Dual Rey Me, ridden by his owner Jeremy Barwick, held his ground as leading weekend money earner to claim the title of 2006 NCHA Open World Champion on Saturday, February 17, at the NCHA World Finals in Amarillo, TX. CD Lights, ridden by co-owner Winston Hansma, won the Open Finals, as well as the title of World Champion Stallion and Reserve World Champion. His 229-point score in the third go-round was the high mark of the event.

“We were right at $21,000 ahead (of CD Lights) when we came here,” said Barwick. “You can win a little over $25,000 here, so it wasn’t a sure thing until after the first go-round, when Winston had a little bad luck and I got a good check. That pretty much cinched it. But Winston has a great horse and (Dual Rey Me) had some great competition.”

Barwick, 29, and his wife Candace purchased their 8-year-old gelded son of Dual Pep at four from trainer Kobie Wood.

“That’s where he started, on weekends, because he was pretty green,” said Barwick. “I think he’d won $900. So we both showed him a lot.”

In 2004, Dual Rey Me was reserve world champion in both the $10,000 Novice and $3,000 Novice divisions. When he was six, he finished the year third in weekend Open standings, won the NCHA Non-Pro Classic/Challenge with Candace, and was Open reserve champion at the same event under Jeremy. His NCHA earnings of $480,000 place him among cutting’s all-time top 20 money earners.

“I never work him,” noted Barwick. “We lope him at home and when we have a couple of weeks off, he goes to the swimming pool to swim and then gets turned out. He stays pretty sound. We inject (his hocks) maybe twice a year as pretty much regular maintenance.”

Barwick grew up riding horses in Georgia and apprenticed with Futurity champions John Tolbert and Bill Freeman. “A lot of people have helped me,” he said.

This year, Barwick is riding Clutch Player for owners Don Lester and Scott Amos, while Candace will take the reins of Dual Rey Me in the Non-Pro division.

“He’s pretty much going to be Candy’s horse from here on out,” said Barwick. “She loves that horse – he’s been good to us.”