Hashtags and Tatum Rice continued to blaze a trail through the Open ranks with a win in the Mercuria/NCHA World Series of Cutting Open at the Calgary Stampede. • Photo by Hudyma Photography.

Hashtags & Tatum Rice Power To Mercuria Win At Calgary Stampede

Hashtags is on a roll.

The striking blue roan stallion and trainer Tatum Rice already had a string of wins and top performances under their belts in 2018 going into the Open finals of the Mercuria/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Series of Cutting at the Calgary Stampede. They left the world-famous Canadian rodeo with yet another accomplishment, winning the event with an impressive 228.

“I hope he’s not a once-in-a-lifetime-horse, but I’ll be hard-pressed to have very many more than are better,” Rice said of the earner of more than $330,000. “I hope I have some that are like this in the future, but it’s gonna be…I’ll be hard-pressed to have that happen.”

Earlier this year, Rice and the son of Equi-Stat Elite $19 Million Sire Metallic Cat out of Dual Rey Tag (by Dual Rey) won Classic/Challenge Open at the Breeder’s Invitational and the 5/6-Year-Old Open at the Bonanza Cutting, and were Classic Open Reserve Champions in the 2018 Augusta Futurity.

Previous highlights include the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes Open Championship and Derby Open titles at the El Rancho Futurity, West Texas Futurity and Idaho Cutting Futurity, Derby and Classic. They also boast a boatload of first-rate efforts in other limited-age Open finals.

Rice, who has an Equi-Stat record of more than $1.8 million, said the stallion has shown himself to be a durable traveling partner while on the road this year. A real cow horse, Hashtags is always ready to get down to business and go to the herd regardless of his surroundings.

“He’s just got a lot of energy and a lot of strength and a lot of resilience and grit, and he takes good care of himself,” Rice said.

The win in Calgary earned $11,304 for the stallion’s owners, Hashtags Ventures LP. The tentative plan for the rest of the year called for Rice and the stallion to compete at the NCHA Derby and West Texas Futurity.

The Reserve Championship went to Spookys Catchin Reys and Brent Erickson, who marked a 221. The Wilton, California, trainer and the 2011 mare (Dual Rey x Spooky Cash x Miss N Cash) earned $8,978 for Jeff Barnes, of Wilton, California.

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