The richest reining show of the year is taking place right now in Oklahoma City, where more than 1,000 entries compete for over $900K in payouts.
With the promise of $60,000 in cash to the winning horse alone of the NRHA Derby Open, entries have come from near and far, flocking to Oklahoma City this week for the richest reining show of the year. A total of $961,000 is available to the top finishers of the Derby and numerous ancillary classes, and with over a thousand entries this year is the biggest Derby yet. 45 states and 21 countries are represented.
Currently riding high at the top of the Level 4 Derby Open first go is Casey Deary, an NRHA Professional, riding the Arcese Quarter Horses USA-owned mare Americasnextgunmodel to a score of 227. This mare has racked up over $271,000 in earnings so far including winning the 2012 NRHA Futurity and making a strong showing in last year’s Derby Open. Also laying down top scores, Shawn Flarida and Andrea Fappani are making statements with a 225 on Yankee Gun and a 226.5 on Mr Electric Spark, respectively.
Other key Derby events include the collegiate championship, which pits top riders from the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) against star college riders representing the NRHA. A high school championship class follows a similar format, taking the top four finishers from the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) open reining and facing them off against four youth riders from the NRHA. Both of these events will take place Saturday morning. The IEA western national championships are taking places simultaneously with the Derby, offering a great opportunity for these high school students to watch some truly great runs at the top of the sport.
The Level 4 finals will take place Saturday evening. Watch the live stream of the entire show at http://www.nrhaderby.com/livec.php.
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