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Stellar competitor is first futurity champion to win derby
American Paint Horse RR Star shines at brightest magnitude after NRHA competition

FORT WORTH, Texas-American Paint Horse RR Star made reining history and continued to be a record-setter after winning the 2003 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Open Derby Finals at competition held May 13-18, at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The 5-year-old American Paint Horse stallion and rider Tim McQuay of Tioga, Texas, teamed up to win the derby with a score of 230-the highest score of this year's event. With a guaranteed paycheck of $50,000 for the victory, RR Star's lifetime earnings now total more than $222,000, and he is at the top of the NRHA All-Time Leading Horses list. McQuay, who was already NRHA's Leading Open Lifetime Money Earner, now has more than $1.6 million in NRHA earnings.

RR Star, ridden by Tim McQuay, recently entered the record books as the first horse to win the NRHA Open Futurity and Open Derby. The horse was also the first American Paint to win the NRHA Open Futurity in 2001.
(Photo by Waltenberry, Inc.)

This was RR Star's second time in three years to become the most stellar competitor in NRHA world-class competition. In 2001, the sorrel overo won the NRHA Open Futurity, also held in Oklahoma City, and made history by becoming the first American Paint Horse to accomplish that feat. He now makes history again, by becoming the first NRHA Open Futurity Champion to win the NRHA Open Derby crown.
RR Star is by Like A Diamond and out of RL Miss Kitty.
"We always knew we had something very special in this horse," said Richard Lundin, of Lundin Farm in Del Norte, Colo. He and his wife, Rose, own RR Star and raised him.
"The way he moved, the way he acted whenever he was handled - he was different."
It was a special feeling, Lundin said, to have a victorious horse that defied the odds.
"People didn't think this could be done," Lundin said. "They said a horse couldn't win the NRHA Open Futurity and then come back to win the Open Derby."
For the horse to be an American Paint Horse, especially the first to win the NRHA Open Futurity in 2001, made it extra special, he said.
Lundin praised McQuay for having the ability to work with the horse for only about three weeks before taking him to the competition, and ultimately into the record books.
"He has a special understanding for horses. Each horse is an individual to him. We like the way he treats horses, the way he rides them and the way he shows them," said Lundin.
"This wouldn't have happened without Tim."
McQuay deflects the praise to RR Star.
"I just knew I liked him a lot the first time I rode him," McQuay said. "From the start, I knew this horse had the right attitude to win. There's no goofing off that goes on with him. He just gets right down to work. He can stop, he can turn, he can do everything. He has both the brains and the ability that a great reining horse needs. A lot of times a horse will have a lot of one and not as much of the other, but this horse just has it all."
While McQuay is one of the most successful reiners in the world, and has competed at the highest levels for more than 30 years, he remains humble about his victories, and the NRHA Open Derby win in particular.
"It's always a great feeling to win, but you just never know when you go into that level of competition. It's getting tougher and tougher. There are a lot of good horses out there and the handlers are getting better and better. You just get out there and do your best and hope you're in the running."
McQuay added that RR Star was among the best of the hundreds of horses he's competed with at reining competitions. The fact that he was a Paint Horse, he said, had no bearing on his decision to ride and train him.
"A great horse is a great horse. I don't care what color they are," McQuay said.
"RR Star's victory underscores what we are seeing time and time again, which is the American Paint Horse breed competing against all breeds at world-class events and proving that they are among the elite," said Jim Kelley, APHA executive secretary. "When great horses like RR Star prove by example what Paint Horses can do, it benefits the breed as a whole. We congratulate the Lundins, Tim McQuay and RR Star for their outstanding accomplishments."

More about NRHA
The National Reining Horse Association is the worldwide governing body of reining, responsible for promoting the sport and working to ensure high standards of competition. For information on the NRHA visit or call 405-946-7400.
The NRHA judging system is based on points awarded for technical and stylistic elements, along with consideration for the degree of difficulty. Reining is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch-type horse inside a show arena. Contestants run patterns that include small, slow circles; large, fast circles; flying lead changes; roll backs over the hocks; 360-degree spins done in place and dramatic sliding stops.

More about American Paint Horses and APHA
Since its founding 41 years ago, APHA has registered more than 728,000 horses. Currently, American Paint Horses are being registered at APHA's Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters at a rate of about 60,000 horses each year. The association serves more than 104,000 members, who are located in every U.S. state, throughout Canada and in 39 other nations around the world.
APHA employs 155 people and has an operating budget of $15 million for activities worldwide.
Among the many qualities that make Paint Horses desirable are their sound
conformation, versatile athletic ability, intelligence, calm temperament, willing disposition and beautiful coat color patterns.
For more information about the American Paint Horse and APHA, visit, or call (817) 834-2742, extension 788.



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