National Versatility Ranch Horse Association Crowns 2012 National Champions

The dust has settled following the fifth annual National Versatility Ranch Horse Association Championship Event held September 22-23, 2012 in Colorado Springs.

Sara Gugelmeyer, Colonels Miss Chic – NVRHA World’s Greatest Ranch Horse (Danette McGuire photo)
Rita Lauby & Lil Bit O Badge – NVRHA 2012 Legend Horse (Brent Eriksen photo)
Katy Doke, Mr Chics Dig It – NVRHA Intermediate Division National Champion (Danette McGuire photo)

The Norris Penrose Event Center was the site of some western action as versatility riders from around the country came together to show off their ranch horses and cowboy skills. Thirty-four riders competing in five different divisions attended the Championship event. Some of the best amateur cowboys and cowgirls from Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Texas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas competed for the belt buckle and title of National Champion.

Winners were named in each division:

Advanced – Sara Gugelmeyer, Colonels Miss Chic, Dalhart, Texas; Intermediate – Katy Doke, Mr Chics Dig It, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Oklahoma.; Novice – Kaylee Sazama, Miss Gees Ote, Dodge City Community College, Kansas; Limited – Donna Stewart, Dig A Little Jay, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Sara Gugelmeyer and Colonels Miss Chic claimed the coveted title of World’s Greatest Ranch Horse and earned more than $500 in prize money. Open to any horse/rider combination, purse money was awarded in each class and to the overall winner.

The event was judged by Dolly Wallace of New Mexico and Sarah Clifford of California, both NVRHA certified judges and accomplished professional horsewomen.

Part of the NVRHA Championship weekend is the annual awards banquet and auction. The Year-End Awards presentation is always a highlight of this evening as members receive top quality awards celebrating their numerous accomplishments. The NVRHA has a large variety of achievement levels in which members are awarded spurs, buckles, breast collars, blankets and saddles. The association even has an award category to recognize the achievement of outstanding ranch horses.

The 2011-2012 Year-End Award Winners were:

Novice Amateur Division: 1st Kaylee Sazama, Kansas; 2nd Cori Atteberry, Colorado; 3rd Lynn Cool, Colorado

Limited Amateur Division: 1st Tracy Birnie, Arizona; 2nd Shelley Johnsen, Minnesota; 3rd Stephanie Siitari, Minnesota

Intermediate Amateur Division: 1st Dave Bellar, Arizona; 2nd Paulette Marshall, Colorado; 3rd Carol Ackerman, Colorado

Advanced Amateur Division: 1st Jennifer Sadler, Arkansas; 2nd Scott Duke, Utah; 3rd Rita Lauby, Colorado

Collegiate Division: 1st Luke Searcy, Texas; 2nd Kaylee Sazama, Kansas; 3rd Katy Doke, Oklahoma

Open Division: 1st Bob Grant, Arizona

The banquet, with its family reunion atmosphere, provides a place for members to come together to celebrate each other’s accomplishments, swap stories, and make plans for the upcoming event year.  Other awards were presented, including the 2012 Legend Horse, Lil Bit O Badge, owned and shown by Rita Lauby, Fort  Collins, Colo. This award recognizes a horse that has become a ‘legend’ in the association, by accumulating a total of 200 points with a minimum of 40 points in 4 of the 5 versatility classes.      

Bill Hauschildt, Ramah, Colo. was named the 2012 NVRHA Horseman of the Year. This award recognizes a person who has made extraordinary contributions to the association in the past year.


The National Versatility Ranch Horse Association is an organization founded on the principles of promoting the versatile ranch horse and supporting the education of the versatility rider in acquiring ranch horse skills. The NVRHA conducts clinics and schooling competitions using a tiered division system and a unique judging style that promotes feedback and learning for members. For more information about the NVRHA visit