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Bergen, Smart Luck take NRCHA Derby in work-off

Defending champ Corey Cushing, Smart Boons in 2nd

From Horsetrader staff reports - July 1st, 2010 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

PASO ROBLES – Todd Bergen, who had too often found himself at the tough end of luck with Smart Luck, found himself in the best of places with the stallion June 20 when the fence work ended at the 2010 National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby.

He was at the top of the Open Division.

But as fate would have it, he wasn’t alone there. Defending NRCHA Derby Open Champion Corey Cushing and Smart Boons (Peptoboonsmal x Smart Little Easter) were settled at the top, too, with an identical 664.5 composite score. Since both entries had identical 223 scores in finals fence work – used as the tie-breaker – there had to be a dramatic work-off. Bergen, who went second, scored a 221 to win with the 4-year old (Very Smart Remedy x Gunna Be Lucky), owned by Cable Creek Ranch.

“My game plan was just to be clean and not get any penalties,” said Bergen, who took advantage of a slight mistake by Cushing in the work-off’s first turn. The Open Championship paid $40,460. Cushing earned $29,670 for his reserve performance on Smart Boons, owned by Kevin and Sydney Knight.
Bergen, of Eagle Point, was pleased to see luck turn on Smart Luck, who was in the running last fall for a world championship at the 2009 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity finals when the stallion fell during the fence work, finishing fifth.

“We were beginning to think his name was a bad omen and we’d have to change it,” he joked.

This year’s NRCHA Derby featured a $50,000-added Open Bridle Spectacular, sponsored by Holy Cow Performance Horses in Santa Ynez. Texan Shawn Hays rode Shine Smartly (Shining Spark x Smartly Dressed) to the Open title that paid $30,100. Hays’s wife, Tammy Jo, made the weekend in Paso Robles a family affair when she captured the Derby Non Pro Championship worth $11,825.

In the Intermediate Open, Will Pennebaker of Clements took the Open title on Haida Lena Peppy (Haidas Little Pep x Sallys Little Lena), scoring a 647.5 composite that earned him $6,820. In reserve was Canadian Cayley Wilson, who rode Freckles Be Twisted (Freckles Fancy Twist x She Be Jazzy) for owner Diane Bern to a 645.5 that paid $5,456.

In the Limited Open, Brad Barkemeyer of Scottsdale, Ariz., took Dulce Smart Boomer (Dulces Smart Lena x Boomerita) to the Limited Open Championship and was fourth in the Intermediate, earning $4,775 and $3,751, respectively, for owners Steven and Trish Greenberg. The Limited Open Reserve Champion was Nicholas Barthelemy on Jans Rey Cuatro (Dual Rey x Haidas Jan), owned by Sheri Jamieson, who earned $2,865.

More results: http://www.nrcha.com

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