Justin Lawrence Claims Open Hackamore Championship on Bettin Yer Smart


It was an emotional victory in the Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Hackamore class for Alzada, Montana trainer Justin Lawrence, who won the Championship aboard Bettin Yer Smart (Smart Little Lena x Bet Yer Boons x Peptoboonsmal), owned by Debra Brown and Larry Licking. Lawrence guided the roan stallion to a 438.5 composite score, earning $7,560.

Lawrence has trained “Jayhawk” since he was a yearling, and while he always believed in the 5-year-old stallion’s ability, misfortune kept him out of the winner’s circle as a 3- and 4-year-old.

“I’m overwhelmed right now. It’s the first time I’ve made the finals in the ancillary classes here in Reno. It’s the first time this horse has made the finals,” Lawrence said. “We’ve just had bad luck that kept him from really hitting it. He’s progressively gotten better and he feels like he’s coming into his own. This year, he’s been great.”

Bettin Yer Smart impressed Lawrence and the judges with his powerful rein work maneuvers, earning a 218, the second-high score of the round. In the cow work, the stallion outshined the other finalists when he scored a 220.5.

“He was great in the reining. He circled good and then he ran down there and was really physical,” Lawrence said. “The cow work – it was just something I dream about. We got a black cow that I recognized from the herd work. He locked down and really worked it on the end. We came out of the corner in good shape. He showed a lot of rate and control, and he let me hold him until it was time to go by, and he just smashed her on the first turn. We didn’t have to loop, and we got an open field on the second turn. He came out of it circling. I couldn’t have asked for any better.”

Besides the hefty paycheck, the Championship came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Newt White, a CR Morrison Trophy from NRCHA, a Gist custom buckle sponsored by Dick Hershman, a
10 lb bucket of UltraCruz Sand Clear and a $50 gift certificate from Santa Cruz Animal Health and San Juan Ranch, a monogrammed Cinch jacket from Bob’s Custom Saddles and New West Country Store and Platinum Performance from Doug Herthel.

The Reserve Champion was Skeets Oak Peppy (Skeets Peppy x Oak Ill Be x Ill Be Smart), owned and shown by Clayton Edsall. Their 435.5 composite score earned $6,048.

The National Reined Cow Horse Association, now in its 62nd year, is the governing body of cow horse competition. It is responsible for promoting the sport, ensuring high standards of competition and educating members and the public about the history and tradition of reined cow horses. With the support of a Corporate Partner family that includes Bob's Custom Saddles, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Cinch, Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance Company, Platinum Performance, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, Bloomer Trailers and Schwalbe Trucks presented by Great West Trailers, and Merial products UlcerGard and Equioxx, the association works to keep the vaquero tradition alive in today's equine industry. For information on the National Reined Cow Horse Association, call 580-759-4949 or visit the official NRCHA web site at www.NRCHA.com.