What could be more fitting than to honor Mary Ann Rapp and 2013 NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year Reyzin on New Year’s Eve, exactly one year after they began their journey? In addition to winning the prestigious title, Rapp and her homegrown High Brow CD daughter also scored a number of “firsts” in the process.
Phil Rapp, Mary Ann’s husband, rode Waco Bend Ranch’s great mare Dont Look Twice to claim Horse of the Year in 2011. With Mary Ann’s title, the Rapps became the first couple to ever earn individual NCHA Horse of the Year awards.
LHR Smooth Jamie May is the only Open Horse of the Year (2010) to be sired by an Open Horse of the Year (Smooth As A Cat in 2005). But Reyzin, with lifetime earnings of $215,725, is the only NCHA of the Year from the first crop of an NCHA Futurity champion, and is one of three Non-Pro Horses of the Year sired by an Open Horse of the Year. Reys Dual Badger, 2006 NCHA Open Horse of the Year, sired Kelle Earneart’s 2010 and 2012 NCHA Non-Pro Horses of the Year, Badgers Perscription and Dual with Style, respectively. High Brow CD, Reyzin’s sire, won the 2007 NCHA Futurity and became Open Horse of the Year in 2008.
“I had her at the (NCHA) Futurity, but made some mistakes in preparation,” Mary Ann recalled about her first show experience with Reyzin. “She’s funny about noises. I tried a few things that didn’t work and I also loped her too much.
“Then I showed her at Silverado on December 31 (2012) and she was really incredible, and we started out in January with a bang.”
Reyzin and Rapp earned $12,000 and the non-pro champion’s title at the Abilene Spectacular in early January. It was first of five major wins for the year.
Less than a week after the Abilene, Texas show, Reyzin was in Georgia for the Augusta Futurity, where she placed sixth with Mary Ann and ninth with Phil in the open.
In early February, Reyzin and Mary Ann were back in Texas, where they won the Bonanza 4-Year-Old Non-Pro. Their next stop, in early March, was the Cattlemen’s Derby in Graham, Tex., where they claimed their third major win in three months. Two weeks later, still in the month of March, Mary Ann and Phil doubled up on Reyzin in the NCHA Super Stakes. Mary Ann placed sixth and earned $22,648 in the non-pro division; Phil claimed 15th place and $18,214.
Reyzin realized her biggest single-event payday in May in Tulsa, Okla., where Mary Ann and Phil again doubled up on her in the Breeders Invitational. Phil claimed the open reserve championship and $49,323, while Mary Ann placed fourth in the non-pro and earned $15,284.
June brought yet another win for Mary Ann and Reyzin in the Pacific Coast Stakes Non-Pro, while July saw the pair secure the non-pro reserve champion’s title in the NCHA Derby.
In August, Reyzin and Rapp claimed their fifth championship in the West Texas Derby, a noteworthy number alone, but especially relevant because High Brow CD won five championships, albeit open, at four.
“She was real trainable and cowy,” said Mary Ann of Reyzin, who she raised and took into her string of show horses at two. “Her mother was extremely cowy and, of course, High Brow CD was extremely cowy.”
Reyzin’s dam, Miss Reycine, by Dual Rey, earned nearly $120,000 as a five and six-year-old for Rapp, who purchased her at five from non-pro rider Robert Graves. Bred by Gail Holmes, Miss Reycine is out of the Smart Little Lena daughter Smart Pudden, who won the Gold Coast Classic and Abilene Western Classic in 1995 with trainer Ronnie Rice.
“Her mom had a really big move,” said Rapp, referring to Miss Reycine. “But she’d drop down in the middle of a turn and rocket across that cow. And it made it really hard for me to ride her.
“Reyzin wanted to do the same thing, but I thought, no, I lived through that once, I’m not doing it again. So I made her stay up as she moved across the cow and not drop down in the middle. She was real willing and wanted to do whatever I asked her to do. I just needed to teach her how to move.”
Rapp and Reyzin were honored for their achievements during the 2013 NCHA Futurity, where High Brow CD was making a splash with his second crop of foals, which included two champions (Ltd. Open and Unltd. Amateur), as well as two open finalists. It was a proud yet bittersweet moment for Rapp, who had sold Reyzin to family friends, Bobby and Lorie Gale, Conway, S.C., two weeks earlier.
“The Gales are going to get to enjoy Phil showing her next year,” said Rapp. “We were pursued pretty hard all last year to sell her. I wanted to keep her and Phil wanted me to stay on her and have an opportunity to win Horse of the Year.”