NCHA Announces Winners of 2011 Western National Championships

The National Cutting Horse Association's Western National Championships, presented by the 6666 Ranch, concluded May 8. The Golden Spike Event Center in Ogden, Utah, housed more than 700 entries vying for a pieceThe National Cutting Horse Association's Western National Championships, presented by the 6666 Ranch, concluded May 8. The Golden Spike Event Center in Ogden, Utah, housed more than 700 entries vying for a piece

Story originally posted by Staff

(Fort Worth, TX) The National Cutting Horse Association's Western National Championships, presented by the 6666 Ranch, concluded May 8. The Golden Spike Event Center in Ogden, Utah, housed more than 700 entries vying for a piece of the purse worth approximately $350,000.

Contestants qualified for the Western National Championships by competing in weekend shows across the United States and Canada during 2010. The top ten qualifiers in each of the 12 NCHA classes from each area and each affiliate were eligible to compete.


Dustin Gonnet and CD Graceful Dual, an 8-year-old by CD Olena, marked 219 points to win the Western National Championship for Rod MacDonald, Kamloops, BC.

CD Graceful Dual also topped the go-round with a 220. He drew fifth in the first set of finals and took a half-point lead over Royally Smart Cat and Todd Bimat. CD Graceful Dual is a full brother to $117,000 money earner Dmac Snoop Dog, and Gonnet has more than $400,000 in lifetime earnings.

$10,000 Novice

Dustin Gonnet came up with his second Western National Championship with a 219.5, this time aboard Christinas Blue, owned by Ronald Patton, Alberta, Canada.

Nearly at $50,000 in earnings, the seven-year-old Mecom Blue daughter won the Wrangler Futurity and has been a finalist in seven other limited age events with Gonnet. Christinas Blue's dam, SR Instant Christina, is a half-sister to World Champion stallion Christys Acre. Todd Bimat and Nicole Carson's Peptos Promise, by Peptoboonsmal, marked a 218 for the reserve championship.

$3,000 Novice

Josh Sleeman and Ho Chi Minnie earned the $3,000 Novice championship with 221 points. Five-year-old Ho Chi Minnie, by Cat Ichi, is owned by Duane Bruner, Castle Rock, Wash. The win pushed the mare's lifetime earnings over $20,000. Prior to the Western Nationals, Ho Chi Minnie was an Open finalist at the Idaho Futurity, Pacific Coast Derby and Fort Klamath Ranch Festival.

Brent Erickson rode Scatter for Jean Metzler, Orangevale, Calif., to the reserve championship with a 220, just one point behind Ho Chi Minnie.

Junior Youth

Fourteen-year-old Kate Gerla, Alberta, Canada, and My Own San Lena won the Junior Youth with a 215. My own San Lena is a 9-year-old mare by My Own League. Kate's goals for the year included a championship at the Western Nationals and the Calgary Stampede.

Taylor Tait, Duluth, Minn., aboard Kit Duals Altisimo marked a 213 for the reserve title.

Senior Youth

Carly Chiarelli marked 218 points with High Yield CD, by CD Olena for the Senior Youth Championship. High Yield CD is owned by Denise Tortorice. Chiarelli also made her mark in the $50,000 Amateur pen two years ago. Chiarelli was the 2009 Derby Classic Amateur champion aboard Lil Peppys Advantage. That year she was also a finalist in four other divisions.

Roger Brandt III and Katherine Hall split the reserve championship both marking a 215. Brandt rode Silverstar Rio while Hall was aboard Mollys CD. Both horses are also by CD Olena.

$15,000 Amateur

In his first major event win, Joel Schulz, Fort Lupton, Colo., and his mount CD Little Dog marked a 220.5, a four and a half point lead, for the $15,000 Amateur championship. The win will take CD Little Dog's earnings past $50,000. The pair were finalists in four classes at the Western Championships last year, including the $10,000 Amateur. CD Little Dog is a 9-year-old gelding by CD Royal.

Noel Kleinhaus and 19-year-old Starlights Fancy, out of Grays Starlight, came in reserve.

$2,000 Limited Rider

Eric Wisehart, Menifee, Calif, and Hot Shots, by 2004 Futurity Champion Spots Hot, marked a 219 for the $2,000 Limit Rider championship and a check for more than $5,000. Wisehart held a five point lead over reserve champion Amada Sack, Fort Lupton, Colo. Sack and Little Dual Rey drew fourth from the bottom of the first set and walked away with a reserve title.

$5,000 Novice/Non Pro

Amber Czisny and Peppyschino Jerry marked a 222 for the $5,000 Novice/Non Pro win and a check for more than $6,000. They also led the go-round with a 219. Peppyschino Jerry has been an Open and Non Pro finalist in several aged events, including the 2011 Arbuckle Futurity. The pair also showed at the Eastern National Championships in March.

Sweet Jesus and Susan Lucchesi took the reserve championship with 219.5 points.

$35,000 Non Pro

Cody Lee, Hamilton, Mont., aboard Remanitas Alegria, topped the $35,000 Non Pro with 221 points. Lee is no stranger to the Western Nationals, having qualified this mare for the Novice/Non Pro finals the past two years in addition to being a Youth finalist three times in the early 2000s on Smart Oakalena. Lee tied for the fifth highest score during the go-round with a 215. Remanitas Alegria is a 9-year-old mare by Smart Mate and has earned more than $60,000.

Roger Brandt III took his second reserve championship at the show aboard Silverstar Rio, a 14-year-old gelding by CD Olena. The pair marked a 218.5.

$15,000 Novice/Non Pro

Sweet Lil Sin and Cindy Mann marked a 219.5 for the $15,000 Novice/Non Pro win after having the second highest score in the go-round. Sweet Lil Sin is a 6-year-old mare by Sweet Lil Pepto. The pair also made the finals at the Western Nationals last year in the $5,000 Novice/Non Pro.

A pair of 216s tied for the reserve championship, A Hillbilly Cat ridden by Sherry Graham and Smart Crackin Taz ridden by Jack Holt.

$50,000 Amateur

Scott Wardley and Hah Rey scored 218 points and a check worth more than $5,000 for the $50,000 Amateur win. Hah Rey is a 5-year-old son of Dual Rey. The gelding has been Semi-Finalist at the 2009 NCHA Futurity and 2010 NCHA Super Stakes.

Gordon Roper and Smartys Dr Freckles, by Smart Lil Scoot, marked a 216 for the reserve championship.

Non Pro

It was no surprise that Kim Vaughn aboard Shesa Silver Spoon, by Hes A Peptospoonful, took the Non Pro championship after also tying for the go-round lead. The 216 point run earned Vaughn an estimated $6,000. The pair had a 218.5 from the go-round going into the 20-horse finals, came out with a point and a half lead for the win.

Amber Czisny and Peppyschino Jerry, by Smart Little Jerry, came in reserve with a 214.5. The stallion also took the $5,000 Novice/Non Pro championship earlier in the week.

NCHA holds two National Championships each spring, one each at a location in the eastern and western United States. To encourage local participation, eligible contestants may compete at either or both contests.

The National Cutting Horse Association has more than 20,000 members from a wide range of backgrounds. Each year more than 2,200 NCHA-approved events are held throughout North America, with more than $43 million in prize money awarded. For more information visit or call (817) 244-6188.