NCTC Stock Horse Team earns championship title

Elizabeth F. Abu | Feb 22, 2018

The North Central Texas College Stock Horse Team brought home the championship from the 2018 National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Celebration of Champions.

Each year the NRCHA hosts The Celebration of Champions Horse Show in Fort Worth, Texas.  At the NRCHA Celebration of Champions, the NRCHA World Championship Show features the top horses and riders from each of the NRCHA’s eight geographic regions competing for World Championship titles in fourteen exciting events. 

The Show also hosts the sell-out crowd pleasing event, the World’s Greatest Horseman.   In the World’s Greatest Horseman, it is all about one horse, one rider and one very impressive title. In one bit, horses compete in four contests: herd work, rein work, steer stopping and cow work.  College kids who ride stock horse events dream of the opportunity to ride amidst the “greats” of the industry and NRCHA delivered on their dream by creating the Collegiate Invitational competition. 

The Collegiate Invitational invites colleges to send their best 3 riders. (one rider for each of three divisions: non-professional, Ltd non-professional and novice) Each rider will compete in their division and will be judged in the rein work and cow work.  The College Team with the highest combined points in both events will be deemed champion.

When the dust settled at the 2018 NRCHA Celebration of Champions Collegiate Invitational North Central Texas College was crowned the champion over 8 other College Teams. 

Leading off the NCTC team for the non-professional division was Hannah Penny, from Mt. Vernon, Texas.  Penny and her horse, BFR Hickory Starlight, put in solid performances by placing second in the reined work and third in the cow work after handling a very determined cow while going down the fence. 

Next, it was the Ltd non-professional rider’s turn, Rieta Duffurena from Gainesville, Texas.  Duffurena and her horse, Pistol’s Little Pepto, turned in a nice reined work and dominated the cow work by scoring the highest individual scores in the cow work.  Duffurena and “Pepper” proved their athleticism and cow savvy by scoring an outstanding 149 to take the lead and bragging rights as well as a beautiful belt buckle awarded by NRCHA for this accomplishment. 

Victoria Goodson, from Mineola, Texas anchored team NCTC with a second-place finish in the reined work and a safe and solid cow work performance in the Novice Division.  This team of determined cowgirls were led by Coach, Cathy Luse, from Whitesboro, Texas. 

All NCTC Stock Horse Team members must be enrolled as a full-time student with a minimum of 12 credit hours and carry a minimum GPA. 

Unable to take the whole team to compete, Coach Luse knew NCTC needed the best prepared representatives to compete against some of the major universities such as Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Colorado State, and New Mexico State, that have dominated in the past. A “Ride Off” style tryout was staged with a reined and cow work contest. 

Penny, Duffurena, and Goodson won their spots to represent North Central Texas College.  Once selection was made, the team worked hard in the preparation for their big competition and received guidance from area professionals.  Special thanks to Van Luse, Christian Lybbert, Wade Meador and Ed Duffurena for their support and encouragement of this team.


NCHA Champions

The NCTC Stock Horse Team finished as the 2018 NRCHA Celebration of Champions Show Collegiate Invitational Champions. Pictured left to right are Coach Cathy Luse, Hannah Penny, Rieta Duffurena, Victoria Goodson, Coach Curt Donley.