After 15 days of lead up, the Breeder’s Invitational Derby Open finals took place, and the exhibitors made the class worth the wait. Held May 25 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the event showcased 24 4-year-olds, many of which boasted extensive show records already.
From draw seven, Slooow Ride and Equi-Stat Elite $9 Million Rider Lloyd Cox entered the pen and wowed the judges, who scored them a 224. Draw No. 11, though, Crey Zee and Tatum Rice, soon matched that score.
The Breeder’s Invitational uses work-offs to break ties, so each horse-and-rider duo went into their second run of the day at the end of the class. 2018 NCHA Futurity Open Champion Crey Zee marked a 222, but Slooow Ride answered it with a 225, taking home the title and a $53,309 paycheck for owners Pat and Lisa Taylor.
Slooow Ride, who was bred by Fults Ranch Ltd., substantially elevated his lifetime earnings to $90,377. The stallion (by Metallic Cat) carried Ascencion Banuelos to the 2018 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Senior Open Championship and also made the Open semifinals. Adan Banuelos rode him to the Novice Open Championship at the 2019 The Ike Derby and Classic.
Slooow Ride’s dam, Sweet Shorty Lena (by Shorty Lena), is a $1 million producer with 19 money-earning offspring. Three of those have won more than $100,000 each, but one of them — Spots Hot — has made significant contributions to cutting as both a performer and a sire. An earner of $529,435, Spots Hot (by Chula Dual) is a $5 million sire.
Crey Zee took home the Reserve Championship for owners/breeders Kevin and Sydney Knight, which came with $27,978. The mare (Dual Rey x Eazee E x High Brow Cat) now has $270,870 in lifetime earnings.
Being early in a set can be nerve-wracking, but Cade Shepard didn’t let that get the best of him. He piloted Chexy Louella, owned by his parents, Austin and Stacy, to a 220 from the second draw to win the Derby Non-Pro.
The mare (Im Countin Checks x Louellas Cat x High Brow Cat), who was bred by Oxbow Ranch, had earnings in Equi-Stat of more than $60,000. The majority of that was collected at the 2018 NCHA Futurity, where she and Shepard won the Non-Pro. They were also 2019 NCHA Eastern Nationals Non-Pro Champions.
With the winner’s check of $23,513, Chexy Louella now has lifetime earnings of $88,016. Shepard’s stand at more than $830,000.
Dustin Adams and Hot Sriracha, owned by Adams and his wife, Deena, took Reserve with a 218. The Ian and Billie Buckeridge-bred mare (out of Catsa Dreamin x High Brow Cat) is by the Adams’ stallion Hottish and collected $20,111.
Derby $10,000 Open
Back Street Cat & Lloyd Cox
15G (Metallic Cat x Reycy Cowgirl x Dual Rey)
Owner: Kathleen Moore, Madill, OK
Breeder: Kathleen Moore, Madill, OK
Derby Limited Open
Metallic M4 x Jake Hanson
15S (Metallic Cat x Peppermints x One Time Pepto)
Owner: Hanson Revocable Trust, Peaster, TX
Breeder: Steve & Karen Twisselman, Weatherford, TX
Score: 432 (from second go)
Derby Limited Non-Pro
Sabrina Boon & Ali Good
15M (Boon A Little x Ms Highliner x High Brow Hickory)
Owner: Riddle Family Revocable Living Trust, Ringling, OK
Breeder: Riddle Family Revocable Living Trust, Ringling, OK