The Metallic Cat National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Amateur boasted 21 entries split into two sets, and from each set one horse-and-rider team rose to the top. By the time the class ended, their matching scores had not been topped.
In set No. 1, Bridget Trenary rode Brenda Rreys to a 218 from the fourth draw. Shortly after that set ended, though, her score was corrected to a 219. In set No. 2, Jacob Little and Bet Hes Amazing also marked a 219. While a tiebreaker decided who would receive the first place and second place prizes, both duos settled for co-championship honors.
For Trenary, winning the title was nothing short of “awesome.” The horsewoman from Memphis, Tennessee, who cut as a youth, had only returned to the cutting pen about a year-and-a-half ago after a long hiatus.
“I’m just so thrilled,” she said. “I’ve really had a challenging last couple of years, to say the least, so this has just been a blessing to get back into horses and back showing again.”
Prior to the finals, Trenary said she “squeaked” into the semifinals and then the finals after not getting great draws with her mare. She knew in the finals that if she could get a good draw and cut her cows cleanly, “Penny” would do the rest.
“I think really my first cow wasn’t very good — not as good as we hoped. The second cow was better, kind of tried us a little bit more, and then that third cow I had to chip off, just drive it out real quick,” Trenary said. “I think that was kind of our money cow. I felt better; the mare felt good. It was hard waiting through another whole bunch, though! Luckily I had to go work another horse and it kind of kept my mind off it.”
Trenary purchased Penny (Dual Rey x Fancy Blue Moon x Peptoboonsmal), who was bred by Bar RR Ranches LLC, after watching her as a 4-year-old. She repeatedly asked her trainer, Jody Galyean, if the mare’s owners at the time, Steve and Martha Kitchens, would be interested in selling her. After hearing lots of “no’s,” one day the answer was “yes.”
“I was excited,” said Trenary, an earner of more than $80,000 after receiving the $6,347 winner’s paycheck. “I’ve been out of this for so long. It’s so competitive now; you really can’t just do it as a hobby. You have to be consistent. I feel blessed to be able to do it again and to be here in Fort Worth. It’s been awesome.”
During Jacob’s run, his mom, Tani, could be heard cheering for her son as Bet Hes Amazing went head-to-head with some tough steers. While Jacob thought he might have scored well afterward, he wasn’t expecting to tie with Trenary.
“When I saw the score up on the board, I was really excited,” Jacob said. “I didn’t think it was going to be that good. It surprised me.”
While Jacob didn’t remember any of the cows he cut, he recalled they were easy to get to, and he was able to cut them clean. His gelding, “Waspy,” did his job after pushing the steers out in front.
“He really sticks his butt in the ground,” Jacob said. “When there’s a cow trying him real hard, he’ll go over there and stick it and turn around. He’s pretty good.”
The 16-year-old, of Carter, Oklahoma, and his family bred and raised Waspy (Bet Hesa Cat x Queen Of Peptos x Peptoboonsmal), and Tani’s uncle, Michael Sanders, picked him out of their herd of babies as a prospective cutter.
“There was just a group of babies there, and my husband took him [Sanders] out in our pasture,” Tani explained. “My husband said, ‘I love this one,’ and my uncle said, ‘Nope, that one’s [a different colt] the cutter.’ He [Waspy] was just so awkward looking.
“My uncle died within the next year,” she added. “It’s so special just because my uncle played such a big part in my life.”
Jacob and Waspy’s $6,347 winner’s check boosted Jacob’s earnings past the $60,000 marker. He and his gelding were next pointed toward the West Texas Futurity, with, according to Tani, a little help from above.
“We always start out everything praying and giving God thanks we’re able to be here,” she said. “Our saying from back when he [Jacob] played little league baseball was, ‘All things are possible through God.’ We just believe every opportunity in life, whether it’s good or bad, is to show the love of God. I’m a little overwhelmed with thanksgiving right now.”