Hashtags and Tatum Rice (pictured at the NCHA Super Stakes) added another Derby Open title to their records. • Photo by Hart Photos

First Champions Crowned at El Rancho Futurity

The El Rancho Futurity and Foothill Fiesta just kicked off a few days back in Rancho Murieta, California, and the excitement has already started ramping up. The Derby and Classic/Challenge Open finals were the first two to go, and some of the cutting industry’s hard hitters proved their place was on top.

In the Derby Open, 12 combinations gave it their all, but National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes Derby Open champions, Hashtags and Tatum Rice marked an unbeatable 228 for the win.

The Hashtag Ventures-owned blue roan stallion (Metallic Cat x Dual Rey Tag x Dual Rey) and Rice earned $9,000 for their high marks. That paycheck pushed Hashtags, who was bred by James Haworth, to lifetime earnings of more than $245,000.

Jeff Neidharts’ mare Bet Yer Metallic (Metallic Cat x Bet Yer Boons x Peptoboonsmal) and Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Rider Beau Galyean earned a 221 to pick up the Reserve Championship and $7,700.

Classic/Challenge Open

Last year’s NCHA Open Horse of the Year Ichis My Choice (Cat Ichi x My Little Abra x Abrakadabracre) has proved her worth time and time again. But she continues to show longevity is on her long list of attributes.

In the Classic/Challenge Open finals, she and Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider Grant Setnicka stayed focused and put together a smoking run that earned a 228 for the judges.

Those high marks brought $9,000 to the pair. The J Five Horse Ranch LLC-owned mare, who was bred by EE Ranches, now boasts an Equi-Stat record or $345,840.

Shesa Puddy Rey (Athena Puddy Cat x Shesa Desi Rey x Dual Rey), who is owned by Laurel Daniel Morais, carried Dylan Meyer to a 225 to claim the Reserve title, worth $7,500.

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