After more success, including being awarded NRCHA Supreme Horse, he was retired from competition to run the Long Pines’ rangeland in the remote northwest corner of South Dakota with his broodmares. He was ridden about a dozen times to help with ranch jobs until July of this year, when he returned to Justin Lawrence for a short 6-week tune up.
Like in 2012, Bettin Yer Smart quietly and confidently entered the arena at the South Dakota Reined Cow Horse Association (SDRCHA) Dakota Bridle Spectacular. After 5 years away from the show pen, he reminded everyone why he's a national champion.
He earned a cumulative 433.5 points, 145 in fence work, 144 in reining and 144.5 in herd work (cutting). So this 13-year old stallion, retired for 5 years, with 6 weeks of training and up against the “new toughs” from 5 states, won third in the Open Bridle class and earned the fourth highest score in the Dakota Bridle Spectacular.
Unlike 2012, this time Bettin Yer Smart had two offspring from his first foal crop competing. Smart Vaca Reina, a 2016 palomino mare, won the Limited Open Hackamore. Smokin The Jay, a 2016 sorrel gelding, was one-half point from earning money in the Stallion Stakes Limited Open. Both of these four-year-olds have NRCHA earnings from other shows. At the SDRCHA event, they were ridden by 15-year-old Dallie Lawrence.
Like the 2012 Bettin Yer Smart championships, his return in 2020 was an emotional time for his fans. “We'll proudly admit we're a little teary-eyed after watching him compete again,” says owner Deb Brown. “His first event was herd work and he just loved being back. We opened the books to outside mares for the first time in 2020 and have decided to do the same in 2021, especially after watching him and his offspring compete together.”
Trainer and rider Justin Lawrence calls Bettin Yer Smart “the horse with the most trainability and try” of any he’s trained. “It’s an amazing feeling to lead him through the barn, past his 2-, 3- and 4-year-old prospects.”