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NRCHA inducts Californians into Hall of Fame

Special to the Horsetrader - November 5th, 2009 - General News

NRCHA honored new 2009 Hall of Fame and Hall of Merit inductees, along with their families, during its annual Hall of Fame banquet on Oct. 1 in Reno, Nev.

Primo Morales photo

NRCHA honored new 2009 Hall of Fame and Hall of Merit inductees, along with their families, during its annual Hall of Fame banquet on Oct. 1 in Reno, Nev.

RENO, Nev. — National Reined Cow Horse Association recognized the best of the industry at its annual NRCHA Hall of Fame banquet on Oct. 1 at Silver Legacy Resort Casino during the 2009 Snaffle Bit Futurity. The evening included the induction ceremony for new members of the NRCHA Hall of Fame and Hall of Merit, in addition to presenting Snaffle Bit Futurity Awards and the Vaquero Award to Jimmy Flores, Sr. of Perris, Calif. 2009 NRCHA honorees included:

Ted Robinson, Hall of Fame 2009

Ted Robinson of Oak View, Calif., holds the distinction of being the winningest NRCHA rider of all time. He has won the prestigious NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity a record seven times and has also taken the NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman title twice.

Robinson won his first Snaffle Bit Futurity in 1987 on Nu Cash, who would eventually sire three Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champions, a Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion, and be the Grandsire of an Open Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion–all of which were ridden by Robinson.

In 1991, Robinson won the Futurity on Master Checks. Four years later in 1995, Ted would begin a three-win streak on Nu Cash foals: The Nu Colonel in 1995, Shesa Lota Cash in 1996, Smart Little Cash in 1997. In 2000, he catch-rode Smokums Prize to the Futurity title and piloted Nu Circle Of Light to Robinson’s seventh Futurity Open in 2005.

Pat Hubbert, Hall of Fame 2009

Pat Hubbert of Sebastopol, Calif., grew up in Northern California and loved horses from a young age. He showed in the very first Snaffle Bit Futurity, and it was at that show that Hubbert met one of his mentors, Greg Ward, who would eventually ride Hubbert’s horse Smokinic to the Futurity Championship.

Smokes Belle was one of Hubbert’s best-known cow horses and the cantankerous mare was inducted into the NRCHA Hall of Fame in 2007. The pair won many prestigious events, including those at Salinas, the Cow Palace, India, and Imperial. They won the Bridle Class at the Snaffle Bit Futurity twice in 1980 and 1981 and were Reserve Champions in 1983 and 1985–that many Snaffle Bit Bridle wins are something no other mare ever achieved.

Jon Semper, Hall of Merit 2009

Jon Semper of Clovis, Calif., became involved with the California Reined Cow Horse Association in the early 1980s as an owner. Semper entered the show ring as a rider a few years later, and won the Non Pro Triple Crown.

Semper began serving on the NRCHA Board of Directors during the difficult financial times of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and was the president from 1991 to 1997. He was an essential part of the Snaffle Bit Futurity’s move to its previous home in Fresno, Calif.

Jernigan Peake, Hall of Fame Horse 2009

Foaled in 1954, Jernigan Peake was by the legendary sire, Driftwood, and out of Spiderette, by King. He was purchased by Johnny Brazil as a 2 year old from Channing and Katy Peake. In 2009, he joins his owner as a member of the NRCHA Hall of Fame.

Under the acclaimed reinsman’s guidance, Jernigan Peake went on to be one of the most celebrated bridle horses of his time, beginning with a big win in 1957 at the Cow Palace and continuing on for seven years.

While not a current household name, reined cow horse history buffs remember Jernigan Peake as the big horse who claimed major titles from nearly every prestigious stock horse event he entered in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Jimmy Flores, Sr. receives the National Reined Cow Horse Association's 2009 Vaquero Award.

Primo Morales photo

Jimmy Flores, Sr. receives the National Reined Cow Horse Association's 2009 Vaquero Award.

Jimmy Flores, Sr., Vaquero Award 2009

To the surprise of Jimmy Flores, Sr. of Perris, Calif., he was honored with the prestigious Vaquero Award, which goes to an NRCHA member who embodies and promotes the ideals of the reined cow horse tradition.

Flores said he was not originally planning to attend the banquet this year, but his son, Jimmy Flores, Jr., said he had a ticket for him, he should go, and they would accompany him to it. “It’s a great honor; I had no idea at all,” said Flores, who is 82 years old.

He started training horses in 1949, and made numerous trips to countries like Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, England, France, Canada and Mexico to teach Western riding and horsemanship, along with judging shows for 35 years, and competing/training in California and throughout the United States.

For the past decade, Flores and his “Jimmy Flores Handmade Cowboy Gear” have become recognizable and in-demand as he travels to horse shows all over the Western United States, and fulfills requests for his hackamores, Romel reins, hair ropes (mecates), and other riding equipment.

NRCHA honored its newest Million Dollar Rider, John Ward (far right) during the Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Finals opening ceremonies on Oct. 4

Primo Morales photo

NRCHA honored its newest Million Dollar Rider, John Ward (far right) during the Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Finals opening ceremonies on Oct. 4

John Ward, Million Dollar Rider 2009

NRCHA honored its newest Million Dollar Rider, John Ward of Kingsburg, Calif., during the Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Finals opening ceremonies on Oct. 4. The name “Ward” is almost synonymous with the reined cow horse, bringing to mind a long family history of great wins and top-notch cow horses. Ward won his second NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity title in 2008, on the home-bred Black Pearl. Ten years earlier, he won the championship on Masteroani.

When notified of his $1 million accomplishment, the personable champion was enthusiastic and said: “This is great! That means that no matter how I do at the Futurity, I still get a prize on Sunday!” Ward received the signature Carol Owens Bronze during the opening ceremonies/awards ceremony at the 2009 Snaffle Bit Futurity.

For information about the NRCHA Hall of Fame, visit: http://www.nrcha.com/HallofFame.asp

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One comment has been made on “NRCHA inducts Californians into Hall of Fame”

  1. Ken Dickinson Says:

    what a nice man JIMMY Flores

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