Alberto Rodriguez & Mo Metallic • Photo by Dawn Baxtrom

First Draws Sweep Last Four Finals at The Ike

Everyone in cutting has a preferred draw. Some like a draw in the middle to see how the cows are working, and some like the later draw so they know exactly what they need to mark to win. A few also like the early draws, because any cow could be there’s, but there is no denying the pressure that comes from going first.

The first draw sets the bar for the rest of the field and is the first to really test the herd. That first draw today at The Ike Derby and Classic proved to be the money spot, as the leading competitor in all four finals ended up with the Championship.

During the 4-Year-Old Unlimited Amateur finals, Alberto Rodriguez piloted Mo Metallic to a 217 to clinch the Championship. The title was worth $3,291, which pushed Jessica De Filippo’s mare and Rodriguez to more than $10,000 in lifetime earnings.

Mo Metallic’s other paychecks were earned with Rodriguez at the 2017 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, where the pair advanced to the Unlimited Amateur and Limited Non-Pro semifinals and moved onto the finals in the Amateur.

The 2014 mare is by Equi-Stat Elite $17 Million Sire Metallic Cat, who won $637,711 in his cutting career. Mo Metallic is out of Mo Flo, who has nine performing offspring with money earned in cutting, barrel racing and reined cow horse. They have records totaling $176,237.

Her leading money earner is 2005 gelding, Metro Fletch (by Royal Fletch), who was a 2008 NCHA Futurity Open semifinalist and is an earner of nearly $115,000.

4-Year-Old Amateur

Marvin Marmande & Entirely Smoken • Photo by Dawn Baxstrom

Marvin Marmande Jr. and Entirely Smoken had some tough luck at the 2017 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity that kept them from advancing to the Unlimited Amateur or Amateur finals, but they stayed focused going into the 2018 season.

As the first draw in the 4-Year-Old Amateur finals, the pair marked a 215 to clinch the Championship. The win was worth $1,538, which pushed Entirely Smoken’s Equi-Stat record to $3,158. The gelding’s other check to his credit was earned by advancing to the NCHA Futurity Unlimited Amateur semifinals.

Marmande, of Houma, Louisiana, now boasts lifetime earnings of more than $190,000. The homebred gelding is by Dual R Smokin, who has sired 49 money-earners with more than $450,000 to their credit. Dual R Smokin accumulated $220,727 in his cutting career.

Entirely Smoken is the only money-earner out of the 2008 mare Entirely Magic (by Abrakadrabracre) is out of Willys Tivio Dell, who has produced 13 performers with totals of $139,865.

Willys Tivio Dell’s top money earners include, Tallic Cat (by Metallic Cat, $49,544), A Spoonfull of Wit (Hes A Peptospoonful, $23,033), One Spoonful of Tivi (Hes A Peptospoonful, $17,232).

5/6-Year-Old Unlimited Amateur

If an athlete takes a long hiatus from their sport of choice, it may be hard to get back to where they were before the break. But Amanda Standish has proved she never missed a beat after taking nearly a year off from cutting.

Amanda Standish & Im Countin Starz • Photo by Dawn Baxstrom

Standish was out of the saddle surrounding the birth of her daughter, Eloise, but she and Im Countin Starz picked up the Augusta Futurity 5/6-Year-old Unlimited Amateur Championship just a few weeks back and kept the success up at The Ike.

Standish and “Mr. Blue” took Reserve honors in the 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro by marking a 219, and a day later, they put together another 219 to claim the 5/6-Year-Old Championship.

“It was really neat to win Augusta and then here,” Standish said. “I haven’t shown for a year. I was really excited to do it. I was first, which always makes me a little nervous. I prefer to be a little bit deeper, but Austin [Shepard] had three really good cows picked out for me. They all shaped up and were pretty easy to cut. We got them cut clear, and they turned out to be great. He has been so much fun to show. If I do my job halfway right, he does everything else.”

Standish collected $11,181 for her Non-Pro Reserve Championship and an additional $3,766 for the Unlimited Amateur title. After her success at The Ike, Standish now boasts lifetime earnings of $182,148. Mr. Blue has an Equi-Stat record of more than $50,000.

The win was especially sweet because of Mr. Blue’s connection to Standish’s other prized performer. Out of Catrina Starlight (by High Brow Cat), he’s a full brother to 2017 NCHA Open World Champion Deluxe Checks. Standish said she sees some distinct similarities between the two.

“They are both really honest horses and like to do their job,” Standish said. “It makes it easy to ride them and show them. They don’t really think about how to get out of it or how not to do it. They pretty much do whatever you ask them to do. He [Mr. Blue] is a lot simpler than she is and easier to show, thought. He is extremely strait forward.”

Standish plans to take Mr. Blue to the NCHA Eastern Nationals, where both she and Shepard will ride him, and she is looking forward to what her year back of showing will bring.

5/6-Year-Old Amateur

Clinching any title at a cutting event is an exciting experience, but accomplishing that win after overcoming a difficult obstacle makes a Championship even sweeter.

Mike Armstrong & Red Hot Metal • Photo by Dawn Baxstrom

When Mike Armstrong, of Marietta, Oklahoma, piloted Red Hot Metal to a 220 for The Ike 5/6-Year-Old Amateur title Armstrong was overjoyed, especially after thinking back on what he and “Red” had been through.

Red, who was bred by Fults Ranch, had to overcome a broken elbow when he was 2 years old to make it to where he is today. Caused by what was thought to be a direct kick, Red shattered his elbow in 3 places. After an extensive procedure, Red now functions a hitch with an 8-inch long plate and 14 screws on that joint.

Armstrong said he has been sound ever since his six-month recovery following that procedure, but his accomplishments in the cutting pen with Red (Metallic Cat x Spots Hot Shot x Spots Hot) are a direct result of his help at shows.

“We were holding our breath with him, because we couldn’t really touch him for six months after [his surgery],” Armstrong said. “He was on stall rest for that long, and we just hoped it would heal OK. He has been rock solid and never had a lame step since.

“I had great help today. They put me onto the right cow, and the horse was good. I cut whatever they tell me to cut. I leave the cow picking to the guys who do it the best.”

Armstrong is thrilled with the result of the finals at The Ike, especially because the win, worth $1,670 pushed Red to nearly $50,000 in lifetime earnings.

“It has been a real great journey with him,” Armstrong said. “I will keep going with him.”

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