Copperish may have lost a cow in the Open semifinals at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, but she has come on with power as a 4-year-old this year. She followed up several strong showings at early limited-age events with an impressive win at The Cattlemen’s Derby & Classic.
Ridden by Marietta, Oklahoma, trainer Lloyd Cox for Jimmie Smith, of Geary, Oklahoma, Copperish dominated the Derby Open in Graham, Texas, with a huge 227 in the 18-horse, two-set finals. The Double Dove Ranch-bred mare (Metallic Cat x Stylish Play Lena x Docs Stylish Oak) and her rider earned $15,000 for their efforts.
“The last cow was pretty tough, but she handled it real well. I was extremely pleased with how it went,” said Cox, who boasts lifetime earnings of more than $8 million. “These 4-year-olds have been to quite a few shows now and got seasoned, so they’ve gotten better. You put a good cow in front of them and they do pretty good.”
In addition to Copperish, Cox showed Sly Rey Girl and Nothing Elz Matters in the Derby Open finals, finishing in the top 10 with all of the horses he got back. Sly Rey Girl (Dual Rey x Sly Playgirl x That Sly Cat) marked a 219.5 to tie for fourth, worth $10,375, and Nothing Elz Matters (Metallic Cat x Little Peppy Jazz x Smart Little Lena) scored a 218 for a three-way tie for seventh, worth $8,500. Altogether, Cox’s mounts earned $33,875 in the finals.
“Jimmie bought her as a yearling through the black tie sale and sent her to me, mostly because I’ve rode a lot of babies out of her mother, Stylish Play Lena,” Cox said about Copperish, who sold to Smith for $210,000 at the 2014 Western Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale & Gala. “I was sure happy to get her. You never know what you’re going to get, but that breeding was certainly something you’d want.”
Stylish Play Lena, who garnered about $290,000 in her own show career with Cox, has produced 17 money-earners. Thanks to the paycheck Copperish picked up at The Cattlemen’s, her total get earnings surpassed the $1.5 million milestone, giving her an incredible offspring average of $88,751. Copperish is a half-brother to $300,000-plus earners Pepto Boom (by Peptoboonsmal), Hottish (by Spots Hot) and Smooth Talkin Style (by Smooth As A Cat).
The Cattlemen’s Derby Open Reserve title went to CR Tuff Digs Lucinda (Woody Be Tuff x Cat Digs Lucinda x High Brow Cat), who was ridden by Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Tarin Rice, of Centerville, Texas, to a 224. Owner Vick Ethridge, of Corinth, Mississippi, garnered a $14,060 check for his Center Ranch-bred mare’s performance.
Watch Me Whip (Playgun x Look The Look x High Brow Cat) may have an incredible reputation and the record to back it up, but the NCHA Non-Pro Triple Crown winner still has a job to do. As a 5-year-old, the gray mare still has plenty of limited-age shows on the horizon.
Armando Costa Neto, of Weatherford, Texas, and Watch Me Whip, who was bred by Costa Neto’s family, showed they have a lot left to offer, even if they have nothing left to prove. They marked a 222.5 to win the Classic Non-Pro.
Prior to arriving in Graham for The Cattlemen’s, Watch Me Whip’s Equi-Stat record stood at nearly $145,000. That sum included championships from all of the NCHA’s Triple Crown shows – the Futurity, Super Stakes and Summer Spectacular. Those performances also played a big role in pushing Costa Neto past the $1 million milestone, which happened at January’s Abilene Spectacular when he piloted Watch Me Whip’s full sister, Watch Me Nae Nae, to the 4-Year-Old Non-Pro win.
There was a tie for the Classic Non-Pro Reserve Championship with a pair of 219s marked by Kelle Earnheart on Flash N Silver (Purdy Boy Flash x Aristocraticaly You x Smart Aristocrat) and Rieta Dufurrena on Stevie Rey Von (Metallic Cat x Miss Ella Rey x Dual Rey).
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