Past CD Survivor Open Bridle Spectacular Winners
2015 Winner– CD Dee Vee Dee (CD Lights x Shiney Tari x Shining Spark), owned and ridden by Jay McLaughlin.
Jay McLaughlin made the “number one” sign as he circled his cow, because “I wanted everybody to know he was number one. That’s how I feel about him.”
The veteran superstars of the reined cow horse world, the bridle horses, took center stage Friday, June 19 at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Jack and Phoebe Cooke Memorial Derby in Paso Robles, California, for the $50,000-added CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular, sponsored by Holy Cow Performance Horses.
It was a night of jaw-dropping scores across all three phases of competition as the formidable field of 19 horses gave it their all in herd work, rein work and cow work. Million Dollar Riders, World’s Greatest Horseman Champions and NRCHA Hall of Fame Horsemen all were represented, and brought the crowd to their feet more than once throughout the evening.
In the final reckoning, CD Dee Vee Dee (CD Lights x Shiney Tari x Shining Spark), a 2005 gelding shown by Jay McLaughlin and owned by Jay and his wife, Wendy, claimed the $25,500 Championship check.
It was the third consecutive NRCHA Premier Event Open Bridle Spectacular Championship this year for McLaughlin and CD Dee Vee Dee. They won the same titles at the NRCHA Stakes and the NRCHA Hackamore Classic.
“He paid for himself in three horse shows,” McLaughlin said.
Although CD Dee Vee Dee is one of the best Open Bridle horses in the business, he is technically a kid’s horse; the McLaughlins purchased him for their son, Cutter, to show. McLaughlin borrows his son’s ride for the Open classes, hoping to earn enough to cover Cutter’s show expenses – something he’s certainly done this season.
“The only reason I show him at these shows is to have an excuse for Cutter to bring him. We’ve had some luck. We’re not trying to win every one of them, but we get here, ride him around, he feels good, so – okay, let’s go! I’m just tickled pink. Cutter’s won two world titles on him and that’s fine by me. When we haul him around, it’s for him to show, not for me to show. He loves this horse,” McLaughlin said.
“The herd work was the same as he is everywhere. He has been a 73 in the herd every time we’ve shown this year. He’s not like your typical cuter, but you can’t kick him by a cow, so you’r pretty safe that way. I always try to think about Cutter showing him next. He has the AQHA Youth World coming up, and so I didn’t mash the gas in the reining. I was trying to be a little conservative. I didn’t want to get the motor running too much, because we only have a month to fix it. In the fence work, I blew my left stirrup on the first turn. The second turn was way off the fence, so I told him I’d look for my stirrup if he’d turn it,” McLaughlin said, smiling.
It took a staggering 666.5 composite (219 herd/220.5 rein/227 cow) for CD Dee Vee Dee to win the CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular – with just a half-point separating him from the Reserve Champion, PRF Spoonful Of Gold (Hes A Peptospoonful x Sons Miss Sprat x Sons Rushette), shown by NRCHA Million Dollar Rider Corey Cushing for owner Cathy Corrigan Frank. Besides the hefty paycheck, CD Dee Vee Dee and McLaughlin will have their names inscribed on the CD Survivor Memorial Trophy, which resides at Holy Cow Performance Horses. McLaughlin also won a CR Morrison Trophy, a Gist buckle and a gift certificate from San Juan Ranch.
McLaughlin thanked Holy Cow Performance Horses for establishing the memorial class, which paid a rich $85,000 total purse.
“If it wasn’t for Nancy Crawford-Hall and her husband, Phil, we wouldn’t have a bridle spectacular like this. Everyone wants to build a great bridle horse. It’s what we all strive for,” he said.
2014 Winner– Dom Dualuise (Dual Rey x Smart Little XX x Smart Little Lena), ridden and trained by Phillip Ralls, Owned by Chris Larson.
In true reined cow horse fashion, the CD
Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular was decided in an epic fence work
battle to the finish Friday, June 13, at the National Reined Cow Horse
Association Derby in Paso Robles, Calif.
