Nico Del Serro, age 15 of Bethlehem, PA, captured the $3,000 Novice Non-Pro Championship at the NCHA Eastern National Regional Championships in Jackson, MI recently. Trainer Connie Overholt of Perkasie, PA found his eight year old buckskin, Santa Cruz Sandman, in March, 2007.
Nico Del Serro, age 15, riding Santa Cruz Sandman, won the $3,000 Novice Non-Pro championship title, with a score of 216 points at the National Cutting Horse Association Eastern National Championships held in Jackson, MS, in March.
Even though he is a youth competitor, Del Serro, of Bethlehem, PA, didn't let his young age stop him. "We picked probably the best three cows in the pen," said Del Serro, who also qualified for the $10,000 Novice Non-Pro aboard Santa Cruz Sandman. Del Serro also showed Peponitas Busy Bee in the Non-Pro and $10,000 Amateur divisions, where he placed in the top ten.
Connie Overholt of Perkasie, PA introduced Nico and his father, Ron Del Serro, to cutting just three years ago, when Nico was 12. "Ron has been around horses all his life, and they had been reining. Ron got interested in cutting and sent me some horses to train. In 2005 Nico started cutting. Now they just love going down the road and going cutting."
She assisted them in acquiring Santa Cruz Sandman, an 8-year old buckskin gelding sired by Peponita Flo, last year.
"I saw him at a show in Tennessee last March and suggested to Ron that he take a look at him. He's a real smart horse, and real nice to be around. He's been really good and consistent for both of us," winning nearly $20,000 over the last year, said Overholt. "He's all heart and he doesn't want to lose a cow."
Nico qualified for the Eastern Regional Championships through the regional associations in Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Other than qualifying shows held in Shartlesville, PA, there aren't a lot of sanctioned shows in the region. "It's not easy to get to shows. We travel 12 to 16 hours once a month or more to get to qualifying competitions," Overholt said.
It's so difficult, in fact, that Overholt will move her operation to Tennessee the beginning of May. "It's more centrally located, and there's more of what we do in that area. The northeast is tough," she said. "There are a lot of people who would like to do cutting, but not a lot of cattle or facilities to show at. It's tough to make a living, especially with fuel prices the way they are.
"Nico and Ron will keep a couple horses locally to ride and will haul down there to show. I'll have some of their some young horses in Tennessee. Nico is 15, his sister is 17, and they're considering moving down there in a couple years. They've been wonderful friends and great customers and they've shown me a lot of support," she said.