The National Reined Cow Horse Association is kicking off 2023 while also wrapping the 2022 show season during the Kalpowar Quarter Horses Celebration of Champions held February 10 through 20 in Fort Worth, Texas. Record entries are flocking to Fort Worth for the chance to be crowned the newest World’s Greatest Horseman, an Open or Non Pro Champion in the Tres Osos Cow Horse Derby, or one of the 16 NRCHA World and 16 National Champions decided at the event.
The multi-day event culminates in the penultimate versatility event, the World’s Greatest Horseman, where one horse, one rider and one bridle compete in four disciplines to make the 15-rider Finals. In 2022, a new sponsor was moved to add support to this event’s purse, BDB Breeders, a partnership between Colt Ventures and Beechfork Ranch who own stallions High Brow Cat and NRR Cat King Cole. With their support, the event, the Western Bloodstock, High Brow Cat and Hashtags World’s Greatest Horseman, now pays $150,000 to the Champion. In addition, go-rounds will pay $10,000 with $5,000 to first place, $3,000 to second place and $2,000 to third place in the reining, herd work, fence work and steer stopping.
Seventy-eight horse and rider pairs are competing for the $150,000 purse in the World’s Greatest, a record number of entries. That compares to the record entries in the rest of the Celebration of Champion events.
“Our entry numbers at NRCHA Premier Events continue to climb and the Kalpowar Quarter Horses Celebration of Champions is no different! We have 205 Open Derby entries, 96 in the Limited Non Pro Boxing, 79 Youth Boxing, and 68 in the Open Hackamore, just to name a few classes,” said Emily Konkel, NRCHA operations manager. “We are seeing our largest World’s Greatest Horseman to date with 78 total entries – up 12 entries from 2022. This wouldn’t be possible without the help of our title sponsors Western Bloodstock, High Brow Cat and Hashtags. The World’s Greatest Youth Horseman, presented by MARS Equestrian™ is also up in numbers with 33 Youth riders taking their shot at the title.”
For the fifth year, the Tres Osos Performance Horses-sponsored Derby provides an opportunity for the previous years’ snaffle bit horses and 5-year-olds to run at another title. During the show year, the NRCHA produces four derbies for these horses still in the snaffle bit. In 2023, the added money for the Open Derby is $75,000 and the Non Pro, $25,000. Additional Novice Horse and Chrome Cash incentives have boosted entries to nearly 300.
Exhibitors that qualified to compete in the 2022 World Championship Show ride for 16 World titles, and the placings in those events will also finalize the results for the 2022 National Champions. With the exhibitor’s year-long efforts in mind, the NRCHA is hosting an exhibitor party during the World’s Greatest Horseman steer stopping and fence work preliminary on Thursday, February 16.
“It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm for all levels of cow horse,” Konkel said. “Payouts are up, entries are up, stall numbers are up and we couldn’t be more excited for the 2023 Kalpowar Quarter Horses Celebration of Champions!”
Though held in 2023, the World Championship portion of the Kalpowar Quarter Horses Celebration of Champions marks the official conclusion of the 2022 reined cow horse show season. Qualifiers vied for a spot in a minimum 10-horse Final and a shot at the world champion titles, also solidifying National Champion titles with that last class shown. In addition to these classes, the event will host Youth riders competing in the Stock Horse of Texas-produced Intercollegiate Challenge and National High School Rodeo Reined Cow Horse Challenge. Except for the Saturday night World’s Greatest Horseman Finals, there is no admission to watch the show.
To follow along with the action, visit nrcha.com. You can see the draws, scores and results posted in real time through the NRCHA Scoring, powered by The Animal. The event will run February 10 through 20 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
About the National Reined Cow Horse Association
Based in Pilot Point, Texas, the National Reined Cow Horse Association was formed in 1949 in California, with the goal of preserving and educating the public about the rich history of this traditional horsemanship. The NRCHA is responsible for promoting the sport and ensuring high standards of competition and continuing to work to keep the Vaquero tradition alive in today’s equine industry. The NRCHA also supports numerous affiliate clubs across the United States, Europe and abroad. These groups serve as the association’s backbone, holding many NRCHA-sanctioned competitions and events each year. For more information on these events and reined cow horse, visit nrcha.com.
National Reined Cow Horse Association
Media & Communications Manager