Super Stakes Open Champions Cool N Hot & Kobie Wood • Photo by Kelsey Pecsek

So Cool & So Hot

Cool N Hot was the only horse to make both the Open and Non-Pro finals at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes in Fort Worth, Texas. According to owner Kobie Wood and his wife, Paula, that proves one thing in particular – the stallion is solidly trained.

After Paula’s run in the Non-Pro finals was deflated by an unruly third cow – the duo tied for 12th with a 212 – the stallion geared up for his run in the first set of the Open finals. From draw 12, Cool N Hot carried Wood on what he called “one of the best runs I’ve ever had in this pen.”

That’s a bold statement for someone who has successfully shown cutting horses for several decades.

“John [Wold] and Clay [Johnson] were sitting [watching cows] with me, and we talked about the yellow-headed cow – the first one I cut. All of a sudden, she took off and we said, ‘I don’t know about her,’ but then they went in behind her again, and she went up and just stood,” Wood explained of picking his cattle for the finals. “I said, I’ve got this horse, so I don’t think I’m afraid of that cow!

“Then, the yellow star [cow] – the second one I cut – the boys said, ‘You’ve got to make sure you cut her going up.’ When I came back, this cow was dead in the middle with all the cows around her. I put her where I wanted her, and she went to the left and to the right and left, then I got another push. Those two cows made the cutting for me. Shazam!”

Cool N Hot carried Paula Wood in a gritty run in the Non-Pro finals two hours before the stallion marked a 227 in the Open. • Photo by Kelsey Pecsek

As the Stephenville, Texas-based trainer rode his homebred stallion Cool N Hot (Hottish x Donas Cool Cat x High Brow Cat) out of the arena,

a 227 flashed on the scoreboard. The crowd erupted with excitement as the rider covered his mouth in near disbelief. It was the highest score he’d ever marked at Will Rogers on a 4-year-old, and at the conclusion of the show, he won his first Super Stakes Open title by a hefty 4.5-point margin.

“When they’re cheering on the run, it means it’s a good run and I’m doing it right,” Wood said, reflecting on the volume of applause during his finals performance. “Ninety percent of the time you go down there and feel like you’ve got a [2]20, and they mark you a [2]16. They put a real 227 up there, and I was just like, ‘Whoa! They liked it.’

“This horse has been great ever since I stepped on him,” he continued of his stallion. “He’s an ornery dude, but everything works good if you let him have his space. I took over [riding him] when he was about 2.5 years old. I worked him right in with my 3-year-olds and everything worked good. He just kept coming and kept coming.”

WATCH –> Champion Talks with Kobie and Paula Wood about Cool N Hot

Wood, whose lifetime earnings exceed $5.7 million, has spent much of his life involved in the cutting horse industry. He and Paula, an Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider, have developed a breeding program around 2001 mare Donas Cool Cat, the No. 1 offspring out of the Peppy San Badger mare Sweet Peppy Again ($13,602), whom Wood also showed.

Donas Cool Cat amassed $318,000-plus during her performance career, in which she was a two-time NCHA Non-Pro World Finals Show Champion with Paula. She went on to produce 2009 mare Donas Suen Boon (by Boon Too Suen), who started her own cutting record with a win in the 2012 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro under Paula and a trip to the Open finals with Wood at the same event. The half-sister to Cool N Hot will join the NCHA Horse Hall of Fame at the NCHA Convention in early June.

Wood was beside himself when he first saw his 227 flash across the scoreboard. • Photo by Kelsey Pecsek

“I won two AQHA [American Quarter Horse Association] World Championships and an NCHA World Championship on her,” Wood said as he sang the praises of Donas Suen Boon. “We’ve got a good breeding program, and I’m feeling great for my horse and my family.

“It’s amazing that we pulled it off. Cutting is all about if you can pull it off,” he added of Cool N Hot. “If this horse holds up and stays sound, maybe we can get him in the Hall of Fame. That’s our plan.”

Even though he’s just a 4-year-old, Cool N Hot is well on his way. When combining his earlier accomplishments – including a fifth-place finish in the 2017 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro and dual Derby Open and Non-Pro championships from the Bonanza – with the $69,076 Open paycheck he garnered with Wood and the $13,337 he picked up in the Non-Pro with Paula, his Equi-Stat record is hovering around the $185,000 mark.

The Super Stakes Open Reserve Championship was awarded to Rollz Royce (Dual Smart Rey x Show Biz Kitty x High Brow Cat), bred by Royce Stallcup, of Seymour, Texas. Piloted by Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Rider Beau Galyean, who three weeks earlier won the Super Stakes Classic Open, the stallion’s 222.5 from the seventh hole in the 26-horse finals secured a $60,476 paycheck for owner Thomas Guinn, of Philadelphia, Mississippi.