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Tim McQuay and RR Star Win the 2003 NRHA Open Derby
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Sunday, May 18, 2003

RR Star shone brightly as NRHA’s All Time Highest Money Earning Rider, Tim McQuay, rode him to victory in the 2003 NRHA Open Derby Finals for Lundin Farm, owned by Rose and Richard Lundin, Del Norte, CO.


The pair scored a 222 in the first go round and went on to win the Open Derby title and the guaranteed pay check of $50,000 after a breath taking performance that earned them the highest score of this year’s event, a 230.  The five-year-old Paint stallion, by Like A Diamond and out of RL Miss Kitty, left his mark on the Oklahoma State Fair Park in 2001 when he slid Andrea Fappani to victory in the NRHA Open Futurity.  In training with Tim McQuay since the 2003 NRBC in Katy, TX, it didn’t take much for the two to head in the same direction: towards the Open Derby Crown.  To earn the Championship with less than three weeks on a horse trained by someone else is a testament to the outstanding abilities of this legendary horseman.


“He is a great horse with a big heart.  Basically he’s an overachiever and from day one he told me ‘Look, I’ve got the ability to do this’ and he did,” said the Tioga, TX, based trainer.  Tim went on to praise the work done on RR Star by Andrea Fappani and Todd Bergen.  “Andrea and Todd did a great job with him and got him really broke.  Here, my two assistants Marco Formentin and Stefano Calcagnini did a wonderful job too.  I cannot thank them enough.”


Second place honors went to Craig Schmersal and his Commanders Nic, owned by Craig and his wife Ginger.  Craig and his four-year-old stallion finished fourth in the 2002 NRHA Open Futurity. In the 2003 Open Derby Finals they had the audience clinging to their seats as they performed precise spins, fast circles and hard stops.  Craig, ranked fifteenth on the NRHA’s Leading Open Lifetime Money Earners list, and Commanders Nic, by 1992 NRHA Open Futurity Champion Boomernic and out of Miss Bam Bam Command, earned a score of 229.5 and a $40,553.32 pay check.  “I love this horse.  He’s a little horse with a big heart that has given me the opportunity to earn the highest score I’ve ever obtained,” said Craig about ‘Jac,’ as he is nicknamed. 

Duane Latimer and Remin Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Sure Remedy), 2002 AQHA Junior Reining World Champions, closed their performance with a score of 226, which placed them third over all and earned them a payback of $31,155.33. 


Country Bay Berry, by Country Dun It and out of Great Red Berry, ridden by Mike Moser for Gerri Leigh Pratt of Winston Salem, NC, scored a 221.5 to win the Intermediate Open Division of the Derby earning $6,271.40. “He’s an awesome horse,” said Moser.  Mike placed Country Bay Berry eighth in the Intermediate Open Division of the 2002 NRHA Futurity.  “He doesn’t’ need too much preparation in the warm up pen and I trusted him.”  Moser and his wife Simone purchased Country Bay Berry from Tim and Colleen McQuay as a two-year-old prospect and Mike credits McQuay with helping him to get on track with this horse.  While Moser is no stranger to the show pen (he is a multiple AQHA Open World Champion in Western Pleasure), he is new to reining and this is his first major NRHA win. “Ego-wise it was hard to start (in this discipline) as a novice,” said Moser.  “But the reining horse people are so supportive and friendly.”


Bill Norwood, riding Coeur D Wright Stuff for Earl Lunceford, Coeur D Alene, ID, scored a 220 to tie for second place with Rick Weaver riding Caballo Del Cielo for Jeffrey and Julie Holler of Cattaraugus, NY.  Coeur D Wright Stuff is by Lenas Wright On and out of Mist N Smoke.  Caballo Del Cielo is by Gallo Del Cielo and out of Melon Kali Banjoe.  Each earned $4,430.07.


The National Reining Horse Association is the worldwide governing body of reining, responsible for promoting the sport, working to insure the highest standards of competition.  With corporate support from Cinch, Saddlesmith, Profile Nutrition, Horse & Rider magazine, Markel Insurance, Pfizer Animal Health, Quarter Horse News, Kiser Arena Specialists, State Line Tack, Houston Embryo Transfer Center, Classic Equine, Bloomer Trailer Mfg., Cowboy Tack and John Vance Auto Group the NRHA continues to educate its members and the public about reining.





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