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Reigning rookie

Crivelli and Rebas Best Step Yet win NRHA Rookie of the Year

From Horsetrader staff reports - January 2nd, 2014 - Show & Event News

With trainer Tracer Gilson's help, Lauren Crivelli and Rebas Best Step Yet took the fast track to success, winning the Rookie of the Year title after becoming acquainted just seven months earlier.

With trainer Tracer Gilson’s help, Lauren Crivelli and Rebas Best Step Yet took the fast track to success, winning the Rookie of the Year title after becoming acquainted just seven months earlier.

Waltenberry photo

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – If love at first sight didn’t overtake Lauren Crivelli last April when she first encountered Rebas Best Step Yet, then surely love at first ride did.

Crivelli, in Waco Texas, for a collegiate equestrian competition, was called to the National Breeders Reining Classic in Houston by trainer Tracer Gilson when he saw a good prospect for the Fresno State equestrian. As soon as Todd Sommers brought the stallion out, Crivelli was won over.

“I couldn’t get the grin off my face,” said the CSU Fresno senior who entered her first National Reining Horse Association class last year and went on to win the 2013 Adequan NAAC Silver Spurs Equine Rookie of the on the 2009 stallion, sired by Wimpys Little Step and out of the Grays Starlight mare, Starlights Reba. “We connected early on.”

Crivelli, won the prestigious title with a 214 in a run-off, a remarkable ending to her first year in reining after showing in all-around competitions both in AQHA and intercollegiately.

“It’s a pretty good deal,” Gilson said of the national rookie award. ”And it’s something you can only run at once.

“I’d sure like to thank Silver Spurs for sponsoring that,” added the Sanger trainer. “That’s a big deal they take on, and we sure appreciate it. I’m proud of Lauren for sure, and thank my other customers for the support they’ve given us and stuff. I’ve gotten pretty lucky. I’ve got a good group of people there that ride with me.”

Crivelli flew to Oklahoma Nov. 30, joining Gilson with five days before her final event. “It was kind of nice that I was there a few days before so I could ride Lil Wimp and get used to everything,” said Crivelli. “I watched the professional show and Futurity, so it was even better because I got to experience all that and get in the zone.”

It may have been her first NRHA Futurity, but because of her AQHA World Show experience, the venue was familiar. “I knew the arena and everything — which was good,” she said. “I didn’t have much to worry about. It was different seeing just reiners there, seeing that many horses doing just one event. I realized what it was about.”

She was amazed at the scope of the event, and the talent.

“There are so many talented horses,” she said. “It’s kind of neat because each horse has it’s own different style of reining. You’re able to watch and see how two horses can do it completely different, but still do it equally well. It was kind of neat to watch the different trainers ride, watch the different horses go, and just kind of develop my own style by just watching them and getting ideas.”

Crivelli is looking forward to competing as a West Coast Reining Horse Association member in derbies in 2014 on “Lil Wimp.”

“I am really excited about the derbies,” she said. “It’s kind of nice because the rookie has really made me step up. There’s some good, tough horses out there. Now I feel ready and prepared.”

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