The $5,000 Novice World Finals is Mike Wood’s world. The rest of us are just living in it.
For the sixth year in a row, Wood took home the $5,000 Novice National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Finals Show Championship. This time, he did it with Christine King’s gelding, This Isa Third. They clinched the title on Saturday (Dec. 7) at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth.
Wood, of Scottsdale, Arizona, had the World title wrapped up before the show even started. He and the 7-year-old (Third Cutting x Cat Fancy This x High Brow Cat) arrived at the 7 Ranch NCHA World Finals with $41,667 in divisional earnings, which was about $16,000 more than the horse in the second spot.
Not one to coast through a World Finals class, Wood and This Isa Third came out swinging, winning the first round with a 227. They followed that up with 218 run in the second round, but it wasn’t an easy effort thanks to their final cow.
That third cow posed a much greater challenge than the first two, which had Wood thinking he had a chance to score enough points to lift his run a little higher.
“[I was thinking] if I could hold this cow, it’ll make my run better, because my first two cows weren’t very good and the third cow was pretty tough,” he said. “So, I’m thinking, hold this cow and I’ll be OK.”
Transitioning an aged-event horse into a weekend horse can be a challenge, but Wood said This Isa Third handled it like a champ. The horse was consistent from the get-go.
“He was very good from the start; started off the year with a bang,” he said. “The first show we took him to, I don’t know how many 76s I marked and I don’t know how many 76s Chris King marked. I mean, probably two or three each the first show we took him to.”
Wood said his barn crew, owners, show pen helpers, and life partner and business manager Roper Curtiss are all integral to his success in the show pen.
“I want to thank Chris and Jack (King), thank Roper and thank all my help,” he said. “You can’t do this without help.”
In addition to This Isa Third, Wood’s other five $5,000 Novice World Finals Show Champions were:
* 2018: Hesa Bella Cat (High Brow Cat x RBR Lady Belle x Shorty Lena). Owned by Butlin Ranches Inc.
* 2017: One Time At Night (One Time Pepto x Lenas Snow x Docs Stylish Oak). Owned by Teresa Home.
* 2016: Buzzted (Light N Lena x Honey Bee Time x Peptotime). Owned by Christine King.
* 2015: Clays Little Kit Cat (High Brow Cat x Clays Little Kit x Zack T Wood). Owned by Dawn and John Chapman.
* 2014: Scoot Justa Lil (Smart Lil Scoot x Justa Swinging Jane x Justa Swinging Peppy). Owned by Michelle Lemaster.
Bred by Carl and Shawnea Smith, of Jacksboro, Texas, This Isa Third is the only money earner listed in Equi-Statout of his dam, Cat Fancy This. The horse has earned more than $202,000.
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