NRCHA 2021 DT Horses Western Derby

On Sunday, the Open divisions were the sole focus to complete the National Reined Cow Horse Association 2021 DT Horses Western Derby. The cattle were quick and the horses were on fire, making the nearly 1,000 spectators in the Equidome at WestWorld of Scottsdale bring the noise.

It started with a solid two sets of Limited Open and Intermediate Open finalists at 8 a.m. Then, at noon, the Open finalists took to the arena dirt to ride for their share of a $208,076.29 purse. When the last cow circled up, it was Corey Cushing on top of the Open.

Here is the champion rundown from Sunday, June 13. Draws, scores and results are available at

Hesa Dual Bet joined Corey Cushing’s training program following the 2021 National Reined Cow Horse Association Stallion Stakes that ended April 3. It was a quick get-to-know-you period for Cushing and the dark bay stallion owned by Teton Ridge Ranch, but by watching the pair in the show pen, spectators wouldn’t know it. WATCH THE RUN

Wearing the colors of Rios of Mercedes, Cushing rode the son of Bet Hesa Cat out of Rjj Miss Viagara Pep (by Dual Pep) to a composite 664 (H:218.5/R:224/C:221.5), securing the top spot and $40,000. HEAR FROM COREY CUSHING IN THE OPEN DERBY CHAMPION VIDEO

For the win, Cushing took home a custom Bob’s saddle from the NRCHA and a Gist Buckle from the Arizona Reined Cow Horse Association, a $50 UltraCruz gift card from Santa Cruz Animal Health, a straw hat from Shorty’s Caboy Hattery, and a gift certificate for product from Platinum Performance.

Reserve Champion Clayton Edsall and Heza Rowdy Cat (Bet Hesa Cat x Dear Little Boon Bar x Boon Bar), owned by Kim Basterrechea and bred by Clyde Wilmott, rode to a 663.5 and earned $29,050.36. WATCH THE RUN

The reserve title won a certificate from Farnam valued at $300, a $25 UltraCruz gift certificate from Santa Cruz Animal Health and a pair of Ice Boots from Classic.

Riding for a total $63,403.56 purse, the Intermediate Open Derby Champion title goes to Russell Probert riding owners Laurie Woods’/Lexi Kastanis’ 2016 stallion Roo To Do (One Time Pepto x Roosters Chicaroo x Gallo Del Cielo), bred by Jim & Jo Anne Carollo. It was a special win for the young trainer who has only had his shingle hung out solo for a year.

“This is the biggest [win] for me; there have been some highlights but this probably tops it off,” said the Joseph, Oregon, horseman. “He’s the first one I’ve gotten to take all the way through from a yearling into a show career and it is pretty special to put the work in and have it pay off. He’s special; it’s really cool.”

Probert had the high scoring run in the Open and Intermediate Open herd work preliminaries with a 222.

“We had a really good prelims and drew good in the herd work, enough to get some good cows,” he said. “We had a really good cow in the fence work but he toughed it out and we got it done.”

In the Intermediate Open, the pair scored a 661.5 (H:218/R:222.5/C:221) for the win and earn recently new owners Woods and Kastanis $12,046.68. They took home a Gist buckle from the NRCHA, a Platinum Performance gift certificate for product and a $50 UltraCruz gift card.

Reserve Champion Tucker Robinson piloted 2017 gelding Smooth Outta Style (Smooth Talkin Style x Dualin Curly Pep x Dual Pep), owned by Julie Weinhardt & F Velazquez and bred by Kerry & Jenny Frazier, to a 661 composite that earned $8,876.50. WATCH THE RUN

The reserve also won a certificate for Farnam valued at $300, a $25 UltraCruz gift card from Santa Cruz Animal Health and Ice Boots from Classic.

For complete results, visit

Veronica Swales began the preliminary events at the DT Horses Western Derby confident in her horses. She had two horses in the Open Derby, Desires Sweet Pepto and Aint No Nag. During her cow work preliminary run on Aint No Nag, the horse tangled with the cow and took a fall that left Swales in the dirt. After a clean bill of health from the doctors, she came back to compete at WestWorld of Scottsdale, especially eager to compete in the Sunday Finals.

After the judges blew the horn for a new cow in the Finals, Swales breathed a sigh of relief. Then, the native Canadian focused in on mastering the new cow.

“I felt pretty awesome coming in. I was a little bit worried after my first cow came in because it was pretty wild; I got a second one and I was pretty happy,” she said. “I was super happy with my horse, he was great. I had a few concerns going in, but when that black cow lined out down the fence I felt good.”

A 2016 stallion, Desires Sweet Pepto (Sweet Lil Pepto x Desires Lil Scoot x Scootin Boon), was bred by Leea Arnold/Dudley Caraway and is owned by Robin Lynn Morrison. Swales and Morrison grew up together. Though the Canadian owner was not able to attend, Swales says that she was watching.

“I think she is super happy and wishes she could be down here, but with everything with COVID she hasn’t been able to come down,” Swales said. “She’s been watching and is pretty stoked. We’ll finish out this year with the derbies on him and then I am going to try and get him qualified for the hackamore for the World Show. Then, hopefully, his owner will come down [from Canada] next year and get to enjoy [showing] him.”

The pair rode to a composite 659.5 (H: 217.5/R:220.5/C:221.5) to earn the win and $4,322.97. They won a Gist buckle from the NRCHA, a Cow Trac system from Cow Trac, a $50 UltraCruz gift card from Santa Cruz Animal Health and a Platinum Performance gift certificate for product. WATCH THE RUN

In reserve was Abigayle Mixon aboard owner Kathryn Rippatoe’s 2016 gelding Vintage Ambrosia (One Fine Vintage x Miss Fancy Juice x Smart Like Juice), bred by Mike & Linda Silver. With a composite 646.5, the pair earned $3,458.38. The reserve also won a certificate for Farnam valued at $300, a $25 UltraCruz gift card from Santa Cruz Animal Health and Ice Boots from Classic.