* Photo by Debbie Roberts

At $40 Million, Metallic Cat Closing in on History

Recent success by sons and daughters of Metallic Cat at the Abilene Spectacular horse show have the 16-year-old stallion on the verge of surpassing one of the cutting industry’s all-time greats.

Thanks to his progeny’s success at this year’s Abilene Spectacular, the red roan son of High Brow Cat owned by Rocking P Ranch became only the fourth horse in history to sire the earners of more than $40 million, including closed incentives. Of those four horses, Metallic Cat got there the fastest — doing so with eight show-age foal crops.

“Rocking P Ranch is very excited about hitting this new milestone in Metallic Cat’s career as a stallion,” said Debbie Roberts, representative for Rocking P Ranch owner Bobby Patton. “This $40 million is something that we had always hoped for, but we did not know how realistic that goal was.”

The only three Western performance stallions whose progeny have won more money than Metallic Cat are his sire, all-time leader High Brow Cat ($85.4 million), Dual Rey ($47.7 million) and Smart Little Lena ($42.5 million).

At the rate Metallic Cat’s sire career is going — he’s sired an average of $7.3 million in earnings each year for the past three years — he will likely surpass Smart Little Lena’s lifetime earnings by mid-2021. And, he very well could be even terms with Dual Rey by the end of the year.

Though Dual Rey, Smart Little Lena and High Brow Cat are all deceased, the trio remains available to breeders through reserves of frozen semen and continue to add to their bankrolls.

Annual Superstars

So far, every one of Metallic Cat’s show-age foal crops has included a major limited-age event cutting champion. Often, the 2008 NCHA Futurity Open Champion’s crops also featured top-flight reined cow horse winners.

Metallic Cat’s sons and daughters won nearly $7 million last year — of that, slightly more than $1 million was earned at the 2020 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity. They amassed that sum despite having fewer opportunities than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of large shows canceled in 2020, including the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Derby, the Breeder’s Invitational and the NCHA Super Stakes.

Metallic Cat‘s first foals hit the ground in 2010. At the time, his stud career was managed by then-owner Fults Ranch, and that first crop had two horses who turned out to be among the stallion’s all-time leading earners: multiple aged-event champion Meteles Cat ($437,016) and two-time American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Amateur Cutting World Champion Purple Reyn ($361,880).

The following year, Metallic Cat sired his leading reined cow horse earner, World’s Greatest Horseman Reserve Champion Call Me Mitch ($200,728), and then in 2012, his foals included eventual NCHA Futurity Open Champion Stevie Rey Von ($420,559) and NCHA Open Horse of the Year Metallic Rebel ($437,965). His second-leading cow horse offspring, Cats Picasso ($162,158), was also born in 2012.

The 2013 crop included NCHA Open World Champion Hashtags, who with $485,293 in lifetime earnings holds the distinction as Metallic Cat’s leading earner, and National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Stallion Stakes Open Champion Metallic Train ($155,898). In 2014, Metallic Cat sired Breeder’s Invitational Non-Pro Champion and multiple Metallic Cat Incentive winner Catillac Reys ($420,550), while highlights from the roan stallion’s 2015 crop were two multiple aged event cutting champions — NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Open Co-Champion Summer Time Fun ($268,058) and Breeder’s Invitational Derby Open Champion Slooow Ride ($212,588). Those two horses are still showing in limited-age cuttings this year and continuing to add to their records.

Metallic Cat’s 2016 crop featured his second NCHA Futurity Open Champion, Metallic Rey Mink, and his 2017 foals included NCHA Futurity Open Reserve Champion Bugattii.

The Future

Looking to the future, Metallic Cat‘s owner expects the stallion’s influence to continue spreading. He is already among cutting’s all-time leading sires and has sired the winners of more than $3.7 million in reined cow horse, but breeders from other corners of the equine world also send their mares to the stallion, Roberts said.

She said barrel racers and ropers have sought the stallion out for their mares. Given horses in those disciplines tend to be several years old before they reach the highest stages of their sports, the impact those crosses will have on Metallic Cat’s legacy is yet to be seen.

“To watch what’s going on — not only in the cutting pen, but the cow horse pen and now watching all these top [National Finals Rodeo]-caliber barrel horse mares and these top champion roping mares that are coming in and breeding to Metallic Cat — the diversity that is going to come from this in years to come … We are very excited to see how this starts to unfold,” Roberts said.