StylishMartini Owners 13 MT

Stylish Martini and Roger Wagner Win NCHA Classic/Challenge Open Championship

StylishMartini Owners 13 MTOwner Dottie St. Clair Hill and her husband, Bobby, with Stylish Martini Stylish Martini and Roger Wagner completed their last limited-age event in Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Coliseum by winning the National Cutting Horse Association [NCHA] Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Open finals Saturday with a 226. The score impressed everyone, but didn’t shock anyone.

The 6-year-old mare (Docs Stylish Oak x Miss Martini Play x Freckles Playboy) earned her third win in seven Fort Worth appearances, all with Wagner in the saddle, and secured $35,997 this time. Bred and originally owned by Marvine Ranch, Meeker Colo., Stylish Martini has competed for new owner Dottie St. Clair Hill, Glen Rose, Texas, this year. This is the horse’s third limited-age win for the new owner.

Stylish Martini and Wagner previously won the 2011 NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Open with a 224.5. They won early spring’s 2013 NCHA Super Stakes Classic/Challenge finals in the same cutting pen. The mare and Wagner placed fourth, sixth, seventh and 10th in their four other Fort Worth appearances. They earned a combined $255,936 at seven limited-age shows in Will Rogers Coliseum.

Saturday’s win pushed the mare’s career earnings past the $360,000 mark. It also gave her the lead in the 2013 Open NCHA Horse of the Year race that continues through fall. Spring and mid-July victories in Fort Worth, worth 20 points each, plus a win at January’s Abilene Spectacular, worth 12 points, and two prior limited-age finalist finishes, each worth two points, gives “Stylish” 56 points heading into August. 

Several 4-year-old rivals, including 2012 NCHA Futurity Open Co-Champions He Bea Cat (44 points) and CR Tuff Hearted Cat (38 points) and 2013 Breeder’s Invitational Champion Lil Catbaloo (28 points) still have shots at gaining 20 points with an NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Open win. Derby Open competition starts Thursday. 

Cat Mom Do (High Brow Cat x Moms Stylish Babe x Docs Stylish Oak) and Matt Gaines, Weatherford, Texas, Reserve Champions in Saturday’s Classic/Challenge Open finals with a 224, earned $31,834 and 10 Open Horse of the Year Points. Cat Mom Do, a 2007 mare owned by Chuck and Stephanie Roven, Los Olivos, Calif., heads into August among the NCHA Open Horse of the Year leaders with 30 points.

Wagner has the time and wouldn’t mind campaigning Stylish Martini for the Horse of the Year title, as he’s currently a free-agent cutting trainer. His longtime primary employer, Marvine Ranch, sold many of its horses in October, and the rest of them recently. He’ll leave his longtime training base in Aledo, Texas, that has been owned by Marvine Ranch but is now up for sale, soon after this event ends, Wagner said.

He might ride a few horses previously owned by Marvine Ranch for new owners, David and Stacie McDavid, Fort Worth, Texas, but despite his three big cutting wins so far this season, he’s looking for a new horse training home. “At the moment, I’m open to the public, I guess,” Wagner said. “It’s a pretty good way to go out.”

Stylish Martini’s new owner chose to leave the mare in Wagner’s hands. “She has far surpassed my dreams. We are not going to stop here,” Hill said. She added that she will not overwork the mare late in the season, regardless of the Open Horse of the Year standings. “Her health is the main thing, above all.” Purchased largely as a broodmare prospect, Stylish Martini has one weanling on the ground, and has two embryo transfer foals expected next year.