Cat Sheree and Wayne Robinson claimed the top spot with a blazing 223 effort to earn $22,267 as the John Deere Open finals at the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity heated up during its last run Wednesday in Fort Worth.
“This is the biggest win I’ve ever had,” Robinson said. “I’ve won a few little things, but this one is really special.” Cat Sheree and Robinson are set to compete again in Will Rogers Coliseum as the 75th of 78 pairs in the Dec. 13 NCHA Futurity Open semifinals.
Robinson, 41, is a native Australian who moved to America in 2002. He has trained from a base in Millsap, Texas, owned by Clay Johns, since 2010. Cat Sheree, bred and owned by Bill Paxton, of Tallulah, La., is part of 2007 NCHA Futurity Open Champion High Brow CD’s first foal crop as a breeding stallion. She’s also the daughter of Paxton’s own Peptoboonsmal mare, Nurse Sheree. Paxton and Nurse Sheree, also trained by Robinson, made the Limited Non-Pro finals and the Non-Pro semifinals at the 2007 NCHA Futurity.
Paxton sent Cat Sheree to Robinson as a 2-year-old, and the trainer said the horse has been strong and sound from the start. Robinson, on the other hand, sustained a broken foot in early March. As Robinson recuperated for about 90 days, he said nearby trainers and friends Paul Hansma and Spud Sheehan helped him keep Cat Sheree on the right track by often working her on cattle or a flag.
John Deere Open Co-Reserve Champions Boon San Baby, ridden by Jesse Lennox, and Little Jackson Cat, ridden by Grant Simon, each marked 217.5 scores to earn $18,439. Boon San Baby, owned by Walton’s Rockin W Ranch, of Millsap, Texas and Little Jackson Cat, owned by Wrigley Ranches, of Weatherford, Texas, will also attempt to make the Dec. 14 NCHA Futurity Open finals during the Dec. 13 semifinals. A combined 14 horses from the 20-horse John Deere Open field made the Futurity Open semifinals.