An emotional Chelsea Tatum gripped the reins of her mare, Bobs Smart Rey, as she soaked in a rather miraculous repeat win in the Kit Kat Sugar National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Classic Limited Non-Pro, held April 11, in Fort Worth, Texas.
“This mare is 6 and she is just so awesome,” Tatum said. “She’s been carrying a baby in her all week and I showed her three times. We flushed her yesterday and we got an embryo, then I came back and showed her today, and she was just awesome.”
Walking into the herd second-to-last in the 17-horse finals, Tatum, of Overbrook, Oklahoma, and Bobs Smart Rey, a bright sorrel mare she calls “Selena,” marked a score of 223.5 to earn $6,914 of the more than $74,000 purse. Tatum was the second rider to electrify the crowd after John Johnson, of Ardmore, Oklahoma, rode Miss Masterson (Cat T Masterson x Too Smart Toodie x Smart Mate) as the fourth horse to work and scored a 221. That pair took home $6,596 for the reserve placing.
Tatum, the daughter of two-time NCHA Futurity winner Merritt Wilson, wore the same shirt she wore in last year’s NCHA Super Stakes Classic Limited Non-Pro, where she and Bobs Smart Rey, who was 5, scored a 225 — their highest career score — to take the win. She bought Selena during the 2016 NCHA Futurity, where they tied for fourth in the Non-Pro and made the Limited Non-Pro finals, and from that point on, the two have had a special bond.
“She takes care of my little boy, Tayson, but she’s a diva. She’s very spoiled,” Tatum said. “She’s got such a big heart.”
Tatum credited trainer Lloyd Cox with much of her success.
“He’s awesome,” she said. “He makes it so simple, and their whole team is so supportive. Jamie Snider, Clay Johnson and Matt Miller . . . going down there with a team like that is just so awesome.”
After heading next to the Breeder’s Invitational in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tatum said the Slate River Ranch-bred daughter of Dual Rey, who is out of Bobs Smart Chance (by Bob Acre Doc), just might be headed for retirement — if she can stay off of her.
“I’ve shown my whole life and I have never had a horse like this,” Tatum said. “We’ve had a lot of people who have offered to buy her, but she’s never going anywhere. It’s hard enough to find a horse to show, but to find that one that will take care of your kid . . . she’s awesome.”