October 23, 2008 -- Mike Majors and Smart Whiskey Doc claimed the winning share of the $5,000 purse during the National Versatility Ranch Horse Association's (NVRHA) Inaugural National Finals, in Colorado Springs, Colo., September 24-28. "Whiskey" gave a near perfect performance in all five National Versatility Ranch Horse classes--cutting, working ranch (reining, working cowhorse, and roping) trail, and ranch riding.
The first-ever NVRHA Finals drew horses and riders from eight states and boasted over 70 entries. The weekend's events included competition for multiple breeds. Competitors competed in novice, intermediate and advanced divisions. The overall award--won by Majors and Whiskey--was awarded on Sunday during the grand finale.
The Finals, held at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., marked the end of the NVRHA's first year. Over 30 events were held in New Mexico, Arizona, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado during the inaugural year. Events are being planned in 17 states for 2009.
NVRHA allows non-professional riders to compete with their own horses while performing classic ranch maneuvers.
Horses and horse owners who won at competitions throughout the 2008 season were honored during a National Finals banquet. The highly coveted Ranch Horse Supreme Championship was awarded to Tim Rose of Colorado Springs, Colo. (riding Stylish Gus). Ranch Horse Championship Awards went to Cindy Abshire of Aurora, Colo. (riding Fancy San Scooter), Rita Lauby of Ft. Collins, Colo. (riding Little Bit of Badge), and Rose (riding Double Tuckered Out). The Horseman of the Year was Bill Cantrell of Clayton, N.M. Trophy saddles were awarded to National Finals Division Winners.
NVRHA combines the excitement of five events in one sport: working ranch horse (combining reining, working cow horse and roping disciplines), ranch riding, ranch cutting, ranch trail, and ranch conformation. While seeking excitement and fun with horses and education and friendliness among horsemen, the association seeks to promote the all-around, ranch horse. This is the horse of western legend--the horse that can do any job and be a trusted partner in the cowboy way of life. Find the NVRHA event closest to you at www.nvrha.org.