SpectraVET Performance of the Week: Jason Vanlandingham and Not Ruf At All
The richest NRHA Derby in history crowned a new victor on Saturday night in Oklahoma City after an exciting and suspenseful final round.
The audience filling the seats in the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds coliseum on Saturday evening were treated to one heck of a show as the finalists for the Level 4 Open spun and slid to fight for a piece of the over $900,000 in prize money–a record high for the Derby, which is already one of the richest reinings on the NRHA calendar.
The high score was handed from rider to rider as the finals drew on: Tell Edgmon on What A Lucky Hit took an early lead, marking a 244.5 (going on to win the Level 1 Open handily), with Arno Honstetter on Colonels Splashy Gun tying the score a few runs later. Jordan Larson and High Roller Whiz did them all one better with a 224.5, but when Jason Vanlandingham and Not Ruf At All laid down a 229 the coliseum came alive. This score went unbeaten, a full three points higher than the next best, making Vanlandingham and the sorrel stallion the 2014 Level 4 Open Derby champions.
The stallion already had an impressive list of accomplishments, including $225,000 in lifetime earnings as well as a 2013 Futurity championship title. Vanlandingham, an NRHA Professional, has lifetime earnings of just over $800,000. Not Ruf At All brought home a $60,000 check for his owner Vaughn Zimmerman on Saturday night, as well as long list of additional prizes and certificates.
With victories in both the Derby and the Futurity, Not Ruf At All has claimed two out of three victories that make up “reining’s Triple Crown”–if he can pull off a victory in next year’s National Reining Breeder’s Classic, he’ll have captured all three.
Check out video of Vanlandingham’s run from Saturday night:
Level 4 Open Champion: Not Ruf At All / Jason Vanlandingham, rider / Vaughn C Zimmerman, owner / 229.0 from NRHA on Vimeo.
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