The stallion and Matt Gaines won their second straight PCCHA Classic/Challenge Open title with a 228 on Monday, Oct. 27 and earned $14,597 to top the half-million dollar earnings level.
Then on Nov. 2, the final day of the show, Im Countin Checks carried Kyle Manion to a winning 225 in the Classic/Challenge Non-Pro. They earned $7,159 in what Manion indicated will be the stallion’s final competitive cutting performance.
The horse retires “happy and healthy” to a hopefully long career as a breeding stallion, right after notching his top career scores in the Open and Non-Pro divisions.
“These were his final rides,” Manion said. “There’s nothing more that horse could do. He’s proven to everybody what a tremendous athlete he is and what a heart he has. It was just unbelievable to come out here and sweep the Open and the Non-Pro.”
Im Countin Checks, a winner of around $190,000 in his final aged-event season, also won the Classic/Challenge Open with Gaines, Weatherford, Texas, the horse’s career-long trainer, at the Music City Futurity in September. The stallion tied for the Classic/Challenge Open title with Temecula, Calif., trainer Tim Smith taking his first ride on him at the South Point Futurity, Oct. 15 in Las Vegas. Manion tied for Reserve Champion honors with Im Countin Checks in the Classic/Challenge Non-Pro at the South Point.
PCCHA Classic/Challenge Open Reserve Champion Smart Little Minnie, a 5-year-old mare (Smart Steady Date x Montana Minnie x Montana Doc), and Dave Costello, Exeter, Calif., picked up $11,906 by finishing second with a 219. The horse, owned by Paso Robles residents Ron and Vickie Mullins, had previously earned $16,357 in her career. She topped several rivals with well over $100,000 in prior career earnings to pick up her best check by far.
Please read more in the Dec. 1 issue of Quarter Horse News.