The Kit Kat Sugar National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Non-Pro finals turned out to be a marriage of ties, as both the champion and reserve champion spots made room for four.
A purse of $471,864 was the carrot for the 20 riders hoping their ride might be blessed on Palm Sunday, April 14, at Will Rogers Coliseum, yet it was Chad Bushaw who felt he might have gotten a little help from above as the last to work in the first set aboard Rey Banz Gal.
“I was very, very confident in the cows we had picked, so it wasn’t an issue of being deep,” he said. “My help team, Matt Gaines, Casey Green, Michael Cooper and Clay Johnson, they were just phenomenal. Having those good guys help me just makes me feel, not bulletproof, but very confident.”
Rey Banz Gal’s (Auspicious Cat x Toodie Doc Rey x Dual Rey), who was bred by Jandon Ltd., 222 stirred the crowd and the judges, and she took the lead going into the second set.
“Coming off having Bittersweet (Metallic Cat x Miss Sea Rey x Dual Rey) and having a horse as phenomenal as she is, I just have to pinch myself every day thinking how in the world did I end up having two really good mares in a row,” Bushaw said.
Constance Jaeggi might agree, but in this case, it was being lucky enough to have acquired a son of her great mare, Ichis My Choice (by Cat Ichi) – a son, she just had to have – Sueper Trouper, who was bred by Todd Nelson.
“We found out her 4-year-old year that she had been bred before the sale,” Jaeggi said. “We were hauling for Horse of the Year and knew she had a baby out there somewhere, and I was like, I want that baby.”
After buying Sueper Trouper privately, the horse was put into training for the NCHA Futurity.
“We had some trouble at the Futurity, but ever since then it has been smooth sailing,” she said, smiling broadly.
Smooth is a good way to describe the run she had aboard the son of Dual Smart Rey, one that garnered a repeat score of 222 from the judges. Bushaw and Jaeggi, both of Weatherford, each took home earnings of $34,269 for the win, with Jaeggi snagging an additional $1,960 for the gelding prize.