competitor is first futurity champion to win derby
American Paint Horse RR Star shines at brightest
magnitude after NRHA competition
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,
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.)
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
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
"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."
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 www.nrha.com 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.
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
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
http://www.apha.com, or call (817)
834-2742, extension 788.