The SmartPak Non Pro Derby capped off a great 2014 Tulsa Reining Classic. The 54-entry class featured $25,000 in added money, and but for a lack of years, Jack Medows of Cuba, Missouri, would have swept the Non Pro divisions.
Medows and his horse Spooks Smoken Whiz marked a 221 to win Non Pro levels 2-4 and the Novice Horse Derby, worth $9,101. “When I ran in the gate he sort of leaned a little bit so my confidence wasn’t as high as it should be; but then he stopped really big and it went back up really quick,” Medows said following his win – his first time to show Spooks Smoken Whiz. “I’ve never had a horse that stays the same inside the pen like he is outside. It’s a great confidence builder for the next time I show him.”
Medows purchased Spooks Smoken Whiz, by Wimpys Little Step and out of Please Dont Spook, at the NRHA Derby this year. “I fell in love with him there. My sister is 12 and she’s rode him a little bit and gets along with him great. That’s actually where he’s going after next year,” he said. “She was watching me from home tonight and as soon as I got done I got a phone call from her telling me what I needed to do to fix him for her.”
Medows added, “This was a great debut – it was awesome. I ride with Gabe Hutchins and Gaeton Gauthier, so I thank them.”
Jesse Asmussen and Southside Juice, who won the Tulsa Reining Classic Non Pro Futurity in 2013, made a bid for the Non Pro Level 4 and Novice Horse Non Pro Derby Championships, but fell short by a half-point. Asmussen isn’t leaving Tulsa town empty handed though; along with the $3,500 he won in the Derby, he also took the top spot in the Turnabout Farm Non Pro Futurity on Friday, worth an additional $5,624.
Lisa Bissell and Double My Chics and Julie Ridgeway and Freckles Nu Lil Gun opted to remain Co- Champions of the Prime Time Non Pro after each finished the class with a 216 and took home $511.
Ridgeway, of Loomis, California, has had a banner year at the Tulsa Reining Classic, winning the Affiliate Championship in the Rookie division Saturday. “It’s been a very good show and a lot of fun. The prizes were phenomenal and the staff has done an incredible job. I will definitely be back next year,” she said.
Ridgeway purchased Freckles Nu Lil Gun, by Colonels Lil Gun and out of Nu Bar Freckles, last year. “My trainer Matt Armenta found her for me and I started showing her last October. She’s an awesome mare and I feel very fortunate to have her. I’m very appreciative of Matt for not only helping me with her but also for being so patient.” She added, “I also thank my husband Michael for staying home and watching my children (William and Jessica) as well as all our pets.”
Bissell, of Fort Valley, Georgia, tagged along with her husband Jamie who had three futurity horses to show in Tulsa. Double My Chics, by Dreamin Bout Chics and out of Double My Quixote, was born and raised with the Bissells. “We raised him and actually showed both his sire and dam. Jamie trained him and I’ve shown him,” she explained.
A maneuver had been giving the duo some trouble, but the kinks were worked out during the run on Sunday night. “We’ve been struggling with our right turn-around, but it turned out that I plus-oned it. He’s a very strong stopper but tonight he wasn’t. He had over-reached and cut his heel and it must have scared him because he didn’t stop at all like he’s capable of.” She added, “I was really happy with his spins and circles.”