A week’s worth of cutting competition at The Cattlemen’s Derby in Graham, Texas, wrapped up March 8 with five finals on the schedule. The first order of the day was the Non-Pro Derby finals. The field in the Non-Pro Derby division for 4-year-olds started with 39 entries, and it took a 214 to make it back into the 12-horse finals.
Mary Ann Rapp and Tuned Up To Drive (Hydrive Cat x SDP Finely Tuned x Smart Little Lena), owned and bred she Rapp and her husband, Phil Rapp, finished 2014 as the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Reserve Champions. As the second horse to work in the Cattlemen’s Non-Pro Derby finals, the pair set the standard with a 218.
“There wasn’t very many of the cattle that I liked,” said Rapp. “The first two cows that I cut were my two picks. The red blaze cow was awesome – it was definitely the best cow in the pen.”
The final team to work, Post Card From Paris (Light N Lena x Keena Pep x Dual Pep) and Louis De Armes, were up to the challenge and tied the 218 for a share of the championship. Post Card From Paris and Lance Cooper were the Reserve Champions in the Limited Non-Pro at the 2014 NCHA Futurity.
“Any draw in the finals is a great draw,” said De Armes. “I ride with really good people so even this morning when I noticed that I was last, my mind was set up just like the champion draw. I have seen many of the good guys win while being last. Of course you don’t have many options regarding cattle, but you have the advantage that you can try to cut stronger cows and if things roll your way, you have a little bit of extra there.”
Tuned Up To Drive and Post Card From Paris each received $6,504.
“She’s been a really nice show horse,” Rapp said of Tuned Up To Drive. “I was second on her at the Futurity and second on her in Abilene. I’ve made all the finals on her that I’ve shown her in this year. This is our first championship. We are very pleased with her. She’s a really nice mare.”
The first amateur class of the day was the Classic Amateur finals for 5- and 6-year-olds with a nine-horse field. With 36 entries in the first go, it took a 213.5 or better to advance to the finals.
Smooth As A Huntress (Smooth As a Cat x Dual Huntress x Dual Pep) and 15-year-old John Brengard were the fourth team to work and marked a 217 to win the class. Smooth As A Huntress, who is owned by Brengard’s parents, Chris and Tracy Brengard, marked a 218.5 in the first go and earned $3,250 for the victory.
“I was thinking that it was really fast,” Brengard said. “The cows weren’t as good as I expected them to be, but I got through it.”
The eighth horse in the draw, Sweetallic (Metallic Cat x Sweet Little Boon x Smart Little Lena), ridden by Julie Sheedy, marked a 215.5 to earn the reserve spot.
In the Derby Amateur finals, Pickin Up Strangers and Cody Erwin marked a 217 as the fourth team to work. Erwin purchased Pickin Up Strangers about a month ago and the horse and rider are finding their groove. In addition winning $2,800 as the champions in the Amateur Derby finals, the pair also finished third in the Unlimited Amateur Derby finals and earned an additional $2,500.
Done With Grace (Smooth As A Cat x Gracefully Done x Dual Pep) and Shari Mohl were fifth to work and marked a 214. Mohl and Done With Grace, who were the reserve champions in this division at the Bonanza in February, earned $ 2,224 for their Cattlemen’s finish.
“I was listening to my trainer and just trying to keep it clean and in the middle,” Erwin said. “I was looking for the one that wanted to be cut. I just purchased the horse 30 days ago. This is my first show on him. He’s a great, solid horse. He never makes a mistake.”
There were 23 horses entered in the Derby Amateur, and seven horses advanced to the finals by marking 210 or higher in the first go.
Classic Unlimited Amateur
In the Classic Unlimited Amateur finals, Shesa Spoonfula Fun (Hesa Peptospoonful x Opus Cat x High Brow Cat) and Jody Radomske were fifth in the draw of the 16-horse finals. The pair marked the highest score of the day with a 221, and they took home the winner’s share of the purse – $3,500.
The 14th horse in the draw, Daratrcocoaspreview (TR Dual Rey x Daracocoaspreviewias x Oaks Cocoa Jay Ias), marked a 218.5 with Eddie Young in the saddle. The pair earned $3,000 as the reserve champions. It took a 214 or better in the first go, which had 47 entries, to advance to the finals.
“We raised her,” Radomske said of “Teaspoon.” “We had her mother so we’ve had her forever. She’s been with Jaime Snider, who has trained her. She’s always been special.”
Derby Unlimited Amateur
Working next-to-last, Lethal Kitty (Metallic Cat x MH Little Conchita x Kits Little Garfield) and Deb Herold set the bar at 215.5. Coming off a victory at the Bonanza, Hya Lights Me Now (CD Lights x SR Hyacinth x Doc’s Hickory) and Lisa Bankston added to the trophy case after marking a 216 and taking home championship honors.
“She is so good,” Bankston said. “She has turned into such a great mare. When we bought her, I just wanted a nice horse for me to show, but I never dreamed that she was going to be this good. We’re thrilled – just thrilled.”
As champion Bankston won $3,500, and Herold earned $3,000 as reserve. The Derby Unlimited Amateur began with 36 horses in the first go. The 10-horse finals was reduced to eight with two scratches. It took a score of 213 or better to make it back to the finals.
Subscribe to Quarter Horse News for complete coverage of The Cattlemen’s Derby and all major cutting aged events.