Proving that great cow horses don't come with an expiration date, the oldest horse in the World's Greatest Horseman competition, 14-year-old Topsails Rien Maker, won the preliminary round Thursday, Jan. 31 in San Angelo, Texas, scoring 876.5 on four events.
Topsails Rien Maker (Topsail Cody x Jameen Gay) was shown by his trainer and co-owner, Russell Dilday, Wynnewood, Okla. Dilday owns the stallion in partnership with longtime friend Kevin Cantrelle. Dilday piloted "Slider" to scores of 214.5 in the herd work, 219.5 in the rein work, 222 in the steer stopping and 220.5 in the fence work.
Dilday and Slider already have won the World's Greatest Horseman Championship together an unprecedented three times – in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
They move on to the clean-slate finals on Saturday, February 2 to run at the grand prize of $25,000.
It took a score of 864 and above to earn a place among the ten World's Greatest Horseman finalists.
These horses and riders move on to the World's Greatest Horseman finals on Saturday, February 2:
1. Topsails Rien Maker, shown by Russell Dilday/owned by Dilday & Cantrelle – 876.5
2. Skeets Oak Peppy, shown and owned by Clayton Edsall – 875.5
3. Smart Chic Aloha, shown by Shawn Hays and owned by Labourdette Ranch – 872
4. Oh Cay N Short, shown by Boyd Rice and owned by Kevin and Sydney Knight – 871
5. Mr Playinstylish, shown by Robbie Boyce and owned by Kit & Charlie Moncrief – 870
6. Olena Oak, shown by Ron Emmons and owned by Nichole Scott and LaDona Emmons – 867.5
6. Once A Von A Time, shown by Jake Telford and owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses – 867.5
8. Dual Spark, shown and owned by Bobby Lewis – 865.5
9. MH Boon In My Blood, shown by Chris Dawson and owned by Sandy Jirkovsky – 865
10. Smooth N Cash, shown by Jake Gorrell and owned by Roloff Ranch – 864
Visit www.NRCHA.com for complete scores and information.
In the overall standings after two events, Boyd Rice and Oh Cay N Short (Oh Cay Quixote x Bit Of Shorty) currently own first place with a 443.5. They jumped out to an early lead in the herd work with a scorching 227 score, and followed up with a respectable 216.5 reining score in Wednesday's preliminaries at Spur Arena.
Oh Cay N Short, nicknamed "Coyote," is a 2004 gelding who Rice piloted to the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship. He was owned by Kevin and Sydney Knight until late last December, when the couple presented the gelding to Rice as a Christmas gift.
The second-high scores of the herd work preliminaries were a pair of 221s, earned by Clayton Edsall aboard Skeets Oak Peppy (Skeets Peppy x Oak Ill Be), a gelding he owns, and Bobby Lewis, who also rode his personal horse, Dual Spark (Dual Pep x Dolittle Lena).
Twenty-one top horses and riders are vying for a spot in Saturday's World's Greatest Horseman finals at Spur Arena in San Angelo, Texas, and the preliminary round continues Wednesday, Jan. 29 with the rein work.
Visit www.NRCHA.com for complete scores and information, and watch the action live via webcast at www.GallopingVideo.com