The final day of The Cattlemen’s Derby & Classic – March 12 – was a busy one filled with finals. The Derby Non-Pro led the charge, and E.J. Huntley finished the class victoriously with HR Cats Starlight.
HR Cats Starlight (High Brow Cat x Nurse Gray x Grays Starlight), bred by Bobby and Dottie Hill, of Glen Rose, Texas, carried Huntley to the Derby Non-Pro and Gelding Non-Pro championship with a 218, giving the duo the win by merely 1 point. The performance came with a $8,460 paycheck that pushed Huntley’s record in Equi-Stat past the $370,000 mark.
Last year’s National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity was HR Cats Starlight’s debut, and the 4-year-old gelding didn’t disappoint his Houston-based owner. The horse made the Non-Pro semifinals and Amateur finals, pulling a total check for $13,633. In early 2017, HR Cats Starlight has proven his abilities in the Open.
Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Tarin Rice piloted the gelding to the Open finals at The Ike and the Bonanza Cutting. HR Cats Starlight arrived in Graham, Texas, for The Cattlemen’s with nearly $30,000 in lifetime earnings. He is a half-brother to This Kittys Smart (by WR This Cats Smart, $104,130) and a full brother to Im Divas Cat ($71,035).
Colton Rothwell, of Abilene, Texas, and J.J. Manion, of Cody, Wyoming, tied for the Derby Non-Pro Reserve title with a pair of 217s. Rothwell rode Khaleesi Cat (Jazarell Cat x Bobbie Boonsmal x Bobbie Boonsmal), and Manion rode Smooth As Shorty (Smooth As A Cat x MNY Bayou Belle x Shorty Lena) to each pick up a check for $5,000.
Derby Unlimited Amateur
Just a half-point separated Lica Pinkston and Stylish Top Brow from their nearest competitors, but the team’s 217.5 was enough to earn the Derby Unlimited Amateur Championship.
The $3,500 winner’s check is the first Pinkston, of Alice, Texas, has posted with 2013 gelding Stylish Top Brow (High Brow CD x Stylish Top Girl x Docs Stylish Oak), who was bred by Grace Ranch Inc., of Jennings, Louisiana. The horse was previously owned and shown by Tim May, of Saltillo, Mississippi.
With this win, Stylish Top Brow’s lifetime earnings have surpassed the $20,000 milestone, including checks from also winning the Senior and Gelding classes. Pinkston is nearing the $250,000 mark since posting her first check to Equi-Stat in 2003.
Questionable Past (That Sly Cat x Zack Be Quick x Zack T Wood), bred by Ty Moore, of Madill, Oklahoma, carried owner Bradley Rogers, also of Madill, to the Derby Unlimited Amateur Reserve Championship with a 217. The duo took home a check for $3,000.
The Derby Amateur finals may have been small – only 18 horses were entered in the division, so merely five advanced – but that didn’t stop Champions Medal For Honor and John Rockey from putting their best efforts forward.
Rockey, of Palmdale, California, rode the Double Dove Ranch-bred gelding (Metallic Cat x Charlies Angel Rey x Dual Rey) to a 218 to win his title and a $3,400 paycheck. That score was also good enough to top the Senior class for an additional $1,260.
Medal For Honor is the leading money-earner out of Charlies Angel Rey, who garnered nearly $40,000 in her own cutting career. The gelding is poised to overtake his dam with more than $37,000 in earnings after this win.
Rockey boasts almost $120,000 on his Equi-Stat record. The veteran cutter earned his first check in 1985, according to the database. He was recently seen in headlines with Let Georgie Do It (Metallic Cat x Hey Georgy Girl x Wild Thing DNA), who ended 2016 as the NCHA Amateur Horse of the Year.
The Derby Amateur Reserve Championship and $2,750 second-place paycheck were awarded to Robert Thigpen Jr., of Chilton, Texas, for marking a 213 on Noodles Brown (Metallic Cat x Jitters Brown x Smart Little Lena), bred by David Brown, of Gainesville, Texas.
Classic Unlimited Amateur
Sweet Lil Amanda (High Brow CD x Amanda Stargun x Playgun) has an impressive reputation from her Open performances with trainer Matt Miller, an Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider. The mare, who is in her final year of limited-age eligibility, boasts more than $200,000 in earnings.
For young John Brengard, of Paragould, Arkansas, Sweet Lil Amanda is the ticket to excitement in the cutting pen, including the Classic Unlimited Amateur Championship at The Cattlemen’s. The duo put on quite a show in Graham, where they marked a 225 for the $3,500 prize money. Brengard also finished third aboard SDP Hicapoo Cat (Hydrive Cat x Hicapoo x Doc’s Hickory) with a 219, worth $2,500.
Owned by Brengard’s parents, Chris and Traci, Sweet Lil Amanda is continuing to excel in the Open with Miller. She also made the Classic Open finals at The Cattlemen’s, where she tied for third, worth another $11,000. These performances put the mare within about $10,000 of surpassing full sister Amandas CD’s $238,482 in lifetime earnings.
Von Sutten rode One Stylish Pepto (One Time Pepto x Frecklesareinstyle x Docs Stylish Oak) to a 222 in the Classic Unlimited Amateur to finish Reserve by 3 points. In exchange for their run, the Fort Worth, Texas-based rider and Cows & Horses Etc.-bred gelding garnered $3,000.
Madison Crum and Metallictoy did their jobs so well in Graham that they made it back in both the Classic Unlimited Amateur and Classic Amateur finals. In the Amateur, they managed to best their 10 competitors for the Championship, worth $2,500.
From Weatherford, Texas, Crum went to The Cattlemen’s with just more than $20,000 to her name in Equi-Stat. Thanks to her win and a fourth-place finish in the Classic Unlimited Amateur, she boosted that number by $5,000.
Metallictoy (Metallic Cat x Smartlittlelenastoy x Smart Little Lena), bred by Banawien Ranch LLC, of Little Rock, Arkansas, sold to Beechfork Ranch in mid-2012. Since then, the 6-year-old red roan mare has garnered more than $70,000, including her checks from The Cattlemen’s. She is her dam’s second-highest earner behind half-brother Lean On Rey (by Dual Rey), whose lifetime earnings total $157,420.
A 217 earned Janice Little, of Johnson City, Texas, and Wendels Player (High Brow CD x Playin Tag x Playgun) the Classic Amateur Reserve title, which paid $2,500 to the winners. Sunrise Ranch LLC, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, bred the 2011 gelding.
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