CR Tuff Hearted Cat Ronnie Rice

Center Ranch to Hold Production Sale in October

CR Tuff Hearted Cat Ronnie RiceCenter Ranch’s 2012 NCHA Futurity Co-Champion CR Tuff Hearted Cat, with Ronnie Rice. Photo credit – NCHA photo by Alan Gold.There was a lot of buzz about Center Ranch at the 2014 NCHA Futurity, where five of the ranch’s entries ranked among the top go-round contenders and four qualified for the Open Finals, a record showing for an individual owner. On Friday and Saturday, October 9 and 10, 2015, Center Ranch will hold its first ever Production Sale with an offering of approximately 30 yearlings, 40 two-year-olds, 10 broodmares, and 10 finished 3-year-olds entered in the NCHA Futurity. 

Produced by Western Bloodstock Ltd., the sale will take place at the 9,000-acre ranch’s state-of-the-art breeding and training facility, located halfway between Dallas and Houston, just off of I-45 near Centerville, Tex. 

“Fifteen years ago, Center Ranch began to put together one of the best broodmare herds in the industry and with the introduction of Woody Be Tuff is now producing some of today’s top athletes,” said Jeremy Barwick, owner of Western Bloodstock Ltd.  

“Center Ranch’s success at the 2014 NCHA Futurity not only reflects Finis Welch’s dedication to the cutting industry through his select breeding program, but also through the assembly of one of today’s finest training teams with Ronnie Rice, Tarin Rice and Boyd Rice. We are excited to be a part of this very special production sale.” 

Center Ranch is the home of 2012 NCHA Futurity Open Co-Champion CR Tuff Hearted Cat, bred by Center Ranch and sired by the ranch’s leading sire Woody Be Tuff, whose offspring, among those of other prominent stallions, will be offered at the sale. 

“For this first sale, there will be a lot of Woody Be Tuffs among the yearlings and twos,” said Center Ranch owner Dr. Finis Welch, 76, a world renowned economist, who purchased Woody Be Tuff, the earner of $351,063, as an unproven seven-year-old stallion. 

“When we went looking for a stud and bought Woody Be Tuff, he was a gamble because he had yet to be proven,” Welch added. “But he had everything we were looking for – a horse that the trainers respected, with good bone and a pedigree outcross. And now he is proving himself.” 

The ranch will host an all-day open house on Friday, October 9, as well as ranch tours, cattle viewing, and at 3:00 p.m. that afternoon, Center Ranch trainers Ronnie Rice, Boyd Rice and Tarin Rice will conduct a free cutting horse clinic, a first-time event to include all three of the celebrated trainers. 

On Saturday, October 10 at 10:00 a.m., the ranch will conduct a commercial bred heifer sale of between 600 and 700 head. Then, at 2:00 p.m. the Center Ranch Production Sale will be held with all horses working on cattle as they sell. 

Ronnie Rice, riding Center Ranch’s CR Tuff Hearted Cat, and Tarin Rice, aboard He Bea Cat, tied for the championship of the 2012 NCHA Futurity. It was Ronnie’s third NCHA Futurity win. Tarin also placed fourth in the 2014 NCHA Futurity and won the 2015 Abilene Spectacular on ranch-owned CR Tuff Lucy, by Woody Be Tuff, and placed seventh in the 2014 NCHA Futurity on CR A Little Peek. Ronnie was reserve champion of the 2011 NCHA Futurity, as well, on Jewel Bars Cat, owned by Center Ranch. 

Boyd Rice showed Center Ranch-owned CR Sun Reys to win the 2014 Mercuria NCHA World Finals and earn an all-time record composite of 924 points, with go-round scores of 231, 229, 231 and 233 points. 

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