Ranch Horses

NRSHA Crowns Champions: Meet Christopher Lewis

Youth winners that qualified through Stock Horse Alliance.

In spite of a year out of the show pen, Ms Becaco Grayfour didn’t skip a beat carrying this youth to the win.  

Christopher Lewis rode into the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma, hoping for the best. His mount, Ms Becaco Grayfour, hadn’t been in the show pen in roughly a year due to the Lewis family have other mounts that needed seasoning. Yet, Christopher had confidence that the mare, owned by his father William, would step up to the plate. And she did.

Christopher finished the show week as the National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance youth all-around national champion and finished third place in the Versatility Ranch Horse youth world championship standings.

Ranch Horse News caught up with 16-year-old Christopher to visit about his win on this good gray mare.

Christopher Lewis holding trophies

RHN: First, tell me about your horse.
Christopher Lewis: I rode Ms Becaco Grayfour, and we call her “Blue Duck.” She is 10 this year and she’s off the Beggs Ranch. She is a great mare and great ranch horse. We’ve had her about four years and she’s come a long way. She is a good all-around horse and takes care of you pretty well. She is a joy to ride.  

RHN: Does your horse have a “day job” during the week?
CL: We work cattle every now and then, but we don’t have enough cattle to do it every day. When we go to show, I will work cattle on her to help other people. Other than that, she is a show horse and a ranch pony. 

RHN: What NRSHA affiliate association did you show in to qualify? Was qualifying a goal all last year?
CL: I qualified through Stock Horse of Texas and signed up for both the [American Quarter Horse Association] events and the Alliance. I really enjoy the Alliance. It is a good deal for the ranch horses. It was a goal to do well during the whole show but it was important to do well in the Alliance to prove that ranch horses can hold their own.  

RHN: What class challenged you the most at the national show?
CL: Overall, it was probably the fence work class. Normally, we do really well in that class but I couldn’t get by the cow. Other than that she did great. This was her first show back after about a year off and I was very proud of her. We ended up getting a new horse that I rode a bunch so she was off. I got back on her and legged her up for this show. She’s a cool horse and I was glad to see she could still do it.

RHN: How do you prepare for the all-around versatility shows?
CL: She is a great reining horse and when I first got her, she was better in reining than anything else. We slowly put the cow on her. I focused on cutting a lot because I know she isn’t super strong in the cutting. She can go down the fence, has a motor to get by and swallow up a cow really well. In the cutting, she gets a little mad at you when you pick on her. She is real sensitive, so if she doesn’t like you picking her up, she pins her ears at you. Everything else is pretty smooth, like ranch riding and trail. 

RHN: What was your first thought when you were announced champion? 
CL: I came out of my fence work run and I was bummed with myself and disappointed because I knew I could do well in that class but didn’t show my full potential with that mare. When they called me back [as a top three finalist] I was relieved and I knew I was sitting pretty good to have a chance to do well. I was excited when they said I got third [in AQHA]. [Youth competitor] Ben Self was sitting right behind me and I figured he’d caught me for AQHA. I was so relieved and excited when they called my name for the Alliance. It took a weight off my shoulders and made everything better.

RHN: What are your future goals in ranch horse events?
CL: I think I’m going to keep her legged up and go to a few more shows, but we might sell her. I will probably ride some more cow horse and see where we go from there. 

For more on the NRSHA champions, visit ranchhorse.net. AQHA has complete coverage from the Zoetis-sponsored World Show, and Level 1 Cattle Championships, at aqha.com

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