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Craig Schmersal and Tom McCutcheon Win Cosequin/USEF Open Reining Championship Qualifiers

Reining Press Release

Two of the nation’s best reining riders, Craig Schmersal and Tom McCutcheon, won the Cosequin/USEF Open Reining Championship Qualifiers held in March. Craig Schmersal of Menifee, CA, took top honors on two horses at the Scottsdale Reining Horse Classic in Scottsdale, AZ on Friday, March 5 and Tom McCutcheon of Aubrey, TX, edged out his father-in-law Tim McQuay for the victory at the Gordyville Breeders Cup in Gifford, IL on Saturday, March 20.

Craig Schmersal, dominated the field of 14 by riding three horses owned by Holly Casey. As the second to go in the class, Schmersal took command right away on Jumping Jack Whiz receiving a 223.5. That score looked unbeatable until he came back on another mount, Slip Me Another Kiss, and tied his stablemate. Michael Berg of Temecula, CA finished third riding Lena Naskiia, owned by Susan Davis with a 219.5.

Tom McCutcheon was back in the winner’s circle at the Gordyville Breeders Cup receiving a score of 224.5 riding Steady’s Dude, owned by Brad Hattig. Tim McQuay, the NRHA’s all time leading money earner finished second on Custom Red Berry, owned by Stone Canyon Ranch, with a score of 221.5 and Bryant Pace of Smithville, NC was third on A Grand Prize, owned by Charles & Stephanie Rome, with 221.

Although McCutcheon won, McQuay was really the big winner for the evening. Just before the class, McQuay fell ill and was rushed to the hospital by his wife Colleen. Fortunately McQuay recovered in time to compete.

“We didn’t even go in,” said Colleen. “When we arrived at the hospital, he said he felt better and wanted to go back so he could compete. He gave us all a pretty good scare.”

The final Cosequin/USEF Open Reining Championship Qualifier will be held at the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) in Katy, TX, in April. The program culminates with the $75,000 Bayer/USEF Open Reining Championship Final that will take place at the NRHA Derby in Oklahoma City, OK on Sunday, May 23, 2004.

For more information about the Bayer/USEF Open Reining Championship and the Cosequin/USEF qualifying classes, please call Jamie Saults, USEF Director of Reining, at (908) 234-0848, ext. 40, or visit the website at

2004 Cosequin/USEF Open Reining Championship Qualifier Results Scottsdale Reining Horse Classic, Scottsdale, AZ

Rider, Horse, Score, Earnings (1st – 7th place)

1T. Craig Schmersal, Slip Me Another Kiss, 223.5, $3,279.83
1T. Craig Schmersal, Jumping Jack Whiz, 223.5, $3,279.83
3. Mike Berg, Lena Naskiia, 219.5, $2345.80
4. Todd Sommers, Remin Whiz, 217.5, $1,311.93
5. Craig Schmersal, Sanditch Whiz, 216.5, $1,180.74
6. John Slack, Smart Anna, Lena, 215.5, $1,049.55
7T. Mike Berg, Hes Another Champ, 215, $262.38
7T. Tom Foran, Oaken Rooster, 215, $262.38
7T. Roberta McCarty, Shine On, 215, $262.38

2004 Cosequin/USEF Open Reining Championship Qualifier Results Gordyville Breeders Cup, Gifford, IL

Rider, Horse, Score, Earnings (1st – 5th place)

1. Tom Mc Cutcheon, Steady’s Dude, 224.5, $3,932.93
2. Tim McQuay, Custom Red Berry, 221.5, $3123.21,
3. Bryant Pace, A Grand Prize, 221, $2,313.49
4. Scott Mc Cutcheon, Inwhizable, 218.5, $1,156.74
5. Don G. Boyd, Jacs A Qhiz Kid, 218, $1,041.07