Paula Platt and RM Lightning Merada found success at the NCHA Western Nationals with the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro Championship. • Photo by Ted Petit.

Paula Platt & RM Lightning Merada Victorious At NCHA Western Nationals

The National Cutting Horse Association’s (NCHA) Western Nationals wrapped on Saturday, June 30, with Paula Platt winning the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro riding RM Lightning Merada.

The 218.5 marked by Platt and the 2012 gelding (Cats Merada x Choice Jewels x SR Instant Choice) won the class by a full point.

Riding into the herd as the eighth draw of 19 entries she relied on her son, Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Kenny Platt, help her choose her cuts. While there are always tricky cows in any herd, she was pleased with the selection of cattle all week long.

“I have to give kudos to NCHA for doing such a good job getting uniform, fat, beautiful cattle,” she said. “I had excellent herd help who did a fantastic job finding really good cows. They told me what to do so that’s what we did. The cows set up perfectly and we got them cut clean.”

Paula first saw the horse as a 2-year-old when he was in training at Kenny’s for breeder Reed McClymont of Holdredge, Nebraska and she liked the way he worked. He is a half-brother to Fancy Hughes (by Thomas E Hughes) a horse that Kenny rode to more than $85,000 in career earnings and several big wins.

She bought the horse after the 2017 Western Nationals, where McKenzie Platt rode him in the $2,000 Limit Rider.

“He is super fun and quick-footed,” she said. “I really have to step up my game to ride him.”

After buying him, the pair won the Classic/Challenge Amateur at the Idaho Cutting Horse Association Futurity Aged Event in September 2017.

Paula appreciates the help from her entire family, her daughter McKenzie McBride and Kenny and Becca Platt.

“McKenzie deserves a lot of credit because she got my horse ready for me,” Paula said. “And he came out of Kenny and Becca’s program. It takes a village to do this.”

The entire Platt family celebrated success at this year’s Western Nationals. Showing on their home turf, Kenny won the Open aboard Moms Stylish Player (Lizzys Gotta Player x Moms Stylish Babe x Docs Stylish Oak). McKenzie won the $15,000 Amateur riding Indian Clay (Hickorys Indian Pep x My Lady Juliette x Bet On Me 498).

“We were thankful and blessed to have had such a good week,” Paula said.

Denise Cox, of Ogden, Utah, rode Cooter Brown (Dualin Puddy Tap x GS Kittys Littlelena x Smart Little Lena) to a 217.5 and the Reserve Championship.

For news and updates from the Western performance horse industry, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.