Some of cutting’s greatest 5- and 6-year-old horses made up the Friday, April 6, National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Classic Open finals. Stylish Martini lived up to spectators’ expectations when she and Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Rider Roger Wagner beat out 25 talented horse-and-rider teams competing for the top spot with a 225.5.
Breeder Marvine Ranch, Meeker, Colo., sold the 2007 bay mare (Docs Stylish Oak x Miss Martini Play x Freckles Playboy) to new owner Dottie Hill, Glen Rose, Texas, in the October 2012 Marvine Ranch Reduction Sale. The then-earner of $232,101 brought a hefty $700,000 price.
With just a few months under Hill’s name, Stylish Martini’s Equi-Stat record has elevated to more than $300,000. The mare, who is still in training with lifetime trainer Wagner, now boasts a Super Stakes Classic Open title, along with her 2011 NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Open Championship.
Wagner, a native Australian, is the resident trainer for Marvine Ranch owners Jon and Abby Winkelried. He has amassed more than $3.8 million in cutting pens since 1999. Most recently, he and Stylish Martini tied for third in this year’s Bonanza Cutting Classic Open, where they earned a $12,773 paycheck.
Sly Playgirl (That Sly Cat x Taquitas Playgirl x Freckles Playboy) carried Jaime Snider to a Classic Open Reserve Championship with a 225. The 6-year-old mare, owned by Rocking L Cutting Horses, Boca Raton, Fla., and bred by Weatherford’s Slate River Ranch, ran in the middle of the first bunch and Snider, Lipan, Texas, claimed it was the most fun he’s had showing in a long time.
Thursday, April 5: Classic John Deere Open
Sally Cats Hot and Jesse Lennox made a big impression in the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Classic John Deere Open finals, scoring a 224 to win by 5 ½ points.
It was quite a turnaround for the 6-year-old mare (Spots Hot x RW Sallycat x High Brow Cat) and 23-year-old rider. They had ranked 40th after two rounds of the Super Stakes Classic Open with a composite 430.5. Then, they took a no score in the Wildcard Round. This time, competing fourth in the nine-horse Classic John Deere Open finals, Lennox followed the advice of his herd helpers. He let action come to him, instead of chasing it.
“Right before I came down, Lee Francois and Jonathon Rogers told me to just go slow. Then Michael Cooper grabbed a hold of me and said, ‘If you’ll just do this slow, you’ve got enough horse.’ Then before I rode in, Casey Green rode over and told me to go slow,” Lennox said. “It was just a lot of work on my help’s part to keep me in the right mental state.”
Lennox is the resident trainer at Alice Walton’s Rockin W Ranch, Millsap, Texas. This was Walton’s first career NCHA Super Stakes victory as an owner and breeder, and netted $5,845.
“I love Sally Cats Hot. She’s out of my great mare RW Sallycat, who won right at $150,000,” said Walton. “And Jesse, I’m so proud of him. He’s worked harder than anyone I’ve ever met to get here.”
Rene Brown’s Sheez All That (Cat Ichi x Sanjo Sue x San Jo Lena) and Nick O’Dell, Fort Scott, Kan., finished as Reserve Champions with a 219.5.