2023 Kimes Ranch Jeans Western Derby Largest Western Derby To Date

June 15, 2023

As we have all made it home from the 2023 Kimes Ranch Jeans Western Derby, we want to thank our competitors, owners, fans, and sponsors for making the largest Western Derby ever a huge success!
Over the course of 11 days, we had over 3,000 total entries across our Derby, Spectaculars, and Horse Show classes and paid over $1.3 million.
We want to thank our friends at Kimes Ranch for stepping up and being the title sponsor for this year's event. Your love for the Cow Horse community is unmatched, and we are proud to have you as a sponsor.
The NRCHA is dedicated to improving the experience for our competitors, spectators, and fans. Whether you were joining us in Scottsdale or watching from home we want to hear your feedback on the show.

Dowers and Cabanna Boy Claim Championship at the 2023 Kimes Ranch NRCHA Western Derby
A commanding run in the reined work and a monster run in the cow work propelled Nick Dowers to the champion title of the Open Derby Finals at the 2023 Kimes Ranch National Reined Cow Horse Association Western Derby.
Dowers rode his family’s gelding Cabanna Boy to a 216.5 in the herd work, tying him for 16th place going into the reined work, but he still thought he had a chance to win.
“I was a 223 in the reining prelims, 223 and then then a 23 and a half in the fence work as well,” Dowers said. “I knew if I could match those runs or maybe improve upon them that I would have a chance, and sure enough, we did.”
In the finals, Dowers had the top score in the reining, a 224.5 that pushed him to fifth place in the composite before a score of 226.5 in the cow work powered him to a 667.5 composite.
“I just remember knowing that if I laid down a monster run that I had a shot to win,” Dowers said. “I remember trotting some circles in the back and saying, you know, if I’m gonna go to battle, what better horse than this for this moment? Because he has just been such a reliable fence horse.”
The 2019 gelding (WR This Cats Smart x Shining Madonna) was bred by Wagonhound Land & Livestock and is owned by Triple D Ranches of Dyer, Nevada. Dowers bought the horse through the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity sale.
Dowers became an NRCHA $1 Million Rider in September 2022 on Cabanna Boy. The Western Derby win added $50,000 to horse and rider earnings.
Clay Volmer rode Pitzer Ranch’s Metallic Casanova to the reserve championship. Volmer and the 2018 stallion (Metallic Cat x Dark And Sultry) marked a 220 in the herd work, putting them in third place going into the reined work, where they marked a 222.5. The judges scored them a 224.5 in the cow work to place second overall with a composite of 667. The duo earned a check for $35,000.
Total purse for the Open Derby was $276,500.
In the Intermediate Open Derby, Clay Roeser rode Sliding J Ranch’s Remember The Boon to the title and a check of $15,000 with a composite of 661.5 (H: 219/R: 221/C: 221.5).
In the Limited Open Derby, Tucker J. Clark rode DeeAnna Penna’s DT This CatsDualRey to first place and a check for $4,090 with a composite of 645 (H: 214.5/R: 219.5/C: 211).

By Larri Jo Starkey

Abbie Phillips Wins Non Pro Western Derby
After a week-and-a-half of competition, the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Kimes Ranch Western Derby crowned its final champions on Saturday, June 10. With a big composite score of 657.5, Abbie Phillips and Purdy Talker took home the Non Pro Championship, banking $10,000.
“This mare is pretty special to me,” Phillips said. “She’s very sweet, and I love riding her. I’m glad I finally got her shown and she got the win. The non pro class is getting tougher and tougher, and you just have to have your A-game every time you walk into the pen.”
Phillips said the mare (Purdy Boy Flash x Money Talks Smart x Smart Mate) is talented in every aspect of the cow horse, and their performances throughout the finals proved it. In the herd work, they scored a 217, which tied to top the class. Their score of 222.5 won the rein work, and a 218 down the fence — the third highest in the cow work — gave them the boost they needed to win the whole shebang.
“I need to thank my herd help — Corey Cushing, Phillip Ralls, Brandon Buttars and my husband, Kelby,” Phillips said. “I was first out in that set [in the herd work], and they put me on three good cows. A big thanks also to Oklahoma Equine, who vets our horses, and the Kelby Phillips team for being there and helping me out.”
Tammy Jo Hays and Shiverz (Woody Be Tuff x Cats Boonolena x High Brow Cat) picked up the Reserve Championship with their composite 652 (H: 216.5/R: 215/C: 220.5). The pair, who marked the highest score in the cow work, banked $7,500.

By Kristin Pitzer

The Run For A Million Qualifiers announced from the NRCHA Western Derby
The National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) announced the top five riders who qualified for The Run For A Million Cow Horse Event during the Kimes Ranch Western Derby qualifier.
During the Scottsdale qualifier, it took a composite score of a 442.5 to earn a qualified spot in the upcoming Run For A Million cow horse competition. Randy Paul earned his second trip to Las Vegas aboard Linda Katz’s CD Highlights. Paul and CD Highlights topped the qualifier with a 445.5.
Following the rein work on Monday, June 5, Paul and CD Highlights sat just inside the top 20 with a 219.5. Paul knew he would have to have a solid cow work to get a spot in the top 5. Marking a massive 226 on the cow, Paul secured the number one spot and earned a check for $7,500.
The four additional riders who secured their spot at the Las Vegas qualifier are Snaffle Bit Futurity® Champion and World’s Greatest Horseman Champion, Boyd Rice of Weatherford, Texas, NRCHA Million Dollar rider and multiple World’s Greatest Horseman champion, Ron Ralls from Gainesville, Texas, NRCHA Million Dollar Rider and The American Performance Horseman champion, Sarah Dawson from Perrin, Texas, and Shawn Hays.
The NRCHA will take five riders from the final qualifier at the MARS Equestrian™ Hackamore Classic presented by Oswood Stallion Station in Tulsa, Okla., July 24-30. For more information on the upcoming Hackamore Classic, visit nrcha.com/events/hackamore-classic.

By NRCHA Press Release