The Cattlemen’s Derby & Classic kicked off its first finals on March 5 in Graham, Texas. Thirteen teams vied for the 5/6-Year-Old Open Championship, but it was Once In A Blu Boon and Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider James Payne who bested the field to win the title for the second year in a row.
Payne, of Overbrook, Okla., and the 2008 stallion (Peptoboonsmal x Autumn Boon x Dual Pep) tied for the lead in the first go-round with a score of 220, and they returned in the second go to mark a 219.5. In the one-set finals, they emerged second in the draw and marked an impressive 225, the same score they earned at last year’s show, that earned them the Championship and a check worth $13,500.
Once In A Blu Boon, owned by Charlotte Farms Inc., of Rosston, Texas, and bred by Bill Freeman Inc., also of Rosston, has seen much success under Payne’s saddle. Since the stallion’s debut at the 2011 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, he has earned nearly $200,000, according to Equi-Stat.
The 5/6-Year-Old Open Reserve title went to Smart Stylish Cat and Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Matt Miller, of Poolville, Texas. The 2009 mare (WR This Cats Smart x Cols Stylish Mini Me x Docs Stylish Oak), owned and bred by Cynthia Villa, of Reno, Nev., carried Miller to a score of 220, and earned $11,992.
On March 6, the two-set 4-Year-Old Open finals saw 20 entries. As the eighth draw in the first set, Red Boon Rey carried owner Tate Bennett to a 221-scored run for the Championship. Prior to the finals, they marked scores of 215 and 216 in the first and second go-rounds, respectively, for a composite score of 431.
Red Boon Rey (Peptoboonsmal x Farra Rey x Dual Rey) made his debut in the show pen at the 2013 NCHA Futurity, where he took home Open finalists checks in both the John Deere Open and Open divisions totaling more than $50,000. Their Cattlemen’s 4-Year-Old Open title earned them a hefty paycheck worth $13,125. The 2010 gelding, bred by Tiffany Manion, of Cody, Wyo., now boasts an Equi-Stat record of more than $63,400.
The 4-Year-Old Open Reserve Championship went to Short Drive (Hydrive Cat x Shiney Shorty x Shorty Lena), owned and bred by Rose Valley Ranch, of Weatherford Texas, and Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Michael Cooper. The duo marked a 220.5, only a half-point behind the leading score, and earned $11,724 in prize money.
The show continues through Sunday, March 9, with Non-Pro, Amateur and Unlimited Amateur competition still to come.
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