Fort Worth, Texas, had a high of 105 degrees on the day of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Classic/Challenge Open finals, but the real heat came from the competition in the pen.
As the fifth draw in the first set, Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Rider John Mitchell marked a smoking 228 on CR Tuff Lucy (Woody Be Tuff x Lucindas Catolena x High Brow Cat) and caused thundering cheers from the audience.
That high score would be tough to beat, but the show wasn’t over. Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Rider Gary Gonsalves knew he had a horse that could top the field, but he knew things would have to come together perfectly to do so. He and Reyzin The Cash (Dual Rey x Spookys Cash x Miss N Cash) were able to do just that, and they marked the winning score of 229, worth a hefty $51,259.
“He is just an athlete, and he has been really great,” Gonsalves said of the Iron Rose Ranch owned and bred stallion.
Mitchell’s high marks held on for the Reserve Championship and brought a paycheck of $23,516.
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