Metalic Al and Tom Shelly Top John Deere Open

tomshellyMetalic Al, with owner Tom Shelly and his daughter, ShelleeAbout an hour and a half after making the Open semifinals with a strong effort in Saturday’s second go of National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Open, Metalic Al and Tom Shelly returned to the same arena and earned $10,137 with a 222 in the John Deere Open finals.

Following the duo’s second performance of the day in Fort Worth, Texas, the 65-year-old Los Olivos, Calif., trainer patted the 4-year-old stallion on the neck. Then he told him, “Nice job, Albert. You can take the rest of the day off.”

Shelly said the young stallion wasn’t impacted at all by pulling a double shift on Saturday. “He got his air back,” Shelly said. “He’s in shape, so it didn’t bother him.”

Metalic Al, sired by Metallic Cat and out of Amandas Little Star, by Smart Little Lena, was purchased for $90,000 by Paul Skinner, of Seattle, Wash, at the 2012 NCHA Futurity 2-Year-Old Sale. Shelly has trained him ever since.

Prior to the Super Stakes, Metalic Al had earned less than $5,000. He will leave Texas soon with considerably more on his record. The horse and Shelly marked a first-go 218 in their bid to make April 19’s Super Stakes Open finals. They followed that with a 215 in the second-go, securing their place in the Open semifinals on April 18.

In the John Deere Open finals, Shelly and the stallion competed fifth out of 16. This time, they dominated with quality working time on two cows. They cut their second one with 32 seconds left and never let go.

“I only worked two cows because the second one wouldn’t let me off, so I stayed until the buzzer, but it was a really good cow,” Shelly said. “It worked out perfect. It doesn’t always work out like that.”

Reserve Champions Shes A Smokin Dually and Josh Drake, of Weatherford, Texas, marked a 219 to earn $8,807 for the horse’s teen owner, Grace Vangilder, of Jackson, Mo. They missed the Open semifinals by just a point with a 429 composite.

Drake, 24, works as assistant trainer under Tatum Rice, of Weatherford, Texas. Drake started Shes A Smokin Dually (Third Cutting x Smokin Dually x Dual Pep) as a 2-year-old, but this is the first time he has competed on her. Rice rode her to earnings of $25,667 last year.

“I couldn’t have asked her to do much more for me,” Drake said. “We missed the semis by a point. That ride [the pair’s 219 in the John Deere Open] is the best one I’ve ever had. It felt pretty good.”