The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open finals were held Saturday, Dec. 13, to wrap up the prestigious event, which began Nov. 20 in Fort Worth, Texas. A roster of 25 teams qualified for the finals, but tough cows tested the 3-year-old horses to the extreme.
From the middle of the second bunch, Classy CD Cat and Phil Hanson brought the crowd to its feet when they trapped their cows in the middle and showed off their fancy moves. As the buzzer rang, Hanson fist-bumped the air because he knew the judges would like his performance, and they did.
Hanson, of Weatherford, Texas, and Classy CD Cat (High Brow Cat x Classical CD x CD Olena) walked from the arena as a big 228 lit up the scoreboard, sending the crowd to its feet once again. The mare and her rider picked up a $200,000 paycheck for owner/breeder Dottie St. Clair Hill, of Glen Rose, Texas.
“Both herds were pretty darn tough,” Hanson said. “The cattle were really hard to read. It just fit; the whole thing just fit together. I just thank the Lord that it all just fell into place. The mare was phenomenal.”
The NCHA Futurity Open Reserve title went to Lloyd Cox, of Marietta, Oklahoma, and Smooth Talkin Style, who marked a 225 from the eighth draw in the first set. The stallion (Smooth As A Cat x Stylish Play Lena x Docs Stylish Oak), bred by Double Dove Ranch and co-owned by Gail Holmes and Hill, garnered $109,512 for the performance.
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