After just a year and a half of riding reined cow horses, Erika Lynn Roberts, 38, claimed the 2013 Limited Open Bridle Championship Wednesday, Feb. 19 at the NRCHA Celebration of Champions in Fort Worth, Texas. Roberts rode Reward Me Please (Chic Please x Reward Me Peppy x Remedys Reward), owned by Jack and Beverly Vaughn, to a composite score of 436.5 (216.5 rein/220 cow).
The World Championship paid $2,730 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by the Neal family; a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Kevin & Sydney Knight; Rios of Mercedes boots from Rios of Mercedes; a CR Morrison Trophy from NRCHA; and a commemorative World Finals jacket from Gardiner Quarter Horses and Merial.
Some tears flowed along with the smiles as Roberts celebrated with Reward Me Please’s owner, Beverly Vaughn.
“I’m crying, I’m so excited!” Vaughn said, as Roberts hugged the mare known around the barn as “Dolly.”
Roberts grew up on a dude ranch in Durango, Colo., where she worked as an outfitter. She was always interested in improving her horsemanship, but did not start in reined cow horses until a friend introduced her to the discipline.
“I decided the best way to learn was to get a horse that knew what it was doing,” she said.
The Vaughns purchased Reward Me Please from Bill and Michelle Cowan. Roberts rides exclusively for the Vaughns and their Triangle Bar V Ranch, based in Durango, Colo., and now with a second location near Wickenburg, Ariz. Roberts is honing her cow horse skills with help and coaching from veteran professionals including Al Dunning, Scottsdale, Ariz.
“Erika just started this discipline a little over a year ago. She’s been so amazing. She’s an incredible horsewoman. I can’t say enough about her,” Vaughn said. “We have performance horses and our plans are to keep winning, have amazing horses and have a good time doing it.”
The Vaughns also raise horses, and Reward Me Please will take some time off for broodmare duty when she gets home from Fort Worth. Erika, by contrast, plans to get back to work improving her cow horse skills.
“It’s a tremendously steep learning curve. Every time I feel like I sort of understand something, two days later, I feel like I don’t know anything. I’m totally hooked, but it’s all challenging. I think it’s the coolest sport there is.”
The Limited Open Bridle Reserve World Champion was Genuine Chic Pleaser (Chic Please x Miss Shiner Dear x Shining Spark), shown by Matt Kelly for Wagonhound Land and Livestock, a NRCHA Breeder Sponsor. Kelly piloted Geniune Chic Pleaser to a 431 composite (214.5 rein/216.5 cow). Kelly collected $2,275 and some great prizes: a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Kevin & Sydney Knight; Rios of Mercedes boots sponsored by Rios of Mercedes; a notebook from Classic Equine and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Gardiner Quarter Horses and Merial.
Reward Me Please, shown by Erika Lynn Roberts for owners Jack and Beverly Vaughn, won the 2013 NRCHA Limited Open Bridle World Championship.
Edith Petaccio Wins Non Pro Limited World Championship
Edith Petaccio and Bodie Bar Lena (Bodee Boonsmal x Lenas Candy Bar x Lotsolena) were the first to work in the NRCHA Non Pro Limited World Championship Finals Wednesday, Feb. 19 at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas. Petaccio was happy with her score, but never expected she would be the one to claim the World Championship.
“I am dumbfounded. I said i would be happy to make the finals, period,” she said. “I was crying as soon as I walked out of the arena. It was the best score I had ever gotten. I just said, whatever happens, happens. He was so good.”
Petaccio watched the remaining nine riders compete, but didn’t hear all the scores, so she did not immediately realize her 431.5 composite (216.5 rein/215 cow) was good for her first NRCHA World Championship.
“I went first and I knew those ladies behind me were so amazing. I haven’t been to that many big shows. I just was happy to be in the top ten. This is beyond icing,” she said.
Her NRCHA World Championship came with a check for $2,358; a Bob’s Custom Saddle; a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Kevin & Sydney Knight; Rios of Mercedes boots sponsored by Rios of Mercedes; a CR Morrison Trophy from the NRCHA; and a World Finals jacket from Gardiner Quarter Horses and Merial.
Petaccio feels lucky just to have Bodie Bar Lena sound and in the show arena. In August 2012, she was told he would never compete again, due to a deep digital flexor tendon and navicular bursa injury.
“They told me I have the option of putting him down, or putting him in a stall for a year, and we’ll look at him again. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t do it to him,” she said.
Petaccio gave Bodie Bar Lena’s MRI to renowned equine veterinarian and NRCHA Director Joe Carter, DVM.
“He said, ‘They read it wrong. I can fix this’.”
Petaccio shipped her 2002 gelding to Dr. Carter’s clinic in Oklahoma, where he was restored to full soundness. After one more exam in Fort Worth, Bodie Bar Lena received a final clean bill of health.
“Dr. Carter told me that whatever it was, it was over, and I should just go show my horse,” Petaccio said.
The Non Pro Limited Reserve World Champion was Alisha Hoke, who rode Nic Zan Winkle (Nic It In The Bud x Sparkles Suzana x Zan Parr Bar) to a 429 composite (217 rein/212 cow), earning $1,845. The placing came with a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Kevin & Sydney Knight; Rios of Mercedes boots sponsored by Rios of Mercedes; a Farnam prize packet from Farnam; a notebook from Classic Equine and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Gardiner Quarter Horses and Merial.
Edith Petaccio won the Non Pro Limited Championship