July 3, 2007 -- Performing what many knowledgeable spectators labeled a picture-perfect fence work, Doug Williamson, riding for D & S Quarter Horses of Terrebonne, Ore., clinched the National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby Championship on Docs Soula June 24 in Paso Robles, Calif.
The veteran champion put together a 660.5 total score to win the Derby by eight points. Prior to the awards ceremony where countless friends and family posed for the championship photo, he described the win as the "ultimate."
Williamson is a two-time NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion with multiple other titles to his credit. However, the win is special to Doug because of the horse. He adamantly believes Docs Soula (Soula Jule Star x Docs Hickory Nut) is the best horse he's ever trained and shown, but this horse had never won a major event.
Prior to the Snaffle Bit Futurity, Docs Soula was injured and couldn't compete. Since recovering from the injury, the horse has had multiple Reserve Championships, and has won almost $60,000--but Docs Soula just couldn't seem to get to the next level.
"He finally got his major win," said Williamson. Along with a Bob's Custom Saddle and a C.R. Morrison trophy, the win garnered a check for $40,090.
The reserve championship and $29,540 went to Ron Emmons, who piloted Olena Oak to a score of 652.5. Olena Oak (Smart Chic Olena x Fritz Oak E Doakie), is owned by Mel Smith and Nichole Scott, of Paso Robles, Calif.
A name that's becoming more and more familiar in reined cow horse circles topped the Intermediate Open results. Tucker Robinson and Days Zanolena (Smart Zanolena x Chex Out This Day) were again victorious at the Paso Robles Event Center where the pair had won the NRCHA Hackamore Classic Open and Intermediate Open titles in April.
Riding for Matt Day, of Bend, Ore., Robinson piloted Days Zanolena to a 644 and a $6,910 payday. Although Days Zanolena got "a little bit strong" in the rein work, Robinson was pleased with the mare's performance in the herd and down the fence.
"I'm really happy," said Robinson. "I made it back to the finals on two horses and did well. I really can't ask for more."
T.J. Good earned the Intermediate Open Reserve Championship on Playin Fletch (Royal Fletch x Playboys Promise) with a score of 643.5 to earn $5,528.
The 2007 Limited Open Derby Champion was Terrill Heaton on Peeparoo (Gallo Del Cielo x Peepin Lil). Their total score of 637 was three points higher than the next high finisher.
"This is really exciting," said Heaton. "I love this horse."
Even though Heaton felt that Peeparoo was a little strong in the rein work, he said he felt good in the herd work and great down the fence.
Peeparoo is owned by Rancho Vegas Performance Horses, from Las Vegas, Nev. The championship came with a check for $5,055.
The Limited Open Reserve Championship went to Amazin Miss Whiz (Missn No Chex x One Great Whiz) and Brenda Brown. Their 634 score brought in $4,044 for owner Warledge, LLC, of Costa Mesa, Calif.
For more information, visit www.nrcha.com.