horse chasing a cow
Bonnie Martin & Reysin Kittens. • Photo by Molly Montag.

Bonnie Martin & Reysin Kittens Victorious at NCHA Super Stakes

Bonnie Martin has ridden many good cutting horses over the years, but the Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider says there’s something special about Reysin Kittens. She’s also pretty sure she knows where at least some of his talent came from.

The son of Kittens, a great show mare that Martin rode to many championships, showed his trademark intensity and flare while winning the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Kit Kat Sugar Super Stakes Classic Unlimited Amateur on Saturday (April 20) at Will Rogers Coliseum. Martin and the homebred gelding by Dual Rey topped an accomplished field of cutting horses with a 225.

“We feel more like he’s been part of the family for several years,” she said of the horse bred by Bitterroot Ranch LLC. “We’ve got some really nice horses in the barn, but when you’ve raised ‘em you feel like you have a special connection with them.

The Classic Unlimited Amateur was stacked with tough horses and riders. The Reserve Champions were Langston Pattillo and NCHA Amateur Horse of the Year High Stylin CD, and the class also included 2016 NCHA Futurity Open Champion Second Spot (by Spots Hot) and Gary Barker; as well as $344,806-earner Crafty With Cows (by High Brow CD) and Carol Ward. A number of horses in the field of 23 finalists had already earned more than $100,000 during their aged-event careers. Others entered the show with several championships on their record.

It was clearly going to take a great run to win this year’s Classic Unlimited Amateur. Martin and Reysin Kittens delivered.

“When you’re in the finals, you look at a different kind of cows when you’re up there,” said Martin, of Las Vegas, Nevada. “Because you can’t do any more than the cow does, so you want a cow that you think will move out of its tracks and help you get your horse showed, but you don’t want to be silly about it either.

“But, this horse just gives you so much confidence it doesn’t matter what I cut. He’s so much like his mother [Kittens] that he just feels that’s the only thing he lives for, so he just wants to go to those spots.”

The $14,559 first-place check pushed Reysin Kittens past the $200,000 mark. He’s the leading earner for his dam, who is nearing the $600,000 mark as a producer. The daughter of High Brow Cat and out of Starlights Liz (by Grays Starlight) currently has an Equi-Stat produce record of $593,192. Her top earners are Reysin Kittens ($200,996, by Dual Rey), Kittens N The King ($113,064, by Peptoboonsmal) and Kitty Boon ($68,322, by Peptoboonsmal). 

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