The last 10 seconds probably seemed like 10 minutes to National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Eastern Nationals Open Champions Big Bow Pepto and Josh Dozier, who earned $5,026 March 5 with a dramatic 220.5 finish in Jackson, Miss.
The 8-year-old gelding and Dozier, who lives in Amory, Miss., cut their last of three cows with 32 seconds remaining and battled it mightily until the buzzer sounded.
“Those last 10 seconds were sure hairy, but he went where I put him and he gutted up when he needed to,” said Dozier. The 31-year-old secured his first Eastern Nationals win. He’s competed at his home-state show the past eight years.
Ricky Brown, of Warrenton, Va., owns Big Bow Pepto, sired by Peptoboonsmal and produced by the Smart Little Lena mare, Bowmans Little Jewel. Alexa Stent, of Woodside, Calif., bred the prior career earner of $72,539.
Last year, Dozier guided Mississippi Cat to year-end NCHA Open World Champion Stallion and overall Open Reserve Champion honors. He plans to compete with Big Bow Pepto at many shows, with hopes of possibly qualifying him for the 2014 year-end any-age NCHA Open finals.
Open Reserve Champions Lil Peppy Pardigm, a 9-year-old gelding ridden by Matt Williams, of Shelbyville, Ky., finished just a half-point behind on Thursday with a 220. They earned $4,090 for owner Stacy Todd, who is also based in Shelbyville.
Earlier in the day, 6-year-old stallion Ichi La Roo and Guy Woods, of Whitesboro, Texas, won the $3,000 Novice Open with a 224 – the best score posted by any duo so far at the March 3-15 show. The same stallion and Woods also placed third in Wednesday night’s $10,000 Novice Open finals, and they tied for sixth during the Open finals to earn three checks totaling $10,122 at the show.
Bred and owned by Jo Ellard’s EE Ranches, of Whitesboro, Texas, Ichi La Roo was sired by the ranch’s showcase stallion, Cat Ichi, and he was produced by the SR Instant Choice mare, Snicker Roo. Two full-siblings made Open finals at the show.
Pettys Little Lizzy, an 8-year-old mare, and Josh Townsend, of Gainesville, Texas, won the $10,000 Novice Open finals, then placed 13th in the 25-horse Open finals. They earned two checks totaling $6,328 at what was probably the mare’s last career show.
Owner Doug Adamson, Jr., a bank executive and loan officer who lives in Durant, Okla., said the career earner of more than $56,000 is the best cutting horse he’s owned. She’s destined to start her new career as a broodmare by breeding with two leading stallions within the next couple of weeks. She’s sired by Lizzys Gotta Player, and produced by the Smart Little Uno mare, Petty Little One.
The NCHA Eastern Nationals is an event for all any-age horses that qualified within their respective divisions during the 2013 season. The event continues through March 15 with Non-Pro, Amateur and Youth events.