Dual Smart Kitty Tops PCCHA Derby Open

dualsmartkitty-pcchaDual Smart Kitty and Clay Johnson • photo by Midge AmesNational Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Open Horse of the Year leaders Dual Smart Kitty extended her edge Thursday in Las Vegas, hitting the jackpot in the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Derby Open finals with a 226 to earn $18,012, plus quite a few more Horse of the Year points.

Dual Smart Kitty (Dual Smart Rey x Cats Peptolena x High Brow Cat) is the first limited-age horse owned by Rusty and Shelly Simpson, of Nemo, Texas. The couple enjoyed a hectic but successful day. They watched their daughter, Sadye, earn a check as a non-pro at The Non Pro Plus The Open in Oklahoma City. Then they raced to the airport in Dallas, just in time for a flight to Las Vegas. That allowed them to cheer on Dual Smart Kitty’s third limited-age victory in seven months, since she started competing with Clay Johnson last fall.

Competing at the PCCHA Derby provided a challenge, and a chance to learn, Johnson said. “She’s been real good out here. This is the first time I’ve ever been in Las Vegas in my life. I was pretty nervous about cutting theses steers,” Johnson said, explaining that heifers are primarily used at cuttings in the Southwest. “We marked a 217 and a 217.5 in the first two rounds, but tonight she was unreal. She felt like we could hold anything. She was real smart and tight and held it together real good.”

Templeton, Calif., trainer Morgan Cromer, who guided Wareable to a Classic/Challenge Open victory worth $11,245 Thursday, placed second and third in the Derby Open with What About Blue, a gelding owned by Jacob Pinehiro, of Los Alamitos, Calif., and Countin On Stell, a mare owned by Terry and Britt Ratto, of Los Altos, Calif. Their 223 and 221.5 scores earned $15,322 and $12,632 checks.

Sweet Metallic (Metallic Cat x Sweet Abra), a mare owned by Beau and Ashley Galyean, of Fort Worth, Texas, and ridden by Beau, placed fourth with a 218.5. As the top-placing Derby Open entry sired by 2005 stallion Metallic Cat, Sweet Metallic earned a $25,000 Metallic Cat Incentive bonus. Including a total of $40,000 in Metallic Cat bonuses, 4-year-olds sired by “Denver” earned more than $75,000 in the PCCHA Derby Open. That allowed Metallic Cat to surpass $1 million in offspring earnings.

Subscribe to Quarter Horse News for compete coverage of the PCCHA Derby and all of the cutting horse industry’s biggest events.