A 230-point run by Auspicious Cat and Ed Dufurrena dominated the Mercuria/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Series of Cutting stop in Las Vegas on June 14.
Auspicous Cat (High Brow Cat x Lenas O Lady x Peppy San Badger), a 2005 stallion with nearly $240,000 in prior career earnings, and Dufurrena won while posting the top score of either’s career and adding $7,539 to their already stout career earning totals. Their victory also virtually assures Auspicious Cat will meet NCHA Horse Hall of Fame criteria for induction, said his career-long trainer. Dufurrena solidified his own eventual NCHA Open Rider Hall of Fame status by topping the $1 million mark in career earnings earlier this year.
Earlier Saturday night, Ed’s son, Brandon Dufurrena, guided family-bred and -owned Purple Reyn (Metallic Cat x Miss Ella Rey x Dual Rey) to a 220 and a victory in the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Derby Non-Pro finals to earn $13,677. That included a $5,000 bonus from the show’s Metallic Cat Incentive program, payable only if the winner was sired by Metallic Cat.
“It was obviously just a powerful run, and it all just fit together,” Ed said of his run aboard “Ozzy” as the third team to compete in the nine-horse finals. “You can’t make this happen. We got lucky and we had a good draw on the right day. This horse has been good his whole career, but he put down a run that I’d never seen him have.”
Brandon, 28, and Purple Reyn won the PCCHA Derby Non-Pro after finishing third at the NCHA Super Stakes and second at the Arbuckle Mountain Futurity. Because this mare’s mother was his first great horse, he might have tried a little too hard with “Reyn” at their first few events, he said.
“I know I’ve got a lot of horse under me,” Brandon said. “I should feel more comfortable on her, because she’s a really good mare. She’s a lot of fun.”
Ed Dufurrena later added, “Moments like this don’t happen that often. You have to appreciate them when they do.”
Tiffani Banuelos, of Boerne, Texas, and Cat Stevens (High Brow Cat x Shes A Stylish Babe x Docs Stylish Oak) finished as Derby Non-Pro Reserve Champions with a 216 to earn $7,242. “This is just the second time I’ve show her,” Banuelos said of the mare who was an NCHA Futurity Open finalist under Banuelos’ son, Adan.
Mercuria/NCHA World Series of Cutting Reserve Champions Smart Stingrey (Dual Rey x Smart Sandhill Kay x Smart Mate) and Mike Wood, of Scottsdale, Ariz., marked a 226.5. Las Vegas residents Michelle and Jeff LeMaster bought Smart Stingrey last year. The 8-year-old gelding previously topped $160,000 in earnings. “He’s a really fun horse to show,” said Wood, who won the $10,000 Novice Open with the horse at the NCHA Western National Championships.