Five sets of talented 4-year-old cutting horses battled challenging cattle all afternoon in the Will Rogers Coliseum on April 14 in the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Open semifinals. When the last of 56 horse-and-rider teams completed their run, the bubble sat at 214.5.
Twenty-one horses made it back to the Open finals, scheduled to begin immediately following the Super Stakes Non-Pro finals in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 15. The Open semifinals leaders – HC Tailgate Date and Wes Ashlock – will compete from the last hole in the second set.
Three riders qualified multiple horses to the finals. Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Rider Clint Allen was the most successful in his efforts, riding DMAC Bellini Martini, Pharoah And James, and DMAC Piccolo Pete to semifinals scores of 214.5, 217.5 and 218, respectively. Allen was the only rider to get back to the finals with three horses, all of which are owned by David and Stacie McDavid, of Fort Worth.
The only other owner to have multiple horses advance to the finals is Mark Senn, of Augusta, Georgia. His stallions Magnetik Playboy (Metallic Cat x Playboys Mom x Freckles Playboy) and Kreepin Cat (Metallic Cat x Stylish Little Bow x Docs Stylish Oak) will both compete in the first set, merely one draw apart. Magnetik Playboy, ridden by Walt Erwin, marked a 215.5 in the semifinals, surpassing Kreepin Cat and rider Sean Flynn by merely a half-point.
The other riders who qualified two horses to the finals are Wesley Galyean, riding Some Likeit Metallic and Fed Exx; and Rowdy Larson, riding Metallic Ina and Johnny English.
Of the 21 finalists set to compete on April 15, four also advanced to the Limited Open finals, held April 9. They include Limited Open Champion Johnny English, Reserve Champion Metallic Ina, third-place finisher HC Tailgate Date and Magnetik Playboy, who was scratched in an effort to save the horse for the main Open.
A total of 10 stallions will be represented in the finals. The stallion with the most offspring slated to show is Equi-Stat Elite $11 Million Sire Metallic Cat, who sired nine of the 4-year-olds. Equi-Stat Elite $36 Million Sire Dual Rey, $74 Million Sire High Brow Cat and $3 Million Sire Spots Hot each have two get representing them, while Bet Hesa Cat, $3 Million Sire Dual Smart Rey, Herding Cats, $2 Million Sire Hickorys Indian Pep, $12 Million Sire One Time Pepto and $8 Million Sire WR This Cats Smart each have one.
The NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro finals are scheduled to begin at 2 in the afternoon at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, following the annual National Youth Cutting Horse Association Easter egg hunt at 1 p.m. The Open finals will start directly afterward.
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