Riding into the herd as the first draw of the 14-horse finals in The Cattlemen’s Classic Non-Pro on March 7, Armando Costa Neto chose fleshy cows and set the bar high for his fellow competitors – including himself.
Costa Neto, of Weatherford, Texas, marked a 219 with Arosefirst (Sweet Lil Pepto x Arosesuchaclatter x Smooth As A Cat), but he couldn’t just watch the next rides as a spectator. He had to continue to watch the herd as he prepared to ride his other finalist, Pow Wow Pep (Hickorys Indian Pep x Little Moria Pep x Dual Pep), who was the 10th draw.
“The game plan was still the same on my next horse – get out as far as possible from the herd and try to pick the best cows,” Costa Neto said. “We had a couple of our picks left. Phil Rapp helped me watch the cows. Clay Johnson settled the herd, and he was on the back fence helping me find the cows. We picked some good cows, and it worked today. Sometimes it doesn’t, but today it did. I knew it was going to be close because it was a good run, but you never know. It was that close, but I knew it was a good run.”
It was close. But with a 219.5 and a .5-point edge, Pow Wow Pep earned Championship honors. The mare also had the highest score in the first go-round – a 217.5.
Bred by Marilyn Jo Franz, of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Pow Wow Pep was purchased as a 2-year-old by John Mitchell, and Costa Neto bought the mare prior to the 2012 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity.
“I showed her at the Futurity, and I’ve been showing her since” said Costa Neto, who won the Non-Pro Reserve Championship at the 2014 NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge with Pow Wow Pep. “She’s been a real good horse for me. She’s real consistent. She tries hard every time. Every day that we go to work her, she comes up and puts her head on my shoulder, and you have to scratch her before you work her. She’s a sweet little horse.”
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