During 150 dramatic seconds in Paso Robles, Calif., on Nov. 2, the 3-year-old mare Sally Cats Meow earned $32,000 and upgraded her status from solid cutting prospect to possibly great one.
The horse, bred and owned by Tom Bailey’s Iron Rose Ranch of Cardonbale, Colo., carried Gary Gonsalves, of Millsap, Texas, to a final-round 225 and the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association/Borjon Auto Center Futurity Open Championship.
“This is good for everybody,” Gonsavles said before picking up the championship trophy with the horse’s owner and breeder by his side. “It’s good for Iron Rose Ranch and it’s obviously awesome for me. Without good horses, it’s pretty hard to do it.” Gonsalves recently topped $3 million in earnings as a rider. He’s earned a large chunk of that while riding Iron Rose Ranch horses the past 10 years.
Sally Cats Meow, by High Brow Cat, previously earned $17,250 as a Reserve Champion at another limited-age cutting and multiple finalist. She is out of the Iron Rose Ranch broodmare Rey Down Sally, an earner of more than $400,000 during her career, mostly with Gonsalves in the saddle.
“She is my all-time favorite,” Gonsalves said of Rey Down Sally. He always thought her daughter had talent, but lacked consistency. That’s why she competed at several smaller futurities instead of the upcoming National Cutting Horse Association Futurity in Fort Worth.
Bailey, like Gonsalves, loves Rey Down Sally, and he likes her daughter’s chances of becoming a big winner, too. “We thought she’d benefit from showing three or four times, and we are looking forward to her 4-year-old season.”
Neat Little Peeka earned her first paycheck carrying trainer Russ Westfall, of Los Olivos, Calif., to the Reserve title with a 222.5 to earn $27,000. Westfall’s longtime clients, Jerry and Suzanne Rava, of Paso Robles, were on hand to witness the profitable conclusion of their horse’s first show.
“Now, he wishes he’d taken her to Fort Worth,” Jerry Rava said of the mare they call “Suzy.” “She’s just a great little mare, but she’s green. Russ has gotten her going real fast.”
Westfall had considered holding the mare back to debut at the upcoming NCHA Futurity. He decided a couple of weeks ago to show her at the PCCHA Futurity instead.
“I had her more trained than I thought I did,” the trainer said. “She’s a little show horse.” Westfall added he’s looking forward to showing her next year.
Creedence Clearwater Tops Cutting Stakes Open
Creedence Clearwater, a 4-year-old mare Lloyd Cox had never ridden until a couple of weeks ago, carried the Oklahoma-based trainer to a first-draw 222 and a victory in the Cutting Stakes Open on Nov. 2.
The horse, a prior earner of 20,093, added $18,000 to that for owner Monty Johnson. The Amarillo, Texas, rancher and businessman raises horses in Weatherford, Texas.
“I haven’t had this one very long,” Cox said. “I got her two or three days before we left for Paso Robles. Shannon Hall trained her and Jason Clark had her a while. I picked her up, worked her a little bit and brought her here. I’m real happy I did now.”
Two mares with considerably more prior earnings – Reyhanna, trained and ridden by Tatum Rice of Granbury, Texas, and Lil Rattler, trained and ridden by Wesley Galyean of Claremore, Okla. – tied for Reserve Champion honors. Both missed the top spot by a half-point with 221.5 finishes and both earned $12,000 checks.
Reyhanna, owned by Tatum Rice’s in-laws, Kevin and Sydney Knight, headed to the show with $111,013 earned. Lil Rattler, owned by Steven Feiner of Aspen, Colo., had earned $91,300. She topped the $100,000 mark with her latest payday.