Riding Dom Dualuise (Dual Rey x Smart Little XX x Smart Little Lena), a 2007 gelding he has trained and shown from the beginning, Phillip Ralls, Paso Robles, Calif., earned the Championship in the herd work, rein work and cow work triathlon. The pair worked their way to a composite 663.5 (217.5 herd/218 rein/228 cow) to win the $14,325 paycheck. Dom Dualuise’s name will also be inscribed on the CD Survivor Memorial Trophy, which resides with the event sponsor, Holy Cow Performance Horses. Dom Dualuise, who is owned by Chris Larson, also earned a C.R. Morrison Trophy and Gist buckle sponsored by Holy Cow; a gift certificate from Platinum Performance; and a gift certificate and cooler from San Juan Ranch/Santa Cruz Animal Health.
Dom Dualuise and another Dual Rey-sired horse, Jans Rey Cuatro, shown by Nicolas Barthelemy for owner Sheri Jamieson, were deadlocked with identical scores going into the fence work. Ralls knew it would take guts and a little luck to tip the Championship in his favor.
“It feels like it’s a World Series every time you go to one of these deals, and to pull it off, and come out on top with all the great riders and great horses – it’s amazing,” Ralls said. “Nicolas was right before me in the fence work, and we were tied going into it. He marked a 224.5, and I knew I was going to have to take some chances if I was going to pull it off. Luckily, I drew the right type of cow that ran hard enough and challenged me hard enough. He boxed really good, he had a lot of feel, and I went with him fairly early. He ran hard, and we had a huge first turn. The cow jumped up in my lap and my horse knocked him back in position and handled it.”
Barthelemy and Jans Rey Cuatro took home the $11,938 Reserve Championship check, after earning the admiration of Ralls and the entire crowd at the Paso Robles Event Center for their brilliant performance. They won the herd work with a 221, and then marked a 214.5 in the rein work and a 224.5 in the cow work to earn a 660 composite.
“These bridle horse events have the cream of the crop. The best horses in the business are there and you never quit until it’s over,” Ralls said.
He thanked sponsor Holy Cow Performance Horses, whose owner, Nancy Crawford-Hall, established the CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular to honor her late, beloved stallion CD Survivor (CD Olena x Have A Lil Lena x Peppy San Badger). Ralls appreciated his herd help: Corey Cushing, Todd Bergen, Mark Luis and Boyd Rice. He also thanked Dom Dualuise’s owner, Chris Larson, along with his sponsors, for their support.
Another highlight of the CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular was the heroic high-scoring cow work by Smooth N Cash (Smooth As A Cat x Dox Gavacash x Miss N Cash), shown by Jake Gorrell for owner Roloff Ranch. They earned a nearly-unheard-of 231 in the cow work on their way to a 648 composite.
Winner– Smart Luck (Very Smart Remedy x Gunna Be Lucky x Gunna Smoke) –
shown by Todd Bergen/owned by Cable Creek Ranch
Superior cow horses were on display at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Jack and Phoebe Cooke Memorial Derby in Paso Robles, Calif., Friday, June 14. The CD Survivor Open Bridle Spectacular, a $50,000-added event sponsored by Holy Cow Performance Horses, brought a thrilling nighttime show of bridle horse herd work, rein work and cow work to the spacious outdoor arena at the Paso Robles Event Center.
Eagle Point, Ore., professional Todd Bergen guided Smart Luck (Very Smart Remedy x Gunna Be Lucky x Gunna Smoke), owned by Cable Creek Ranch, to an untouchable 665.5 composite score (224 herd/224.5 rein/217 cow), winning the $28,500 championship check.
It was the second consecutive time for the 7-year-old stallion and Bergen to win the CD Survivor Bridle Spectacular Championship; they also claimed the title last year, in Smart Luck's first time to show down the fence in the bridle. He is currently undefeated in his bridle career. He has shown three times in NRCHA bridle events and won three championships, adding $65,850 to his lifetime earnings, which now surpass the $228,000 mark in cow horse and reining money.
