Winning his second consecutive National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Open Stakes Championship aboard Scooter Kat was bittersweet for trainer Justin Wright. The stallion won his second straight NRCHA Stallion Stakes Open Championship, and his second premier event of the year – but the show that concluded Aug. 30 at the South Point Equestrian Center and Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada also was the stage for the stallion’s final aged event competition.
The sorrel stallion claimed the spotlight early marking 223 in the herd, 224.5 in the rein work and 221 in the cow work for a composite 668.6, which earned $30,839.
It was Scooter Kat’s second straight premier event win, having won the 2020 NRCHA Derby earlier this summer in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Down The Fence
Heading into the cow work, Wright had an early lead and knew he needed to mark 219 or higher to win the pencil-finals format. He was the sixth draw of more than 120 entries and as luck would have it, he drew a soft cow.
“The cow was soft compared to those that had been coming in,” he said. “I didn’t box really long and he was real smart and rated on the cow. The cow picked up speed in the circles so we were able to run those and I think that’s what saved our butts.”
Owner Eric Frietas praised Wright for his expert handling of what he described as a terrible cow.
“It was not just the horse, Justin did a phenomenal job jockeying him,” Frietas said.
Scooter Kat’s Future
The 5-year-old stallion by Kit Kat Sugar and out of Scooters Daisy Dukes (by Dual Smart Rey) has Equi-Stat earnings of more than $260,000. That amount puts him comfortably in the top ten all-time cow horse earners listed in the Equi-Stat database.
The superstar’s first foal crop is on the ground and so far they look just like dad, according to Frietas. Wright’s next show goal for Scooter Kat is the 2021 or 2022 NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman.
Both Wright and Frietas praised NRCHA staff for rescheduling the event and making it work amid the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m so thankful NRCHA rescheduled the Stakes and that we were able to have this event in this weird time so the horses didn’t miss that year,” he said.