The Cattlemens Derby and Classic kicked off in Graham, Texas, at the Young County Arena on March 3. After two sets of go-rounds, the 4-Year-Old Open finals took place March 7, with 22 finalists on the roster.
When Matt Miller entered the pen on High Brow Lady Boon as draw 10 in set one, he was a little concerned about his position. He knew there were a few cows left that others had neglected to cut because they were “spicier” than their herd mates. But, he found the cows he needed, and the mare marked a 222.5 to win the title.
“We kind of had the plan of we had a couple black cows we knew were safe we’d get started,” Miller said. “If everything felt right, we’d come back and cut one of those colored [cows], and that’s what we did.”
High Brow Lady Boon handled her cattle with ease, and the resulting winner’s check of $16,000 boosted her Equi-Stat earnings to more than $18,000. She had one prior check on her record from making the finals at the Arbuckle Mountain Futurity earlier this year.
Owned and bred by Holy Cow Performance Horses, “Iris” (High Brow Cat x RBR Lady Boon x Peptoboonsmal) was originally trained by Morgan Cromer. She entered Miller’s training program shortly after the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity, and a little patience as the mare adjusted to a different training style paid off.
“She [Cromer] did an excellent job with her,” Miller said. “I’ve been trying to just get with her, and me figure her out and her figure me out. A few days before this, it all kind of started folding in and she started getting comfortable. She’s got a really big motor and wants to go all the time, but we finally got some stuff matched together, and it feels like it’s working.
“She’s a very high-strung horse and she loves her job and wants the cow all the time,” Miller added. “I’ve just had to work a lot on getting her to contain all that and just be smart about it, think her way through it. It finally feels like she’s coming around on it.”
There was a tie for Reserve after two horses each marked a 221, and each Co-Reserve Champion received $13,250. The first was Maggic Mike, a son of Metallic Cat who is out of the great mare Sweet Abra (by Abrakadabracre), a producer of more than $1 million including Metallic Rebel ($437,965), Magistic Moon ($187,630), Magic Metallic ($161,684), Sweet Metallic ($156,492) and Magic Metalman ($131,761). Maggic Mike, who was bred by Fults Ranch Ltd., was ridden by his owner, Salvador Cabral.
The second horse in the tie was 2018 NCHA Futurity Open Champion Crey Zee (Dual Rey x Eazee E x High Brow Cat), who was ridden by Tatum Rice. The mare, who boasts more than $220,000 in earnings, is a homebred belonging to Kevin and Sydney Knight.
Taliate & Casey Green
14G (Metallic Cat x Reytaliate x Stylish Rey)
Owner: Bobby & Mary Jo Hawkins, Seguin, TX
Breeder: Linda Holmes, Longmont, CO
Manteca Moe & Ryan Rapp
14G (Hydrive Cat x Memorey x Dual Rey)
Owner: Phil & Mary Ann Rapp, Weatherford, TX
Breeder: Phil & Mary Ann Rapp, Weatherford, TX