by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
In the junior reining finals November 13, Jay McLaughlin rode Genuine Masterpiece to an eighth place finish. As the 5-year-old palomino stallion went to leave the arena after his go, he hesitated. Why? He was looking for a cow. Jay laughed and patted the horse’s neck.
“He’s never been a reiner, ever in his life, other than at the cow horse shows,” Jay told The American Quarter Horse Journal. “And before I came here, he’d never seen a judge’s chair.”
Fast-forward to November 18 and the junior working cow horse finals to face a cow at last. Jay rode in last in the go.
“That horse just felt ready when he went in the gate,” Jay said. “When I trotted into the middle and he loped off, I could tell we were there to show. And he was just perfect the whole way. The cow came out and was a little challenging on the end but he handled it good and we left from the middle of the arena and had a big turn, big turn, circled up.”
All scores were held until the placings were announced – the pair earned a 218.5 in the dry work and a 221.5 in the cow work, for a 440 combined.
Bred and owned by Wagonhound Land & Livestock LLC of Douglas, Wyoming, the ranch’s owners, Art and Catherine Nicholas, were on hand for the win.
“(This win) means so much,” Art said during his winning run interview with the Journal. “This is what we’re trying to do at the ranch, the kind of horses we’re trying to raise. When we’re lucky enough to get somebody like Jay to ride them, it all comes together.”
The horse comes from legendary blood - by Shining Spark and out of Kings Masterpiece, a 1986 daughter of Peppy San Badger and out of Doc’s Masterpiece by Doc Bar.
“We want to thank Carol Rose, she put the package together in terms of Shining Spark and Kings Masterpiece,” Art said. “It’s what makes you so happy when you see it all come together. You’re pointed in the right direction.”
What’s next for the horse? “We’re going to be at the National Reined Cow Horse Association World Championship in the open two-rein for sure, and then we’ll play it by ear,” Jay said. “We’re going to breed some mares, I know that!”
Both men added special thanks.
“I’d like to thank my wife (Wendy), she’s been the secret one behind the man,” Jay said, “and my whole ranch crew, they all quit work today and came up to watch; that’s pretty special. I appreciate it – they work hard.”
“I’ve got to second Jay’s comments,” Art said. “The folks at the Wagonhound Ranch and my wife did a lot to make this happen as well. We are very appreciative.”
[Click here for the Journal's 2008 article on a day in the life of a Wagonhound ranching show horse.]
Genuine Masterpiece and Jay McLaughlin