Amafoxy Cat and Wes Ashlock bested the field by a half-point with a 217 during Thursday’s John Deere Classic Open finals at National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes to earn their first limited-age win. The Championship was worth $6,755 for owners John and Jana Thacker, of Abilene, Texas. The 6-year-old mare (Cats Red Feather x Amafoxy Sneakin x Sneakin Lena) and Ashlock also will compete in tonight’s Super Stakes Classic Open finals.
John Thacker originally planned to ride Amafoxy Cat in the Super Stakes Classic Amateur. He opted to give Ashlock a shot in Open instead, partly because of their performance at February’s Bonanza Cutting, where they made the Classic Open finals.
“That’s a great mare,” said 31-year-old Ashlock, whose career up until this point has focused on training 2-year-olds. “Any trainer in this building, that’s what we are all looking for is the next good horse. You can’t do it without them.”
Ashlock’s wife, Lindy, is an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame Rider who has earned more than $850,000.
“She’s a great showman, and I’ve really learned a lot from her,” Ashlock said of his wife. “And she’s as good as there is in getting one ready.”
Lindy’s father, Tom Merryman, taught Ashlock and started him on his current career path. Ashlock’s first limited-age victory pushed his career earnings to nearly $70,000.
There was a tie for the Reserve Championship between Creepy Crawler, ridden by Luke Huggins, and Smart Bou Lena, ridden by Ty Brown. Both marked 216.5 scores. Creepy Crawler and Huggins also compete in tonight’s Classic Open finals.