The open division in any discipline in the Western performance horse industry is the pinnacle of competition, first and foremost, because for professional trainers, their livelihood depends on it. The Open Hall of Fame for the NCHA represents riders who have persevered through intense competition, time and time again, and found success.
Climbing the ranks and into the top rung of honor in the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) is next-level stuff.
The NCHA has announced the open riders who have fulfilled the strenuous requirements and will join their peers in the class of 2019 NCHA Hall of Fame.
Cara Brewer, Monty Buntin, Chris Hanson, Bruce Morine and Andy Sherrerd are the newest open riders to join the Open Rider Hall of Fame. The four inductees will be honored at the NCHA Hall of Fame Gala held during the NCHA Convention, May 30 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Cara Brewer pulled her first check as an open rider in 1991, according to Equi-Stat. Now an Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million rider, Brewer is well-versed with the ins and out of the cutting horse industry. She has been an open finalist at the NCHA Futurity, Breeders Invitational and, in 2004, she won the NCHA Super Stakes Derby Open Championship with Playin Tag (Playgun x Peppys Rey Jey x Peponita).
In 2019, the Jay, Oklahoma, native made the finals at the NCHA Futurity Open, placing 18th with Taggline (Metallic Cat x Dual Rey Tag x Dual Rey), a maternal grandson of Playin Tag, winning more than $21,000.
Earlier in 2019 Brewer advanced to the finals in the Classic/Challenge Open at the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Derby Classic/Challenge on Metallic Merry (Metallic Cat x Playguns Star x Playgun).
Riding a full sibling to Metallic Merry in 2020, Brewer found success at The Cattlemens Derby and Classic. Brewer and Metallic Rabbit grabbed the 5/6-Year-Old Limited Open title worth $5,200.
After only playing in the cutting pen for a little more than a decade, Monty Buntin of Lincoln, California, has punched his ticket to the hall of fame. With lifetime earnings of more than $1 million, according to Equi-Stat, Buntin has certainly earned his place.
Banking more than $311,000 in 2019 alone, Buntin competed in a multitude of shows, including the Utah Cutting Horse Association Futurity (UCHA). In the Futurity Open at the UCHA Fall Cutting and Futurity, Buntin horses tied for the championship with Miss Gypsy Jackson (High Brow Jackson x Ha Gypsy Jackson x Starlights Gypsy) and Dual Rey Diva (Dual Smart Rey x Plumbin Time x Peptotime), worth $7,250 each. He also reigned over the Classic/Challenge Open, riding Steel Betty (Metallic Cat x Betty Greyble x Stylish Rey) to a score of 151 and earning $7,348.
Substantial earnings that have helped propel Buntin into Hall of Fame territory include a top-five finish at the 2012 NCHA Futurity Open with High Brow Jackson (High Brow Cat x Money Talks Smart x Smart Mate) and a Reserve championship in the Limited Open.
Chris Hanson posted his first check to Equi-Stat in 2007. His record shows he began picking up momentum in 2014 and less than a decade later, Hanson is an Equi-Stat Elite $1 million rider.
With more than $227,000 in earnings in 2019 alone, it’s safe to say Hanson put things into overdrive.
The Texas-based rider has the NCHA Super Stakes to thank in part for his 2019 total. Hanson and Code Belue (Cat Belue x Duals Play Kit x Kit Dual) advanced to the finals in the NCHA Super Stakes Derby Open, placing 16th while CR Dual Hearted Cat (Dual Rey x CR Tuff Hearted Cat x Woody Be Tuff) advanced to the semifinals in the same class. Together, the horses earned nearly $23,000 for Hanson.
In May at the Breeders Invitational, Hanson tasted success again with Ms Zee (Smooth As A Cat x Zee Dual x Dual Pep), advancing to the Derby $10,000 Novice Open Finals. At the NCHA Summer Spectacular Hanson rode V Eight Looks Hot (Hottish x Fulla Looks x Dual Rey) into the Classic/Challenge Open Finals.
A veteran player in the sport of cutting, Bruce Morine has been competing for nearly four decades. And with an Equi-Stat record of more than $1 million, the Weatherford, Texas, native has certainly put in the time.
A top-five finish in the NCHA Futurity Open in 2000 and the Derby Open Finals at the NCHA Super Stakes in 2001 with Stella Starlight (Grays Starlight x Torsion Girl x Tivos Torsion Bar), and an NCHA Super Stakes Derby Open Finals in 2009 with Ginger Pepto (Peptoboonsmal x Stella Starlight x Grays Starlight) was just the tip of the iceberg on Morine’s show record.
In 2010 Morine advanced to the Super Stakes Classic/Challenge Open Finals on Catrina Starlight (High Brow Cat x Stella Starlight x Grays Starlight), furthering his history on Stella Starlight’s progeny. He earned money on horses out of Stella Starlight as recently as 2019.
Averaging $21,276 in earnings per year over the past five years, Morine has taken a steady approach to becoming a Hall of Famer.
Andy Sherrerd began competing in reining in 1995, but it wasn’t the Wayne, Oklahoma, native’s final stop. Within seven years of his first reining payday, and with more than $60,000 in reining earnings, Sherrerd was competing in the cutting, successfully advancing to the semifinals in the 2001 NCHA Futurity Open.
Sherrerd continued to earn at the NCHA Futurity in the Open division, earning money in 10 of the 20 years he competed.
Now part of the Equi-Stat Elite $1 million club, Sherrerd has a multitude of horses and owners he could thank for their support along the way.
2010 stallion Draggin A Hawk (EBR Kitty Hawk x Tina Moria Lena x Tina Bars Peppy) and Sherrerd have earned more than $55,000 together in recent years, including a semifinal finish in the 2014 NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Open and a finals finish in the 2014 Breeders Invitational Derby Open, worth more than $10,000.
After attending nearly 25 shows in 2019, Sherrerd has already pulled 2020 checks at the Arbuckle Mountain Futurity in the Classic/Challenge Open with C Spot Betty (C Spot Cut x Bet On The Cat x Bet On Me 498).
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