In a great piece of music, the crescendo will sometimes appear in the middle, bringing to a peak the energy and impact of the piece. That’s basically what happened with Rockin KW at the Arbuckle Mountain Futurity on Feb. 25.
Owned by Kim and Whit Davis and ridden by Kim in the 4-Year-Old Unlimited Amateur, the mare (Rockin W x TF Smartlittle Linda x Smart Little Lena) displayed a confident energy in her performance as the seventh horse to work in the 13-horse finals. She was clearly escalating her skills, outshining her earlier 217.5 in the Open with a score of 221 to take the win and her first career paycheck.
“She is really smart and gritty,” said Davis, who rode the sorrel to a 218 in the first go. “I only ride her in the show pen, so I credit Dylan [Meyer] for having her right every time. We have trained with him for six years, but this is the first horse he’s had the opportunity to start and train from day one.
“I think she might work a little better for me because I weigh 100 pounds less than Dylan,” she added with a laugh.
Davis, who with Whit owns law firms in both Sacramento, California, and in Fort Worth, Texas, clearly takes her relationship with her husband and her horse with a great deal of humor.
“My husband is proof that alcohol at an auction can get someone to buy a horse without his trainer being in the room,” she laughed, saying they bought Rockin KW at the 2015 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Select Yearling Sale & Gala. “He flew out the next day, and I had to show Dylan the horse. I didn’t even know what she looked like or how she was bred. Even better, we left the sale and left her! They called and said you need to come pick up your horse. We’re so glad we got a good one.”
Rockin KW – “KW” is for the law firm, and her barn name is “Sue” – earned $3,439 for the win. Kim’s son, Bear, will also ride the mare in the major non-pro events while Kim, she hopes, laughs all the way to the bank.
You could say it was love at first sight for Austria Arnold, but after riding her newly-acquired mare Bet Sheza Kat to the win in the Arbuckle Mountain Futurity 4-Year-Old Amateur, the deal was sealed.
One week to the day after purchasing the mare from Lindy Ashlock, Arnold, who lives in Terrell, Texas, swung a leg over the daughter of Bet Hesa Cat (out of Seca Rey Lena x Dual Rey) for just the third time to ride as the last horse to the herd.
“I was really excited coming into today because I tried the mare just two weeks ago,” she said of her February 25 final. “It was a quick decision to enter the Arbuckle, but I am so glad we did. Having not ridden her that much, it was exciting to feel her be just that much more fluid, and I felt really confident.”
While the duo scored a 217.5 for the win, Arnold’s confidence was actually bolstered during the go-round a day earlier.
“Our second cow was a really tough cow, and I was so tickled to see how she was able to handle that one, so going in last in the finals, I felt like we would do pretty well,” she said. “We had two cows on our list that had not been worked, so everything turned out perfectly.”
Arnold first caught site of the mare online, and after being prodded by her mother while showing at another cutting in San Antonio, she called the Ashlocks while they were at the Bonanza, then traveled to Abilene, Texas, to try her.
“She’s super sweet and easy to love on,” said the Baylor University sophomore. “She’s kind of funny because she’s super focused. She might spook at something out of the corner of her eye and in the next second be back in the zone.”
Arnold was quick to thank Wes and Lindy Ashlock for getting the horse ready for her to show.
“It’s definitely a challenge to compete while I’m in school,” she said. “I’m majoring in journalism and am pre-law, so I have to really count on the support of my family and others in the cutting community, like Casey Green, Lloyd Cox and Jamie Snider, as well as the Ashlocks. They brought her up here and got her ready so I could get her shown.”
“Paris,” as the mare is known, earned a check for $2,416 to kick off her Equi-Stat record
Metallic Spice (Metallic Cat X PCR Ms Ginger x Playboys Badge) notched a score of 216 to take the reserve slot and a check for $2,074 for owner and rider Frank Martin, of Las Vegas.