A Triple Crown Championship is one of the most elusive titles a horse can win. The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Triple Crown is made up of the NCHA Futurity, NCHA Super Stakes and NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby, and only three horses have won the title. They are Smart Little Lena, Docs Okie Quixote and Chiquita Pistol – all winners in the Open division. Now, the NCHA adds Watch Me Whip as the first NCHA Non-Pro Triple Crown winner.
Watch Me Whip was shown by Armando Costa Neto and bred by his famiy’s Barrinha LLC, of Weatherford, Texas. Watch Me Whip and Costa started their Triple Crown run with an NCHA Futurity Non-Pro win, a Co-Championship in the NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro and then the NCHA Derby Non-Pro title. They marked an adjusted 223.5 earning $17,204 for the Derby win. The Triple Crown Championship automatically makes Watch Me Whip the 2016 NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year.
Playgun ($185,733), the sire of Watch Me Whip, was a finalist in 21 aged events including Open and Non-Pro wins at the 1996 Augusta Cutting Horse Futurity. The stallion, who died just prior to the 2015 NCHA Futurity, is leaving a great legacy as an all-around sire. He has an Equi-Stat offspring record of more than $8.5 million in cutting, reined cow horse and reining. His leading money-winners are Mr Beaman ($319,518) in cutting; PG Dry Fire ($134,999) in reined cow horse and Julgun ($99,295) in reining. The versatility of Playgun is shown through his son Real Gun, the 2004 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Show Super Horse. Real Gun earned his Super Horse title with a Reserve World Championship in Working Cow Horse and top 10 finishes in Heeling and Tie-Down Calf Roping.
Playgun is by Freckles Playboy ($59,976), an Equi-Stat Elite $25 Million Sire. His leading money-winners include Playboys Madera ($570,819), Playboys Kid ($445,018) and Hyglo Freckles ($412,142). Freckles Playboy is sired by Jewel’s Leo Bar (by Freckles) and out of Gay Jay by Rey Jay.
Miss Silver Pistol ($512,755) is the dam of Playgun. She was a multiple aged-event champion including the 1985 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro. She is the dam of foals with Equi-Stat records totalling $348,801, including her leading money-winner Playgun and Purdy Pistol ($62,948). Miss Silver Pistol is by Doc’s Hickory and out of Pistol Lady 2 B by King’s Pistol.
Look The Look, the dam of Watch Me Whip, was purchased by Costa Neto’s father, Armando Costa Filho, at the 2010 NCHA Futurity 2-Year-Old Sale for $105,000. She later carried trainer John Mitchell and Costa Neto to the Open and Non-Pro finals, respectively, at the 2011 NCHA Futurity. She earned $174,913 in her career. The mating to Playgun was Mitchell’s idea, and Watch Me Whip is the first foal out of this mare to be shown.
The sire of Look The Look is High Brow Cat by High Brow Hickory by Doc’s Hickory. This gives the pedigree of Watch Me Whip a second cross to Doc’s Hickory. The dam of High Brow Cat is Smart Little Kitty by Smart Little Lena.
Look The Look is out of the unshown mare Dual Lookin Pep by Dual Pep. Dual Lookin Pep has an Equi-Stat offspring record of $248,965. Her money-earners include Pickinupstrangers ($41,425) who carried Cody Erwin to the 2015 NCHA Super Stakes Amateur Championship.
Dual Lookin Pep is out of The Smart Look ($48,723) a finalist in the NCHA Futurity Open, NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro and NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Non-Pro with George Stout in the saddle. Thomas Wiens purchased the mare in 1994 and rode her to earnings of $35,309, mostly in weekend non-pro and amateur classes. Strawn Valley Ranch bought The Smart Look in 2001, and she changed hands for the last time in 2013, when she was purchased by Wrigley Ranches LLC at the Strawn Valley Dispersal.
The Smart Look is the dam of foals with total earnings of $1,780,035, according to Equi-Stat. They include Dual Smart Rey ($330,436); One Smart Lookin Cat ($226,310); Smart Lookin Hi Brow ($221,929); WR This Cats Smart ($236,514) and Sannman ($153,394).
The Smart Look is by Smart Little Lena and out of Dox Royal Smoke by Freckles Playboy. This gives the pedigree of Watch Me Whip a second cross to Freckles Playboy. The dam of Dox Royal Smoke is Vickie Smoke (Smoke 49 x Miss Victoria x Poco Soto).
An In the Blood note: Watch me Whip’s paternal granddam Miss Silver Pistol is out of Pistol Lady 2 Be by King’s Pistol. The last horse to earn an NCHA Triple Crown was Chiquita Pistol, who is by Smart Little Pistol, a son of Miss Silver Pistol. This gives two of four NCHA Triple Crown champions a tie to Miss Silver Pistol, a granddaughter of King’s Pistol.
King’s Pistol, in turn, was the first stallion to win an NCHA Open World Championship for owner and rider Jim Calhoun back in 1957. Bred by Bud Warren, King’s Pistol is by King P-234 and out of Flit by Leo. Flit is the dam of the great barrel racing influencer Flit Bar by Sugar Bars. Flit is also the dam of Sugar Leo, the sire of 1973 NCHA Open World Champion Sugar Vaquero.
Click here to return to the QHN Insider Current Edition
Did you miss a story, photo or stat in a previous Insider, or do you just want to revisit a particular column you enjoyed? Click here to visit the QHN Insider Archive.