John Swales and Metallic Cat Rose circle up on their cow in the World's Greatest Horseman Finals. • Photo by Lillian Kent.

Metallic Cat Rose Tops World’s Greatest Horseman

Smashing expectations and outpacing the Reserve Champion by seven points, Metallic Cat Rose (Metallic Cat x Teletrona x Little Trona) and John Swales left no question unanswered on Saturday night during DT Horses and Hastags World’s Greatest Horseman Finals. 

After Swales won The World’s Greatest Horseman in 2017 on Heza Diamond Spark (Diamond J Star x Sheza Shinette x Shining Spark), there was a question “can he do it again?” Swales and the 9-year-old red roan mare punched the champion ticket with a resounding “yes!”

Scoring a 217.5 in the herd work, 218.5 in the rein work, a 215 in the steer stopping and a staggering 227.5 in the fence work, the Millarville, AB, CN, native navigated plenty of difficult circumstances to make it all happen. 

 “She has a big motor so she can be a little tough to show in the reining,” Swales explained. 

The Canadian winter hasn’t been accommodating to World’s Greatest practices either, according to Swales’ wife Deanne. Alberta winters can average 15° Fahrenheit and get as low as -40° Fahrenheit.

“He was stressing, he was like ‘everyone down south is schooling their horses!’ because there was a few days he couldn’t ride. Our arena isn’t heated — the barn is — but the arena is cold,” DeAnne elaborated. 

“[But] he had shown her here a couple of years ago and didn’t make the finals because they broke [the barrier] in the roping. So he knew that she could do it.”

Bred by Diamond LK Cutting Horses of Celina, TX, the Equi-Stat Elite $32 million sire Metallic Cat mare certainly could do it, taking massive strides in the fence work to easily keep pace with their spirited cow. 

“That first turn she got in the ground so deep I can’t believe she got out of it,” Swales said, “but she rolled right out of there with that cow, went and turned it out in the open and then ran right up there to circle. The cow was running hard and she seemed to stay with it easy.”

According to Swales, the fence work is Metallic Cat Roses’ best event, and her big motor helped her dig deep after almost a week of preliminary rounds. 

“It definitely helped her. You know she’s tired but there is still lots of gas in the tank when you need it,” Swales said as the mare fidgeted, perhaps ready for one more round. 

The mare effectively doubled her lifetime earnings with the win, cashing in $42,000 and going from $41,228 to $83,228 in one evening. Owners Jerry & Nicole Meyer of Foothills, AB, CN, were not able to attend but were ecstatic with the news, according to Swales. 

“It feels amazing [to win] I can’t believe it could happen again,” Swales concluded.

The Reserve Champions were Duals Lucky Charm (Dual Smart Rey x TRR Ms Pepcid Olena x Pepcid) with Kelby Phillips and Sparktilion (Shining Spark x Cattilion x High Brow Cat) with Jake Telford, both scoring a 871.5 composite and winning $22,500 each. 

Duals Lucky Charm is owned by Mile & Robyne Stewart of Munday, TX, and was bred by Carolyn & Mark Murray of Dallas, TX. Duals Lucky Charm and Phillips scored a 215 in the herd, a 220.5 in the reining, a 214 in steer stopping and 222 down the fence.

Not to be outdone, Sparktilion scored a 220 in the herd, a 214.5 in the reining, a 219 in steer stopping and 218 down the fence. Sparktilion is owned by Michelle Cannon of Waxahachie, TX and was bred by Cottonwood Springs Ranch in Rancho Santa Fe, CA. 

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