Ron Ralls Wins Second World's Greatest Horseman Title
NRCHA Press Release
Ron Ralls did a great job of defending his World's Greatest Horseman crown in Amarillo, Texas June 3-5. Riding A Chic In Time, owned by Broken B Ranch of Gainesville, Texas, Ralls earned $30,000 for the headline title. Ron, the 2003 World's Greatest Horseman, scored 149 to win the herd work preliminaries, earning $2,000, then came back to win the rein work preliminaries with a 148, pocketing another $2,000. Those placings boosted his share of the purse to $34,000.
In the finals, the team was solid, posting a composite score of 582.5 (146, 147.5, 143, 146) in the herd work, rein work, steer stopping and cow work.
Sharon Babcock, the owner of A Chic In Time, was thrilled, but really not surprised by the win. "He's such an incredible horse," she said of the 11-year-old stallion by Smart Chic Olena X Paula Tari, and it's easy to see why she believes so much in him.
A Chic In Time has had a sterling career, and it seems to matter little whether he's in the reining, cutting or cow horse pen. He wins everywhere!
He won the Oklahoma Reining Futurity as a 3-year-old and then finished in the top ten of the National Reining Horse Association Futurity.
In National Cutting Horse Association competition, his record was just as impressive. His NCHA earnings exceed $100,000 and he was the NCHA Derby Amateur Champion, plus won at the Superstakes, Bonanza and Shootout with Sharon's son, Troy, riding.
In 2000, reunited with reining trainer, Craig Johnson, he became the American Quarter Horse Association Senior Reining World Champion.
Sharon Babcock raised the sorrel stallion, and Randy Butler, who was on hand at the World's Greatest, trained him. Butler commented, "He's the kind of horse that you show something to and he just does it. It's hard to understand how great this horse is. He won the reining here – and he had keg shoes on – no sliders."
Ralls was thrilled with the World's Greatest win. "If you win it one time, you feel you can do it, but there's more pressure, too. This year, I knew I had a great horse. He's, by far, the best horse I've ever ridden."
There were some harrowing moments in the competition, though. "Randy and Boyd Rice had some good cows picked out for me and I got the wrong one!"
What event gave him the most trouble? "Well, in the roping, any time I see the rope on the horns, I get excited!"
Going into the cow work, Ralls and A Chic In Time had a seven point lead. "We drew a cow that fit him and it just worked!" noted Ron.
The Reserve Championship went to Russell Dilday on Miss Plain Plain, owned by Scott and Darnell Trueblood , of Ducor, California. Dilday, who earned $20,000 for the win, made a spectacular "come-from-behind" move to make the finals. He was sitting 22nd in the field of 30 when it came down to the last event of the preliminaries, the cow work.
That's when Russell and the good mare got serious, posting a blistering 151 in the cow work, to win that preliminary event and earn a top ten finalist slot.
"I couldn't believe we made it; somehow she got us there," said Dilday, referring to the mare by Just Plain Colonel, out of Miss Master Blaster.
Thirteen-year-old Miss Plain Plain was trained by Greg and John Ward and was originally purchased by the Truebloods as a mount for Scott to cut on. After Dilday attended the first World's Greatest Horseman, he came back and asked if he could ride her in the next event and he has shown her in the last four World's Greatest contests, steadily moving upwards in each finish. In 2003, the duo won the Magnificent Seven All Around competition, then finished third at the World's Greatest. Interestingly, the mare is a half-sister to the NRCHA's 2004 Raffle Colt, Mister Master Card.
Dilday may have had the most enthusiastic cheering section in Amarillo, as his entire family was on hand for the win. Wife Tanna and sons Colt and Ace were joined by his parents Hoss and Carolyn Dilday, sister Sammi Jo Beebe, and niece Pecas Beebe.
Dilday and Miss Plain Plain were solid in the finals – posting a 578 point composite (142, 141, 146, 149).
There was a three-way tie for third – at 571 points. Jake Gorrell on Smartcashinvestment, owned by Frank and Sonya Lee of Hollister, California; former World's Greatest Horseman Bob Avila on Brother White, owned by Dana Mandala of Temecula, California; and Kevin Stallings on NMSU Truckin Chex, owned by Craig Reay of Tucson, Arizona each earned $12,166.
For the second year, the World's Greatest Horseman competition was held in conjunction with the Coors Ranch Rodeo and Cowboy Roundup at the Amarillo National Center. The event will move to Stephenville, Texas in 2005, paired with the National Reined Cow Horse Association's World Championship Show.
Produced by the NRCHA, the World's Greatest Horseman event celebrates the skills and training methods of the traditional California Vaquero and represents the most highly schooled cow horses in the world. Each entry is shown by one rider in cutting, reining, steer roping and cow work and the same bridle is used throughout.
The National Reined Cow Horse Association, 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 Bayer Corporation, Bailey Hat Company, Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Inc., Classic Equine, EQ Solutions, MD Barns, Platinum Performance, Inc., Nutrena, Skyline Gold & Silversmiths, Sundowner Trailers, National Ropers Supply, Quarter Horse News & Western Horseman magazine, the Reno Hilton, Dan Gamel's RV Centers and Coachmen RV's, horsecentral.com, Rios of Mercedes 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 www.nrcha.com.