Riders Cup Pays Out More Than $46,087
The 2016 Riders Cup classes concluded on Friday, paying out more than $16,000 in purse money to participating NSBA members. Over the past three days, the program paid more than $46,087. Friday’s classes included Showmanship, Hunt Seat Equitation, Hunter Under Saddle and Western Pleasure events.
Four-Time Champion Emerges in Western Pleasure
As she has for much of the show season, Lexus Made Lady dominated the three-year-old Western Pleasure classes at the Riders Cup. The mare had already won the Limited Open Three Year Old Western Pleasure with Cody Parrish on Thursday, and returned to the show ring on Friday to sweep the remaining three year old events.
Cody Parrish showed ‘Izzy’ to win the Three Year Old Open Western Pleasure, while owner Abi Tuiasosopo won both the Three Year Old Limited Non-Pro and Non-Pro Western Pleasure. The trio earned checks for $1,577,32, $1,412.32 and $1,694.79 respectively. (Cody is shown at right)
Cody admitted that the unusually crisp weather on Thursday night made the trio’s show preparations a little bit more challenging. “Izzy is used to it being pretty warm. When the weather turned a little cool, Izzy perked up quite a bit,” he said. “We did a lot of long trotting last night when we were practicing.”
For Abi, the Riders Cup marked the first time she has been back in the saddle since having surgery to remove a lesion on her colon the day after she last showed at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. (She is shown above)
“I’m just five weeks post surgery, so getting to ride again is really surreal,” she said. “I feel great, I’m healing well and I just see every day as a blessing. I’ll tell you, it’s great to be back riding.”
Abi had a cheering section at the Riders Cup. “My sister hasn’t seen me show since I was 14 years old, so she and my nephews and my boys are all here to cheer me on,” she said.
Plans for next year include continuing to show in Maturity as well as Amateur events. “Izzy will move into the bridle next year, and that’s going to be exciting for us,” Abi said. “She is so much fun to show, and I think eventually Cody will start her in Western Riding too.”
Melissa Wilkes and VS Code Me Lucky earned the reserve title in the Three Year Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure, winning $1,129.86.
Jeff Temple and You Light My Fire (shown at left) were the winners of the $10,000 Limited Horse Western Pleasure, taking home a check for $788.66 for owner Gayle Mason. “He’s by Cant Fire Me and out of Weretalkinradical, so he has the genetics to be good,” Jeff said.
“He’s 12 years old, and he had some success in the Limited futurities at the Congress.” The gelding has earned about $1,800 in NSBA earnings over his career, but also has Open, Amateur, Novice Youth and Youth AQHA points.
Jeff, who recently moved to South Carolina from Maine, made it a point to attend and participate in this year’s Riders Cup. “NSBA has always been good to me,” he said. “I believe it is a good thing to support these programs anytime NSBA has an event like this. We’ll be back next year, and we’ll bring a lot more horses!”
Showmanship Exhibitors Earn Checks
Non-Pro exhibitor started the day off, with Mindi Meadows Posey showing Gota Wear My Silks to win Limited Non-Pro Showmanship. The duo earned $511.04 in the class. (They are shown at right)
Mindi showed her five-year-old mare, known as Raye Raye, who is by Gota Lota Potential. “I’ve had her since she was two years old,” she said. “I went looking for an old broke gelding to buy, and ended up with a young but pretty mare.
“We’ve only been doing the pattern classes for about a year. She showed a few futurity classes as a two year old, and we jumped into the all around classes. I’ve thrown a lot at her and she’s handled it pretty well.”
After being away from horses for 23 years, Mindi began showing again two years ago. “I pointed out of Novice this year, so next year we’ll be showing in Amateur,” she said. “My favorite class is probably Showmanship, because I feel like I have a little more control and more confidence. Today’s pattern was pretty challenging. It had a lot of straight lines.”
Kip Riley and his show partner Solo Invested took the win in Non-Pro Showmanship, earning $1,379.79. (They are pictured at left) “We’re a long way from home, but it was really worth it,” he said, referring to his Seville, Ohio, home. “We’re going for the AQHA year-end all around award, so here we are, and we decided to show in the Riders Cup classes.”
Kip’s 12-year-old gelding, known as Mac, is by A Good Machine. “It was a fun pattern,” he said. “It ran a lot different in person than it looked on paper. You really had to geometrically plan it out, but it had some elements that really flowed. It could be a little tricky.”
Kip and Mac capped off an extremely successful show season that included an AQHA world championship and a Congress championship in Amateur Showmanship. “We love being able to show in the Riders Cup,” he said. “We will do it again. It was a no-brainer really to enter it.”
Also earning pay checks in the Non-Pro Showmanship were reserve champions Kelsey McArthur and Got Alot Of Notice, who won $1,073.17 and third place winners Kara Kaufmann and Absolute Good Time, earning $613.24.
