from the NRCHA Celebration of Champions
Emmons Claims World's Greatest Horseman Championship on Olena Oak
2012 National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions concluded
Sunday, February 5, with the finals of the World's Greatest Horseman
competition. The finals - which featured ten of the most accomplished horse and
rider teams in the western performance horse industry - thrilled the west Texas
lifetime earnings of the 10 equine athletes averaged more than $115,000 - and
the combined lifetime earnings of the riders exceeded $5 million. "The
finals were tough - but so were the preliminaries," Ron Emmons, who won the
Championship on Olena Oak, exclaimed. "The scores in the preliminary round
would have scared you they were so high. Just being able to get through it and
make the finals was an accomplishment."
and the 10-year-old cow horse were steady in the first two phases of
competition, marking a 216 in the herd work and a 219.5 in the rein work. Then
the pair earned the high score of the steer stopping - a 222. "I told my
wife Ladona that I was going to let it hang out a little today, and every time I
asked this horse for anything he gave it to me," he explained. "He
just kept getting better and better as the day went on."
and "Ernie" had a two-point lead going into the cow work. The pair was
competing as the first draw - and slammed the door on the competition with a
remarkable fence run that the judges awarded a score of 228!
the fence work I really wanted to mark a 225 - I wanted to get 75s from the
judges," Emmons said. After circling to complete the fence work, Emmons
leaned over to pat the cow. He explained, "At that point, I knew that I had
definitely gotten those75s!"
seems like Olena Oak has done it all. The Smart Chic Olena stallion, out of
Fritzs Oak E Doakie, has won two American Quarter Horse Association World
Championships, won the Magnificent 7 competition twice, won the $50,000 Added
Holy Cow Performance Horses Open Bridle Spectacular, and numerous other NRCHA
premier event titles. All total, his lifetime earnings now exceed $257,000.
Mel Smith and Nichole Scott were on-hand to take home the prizes, which included
a check for $25,000, a Bob's Custom Saddle sponsored by Dechra Veterinary
Products, a Gist Silversmiths buckle also sponsored by Dechra Veterinary
Products, a monogrammed cooler from Classic Equine, custom boots from Rios of
Mercedes, and a CR Morrison trophy.
, said that he thanked everyone for their support. When asked for specifics, he
said, "I thank my herd help - Corey Cushing, Ron Ralls, Doug Williamson,
and Mark Luis; my sponsors - Pro Orthopedics, Harlan Feed, Nutrena, and CowTrac;
My wife, Ladona, and Mel Smith and Nichole Scott for letting me ride such a
added, "I also thank everyone here at San Angelo. The people here go out of their way to help us feel welcome, and I really
Hays and Smart Chic Aloha finished the World's Greatest Horseman competition
with the Reserve Championship with a score of 875.5. The reserve title came with
a check for $17,000, a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Garth and Amanda
Gardiner, and a monogrammed cooler from Classic Equine.
has only been riding Smart Chic Aloha, by Smart Chic Olena out of Lei Aloha,
since early December. The mare had just been weaned from her foal in September,
and owners Frances and Aaron Labourdette asked the Nocona,
, trainer if he'd be interested in competing on her.
had ridden her before and knew I could get along with her - she's a really
talented and nice mare. The entries didn't close until the end of December, so I
said to bring her out and we'd see if we could get her ready. She felt good so
we entered," he explained. "I really appreciate
and Aaron Labourdette for letting me ride her.
thank my herd help - Robbie Boyce, Ron Ralls, Phillip Ralls, and Boyd Rice.
Thank you to my Sponsors EquiPride and EquiLix, and to the NRCHA for producing
such a great event."
added, "Hat's off to Ron - he went out there and earned it. He did an
amazing job today."
National Reined Cow Horse Association, now in its 62nd year, is the governing
body of cow horse competition, is responsible for promoting the sport, insuring
high standards of competition and educating members and the public about the
history and tradition of the cow horse. Through the support of a Corporate
Partner family that includes Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Classic Equine, Gist
Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance Company, Platinum Performance,
Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, and
Merial products UlcerGard and EQUIOXX, the association works to keep the vaquero
tradition alive in today's equine industry. For information on the National
Reined Cow Horse Association, call 580-759-4949 or visit the NRCHA Official Web
Site at www.nrcha.com.
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