With 40 horses in the finals, was going to be a tall order for any competitor to climb to the top of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Unlimited Amateur. Turns out, two horse-and-rider duos were up to the task.
Lisa Taylor and Robert “Robbie” Gale each marked a 219 to share the title Saturday (April 20) at Will Rogers Coliseum. The Unlimited Amateur was the final class of the NCHA Super Stakes show, concluding the NCHA Triple Crown Event.
Taylor, of Pilot Point, Texas, rode Reycan In The Cash (Dual Rey x Cancan Kitty x High Brow Cat). Gale, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, rode Sugar N My Shayk, a daughter of Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Sire and NCHA Horse of the Year Kit Kat Sugar.
Each rider took home $14,636 in prize money.
Robbie Gale & Sugar N My Shayk
The Super Stakes victory – which Gale considers one of the biggest, if not the biggest, of his career – was special because of the origins of Sugar N My Shayk. The bay mare nicknamed “Daire” is a daughter of Short A Shay, a $175,000-earning mare who recently passed away. For that reason, he knew the Super Stakes victory also was special for his parents, Lori and Bobby Gale.
“[It’s special with] Daire being a Short A Shay baby and homegrown, and how much Short A Shay meant to them, and losing Short A Shay here recently, so it’s really special to them and to me,” he said of the mare owned and bred by his mother, Lori. “Because I’d ridden that mare as a child, and she did a lot for me, so to be on one of her babies and have this much success is really nice.”
Gale said Sugar N My Shayk looks a lot like her mother, especially in show pictures.
“Some of the same moves, some of the same looks in their eyes, [and] the way they hold their head and their ears,” he said. “She’s a little bit shorter than Short A Shay right now, but she’s got some room to grow.”
Thanks to her $14,636 first-place check at the NCHA Super Stakes, Sugar N My Shayk is now the seventh money-earning performer out of Short A Shay. The 1997 mare (Shorty Lena x Iam Bonita x Doc Quixote) earned $175,834 competed for several seasons in the cutting pen, and in 2006 hauled for the NCHA World Championship. Ridden by Steve Ginn, Short A Shay finished as that year’s $10,000 Novice Reserve World Champion and was third in the Open World Championship – just behind Open World Champion Dual Rey Me and Open Reserve World Champion CD Lights.
Gale also rode the mare many times, and piloted her to the winner’s circle at the Augusta Futurity show in Augusta, Georgia.
“I had a couple of reserve championships and a championship on her in Augusta, and then a lot of weekend success on her,” Gale said of Short A Shay. “[She’s] one of the two horses that really helped to hook me into the industry.”
In the breeding shed, Short A Shay has produced the winners of more than $125,000. Her leading earners are Sashay Cat ($37,798, by High Brow Cat), Hershay Kiss ($27,410, by Metallic Cat) and Couture De Force ($19,600, by Stylish Wood 003).
Lisa Taylor & Reycan In The Cash
Lisa Taylor hasn’t had Reycan In the Cash very long, but she and the gelding got along famously at the Super Stakes. The win on Saturday in Fort Worth was the biggest of her career, and the first time she’d ever showed the horse named “Donald.”
“This is just a dream come true,” she said.
She bought the gelding after the 2018 NCHA Futurity, where he was the Limited Open Reserve Champion with trainer Greg Wright. This year, Reycan In The Cash banked another $50,000 before the Super Stakes with Taylor’s trainer, Lloyd Cox. The trainer and the gelding picked up checks at the Abilene Spectacular, The Ike and the Bonanza Cutting.
Taylor’s goal going into the Super Stakes was to make the top 10, but she really wanted to do the horse justice.
“Not make a fool of myself and the horse,” she said, of the game plan. “That was a huge thing for me. I didn’t want to embarrass my horse.”
“I really can’t even remember the first and second cow. I just remember thinking ‘This is fun, we’re doing pretty good, I’m having a good time,’ and then by the third cow I was thinking ‘Oh good, this run is going pretty good!’ And, I was like, I just need to get a clean cut and finish up.’
“I never dreamed that we would mark that high,” she said, of the 219 mark. “It was just very exciting.”
Reycan In The Cash is one of eight money-earning performers out of Cancan Kitty, a mare by High Brow Cat and out of Little Dancer Lena (by Smart Little Lena). Her leading earners – all by the late Dual Rey – are Cancan Reyvolution ($176,682), Kitty Can Dual ($124,735) and Reycan In The Cash ($87,776).
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