Equitation Riders Win Big
A last minute decision to enter the Limited Non-Pro Hunt Seat Equitation class led Carrie Geldner to the Riders Cup champion title and a check for $919.57. She guided Must Be A Detail through the pattern to the win. (They are shown at right)
“We couldn’t get down here until last night because my daughter Hannah was in school,” Carrie said. “We had a seven hour drive to get here, and just decided to add the class. We’re glad we did it!”
Carrie showed her fourteen-year-old gelding known as Stewie, who is by The Last Detail. “Our pattern felt really good. He listened to me, and we got our lead change at the right spot,” she said. The duo competes in Hunter Under Saddle, Western Riding, Horsemanship and Hunt Seat Equitation. They are currently leading the nation in AQHA Amateur Select Hunter Under Saddle.
“We showed a lot in 2016,” Carrie said. “I think in 2017, we won’t go quite as much, to give him a break, but we’ll pick out the bigger shows to go to.” The Geldners will also have some big transitions in 2017, as Hannah heads off to college. “I’m looking at the University of Georgia, South Carolina and Chapel Hill,” Hannah said. The ladies train with Keith Miller Jr.
Taking reserve champion honors in the Limited Non-Pro Hunt Seat Equitation was Cheryl Gragenella and TheIncredibleMachine. They earned a check for $613.24.
In the Non-Pro Hunt Seat Equitation, Kelsey McArthur and Got Alot Of Notice earned first and a payout of $1,226.49. (They are pictured at left) “We didn’t have a great pattern in the AQHA Equitation class earlier today, but this made up for it,” Kelsey said. “We had to work for it.”
Kelsey calls her eight year old gelding Chopper. “He’s very sweet but hard headed,” she said. “But he works very hard for me.”
Chopper and Kelsey compete in youth all around events including Horsemanship, Equitation, Showmanship and Halter. “I really liked the Riders Cup classes,” Kelsey said. “It’s been a great experience and I’ve had a lot of fun.”
Kara Kaufmann and Absolute Good Time earned their second pay check of the day as reserve champions in Non-Pro Hunt Seat Equitation, winning $817.65.
Hunting for Cash
Three different exhibitors earned Riders Cup money in Hunter Under Saddle events on Friday. Erin Shapiro Boatwright took Iron Out These Assets to the first place award in Three Year Old Limited Open Hunter Under Saddle, earning $1,011.25. (They are shown at right)
“We call her Sadie,” she said. “She’s by These Irons Are Hot and out of an Allocate Your Assets mare. I’ve only shown her this year in the futurity classes and she’s been very good. We won the Non-Pro at the Tom Powers earlier this year and placed in several futurities with her. She likes doing her job. She looks the part. I think really makes a great representative of Hunter under Saddle. She’s big and she’s really slow legged.”
Because Erin has a two year old that she will show in three-year-old events next year, she has offered Sadie for sale. “I think she will look really pretty going over fences,” she said.
Two horses under the direction of Keith Miller Jr. continued their winning ways and earned the top spot. Keith piloted Sketchie Details for owner Nicole Kuklinski in the Rider Cup Maturity Open Hunter Under Saddle. (Shown at left) They earned $1,011.25. “He was really good today,” Keith said.
“He’s big and pretty, and he’s a lot of fun to show. We’ve only had him since September, so we’re still figuring him out and learning how to prepare him. He had a great start with his former trainers and Nicole has been really successful with him so we’re just adding to it.”
Nicole won the Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle Maturity on Thursday.
Keith and Nicole plan to compete in Open, Amateur and Non-Pro events in 2017. “We’re looking fun to showing at the Fun In The Sun show in Venice in January,” Keith said.
Meghan Tierney showed Pretty Assets to win the Three Year Old Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle, winning $925.75. (Pictured at right) The win followed Keith’s Riders Cup championship win with the mare on Thursday in the Three Year Old Open Hunter Under Saddle.
“She is such a good girl,” Meghan said of her mare. “We’re really excited to come here and participate in the Riders Cup classes. In fact, Keith actually got on a plane from his vacation in Montana to be here to show. He hasn’t really been home since the AQHA World Show.”
Keith and Meghan plan to show in Junior, Maturity and Amateur Hunter Under Saddle classes with Pretty Assets after she returns from the breeding shed this spring.
Big Checks to Owners and Trainers
The 2016 NSBA Riders Cup event paid more than $33,000 to horse owners and trainers. The Riders Cup event operates in a similar fashion to the Breeders Championship Futurity, in that the purse is funded through participant nominations. To be eligible for participation, all professional riders and each owner are required to pay a nomination fee.
Trainers who donate one month’s training and are sold through the NSBA Trainers Sale are eligible for participation in the Riders Cup. Trainers that have not sold one month’s training through the Trainers Sale may pay a $500 fee to become eligible to participate. Owners must declare their nomination under the name of a sold trainer.
Twenty percent of the earnings for each placing were awarded to the trainer with whom the entry was nominated.