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Half Time highlights

Roy Rich takes the Open Two Rein World Championship as Californians bring home NRCHA titles from Texas

From Horsetrader staff reports - February 16th, 2012 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Roy Rich spent the night with his rig in Albuquerque on his drive to the National Reined Cow Horse Association World Championships, then was caught off guard by a frozen Interstate 40 east of town the next morning.

“I thought I was going to die — I don’t know how to drive in ice,” joked the Southern California native.

The 29-year-old Temecula trainer overcame the driving conditions -– and every other obstacle in his way –- for the rest of his trip, and he returned home with his first NRCHA World Championship aboard Half Time Report in the Two Rein competition. It was Rich’s pinnacle performance to date, and it climaxes a year-and-a-half journey with Half Time Report (A Chic In Time X Hustlin Tips), a good-looking stallion that neither Rich nor owner Barbara Hastings had given up on.

“We had the gut feeling that given the right circumstances, the right training and all, that Half Time would do something,” said Hastings, who acquired him as a 2-year-old a the 2006 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. “He’s just turned into our little star.”

“Roy just took Half Time, and he just blossomed,” she added.

Rich’s barn, now bustling with 40 open horses in training along with a select group on non-pro talent, had its beginnings not long ago with a small group of horses that included Half Time Report. He took three other horses this year to the NRCHA World, including Fresnos Indian Chief (sixth, Limited Hackamore), owned by Gabe Stanton; Say No Way (fourth, Limited Hackamore, second in the nation overall in 2011), owned by Candy Flock; and Smart Little Pick, owned by Monte Nicolaides.

But it was the Open Two Rein title where attention was focused. Actually, the humble Rich thought his best chances were in the Limited Bridle competition, where he and Halftime Report finished reserve to Brandi Scheer on Who Could Be Smarter, and not in the Open Two Rein against the likes of Jake Telford (second place on Sheeza Roo), Lyn Anderson (third on Meet Rippen Diamonds) and Jay McLaughlin (fifth on Shiney Sushi).

“I thought I might have a chance at getting a check and be competitive, but I didn’t know about winning,” said Rich. “Lyn Andersen… how many times has she won the World? She’s tough to get around. Jay McGlothlin has won a bunch. Jake Telford, a Million Dollar rider. In my mind, I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty tough to get around those three. We’ll just do our best.”

Rich took momentum from a terrific showing in the preliminaries on Half Time Report into the finals. In the cow work, he knew he had a special run down the fence when Half Time Report got in the ground deep in the first turn.

“With him, I know that when he gets a tight turn, he’s going to come out of there real fast,” said Rich. “That’s a big part of it — getting that turn, getting out of there and getting your cow covered. I knew at that point that I had made it through the first turn great. Then his second turn was tight, and he got out of there, we were good to go. I just knew. I thought, ‘well, you know, they might like me.’ And it worked out.”

The $5,100 earnings from his first Open title pushed his cumulative winnings for the trip to $9,500. He spread gratitude to his team, including vet Michael Sanders and his farrier, Monte Nicolaides, and especially Hastings.

“Barbara is amazing in just giving me the horse, the opportunity – just letting me make the decisions that we need to along the way,” Rich said of the owner, who is based at Rocking J Ranch in Santa Clarita. “She stands behind us, supports us, sends us where we need to go. She’s a great owner – a great asset on our team.”

Other Californians making indelible marks at the NRCHA World Championships included Anderson, who won the NRCHA Open Hackamore World Championship with Tuckers Smart Cat, earning $8,527; Murray Thompson, who took won the NRCHA Non Pro Bridle championship with his Smart Time Tuck, earning $4,605; Tish Wilhite, who took her horse, The Fresno Fox, to an NRCHA Non Pro Hackamore Reserve title that paid $3,263; and Ron Emmons, who won the 2012 World’s Greatest Horseman title on Olena Oak (related story, Page 28),

More online: See website http://bit.ly.22B_NRCHA

One comment has been made on “Half Time highlights”

  1. V. Condley Says:

    I told Roy several years ago that one day he would be on the front page of horse magazines. He is a great young man and an awesome trainer.
    Big Congrats Roy!!!!!!!!!

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