"He's a once in a lifetime horse, that one right there. And I think he's getting better," Bergen said.
Bergen has trained and shown Smart Luck throughout his career, and said he cannot remember another time when the stallion performed better than he did in Paso Robles.
"Those three runs were maybe three of the best I've ever had on him. The rein work, as much as he's been shown, he was as pure and honest as could be. The herd work, he got tested pretty hard and just tried so hard. The fence work, we were fixing to be a huge score, and then that cow just cut in front of me. I was thrilled with him," Bergen said.
The CD Survivor Open Bridle Spectacular was established to honor the memory of Holy Cow Performance Horses' late stallion, CD Survivor.
Sired by CD Olena and out of the Peppy San Badger mare, Hav A Lil Lena, CD Survivor brought grit, talent and beauty to the reined cow horse arena. To Holy Cow Performance Horses' owner, Nancy Crawford-Hall, he epitomized the ideal bridle horse.
Unfortunately, CD Survivor's life was cut short in 2009. In his memory, Crawford-Hall established the $50,000 added Open Bridle Spectacular at the NRCHA Derby. The class has become the NRCHA's richest event for bridle horses. In addition to the lucrative payout, the champion's name is engraved on the CD Survivor Memorial Trophy that resides at Holy Cow Performance Horses.
"Nancy puts $50,000 up to this event and supports the NRCHA like nobody else. To have events like this, because of people like her, is what keeps this business going," Bergen said. "To have these purses for the older horses is great. It's the best thing we've got going right now. That just fuels the whole industry, from the time we get these horses as 2-year-olds. It all trickles down. I think I speak for everybody showing - we all know that without her support, it would be just another horse show. I know everybody thanks her a lot, but it's never too much."
Smart Luck (Very Smart Remedy x Gunna Be Lucky x Gunna Smoke) – shown by
Todd Bergen/owned by Cable Creek Ranch
The brightest stars of the reined cow horse world, the bridle horses, dazzled a packed house at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby in Paso Robles, Calif., tonight as they competed for their share of the enticing $50,000-added Holy Cow Performance Horses Open Bridle Spectacular purse, and the right to add their name to the CD Survivor Memorial Trophy.
Two dozen of the very best equine and human athletes in the sport laid it all on the line in three grueling runs - herd work, reined work and fence work. In the final reckoning, the horse with the best score was one of the least experienced in bridle horse competition: Smart Luck, a 6-year-old stallion shown by NRCHA Million-Dollar Rider and two-time Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion Todd Bergen, Eagle Point, Ore.
"Man - what a class!" an elated Bergen said, following the win. Smart Luck scored a total 665.5 on three events to earn a jaw-dropping $30,800. The win was even more meaningful because it was the past NRCHA Stakes and NRCHA Derby Champion horse's very first time to compete in a cow horse event in the bridle, and he was up against some veteran champions.
Smart Luck, who is sired by Very Smart Remedy and out of the mare Gunna Be Lucky by Gunna Smoke, dominated the first two events. He won the herd work with a 224 and then marking the high score in the reined work round, a 223.5.
"The herd work and the reined work did not concern me because I've worked him one-handed at home a lot, and shown him at the big reinings one-handed, and taken him to cuttings before. But the fence work - anybody who's shown down the fence will tell you any time you go in there, something new happens," Bergen said. "Literally, that was my sixth trip down the fence in romal reins, and I'd never ever showed him in the bridle down the fence before."
His only regret was that Smart Luck's owner, Cindy Warn of Cable Creek Ranch, could not be there to see her horse compete.
"Her mom's very, very ill and in the hospital so she's having to deal with that. I was happy to be able to give her some good news," he said.
Bergen thanked his family, his sponsors and Phil and Nancy Crawford-Hall of Holy Cow Performance Horses, who sponsored the Open Bridle Spectacular.
"That's what makes this industry keep going, is people like them. Phil and Nancy are longtime supporters of the NRCHA, and to have something like this, for these older horses, is awesome," he said.
