Amateur riders took center stage at Will Rogers Coliseum on July 22 as NCHA hosted the Rios of Mercedes Amateur and Unlimited Amateur finals in both the 4-year-old and 5/6-year-old divisions.
Junior Youth competitor Blakley Colgrove of Boligee, Alabama, became only the second rider in history to win two Amateur titles at an NCHA Triple Crown show when she won the Unlimited Amateur Derby on Paradox Cat and the Unlimited Amateur Classic Challenge on Vespaa. The only previous double Amateur winner was Mary Ellen Graves, who was 16 in 2004 when she won the NCHA Derby and Classic Challenge with Smart Bobbi Sock and So She Wood.
In the Unlimited Amateur Derby, Colgrove marked 220 on Paradox Cat for a five-point win over Danny Jones on Sweet Metallic Sugar, by Metallic Cat.
Bred by Mike and Sue Christensen, Paradox Cat is by High Brow Cat out of Thimblerey, by Dual Rey. Colgrove won the NCHA Amateur Futurity on him, and a few weeks later, Austin Shepard rode Paradox Cat to the Augusta Futurity championship. His latest win gives Paradox Cat earnings of more than $39,000.
Colgrove marked 220.5 on Vespaa to beat Barney Mac Smith on One Red Mist, by One Time Pepto, in the 5/6-year-old unlimited finals. Bred by Bar H Ranche, Vespaa is a 6-year-old by CD Olena out of My Scooters Smokin, by Smart Lil Scoot. Vespaa has won over $130,000, most of it with Colgrove, including wins at the Breeders Invitational and Cotton Stakes last year.
Lica Pinkston, a former NCHA Rookie of the Year from Alice, Texas, won the Rios of Mercedes Amateur Derby with a 219.5 on Stylish Metallic Cat. While Pinkston has won senior titles at NCHA Triple Crown events before, this was her first overall championship in Will Rogers Coliseum.
Stylish Metallic Cat is a homebred son of Metallic Cat and Stylish Lil Player, a Playin Stylish mare that took Pinkston to fourth place in the 2008 NCHA Classic Challenge Amateur finals. Stylish Lil Player traces back to Doc’s Serendipity, the mare Joe Heim showed for the reserve championship in the 1977 NCHA Futurity.
Pinkston won Amateur championships at the Bonanza and The Non-Pro & The Open with Stylish Metallic Cat on her way to the Classic Challenge.
John Brengard of Paragould, Arkansas won the Rios of Mercedes Amateur Classic Challenge with a 219 on SDP Hydriven Hicapoo. Amanda Standish on Countin On Stella, by Im Countin Checks, and Grace Ann Vangilder on Shes A Smokin Dually, by Third Cutting, both marked 215 to share the reserve championship.
Bred by Buffalo Ranch, SDP Hydriven Hicapoo is by Hydrive Cat out of Horse of the Year Hicapoo, by Doc’s Hickory. The 6-year-old mare has earned over $110,000.
Brengard, who won this class last year on Smooth As A Huntress, was also a Breeders Invitational finalist this spring on SDP Hydriven Hicapoo’s full sister, SDP Hicapoo Cat.