The Calgary Stampede was the fifth stop for the eight-leg Mercuria/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Series of Cutting, and the race for the top 15 in the World standings just got hotter.
Eazee E (High Brow Cat x Zee Dualy x Dual Pep) marked a first-round 227 to win the first go, followed by QB Cat (High Brow Cat x Quintan Blue x Mecom Blue) and his go-round 223. Both horses from the United States were sitting in the top five of the NCHA Open World standings going into the Calgary, Alberta, Canada, event.
In the finals, things were switched up when QB Cat and rider Clint Allen took charge of the six-horse finals from draw five with a 225. Ridden by Tatum Rice, Eazee E gave it her all, but fell 1 point short with a 224. QB Cat took home the Open win.
Allen, an Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Rider, and QB Cat, bred by Marvine Ranch LLC, garnered $13,330 for owners David and Stacie McDavid. Combined with the $17,979 the 2008 gelding recorded in Open money prior to this Mercuria, the horse’s total for the season has him sitting third in the World now.
Open Reserve Champion Eazee E, owned by Kevin and Sydney Knight, picked up $9,553 for her performance with Rice, whose lifetime earnings exceed $1.5 million. The Frank and Belinda Vandersloot-bred 2010 mare narrowed the gap between her and current Open leader Deluxe Checks significantly. Based on results the NCHA had processed through the end of June, Eazee E is now merely $2,050 from the No. 1 spot.
For Shannon Lamb, of Boerne, Texas, the long trip to Calgary paid off with a Mercuria Non-Pro title aboard Rue Du Ichi. The 2009 gelding (Cat Ichi x Snicker Roo x SR Instant Choice) and his owner edged out their competition by a half-point.
In a competitive Non-Pro finals of 10 horses, the half-point that earned Lamb the Championship is all that separated the top three riders. Lamb’s 220.5 stood above the Co-Reserve Champions – Canadians Kaila Stewart and Amanda Smith – and resulted in a $9,647 payday.
Lamb arrived in Calgary with $11,733 in Non-Pro weekend money earned this year, which put her in the 15th hole in the NCHA Non-Pro World standings. Her winner’s check pushes her yearly total to $21,380, elevating her to No. 7 on the list.
Stewart, who rode Clays Little CD (CD Lights x Clays Little Hickory x High Brow Hickory), and Smith, who was mounted on Hoo Doo Hughes (Thomas E Hughes x Acre Of Freckles x Bob Acre Doc), split the second- and third-place checks to garner $7,353 each.
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