We all saw the Metallic Cat National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Summer Spectacular Derby Open finals. We all heard the thunderous cheering and the excitement that went on. Lee Francois is no stranger to the podium, and this Derby was no different. On board the exceptional stud The Animal, he took home a victory!
We have seen many phenomenal runs at the Will Rogers Coliseum. The Animal sure has become part of an elite group of horses, whose runs stand out over time. He – being a big, strong and long horse – can crunch down in front of a cow and make the cow look bigger. His ability to control cattle shows his cow sense and what this sport is all about.
This horse is by NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Open Champion Cat Ichi, who was bred by EE Ranches of Texas Inc. and now a sire record of $6 million. The Animal is out of the mare My Little Abra (by Abrakadabracre), a fairly new producer who passed the $600,000 line in offspring earnings after the Summer Spectacular.
The Animal was also bred by EE Ranches, and he is now owned by Richard and Beth Carney, who bought him at the 2016 NCHA Futurity Sales as a 2-year-old. He was not an unknown at the time; he was a full brother to Ichis My Choice, who had just won NCHA Open Horse of the Year with Grant Setnicka. The mare now has an earnings sum of more than $400,000.
The Carneys renamed the horse after the sale. Richard saw him and said, “He’s a freakin’ animal,” referring to the horse’s ability to cut. Indeed, Mr. Carney was right when he thought of that, and we all confirmed it when we saw him place as Open Reserve Champion at the 2017 NCHA Futurity.
The Animal’s owners, the Francois team and SDP Buffalo Ranch have decided to partner up to stand this horse in 2019. Watch the brilliance of The Animal and Lee Francois in upcoming major aged events, and see for yourself that he is no ordinary animal!