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Celebration of Champions Begins in Fort Worth

Celebration of Champions Begins in Fort Worth

The National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions and DT Horses World's Greatest Horseman got underway Friday, February 9 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Check out the Rundown From Cowtown for a quick preview of what to expect over the next week's worth of exciting, action-packed cow horse competition:

NRCHA Cow Horse Classic Derby Open

First on the schedule in Fort Worth: The NRCHA Cow Horse Classic Derby, a rein work/herd work/cow work triathlon for 4- and 5-year-old horses, shown two-handed in a snaffle bit or a hackamore.

Jumping out to an early lead in the Derby Open rein work was the 2016 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion team of Duals Lucky Charm (Dual Smart Rey x TRr Miss Pepcid Olena x Pepcid) and NRCHA Professional Kelby Phillips, Scottsdale, Arizona. Phillips guided the 2013 gelding to a 149.5 score. Duals Lucky Charm is owned by Mike and Robyne Stewart.

In the Derby Intermediate Open, the high scoring run, a 149, belonged to Bet He Sparks (Bet Hesa Cat x Sparking Train x Shining Spark), shown by California professional Clayton Edsall for owners K & L Phillips, LLC.

The lead in the Limited Open division belongs to The Smokin Fox (Heart Of A Fox x Miss Tibar Pep x Mister Dual Pep), shown and owned by Chase Trahern. They scored a 145.5.

National Reining Horse Association Million Dollar Rider Dell Hendricks, of Tioga, Texas, crossed over into the reined cow horse arena to lead the Derby Level 1 Limited Open aboard Bodees Star (Dual Rey x MH Bodees Starlena x Bodee Boonsmal), owned by Michelle Hanson. The pair scored a 144.

149.5 rein work by Duals Lucky Charm, shown by Kelby Phillips.


NRCHA Cow Horse Classic Derby Non Pro / Amateur / Non Pro Limited

The Derby Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro division leader is Canadian competitor Bart Holowath, who earned a rein work score of 146 aboard Smart Lookin Nurse (WR This Cats Smart x Nurseware x Dual Rey.

In the Novice Non Pro division, Abbie Phillips was tops, guiding Special High Brow (High Brow CD x PG Special Edition x Playgun) to a 145.

The Amateur leader was Kathryn Klesper, who earned a 145.5 aboard Smart Little Pepiroo (Smart Little Pepinic x Taparoo x Gallo Del Cielo).

In the Non Pro Limited division, the top score, a 145, belonged to Garrell Williams and Sparks On The Fence (Smart Boons x Spark Chic Olena x Shining Spark).

High scoring rein work run in the NRCHA Cow Horse Classic Derby Non Pro division by Bart Holowath and Smart Lookin Nurse.


2018 World's Greatest Horseman is the Biggest in NRCHA History!

The NRCHA is proud to announce that the 2018 DT Horses World's Greatest Horseman is the BIGGEST ever! With a total of 50 spectacular bridle horses and elite riders competing in the preliminary round in Fort Worth, Texas, in February, the World's Greatest has never been more competitive or more exciting.

Thank you to presenting sponsor, DT Horses, for supporting this event that is like nothing else in the equine industry. One horse and one rider compete in four grueling events: herd work, rein work, steer-stopping and down the fence.

The preliminary go-round begins Sunday, February 11, with the first of four events, the herd work. See all the action on the LIVE broadcast at!


About the NRCHA Celebration of Champions

The NRCHA Celebration of Champions is three shows rolled into nine days of competition.

Although the calendar says 2018, the World Championship portion of the Celebration of Champions marks the official conclusion of the 2017 show season, by determining World and National Champions in 15 different Open and Non Pro divisions. World Championship qualifiers earned an invitation to compete in Fort Worth by qualifying at NRCHA-approved shows last year. The World Championship contestants will show in a preliminary round, with the top 10 in each division advancing to the clean slate finals for a shot at the title.

Other action at the Celebration of Champions includes the NRCHA Cow Horse Classic Derby for 4- and 5-year-old horses; special National High School Rodeo and Collegiate Invitational cow horse classes; and the crowd-pleasing World's Greatest Horseman, a grueling four-event test of the ultimate cowboy and cow horse, sponsored by NRCHA Corporate Partner DT Horses.

Admission is FREE to the public until the World's Greatest Horseman Finals on Saturday, February 17, when tickets are $20/each for general admission. Kids 10 and under are free.

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