Storms were moving across north Texas and wreaking havoc as they traversed to the east April 13, but a different kind of storm was happening in the Will Rogers Coliseum as 26 riders competed for a share of the more than $261,000 purse in the Kit Kat Sugar National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Classic Non-Pro finals.
Coming in as the fourth horse to work, Megan Miller, of Poolville, Texas, was riding the horse she described as one that might, possibly, replace her lifetime favorite Carolena Moon (by Peptoboonsmal) – her daughter, Carolena Reyn. Set to potentially repeat her 2018 win, the daughter of Dual Smart Rey stirred the sparse crowd almost immediately, and with her third cow, had the coliseum sounding as though it were nearly full. With a score of 226, Miller had set the bar for the remaining 22 riders.
“I was balling on the way out,” Miller said with a laugh. “I had tears in my eyes even before they posted the score. This mare, this mare . . . she was one of those horses we kind of kept on a wing and prayer because we had several offers for her, but I always felt like we had been waiting for a long time to replace her mom. I feel like she’s even more dynamic as a show horse than her mother was, and her mother means the world to me.”
While the cattle earlier in the day had been a bit difficult to handle, the sets settled for the finals were superb, offering riders a chance to show their horses and making the cutting a tough one. Miller’s greatest challenge came from another lifelong rider, Kristen Galyean, who rode Duramax Dually (Dual Rey x That Catomine x High Brow Cat) to a score of 222.5 to take reserve and $14,969.
“Last year when I won, that was the first time to show her [Carolena Reyn] in a big competition because Matt [Miller’s husband] had been showing her,” Miller said. “Every go-round was amazing. She has stayed very true.”
The championship check of $16,442 added to the mare’s already outstanding earnings record of more than $214,000.
“She’s gotten stronger and more powerful,” Miller said. “I feel like I can do anything on her.”