Robert Tieperman and Sugar Fatz.

Dual scores of 217 points earned Robert Tieperman, Jewett, Tex., and Matthew Dedden, Edmond, Okla., co-champion’s titles in  the Rios of Mercedes Amateur Derby Finals, the first of four amateur showdowns on Wednesday’s schedule.

Tieperman rode Sugar Fatz, who carried him as Reserve Amateur champion  and Reserve Amateur Unlimited. champion in the NCHA Super Stakes.

“He’s gotten so much stronger just in the last two months,” said Tieperman of his Smart Sugar Badger gelding, trained by Craig Thompson. “I really had a strong mindset coming into this one. He is just so much fun to show.”

Tieperman and Sugar Fatz also claimed the Amateur reserve title at the Tunica Futurity and placed sixth in the Amateur unlimited.

Matthew Dedden.Matthew Dedden, 15, admitted to feeling more nervous in the go-round than in the finals.

“This is my first time to show here in a limited age event, so it’s pretty special to win it the first time,” he said. “I just wanted to make it to the finals and not mess anything up.”

Dedden rode Cats Miller Time, by High Brow Cat, a gelding trained by Tommy Marvin that Dedden purchased last month at The Non Pro Cutting.

I’ve been cutting since I was eight,” said Dedden, who placed third in 2012 NCHA Junior Youth World standings. “I started on a beginner horse and worked my way up and now it’s my life.”

Amateur Classic Challenge Champion and Reserve

Gary Rosenbach.

Gary Rosenbach, Vail, CO, nailed the Amateur Classic championship with 218 points on six-year-old Tapt Out, who he had shown as reserve champion of the 2013 NCHA Super Stakes Amateur Classic.

In addition, Rosenbach split 12/13 with 211 points in the same set of yesterday’s Amateur Classic finals on SDP Locked N Loaded, where he also showed Bet Harolds A Cat for just the second time and lost a cow.

“I like how smart and gritty he is,” said Rosenbach of Tapt Out, a gelded son of Smart Little Lena and half-brother to all-time winning mare Dont Look Twice.

Tapt Out was trained by Ryon Emerton and has earned over $100,000 under Rosenbach and Michael Cooper, resident trainer for Rosenbach’s Rose Valley Ranch.

Taylor Carbo and his six-year-old stallion Moms Stilish Cat set the bar with 217 points early in the first set of the Amateur Classic Challenge to come through with the reserve championship.

Last year the duo won the event, then followed with a reserve in the Brazos Bash Amateur Classic.

This year they won the NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Ltd; took reserve in the Bonanza Amateur Unlimited and the Abilene Spectacular Non-Pro Ltd; and won the Bonanza Ltd. In addition, Jeremy Barwick, Carbo’s mentor and trainer, was reserve champion with Moms Stilish Cat in the Abilene Spectacular Open.

“I am very fortunate,” said Carbo. “I have a great team and it’s been fun.

“This stud is something special. He’s got a big stop and he’s so snakey across a cow. Everytime we go down there he gives 100 percent. It’s fun every time.”