Blackish, guided by Equi-Stat Elite $8 Million Rider Lloyd Cox, marked an impressive 225 at The Cattlemens Derby & Classic to win the 4-Year-Old Open division and a check for $15,000. This was only the mare’s second show, but it was her second 225 and second big win.
Her first was at the Ike Derby and Classic, where she was crowned the 4-Year-Old Open and Novice Champion.
“She has an abundance of talent, and she’s really a good stopper,” Cox said. “And she has a pretty way of doing it.”
In the first go at The Cattlemens Derby & Classic, Blackish (Hottish x SS Blacks Lil Kitty x Blue Bayou Boon) was late in the draw and marked a 217.5 on three cows Cox described as wild and fast.
“We went way faster than I wanted to, but we got through it,” he said.
An earlier draw for the second round set the pair up for a smoother performance, during which they scored a 218.5.
“We cut a little smoother, and the cows were more manageable,” he said.
Heading into the 26-horse-finals, Cox liked their 11th draw in the first set. The herd was settling down by the time they were up, but he said they were getting down to the cattle that “a rider can’t really be sure about.” Cox’s game plan was to turn in a smooth, clean run with hopes that he made wise decisions on the cattle he chose.
“The cattle that hadn’t been worked were the ones that might not be at the top of the list,” he said. “When the horse does its job, you do yours and the horse has talent, you can have pretty good success.”
Owner Julie Jarma was thrilled with the mare’s response to the first cow in the finals, one that ran off on the mare. “She was really smart on it and handled it well,” she said.
Blackish, who Jarma calls “Beyoncé,” was the first foal she has bred and raised. The mare is the first offspring out of Jarma’s old show mare SS Blacks Lil Kitty (Blue Bayou Boon x Show Biz Kitty x High Brow Cat), who has produced eight American Quarter Horse Association-registered foals. Jarma’s original plan was to debut the mare at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity in late 2017, but the mare was sore.
“The decision to scratch her was one of the toughest I’ve made thus far in my life,” she said. “It’d been a lifelong dream of mine to have a horse that was good enough for Lloyd to show at the Futurity, and that was finally going to be my year.”
As devastating as it was, she felt fortunate to have a trainer who wanted the best for the well-being of the horse.
The next big show for Blackish is the NCHA Super Stakes, with rest and a possible weekend cutting or two leading up to the event.
“My future plans are to keep her going down the road in hopes that she helps prove up my broodmare and herself so one day I can raise babies out of her, too,” Jarma said.
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