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NRCHA Eastern Derby


Article & photos by Nancy Brannon

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The National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) hosted its first premier event east of the Mississippi River: NRCHA Eastern Derby July 14-19, 2020 at the Show Place Arena in Cordova, Tenn. The Dom Conicelli Memorial Eastern Derby promised added money of $64,450 to be dispersed among a Pre Futurity, Derby, two full slates of horse show classes and several spectaculars. Judges were Smoky Pritchett and Ricky Nicolazzi. Title sponsor for the show was MARS Equestrian™. Photos and videos of the action were taken by Primo Morales.

 “This show is huge!” said Kelley Hartranft, show manager. “We’re up 150% from last year, with 265 horses.” The show is usually held at the Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, TN, but that venue is closed until July 31 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is NRCHA’s second show since the lockdown was lifted. The first Derby was in Arizona in June. “This facility has been great!” Hartranft said.

“When the NRCHA took over the show, it was renamed the Eastern Derby. This is our first year of running it and it is now one of our premier events,” she explained. “The Open Derby is our big money class with $30,000 added and payout across all divisions over $107,000.”

Competitors and owners came from 25 states to this event: Florida, Colorado, Ohio, NY, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, California, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Wisconsin.

Classes started on Wednesday, July 15 with LAE (limited age events) and HS (horse show) Herd Work, and later included AQHA Boxing and the Open Two Rein Spectacular. Friday continued with LAE and HS #1 Rein Work, along with AQHA Boxing. Saturday’s classes featured All Open Derby Divisions with Hackamore and Bridle divisions, along with Youth Fence and AQHA Fence classes. Sunday July 19 wrapped up the show with HS #2Cow Work, Open Bridle, Hackamore, Youth classes, and Boxing.

LAE events are based on the horse: the derby is open to 4-5 year-olds in a hackamore or snaffle bit. Non Pro Ltd. also includes 6-year-olds. The Futurity is for 3-year-olds only in a snaffle. HS is based on equipment, i.e., bridle, hackamore, 2 rein. Ltd. Boxing is based on age-appropriate head gear for the horse.

Horse showing during the pandemic

The event was subject to all federal, state, and local guidelines. Face coverings were required to enter any building, but not while in the arena showing. Agricenter International required a COVID-19 and general Release of Liability from all attendees.

NRCHA made available to competitors an array of items to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus: hand sanitizer, 3-layer face masks and custom Nutrena logo masks, digital thermometers, and Chlorox disinfecting wipes. Announcer Corinne Gould reminded the audience over the PA system that face masks were required indoors. Yet nobody (with the exception of two individuals) in the stands was a wearing face mask and, after the announcement, no one made an effort to don a face mask.

Winners at the event:

LAE Open Derby: SCR Crackalackin, ridden by Todd Crawford, owned by Singleton Ranches (440.5), taking home $9,785.

LAE Non Pro Derby: More Metal, owned/ridden by Debbie Crafton (436.5), taking home $2,204.

LAE Non Pro Limited Derby: DCR High As A Cat, owned/ridden by Cheryl Chown (434.0), taking home $1,255.

Horse Show Circuit Champions were:

Open Bridle: Metallic Look, ridden by Russell Dilday, owned by Jim Gauthier (579.5)

Limited Open Bridle: Bourbon N Branch, owned/ridden by Leanne E. Jetton (568.5)

Non Pro Bridle: Booha Boon, owned/ridden by Brent Ratliff (578.0)

Intermediate Non Pro Bridle: The Fresno Fox, owned/ridden by Allysn Light (574.5)

Novice Non Pro Bridle: Smart Lil Brooksinic, owned/ridden by Lynne Faust (569.0)

Open Two Rein: Quails Dun Remedy, ridden by Cody Patterson, owned by Christopher Bethune (560.5)

Non Pro Two Rein: Metallic Dual Pep, ridden by Dakota Cox, owned by Circle C Ranch (580.0)

Non Pro Hackamore: Adrenaline Force, owned/ridden by William Lewis (564.5)

Open Hackamore: Smart With Chicks, ridden by Alex Alves, owned by A&S Performance Horses, LLC (552.5)

Limited Open Hackamore: Smart With Chicks, ridden by Alex Alves, owned by A&S Performance Horses, LLC (552.5)

Youth Cow Horse: Woo Hoo Sue, ridden by Breanne Faris, owned by Jody Faris (576.0)

Youth Limited: Inya Dreams, ridden by Pinkerton Bridges, owned by Jessica Jones (586.5)

Youth Limited 13 & Under: Inya Dreams, ridden by Pinkerton Bridges, owned by Jessica Jones (586.5)

Beginning Fence Work: Oh Cay Meriah, owned/ridden by Monica Duflock (571.5)

Non Pro Limited: Unos Blue Lightening, owned/ridden by Julie Gibbons (572.5)

5K Non Pro Limited: Starlight Driver, owned/ridden by Kelsey Delaplaine (573.0)

1K Non Pro Limited: Starlight Driver, owned/ridden by Kelsey Delaplaine (573.0)

Select Non Pro: Ima Stylish Babe, owned/ridden by Dolores Cain (566.0)

Green Rider: ImaSmart Black Berry, owned/ridden by Stephen Black (542.5)

Find full information about the NRCHA Eastern Derby at:

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