The Mercuria/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Series of Cutting is always an exciting event, and the one held in conjunction with the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Core Balance Derby on June 16 was no exception. Nine entrants made a go at the Open title, but it was Cromed Out Cat and Geoffrey “Spud” Sheehan who landed on top from the No. 1 draw, marking a 229 that stayed in first throughout the finals.
“It was pretty cool,” the native Australian said of his score. “It was one of those things that everything goes right to mark a big score. Sometimes if it doesn’t go good, you don’t mark a big score, but it went good.
“Every time I go into the finals, I want to do the best I can,” he continued. “I usually try to cut the best cows I think I can. Sometimes they’re too much, but last night they were just right.”
Sheehan said he wasn’t nervous waiting through the rest of the class to see if the score would hold because if someone else had a better run, he would be happy for them.
“I want to win with the best run,” he said. “I knew it was probably going to be hard for someone to [mark higher], but I really like to see good runs, too.”
Cromed Out Cat was bred by Jackson Land and Cattle LLC and is owned by Sheehan’s employer, Beechfork Ranch, located in Weatherford, Texas. Sheehan started the mare as a 2-year-old and said she has been very special.
“She’s probably the best horse I’ve ever had,” he said of “Crome.” “Every time I show her, she’s always going to give me everything she’s got.”
This is the mare’s last year in the limited age events. She and Sheehan have racked up $176,563 throughout their career together, including their $9,025 paycheck from the Mercuria. Her trainer said she really likes the South Point arena in Las Vegas, as she tied to win the Derby Open at the PCCHA Futurity in 2016 and was the Classic/Challenge Open Reserve Champion at the 2017 edition of the show prior to her Mercuria win this year.
Sheehan said he probably won’t continue down the Mercuria road as Crome (High Brow Cat x Peptos Fancy Jewel x Peptoboonsmal) will likely retire to raising foals after she ages out. She already has a Dual Rey yearling colt and a Dual Rey filly on the ground, and he’s excited to see how her babies turn out and which crosses work best on the mare.
“When you ride the mother and then the daughters or sons, it’s kind of cool,” he added.
Still, he appreciated the Mercuria events and expressed his appreciation to Mercuria for supporting the NCHA.
“I think the Mercuria’s a great deal,” Sheehan said. “The guy that puts them on, he’s helped the cutting so much. I think we all need to support him on what he’s done for horses that age out. It gives you so many more [opportunities] to win some more money on them, and they’re worth a lot more to sell. After the aged events there’s still life because of having the Mercurias.”
He also thanked his help in the arena – T.J. Good, Grant Setnicka, Cline Allen and John Mitchell – and outside the arena – Madison Crum, who owns Crome and got the mare ready to show, and Chris London, who works for Sheehan.
“Winning like that, it’s all your help that do it for you,” he said. “They’ll help you win, and you’ll try to help them, too.”
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