On Jan. 28, Crey Zee and Tatum Rice started off their 2019 season on the right hoof in West Monroe, Louisiana. At The Ike Derby and Classic, the mare lived up to her name, marking a huge 229 in the Ike Hamilton Arena to secure the 4-Year-Old Open title with Rice.
“It worked out good,” Rice said after adding $21,976 to the mare’s prior $203,061 in lifetime earnings. “I was worried that they had already cut the best ones [cattle], but that whole herd stayed pretty decent. We cut a cherry red cow and two black baldies — they were pretty fast, but that’s kind of that mare’s specialty.”
Just over a month ago, Rice and Crey Zee, by Dual Rey, were riding high after claiming the 2018 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Open Championship in Fort Worth, Texas.
“She’s just so quick-footed and tries so hard,” Rice said of the 4-year-old mare, who is out of Eazee E (by High Brow Cat). “She’s smart, extremely fast and has a really big heart.”
The mare, who is owned by Rice’s in-laws Kevin and Sydney Knight, has been with Rice since day one in Weatherford, Texas.
“She’s nuts — she doesn’t miss anything, she sees everything and hears everything and she’s scared of a lot of stuff,” Rice said. “She doesn’t like the judges’ stand to be up high over her head, especially in Fort Worth. That all really bothers her. She’s not bad-minded or mean or anything like that, but she’s just certainly worried by a lot of stuff.”
Time on the road helped Crey Zee last year, but it wasn’t until the end of the summer when the mare began to grow up, according to Rice. While miles and exposure will certainly calm the mare, Rice doesn’t believe she will ever totally get over her lookiness due to the fact that her dam, Eazee E, who is also owned by the Knights, is the same way.
“Her mom is the same way and she’s nine now. You can’t really do anything about it, other than you can’t worry about it too much — you just go on with your business and they do get better, but they don’t get totally over it,” Rice explained.
While a tractor may upset her, Crey Zee has no fear riding to the herd and dueling it out with fast cattle like those she encountered at The Ike Derby & Classic. The duo plans to head to the Bonanza Cutting and the Arbuckle Mountain Futurity in Ardmore, Oklahoma, in the near future.
“I’d like to thank my wife, Kylie. She prepared Crey Zee, always does and knows her really well,” Rice said. “I’d also like to thank my four helpers: my dad, my brother, and R.L. and Cullen Chartier.”
The Reserve title went to Metallics MVP (Metallic Cat x My Lizzy Babe x Lizzys Gotta Player) and Austin Shephard, who marked a 225 to bring home a check of $18,753 for owner Billy Wolf, of Whitesboro, Texas.
4-Year-Old Intermediate Open
Hottist & Kelle Earnheart
15G (Hottish x Light N Lily x Light N Lena)
Owner: Julie Jarma, Whitesboro, TX
Breeder: Kaitlyn Larsen, Millsap, TX
4-Year-Old Limited Open
Second Spot & Lloyd Cox
13M (Spots Hot x Reycy Moon x Cats Moonshine)
Owner: Barker Ranch Cutting Horses LLC, Madill, OK
Breeder: Barker Ranch Cutting Horses LLC, Madill, OK