Olena Oak (Smart Chic Olena x Fritzs Oak E Doakie x Doc’s Oak) – Shown by
Ron Emmons/owned by Nichole Scott & LaDona Emmons
Bridle Spectaculars at National Reined Cow Horse Association Premier Events always fulfill the promise of great cow horse action. That’s because they feature the venerable veterans of the industry – the ones who have reached the highest level of training.
These great equine athletes were showcased at the NRCHA Derby during the $50,000 Added Holy Cow Performance Horses Open Bridle Spectacular, featuring the CD Survival Memorial Perpetual trophy.
The late CD Survivor epitomized cow horse greatness, as does the 2011 Open Bridle Spectacular Champion – Olena Oak. Olena Oak was ridden by his long-time trainer Ron Emmons.
The Championship netted a check for $28,500 and a CR Morrison trophy. Emmons and Olena Oak will also have their names added to the CD Survivor Memorial perpetual trophy, which resides at Holy Cow Performance Horses.
Emmons piloted “Ernie” to a 216.5 in the herd work. “He was really good, and put me in a spot that I knew we could go on with,” he said. “He was a little fresh in the rein work tonight, but my wife LaDona told me to ride in and be quiet like a practice run, and he was really good. We drew a difficult cow. We got him boxed well, but he didn’t want to run out of the corner, and then he got to running hard. We got a good first turn, had an open-field turn for the second turn, and circled up. Ernie was right on that cow’s ears the whole way.”
Olena Oak is a back-to-back American Quarter Horse Association Working Cow Horse World Champion. His other laurels include two NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman Championships and two Magnificent 7 titles.
Shine Smartly (Shining Spark x Smartly Dressed x Smart Little Lena) – Shown
by Shawn Hays/owned by Greeman & Hays
Highlighted by a blazing 228 fence work score, Shawn Hays, Nocona, Texas, rode Shine Smartly (Shining Spark x Smartly Dressed x Smart Little Lena) to the first annual Holy Cow $50,000 Open Bridle Spectacular Championship. The herd, rein and fence work competition wrapped up Saturday, June 19, in conjunction with the NRCHA Derby in Paso Robles, Calif. Hays bested a field of 23 entries for the $30,100 Championship check.
When Hays and Shine Smartly stepped into the arena for the cow work, they needed a huge run – at least a 226 – to move ahead of the leaders, and eventual Reserve Champions, Jon Roeser and Mister Smart Remedy (Mister Dual Pep x Ima Smart Remedy), who had a 655.5 composite.
“I knew it had to be really big. I wanted to stay on the end long enough to take some air out of the cow – and it was a tricky cow to read. I had a hard time getting him set up and I thought I messed a good cow up,” Hays said. “It was a great cow and was all I could ask for. That’s how you mark big scores – with a great cow and a great horse.”
The 228 fence work elevated Hays and Shine Smartly to a total score of 658. Earlier in the week, the pair earned a 212 in the herd work and posted a solid 218 down the fence.
The event was sponsored by Nancy Crawford-Hall, owner of Holy Cow Performance Horses, Santa Ynez, Calif. She established the bridle spectacular – now the richest NRCHA-produced event of its kind – in memory of her beloved stallion, CD Survivor (CD Olena x Have A Lil Lena x Peppy San Badger). “Clark,” an NRCHA Supreme Reined Cow Horse, was injured in an accident and euthanized last May. Besides the significant paycheck, the name of each Holy Cow Open Bridle Spectacular Champion will be engraved on the CD Survivor Memorial Trophy, a scaled-down replica of the famous “Great Western Tradition” bronze by Doug Israelsen, to be permanently displayed at Holy Cow Performance Horses.
Shine Smartly, nicknamed “Flower,” is owned by Hays’ wife, Tammy Jo, and her father, Walter Greeman. The 1999 mare had been on broodmare leave since 2007, after Hays rode her to a World’s Greatest Horseman Reserve finish.