. Michelle, of Overland Park, Kansas purchased her horse at the NRHA Derby in 2012 – and that’s when she started her reining career. Previously showing in pleasure classes, she loves the switch to reining and rides with Fred Berschauer. She’s been competitive in Rookie competition and is in the running for several year-end awards.
Taking Reserve honors in both classes was Tori Cartillar, scoring 141 on Gimme Major Bucks owned by Djuana Cartillar of Wynne, Arizona.
The Prime Time Rookie winner was Cherie Bugg of Newalla, Oklahoma with a score of 139 on A Girls Best Friend. She scored 139 and that score and the win pushed her out of the rookie. “I think I was the oldest that had been in the rookie the longest,” she laughed. The young 65-year-old rides with Jarvis Anderson.
In the Ford Truck Arena, the show started at 9 with the $1,000 Open, Intermediate and Limited Open and Rookie Professional. After 40 horses competed, the top slot in the Open had been claimed by Rebecca Adkins on Fm Master Wimpy, owned by John Smith, Jr. of Catlettsburg, Kentucky for a score of 214.5. She’s ridden him since he was a 2-year-old and the good gelding has been an NRBC Open Finalist and won the Level 2 and 3 at the 2012 Carolina Classic. Adkins will ride Fm Master Wimpy in the Mister Nicadual Derby on Sunday, then it’s off to the Tradition Futurity for the Affiliate finals and, in Rebecca’s words, “hopefully on to Oklahoma City!”
Reserve honors went to Jordan Larson with a 213.5 on Steppin On Sparks owned by HDC Quarter Horses of Coral Gables, Florida.
In the Intermediate Open, Andrew Fox rode Darling 888 Ranch’s Janie Stash The Cash to a 211 marking, good for the win. He edged Reserve Champion Abigayle Mixon on Julgun by a half point. Julgun is owned by the Sather Family Partnership of Manson, Washington.
The Limited Open Championship went to Susan Tullock on A Little Jacked Up. She scored 208 on the horse, owned by William Wright of Louisburg, Kansas. The Reserve Title went to Winona Walker on One Smart Request with a score of 206.5 for owner Julia Carberry.
Rookie Professional honors went to Josh Crawley on Nancy Murfin-Moxley’s Whata Chic Magnet, with the reserve title going to Olivia Kopp riding SnS Uvalde King owned by Lyle Lovett of Spring, Texas.
Carlos Deleu won both the Novice Horse Open Level I and Level 2 aboard Custom Whiz Kid. Deleu marked a score of 145 on the good 5-year-old owned by David & Joy Buck of Conroe, Texas.
Second in the Level I was Gabe Hutchins on Custom Tag owned by Darling 888 Ranch of Princeton, Kentucky. In the Level 2 the reserve title went to Steve Archer on Bling Bling Chic, owned by his wife Andrea.
In the Novice Horse Open Affiliate Finals, the Championship went to Sterling Slemp for a score of 139 on Whiz Chic Cheri, owned by Leonard and Sandy St. John of Charleston, Missouri. Sterling got the mare last fall and the 5-year-old is actually doing reining this year while being trained to begin showing in the cow horse events next year. Sterling noted, “She’s got a really good turnaround – a big old spin – she’s a fun horse to show.”
There was a tie for second between Darcy Welsh of Rogersville, Missouri on her own JK Coppers Gold and J.D. Roberson on Little Red Rawheidi owned by Brett Kuhns.
With 52 horses in the class, the $1000 Non Pro, Intermediate, Limited and Prime Time Non Pro didn’t conclude until nearly 8 pm. But the class brought shining moments – and shining shoes!
James Phillips rode the good horse, Shining Shoes, to a score of 219 to win the Non Pro. The 18-year-old gelding was a reined cow horse in his first career, then had been standing at Black Rock Ranch. When Phillips bought him in 2010, the stallion became a gelding, and the gelding got a new career as a reiner.
It’s been a great partnership, even though the horse is three years older than his rider. Together they just won the American Quarter Horse Association Youth Reining World Championship and this marks the fourth time they have won at Tulsa. Phillips, a high school freshman from Hartshorne, Oklahoma, rides with Pete Kyle.
The reserve Non Pro title went to Kaylan Marks, who also won both the Intermediate Non Pro and Limited Non Pro on Tagged My Chic with a score of 214.5. Kaylan, who has shown reiners for almost three years, is a convert from western riding and horsemanship competition who now concentrates on reining.
Marks has had the mare for a year and has enjoyed consistent success with the big-spinning mare. She won the Youth 14-18 class at the 2013 NRHA Derby and rides with the Sliding K Ranch trainers, Kim Ferguson and Kinzey Donnelly.
Just behind Marks in the Intermediate Non Pro was Dave Silva of Pilot Point, Texas on Showdownintinseltown, with a score of 211. Finishing behind Marks in the Limited Non Pro was Rita Harris of Forrest City, Arkansas on Vintage Sidekick with a score of 213.5.
In the Prime Time Non Pro class, Gary Sanders and One Dun The Sun bested the field, scoring 210 for the win. Sanders has been riding the good gelding for two and a half years and has won a Buckskin World Championship on the horse he describes as “a great stopper with the best mind in the world.” The Southeast Missouri farmer is planning to just continue showing the horse he described simply as “a gift from God.”
Cheryl Lauder of Leedey, Oklahoma, finished second in the Prime Time on her horse, Who Whiz Smartin Off with a score of 209.