Horse chasing a cow
Hashtags & Tatum Rice. • Hudyma Photography.

Open World Champion: “The Whole Package” Hashtags Wins World Title

Hashtags and Tatum Rice had nothing to prove as they walked to the herd for the final time in the stallion’s career at the 2018 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Finals in Fort Worth, Texas.

They’d won money from coast to coast, taking titles or reserve championships from Georgia to California, racking up wins in both limited-age events and the lucrative Mercuria/NCHA World Series of Cutting. The blue roan stallion owned by Hashtag Ventures LP, of Weatherford, Texas, earned so much money during the course of the year, he had the Open World Championship in the bag before the World Finals even started.

But that didn’t stop them from putting on a show during cutting’s 2018 finale at the Will Rogers Memorial Center. They placed in every go-round and in the fourth and final round, they capped off the son of Metallic Cat’s career with a 231, winning the go and securing the the World Finals Show Reserve Championship.

“It’s kind of a storybook ending to a great career to go out with that score and that run, and the crowd was so into it,” said Rice, an Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider.

He said the performance at Will Rogers — a phenomenal round at the end of a big year — seemed to sum up what the stallion was all about.

“If there was one word to describe him, it would probably be perseverance, because I didn’t miss very many checks showing him this year — period — in all sorts of differ- ent situations,” he said. “And, to go through the World Finals and even though we didn’t win every round or anything, but obviously we did place in every one, but to just keep chipping away at it and have that big run on the very last night, that’s just kind of him, I guess.”

They took the World title with $134,960 earned at 50 shows, ahead of Reserve Champion Dont Stopp Believin (Dual Rey x Dont Look Twice x High Brow Cat) by $53,746.

Hashtags showed his durability through- out the year, taking Open championships in the World Series at the Calgary Stampede and Idaho Cutting Horse Association (ICHA) Futurity shows. They earned Series reserve titles at the El Rancho Futurity, West Texas Futurity and American Quarter Horse Association Congress.

Rice said it was in Idaho that Hashtags showed something extra special. The stallion, bred by Jim Haworth, of South West City, Missouri, entered the show on the heels of a particularly challenging event at the West Texas Futurity, where he competed in the weekend classes, limited-age events and the Mercuria.

The horse freshened up during a layover in Wyoming, and then delivered what Rice believes was one of his best performances to date in the Series stop in Idaho, where he also won the Classic/Challenge Open.

“What was kind of unique about it was we drew first in the Mecuria finals and we marked a 233, which is pretty crazy, really, because it was just that good of a run, he said.”

They also won Classic/Challenge Open titles at the Breeder’s Invitational, Bonanza Cutting and El Rancho. In addition, they took Reserve at the Augusta Futurity.

Hashtags finished the year — and, Rice said, his career — with an Equi-Stat record of $473,635. He is the leading earner for his dam, Dual Rey Tag (by Dual Rey), as well as his sire.

“He’s just got the whole package. It’s not something you find very often,” said Rice, who rode the stallion the last half of the year in a borrowed custom bit that was made for his grandfather, cutter A.D. Reed. “He’s got the cow, the strength, the heart, the speed … And, it’s easy for him to do his job. He’s a natural at it.”

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