Grant Lindaman II woke up Friday, Feb. 1 with two things on his mind – his run in the National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions Novice Non-Pro Bridle World Championship finals, and his grandmother, who had passed away exactly four years ago.
“I was thinking about her this morning,” Lindaman said.
No doubt she would have been proud to see her grandson pilot his mare Meradas Little Miss (Meradas Money Talks x Missies Promise) to his first major NRCHA title, the Novice Non-Pro Bridle World Championship, with a score of 436 (216.5 rein/219.5 cow). The title came with a $2,600 check.
Lindaman, 25, bought “Missy” from renowned Arizona horseman Jimmie Paul. He said the World Championship is “humbling,” and a payoff for the homework he did as he learned to ride the talented 2002 mare.
“Jimmie Paul was the only person who had showed her before I got her. She’s a good mare. I was looking for a nice bridle horse, and she’s a good fit for me. We had to pay our dues and practice, and figure each other out, but we’re starting to click,” Lindaman said.
In the World Championship finals, Meradas Little Miss performed as well as she ever has in the rein work, he said.
“I kicked her to her stops and trusted she was going to stop – she has every time. I was happy with her.”
The cow posed a challenge, coming off the wall and forcing Lindaman to turn it in the open arena.
“It played a little bit on the end, and when I got into the corner and drove to its hip, it got off the fence. I stayed calm because I knew she could make a good open field turn,” he said. “She has taught me to stay out of her way and let her do what she knows how to do.”
Lindaman, who plans to move to his newly-purchased Arizona ranch later this month, said he has many mentors in the cow horse industry, particularly Chris Dawson. He thanked his family and girlfriend for their support and help, and had some advice for other young up-and-coming horsemen.
“Be still and listen, and try to absorb everything you can. Stick with a program that works for you, but always be open to learn, and add to it or take away from it. More than anything, just go with your gut and trust the instincts that God gave you.”
The Novice Non-Pro Bridle Reserve World Champion was Sanjos Top Gun (San Jo Lena x Colonel Little Pistol), a 2001 stallion shown and owned by Lia Savas, Huntington, New York. The pair earned a 211.5 in the rein work and 221.5 in the cow work for a total 433 score and a $2,080 payday.