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Bayer Legend Celebration of Champions Concludes - World-National Titles Decided

National Reined Cow Horse Association

The five remaining world championships were decided at the Bayer Legend Celebration of Champions on Saturday, February 26. Russell Dilday earned his first NRCHA World title riding Topsails Rien Maker, which is a stallion co-owned by Dilday and Kevin Cantrell. The race for the Open Hackamore title was close as Dilday and Todd Crawford, riding The Love Man, tied with a 593.5. But Dilday’s 152 in the finals’ cow work determined the World Champion.

“I thought I had a really good chance at second,” Dilday said about coming into his finals run. He had a half point lead over Crawford after the prelims and drew up last in the 10-horse finals. “I really didn’t think I could pull first off.”

Dilday has worked with Topsails Rien Maker since he was a 2-year-old. The stallion will continue his show career and will also stand at Ward Ranch.

“He is super; he’s the easiest horse in the world to train,” Dilday said of the stallion. “I haven’t even really trained him. He’s just good.”

Kevin Stallings qualified two horses for the Open Bridle finals and walked away with the World Championship riding his stallion, NMSU Truckin Chex (Nu Chex To Cash x NMSU Doc Truckle).

“He was very good. He just answered everything I asked,” Stallings said of the stallion. “In the fence work, he was just really awesome.”

Stallings and NMSU Trucking Chex, or “Elvis,” marked a 149.5 in the rein work and a 151 in the cow work, which brought their two-round composite to a 599.

Katie Combs earned the Youth Limited title riding Gotta Have Cash (Nu Cash x Nancy McLain), a horse owned by her parents, Dennis and Sheila Combs, of Caldwell, Idaho.

The Combs bought “Cash” from Anne Reynolds after her trainer, Shawn Deal, suggested the gelding. “He’s laid back and calm but the instant you put a cow in front of him, he fires up,” Katie said of her horse.

Patty Ralls dominated the Non Pro Hackamore finals riding Chromium Cowboy (A Chic In Time x Marvelous Miss) to a 591.5 two-round composite. Chromium Cowboy was the 2003 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion with Ron Ralls riding.

“He has a heart of gold,” Ralls said of Cowboy. “The more you ask of him, the more he’ll try. He’s still really fresh in the showpen. He doesn’t cheat; he’s 100 percent.”

In the Non Pro Bridle, Nelle Murphy and Bald N Shiney earned the title after an impressive 600.5 two-round composite.

“He was way better in the reined work tonight, just because he was waiting on me,” Murphy said of her gelding’s finals performance compared to the preliminaries. “He was just as good in his fence work.”

The SRCHA Derby finished Saturday morning with the cow work. In the Open, Ron Ralls, Gainesville, Texas, rode Spooks Starman (Grays Starlight x Lynx Star Lady) for the championship title for owner Jose Maria Gomez of Mexico. Jake Telford, Caldwell, Idaho, captured the Intermediate Open riding A Time To Spark (There Comes A Time x Lenas Sunny Girl) for Mary Alice Mason, Red Bluff, California. Shawn Hays, Saint Jo, Texas, rounded out the Open Champions. Riding Instant Cutter (SR Instant Choice x Lil Cuttin Lou), Hays earned the Limited Open title.

Mike Miller, Big Piney, Wyoming, earned the Non Pro Derby title riding Play Fire N Cash (Freckles Playboy x Firecat Cash). In the Intermediate Open, Eric Freitas, Guadalupe, California, rode Pennys From Smokum (Smokum Oak x Penny Starlight) for the title. The final Derby title went to Robin Ross, Tishomingo, Oklahoma. She rode PG Rey Gun (Playgun x Miss Freckles Reed) to the Derby Amateur title.

The 2004 NRCHA World Champions will be honored Sunday morning, February 27, at City Limits in Stephenville, Texas, at the NRCHA World Championship Awards Banquet.

The National Reined Cow Horse Association, the 56-year-old 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 Bayer Corporation, Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Inc., Classic Equine, EQ Solutions, MD Barns, Platinum Performance, Inc., Nutrena, Skyline Gold and Silversmiths, Sundowner Trailers, National Ropers Supply, Quarter Horse News & Western Horseman magazine, the Reno Hilton, Dan Gamel's RV Centers, Farnam products Vetrolin Liniment and Farnam dewormers IverCare, ComboCare, LiquiCare P and Continuex, Fort Dodge West Nile Innovator, Rios of Mercedes, Great American Insurance Company and the Silver Legacy, 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