Weatherford, Texas trainer Cullen Chartier, 26, guided gelding DMAC Spoonbill to a John Deere Open victory Aug. 30 at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Summer Spectacular to pick up his first Fort Worth limited-age title.
The young trainer and 4-year-old horse also started what might turn out to be a big week. They’ll compete together again during the Derby Open semifinals. The duo had also qualified for Wednesday’s Derby Gelding Open finals, but they did not compete in the event, hoping to save steam for the Open semifinals.
DMAC Spoonbill (Hes A Peptospoonful x Ms Dualin Colonel x Dual Pep), and the son of Michigan trainer, open rider and NCHA judge Randy Chartier and non-pro rider Kelle Chartier, earned $5,802 by marking a 221.5. He catch-rode for his boss, trainer Paul Hansma, and had not competed with the horse until this show.
Stephen and Cherise Dees, Schulenberg, Texas, own the horse. Stephen Dees qualified DMAC Spoonbill for Derby Amateur and Derby Unlimited Amateur finals earlier at the show. Hansma, a career earner of more than $5 million as a cutting rider, trained the horse and had competed with him at one prior limited-age show.
“I feel great,” Chartier said after he and DMAC Spoonbill’s second-set 221.5 topped the first-set 220 posted by Reserve Champions Cantebury Cat and Gainesville, Texas trainer Dean Domann. “I knew I had a good horse, but I didn’t know I could ask him to do that.”
Chartier moved from Michigan to work along with his brother, Weatherford, Texas trainer R.L. Chartier. In the spring of 2012, he moved a few miles and started working with Hansma. Successful non-pro rider Lauren Middleton Chartier married Cullen in October of 2010.
Reserve Champion Cantebury Cat (High Brow Cat x Luz De Estrellas x Grays Starlight) is a stallion owned by Domann’s longtime lead training client Rodney Wrinkle, Lebanon, Mo. Domann, 38, and another horse owned by Wrinkle, Cherrey, were Co-Champions during last week’s Classic/Challenge John Deere Open finals. Cantebury Cat and Domann also compete again in Friday’s Derby Open semifinals.
The NCHA Summer Spectacular concludes Aug. 3 in Will Rogers Coliseum with back-to-back Derby Non-Pro and Derby Open finals starting at 3 p.m.
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