When Bill Lacy and Cougars Diesel stepped into the show pen during the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Core Balance Derby Non-Pro, the gelding had $27,546 to his name. He and his owner had only competed in one show together – the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes – and he had carried trainer Tatum Rice to the semifinals at the 2017 NCHA Futurity and the finals of the 2018 Ike Derby and Classic.
In Las Vegas, the gelding came through for Lacy, riding to a score of 219 to win the Derby Non-Pro title and a check worth $8,822. He did double duty, also showing well for Adan Banuelos in the Open.
“Adan basically just caught-rode the horse,” Lacy said. “Tatum had him for a long time, and Adan brought the horse out from Texas for me and caught-rode the horse. He marked a 20 in the Open and then he went on to mark a 21.5 in the second go-round, so he was obviously progressing.
“And then I showed the horse and marked a [216.5] the first go-round and then a 17 in the second go-round,” he continued. “I just felt a lot more comfortable riding the horse each time, and this time felt different. It was a confidence builder for both of us. He was just real easy. It was good.”
Banuelos helped Lacy in the herd, along with Grant Setnicka. Lacy said that while he started with his first cow a little off-center, Cougars Diesel got him straightened back out. Some of the cattle challenged the gelding, but he stayed clean and correct in his turns.
“The horse was just real smart about the cows; he just worked really good,” Lacy said. “Everything came together. We were just fortunate to pick some good cows.
“It doesn’t matter where you go to cut, the cattle are the cattle,” he explained. “You get a good set of cattle and you get a bad set of cattle. When you come to Las Vegas, you know you’re going to cut these Mexican steers, so you kind of know what you’re getting into. They were fine; I thought the cattle were good.”
Cougars Diesel is called “Diesel,” but when he got to Banuelos’ barn, there was already a Diesel in residence.
“He calls him DEF, that’s how they distinguish between their Diesel and this Diesel,” Lacy said with a chuckle. “It’s an acronym for diesel exhaust fluid.”
The gelding, who was bred by Karen Griffin, is by High Brow Cougar and out of Miss Remanita (by Mr Peponita Flo). The Lacys bought him as a baby and raised him.
“The women love him! He’s pretty laid-back and easy to be around,” Lacy said.
Lacy, whose lifetime earnings are nearing the $900,000 mark, planned to take Diesel back home to Crested Butte, Colorado, then bring him down to Texas for the NCHA Summer Spectacular. Banuelos might show him some in the future, too, after such a successful event.
“We had a great show,” Lacy said. “It was a lot of fun, and we enjoyed coming here.”
Megan Miller and Spur That Spot (by Spots Hot) took Reserve with their score of 216 and garnered a check for $6,881. The gelding was bred by Lannie Louise Mecom and is the only money-earner out of Princess Clarence (by Peptoboonsmal).
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