Metallika, a gelding with $8,001 in prior cutting earnings before heading to the Breeder’s Invitational (BI) in Tulsa, Okla., returned to Texas with more than $92,000 earned and as the BI Derby Open Champion for his owner Scotty Rice, after marking a 225 in Saturday’s finals with his trainer and Scotty’s brother, Tag.
The BI’s 2009 Derby Open Champion Metallic Cat sired Metallika. Nyoka Pep, a Dual Pep mare owned by breeder Billy Martin, of Millsap, Texas, produced him.
While securing the Derby Open title and about $68,000, including a 10 percent fee actually split between his sire and his dam’s owners, Metallika also earned $10,000 as the BI’s Derby Open Sales Incentive Champion. Two days before topping the Derby Open finals, the horse and Tag Rice earned another $6,764 by tying for fifth place during the May 22 BI Derby Open $10,000 Novice finals.
Scotty is 37, lives in Weatherford, Texas, and owns a Fort Worth, Texas, Internet access provider. He had planned to ride Metallika in the Non-Pro at the BI, too. Scotty switched horses, though, after Tag, who is 39, and Metallika posted 219 and 220 scores in the first two Open rounds. Scotty and Super Smart Rey earned about $9,000 by tying for ninth in Saturday’s Derby Non-Pro finals.
Tag said his brother made a great team decision by deciding not to ride Metallika in the Non-Pro division. “Any time you can avoid running the wheels off of them, it’s better,” said Tag, who has trained several horses for his younger brother. The brothers’ father, Ronnie, has trained several horses for Scotty, too.
This is the first time that Tag has won a big limited-age title riding one of his brother’s horses. Scotty had earned a prior title riding a horse trained by Tag. Scotty left cutting for a while to concentrate on building a business he started with horse earnings. “He got out of it [riding cutting horses] for a few years and he just got back in it last year,” Tag said. “It’s been great having him around. We are best friends.”
Reserve Champion RW Rockin (Dual Rey x Boon San Kitty x Dual Pep), ridden by 2013 BI Derby Open Champion rider Lloyd Cox, of Marietta, Okla., earned about $41,000 with a final-go 224. Monty Johnson of Weatherford, Texas, bought the mare, bred and initially owned by Walton’s Rocking W Ranch, of Millsap, Texas, during her debut at fall’s National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity in Fort Worth.
Four horses and riders marked 221 and 220s to tie for third and fifth. The Breeder’s Invitational took place May 10-24. It has ranked as cutting’s fourth-best paying event in recent years, behind only Fort Worth’s annual “Triple Crown” shows.
A final-round 223 Saturday in Tulsa, Okla., by cutter Dean Holden and Stop Toying With Me captured the Derby Non-Pro title and the pair picked up about $30,000, pushing the stallion’s early career earnings near $140,000.
“He’s a real smart horse,” said Holden, an Australia native who lives in Marietta, Okla., after moving to America 24 years ago. Dean and his wife, California native, Charra, will celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary in late August.
Charra noticed Stop Toying With Me pass through a sale unsold, then tracked down his owner and convinced her husband to buy the horse, Dean said. The horse (Dual Rey x Letithappen Captains x Smokin Trona) is even named based upon the strong pep talk from his wife that finally convinced him to purchase the horse, Dean added.
Armed with the horse as an early 3-year-old, Dean trained him and competed with him in both the Open and the Non-Pro divisions at late fall’s 2013 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity in Fort Worth. The horse placed fourth in the Non-Pro finals and 10th in the Open finals, with Holden in the saddle both times, to earn $95,664 at his first career show. The pair had added about $8,000 to their huge initial earnings before hitting it big again with the horse’s career-best effort in Tulsa.
The Holdens did not want to reveal exactly how much they paid to buy Stop Toying With Me during early 2013, but they said he’s won it back “several times over.” Dean Holden had previously finished third and second during major Fort Worth cutting event finals, but he added his victory in Tulsa is his top win as a Non-Pro rider so far.
Reserve Champions Cody Hedlund, of Weatherford, Texas, and Meteles Cat (Metallic Cat x Teles Lies x Lenas Telesis) finished a close second with a 222 to earn more than $24,000. The horse’s trainer and Cody’s father, Rock Hedlund, of Acampo, Calif., also made Saturday’s Derby Open finals to earn an extra $10,000.