As the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Summer Spectacular, slated for July 11-Aug. 1, continues in Fort Worth, Texas, so do the finals of the Western Bloodstock/NCHA Showdown In Cowtown. Sunday, July 19, marked the first Unlimited Amateur finals of the event, where Alexis Stephas and Once You Go Black picked up the Championship.
Stephas, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and her 6-year-old black stallion (Hydrive Cat x RG Sugar Lena x Poco San Lena), bred by Ronald Abbott, of Sumner, Texas, marked a 221 from the first draw of the finals, which featured 10 horse-and-rider duos from the single preliminary round. Of those teams, “Zorro” and Stephas made the finals from the last hole.
Despite what Stephas considered a sub-par run in the Rios of Mercedes Unlimited Amateur go-round, where she drew next to last on Sunday, Zorro improved considerably in just an hour’s time to win the Showdown In Cowtown by a 3-point margin. The performance paid $20,000, which is the biggest check Stephas has ever won.