August 31 isn’t only the last day of the month – it also marked the end of this year’s Tulsa Reining Classic. Two of the three arenas were designated for the South Central Region Affiliate finals and National Reining Horse Association classes.
Gwyn Haskins was entered in the Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro, and Prime Time Non Pro NRHA and Regional Affiliate Finals classes – and won each and every one with a score of 146.5! The Defiance, Missouri, competitor rode her horse Bueno Commander (Commanders Nic x Bueno Glendanic) to the wins.
“I showed him Thursday but had a major bobble and zeroed. He was so good but I forgot how to count. It’s nice to come back and do so well on our last day,” she said. “He was a good boy the whole week.”
Haskins, who rides with Sterling and Heather Slemp, has owned the 7-year-old gelding for over a year. “I keep him at home and go over to ride and get a little help from Sterling. This horse is quite the character – we call him a goofball. He’s just a fun horse to ride,” she said.
Darby Gardner and Tickle My Whizkers (Remin Whiz x Tivito Norma) tied with Roy Pence and Better Not Rest (Custom Crome x Rest Stop) for the Reserve win in the NRHA Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro, and also won the NRHA Limited Non Pro co-Reserve Championship with scores of 143.5. Gardner also finished Reserve in the Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro Affiliate finals, while Pence was the sole reserve winner in the NRHA Non Pro.
Ronald Thompson and Taris Dreamer (Magnum Chic Dream x Taris San Cutter) tied with Gary Sanders and Out Dun The Son (Hesa Sonofa Dunx PW Chicastar) for Reserve in the Non Pro Prime Time Affiliate finals. Gardner, of New Braunfels, Texas, got Tickle My Whizkers during the 2013 Tulsa Reining Classic.
“He’s been really good so far,” the 16-year-old said. “I showed yesterday in the Novice Horse and won second, so it’s been a pretty good week.” Gardner, who rides with Steve Archer, also qualified for the Youth Regional Affiliate Finals.
Pence purchased the veteran show horse Better Not Rest a couple of months ago. “He’s been shown a lot and spent the last five years in Mexico,” Pence said of the 14-year-old gelding. “Prior to that he was with Mark Rafacz, who I ride with. It didn’t go so well when we showed earlier in the week, so it’s good to come back and do well today.”
In the Short Stirrup Class, Reed Harris dominated with a 142 on Solanos Saskadoc (Solanos Peppy San x Lu Ladys Last). “I haven’t had him long. It’s probably only been a year and a half so we’re still getting the hang of each other,” Harris said. “Our run felt good but I was mostly scared until the very end. I was anticipating something bad had happened like I might have rolled back too soon or my back-up wasn’t straight – something like that. I was worried I might have gotten a 60-something.”
The Short Stirrup reserve championship went to June Roberson of Byars, OK, on Traditional Fudge (Steady Tradition x Red Hot Fudge). Roberson also tied for the win in the Short Stirrup class on Saturday.
In the NRHA Youth 14-18, Allison Smith rode Cash For Legend to the win with a score of 145, edging James Michael Phillips and Shining Shoes who scored a 142.5. Smith also won the South Central Region Affiliate Finals 14-18, and once again Phillips finished Reserve.
Cash For Legend had a huge day, winning the Cardinal Reining Horses Derby Open Level 2 Championship as well only an hour before. “He has had a really busy day. We are so proud of him and we love him so much. We are blessed with him,” Smith said.
Cash For Legend is only 120 days out from colic surgery. “I purchased him March 1 and he coliced two weeks later. He’s a miracle horse,” she said. The 17-year-old aspires to attend Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and compete on the equestrian team.
Molly Mitchell and Playgun Chic Olena claimed the top spot of the NRHA 13 & Under with a 145. She also finished reserve on Skeets Forty Five with a 142. “I’ve had him for two years. He’s ten years old and really, really fun to show,” Mitchell said of Playgun Chic Olena. “He was good yesterday but even better today.”
Sidney Purdue and Yes Im A Gunner won the Affiliate 13 & Under with a 141.5. “Gus is the best horse anyone could ever have,” she said following the awards. “I’ve done everything on him – English, trail, jumping, western pleasure, and cutting. He does everything!” The 13-year-old from Granbury, Texas, has owned Yes Im A Gunner for four years. “I’m keeping him. I will never sell him,” she said.
The Affiliate Team Results were tabulated and West Texas Reining Horse Association finished first with 139 points. The Oklahoma Reining Horse Association finished second with 124 points, and the Texas Reining Horse Association came in third with 112 points.