Tate Bennett
Tate and Laura Bennett with Reyn Maker.

No relief for drought stricken North Texas, but Reyn Maker came through with 225 points and a championship win, yesterday, for his owner and rider, Tate Bennett, in the John Deere Open. It was the second Fort Worth title for Bennett and the Dual Rey gelding, winners of the NCHA Super Stakes John Deere Open, in April.

“He’s always been good, but he’s getting stronger,” said Bennett, who also scored 218 points mid-morning, yesterday, to qualify for today’s Open Finals. “He comes through for me every time.

“I haven’t done this very long, so I rely on my help more than I probably should. They get me through it and keep putting up with me and give me pointers to keep him going. I can’t thank them enough.”

Bennett, 27, grew up on a ranch in the Texas Panhandle and conditions 2-year-olds for the NCHA Futurity Sale. But Reyn Maker is the first horse that he trained to show himself.

“I sold a filly last year to Clint Allen and I went and watched him work her,” said Bennett. “Watching him made me see what it took to step one up and that helped me a lot.”

Bennett purchased Reyn Maker as a yearling for $5,400, at the NCHA Summer Spectacular Sale. “I kind of wanted a Dual Rey and he was the first one that I ever bought,” he said. “The plan was for us to keep him and me train him, and that’s what we’ve done. He’s been a blessing, that’s for sure.”

Chris Johnsrud, reserve champion to Bennett with 219 points on Smart Uni Brow, also scored 215 points to place sixth on Desires Blue Trinity, who Johnsrud qualified for today’s Open Finals.

“She’s super cowy and quick,” said Johnsrud, who shows Smart Uni Brow for her breeder and original trainer, Angel Pinuelas, Scottsdale, AZ. “She’s a little mare, but there isn’t anything she can’t do because of her size. I got her in January and this is only the second event that I’ve shown her. I’m pretty excited about her.”

Desires Blue Trinity, who Johnsrud showed to win the Abilene Spectacular, as well as in the finals of the NCHA Futurity, is owned by Trinity Compress Real Estate.

Roger Wagner was the star of the Open Semi-finals on Friday, with the high score of 219.5 points on Stylish Martini, and the second-highest score of 219 aboard Shorty Boonsmal. Both horse are owned by Marvine Ranch.

Read more in the Daily Chatter.