Forget Harry Winston, jeweler to the stars. Stephanie Haymes-Roven will walk down the red carpet at tonight’s Academy Awards wearing the bejeweled western buckle she won Saturday, as 2008 NCHA World Champion non-pro cutting competitor.
“I’ll find something special to wear it with,” said Haymes-Roven, who will attend the gala with her husband, Chuck Roven, producer of eight-times nominated blockbuster The Dark Knight. It was Chuck’s gelding, A Smart Little Rey, that carried Haymes-Roven to a 229-point World Finals victory.
“It was one of the happiest days of my life,” said Haymes-Roven, who accepted her award in Amarillo, Texas, with Chuck at her side. “Now I get to cheer for Chuck’s movie.”
It was a year-long duel for Haymes-Roven, who was in third place going into the World Finals, behind Candace Barwick on two-time open world champion Dual Rey Me, and seven-time non-pro world champion Mary Jo Milner. In her quest for the title, Haymes-Roven traveled to 104 cutting shows and earned over $82,000. The only “out-of-saddle” time she allowed herself was when she accompanied Chuck on a worldwide publicity junket for The Dark Knight.
“It’s been a tremendous experience,” said Haymes-Roven. “But this year I am looking forward to Chuck and I being able to go to shows together. He has been so supportive and understanding through all of this.”
Haymes-Roven, daughter of Big Band-era singing star Dick Haymes, was introduced to cutting 15 years ago, when she was married to songwriter and Elton John collaborator Bernie Taupin. She has earned nearly $500,000 as a cutting competitor.
Chuck Roven won two major cutting shows as an amateur rider aboard A Smart Little Rey. The 9-year-old gelding, sired by Dual Rey and trained by Gary Gonsalves, also carried Megan Madgwick to win the 2007 NCHA Senior Youth World Finals.
Incidentally, 2008 Academy Awards host Hugh Jackman, spent time in Texas with cutting horse trainer and fellow Aussie Roger Wagner, to prepare for his role in the 2008 film Australia. Click here for details.