The weather has been simply beautiful for this show. I wasn’t sure what Las Vegas offered this time of year, Heaven or Hades? Turns out its wonderful … weather in the seventies to low eighties and a sweet breeze through the big, west facing warm-up arena doors in the late afternoon. Thursday’s show started at 9 and featured some sweet action to go with the sweet weather. Arizona trainer Crystal McNutt started the day off right with a 72.5 score, winning the Open on Lenas Wimpys Rooster for owner Kim Niven. Another Arizona trainer, Ashley Kelkenberg, had a great day too, starting with a three-way tie in the Intermediate Open on Magnificent Dreamer (June Tabor on Vaquero In A Mask and Roocat with Anjelica Glosup were also in that threesome). Then, Kelkenberg took a first with Nite Eyes in the Limited Open and tied for first with Gabe Hutchins and Gunnaflashmytrash in the L2 as well. Gabe and “Flash” were the winners in the Novice Horse Open L1. Robyn Schiller and CD Star Commander, one of Wednesday’s winning teams came back to take first in the Non Pro as well.
The afternoon was all about the $10,000 Added Smartpak Non Pro Maturity. Late in the day, Draw 32, Kevin Rosenbaum, posted a 216 on Rolex N Chex, a score big enough to put a real smile on his face and win the Non Pro Level 4 Maturity title. Just two horses later, Taylor Bradshaw rode in on Tinselena Nic (Linus) and rode out with a fantastic score of 217 winning over $3,000 in total prize money in the process, and taking the titles in the Non Pro Limited, the Intermediate and Levels 1, 2 and 3. Needless to say, this made trainer Mike Boyle very happy as well. Wimpys Cat Step and Sheley Brien won the WCRC Non Pro, Steve Tyner and Chics Blazin Spark won the Masters Non Pro Maturity and the WCRC NP Masters. Short Circuit Jac and Misty Steinhauer won the WCRC Prime Time Non Pro, and Catherine Ferandelli and Little Bit Of Boom won the WCRC Non Pro Breed Restricted. Nics Little Bud and Bill Coburn took home top honors in the PT Non Pro Maturity.
Early evening the World Para Reining Team Competition took over center ring. This inspirational group put on a tremendous show, much supported by the audience, that ended up being carried over to Friday for a final showdown between two tied teams (more to come on that tomorrow). Finally, the Arabians appeared for their ARBC $15,000 Added Arabian Open 4 & 5 Year Old Futurity. Zee Gunslinger won the top money of $6,396.15, with Crystal McNutt up for owners David and Shirley Thielman in the Level 4, and Preston Kent teamed SH Hired Gun to a $3,000 plus win for owner Amy Johnson in the Level 1. The day ended on a great note, with everyone gathering at a friendly reception and silent auction for the WPR group up on the Rotundra by the South Point Saloon. It was a good way to end a very long and a very busy day at the 2016 Wild Card Reining Challenge.
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