Brandon Westfall and the stallion Fiddle And Steel have had some tough luck in 2021, but at the Cattlemen’s Derby and Classic things fell back into place for the reigning National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Non-Pro champions.
On Wednesday, March 10, Westfall and nine other finalists duked it out for $33,954 in class winnings. When the dust settled, Westfall’s score of 222 held from the second draw, earning him a first-place check of $7,400.
“We haven’t done so good for a couple runs, so the pressure was there. I tried to treat it like any other show,” Westfall said.
After winning the 2020 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity with Fiddle And Steel to the tune of a massive $74,605, people subconsciously expected big performances from the pair in 2021. According to Westfall, the unsaid expectations from peers were palpable.
In spite of the added pressure, Westfall and Fiddle And Steel, known as “Fiddle,” pulled off a clean run at The Cattlemen’s that bested Reserve Champion by 2 points. The win pushed Fiddle’s lifetime earnings to more than $82,000.
“It was a softer, clean run. The cows were kind of tough so I just tried to be smart. It wasn’t the easiest situation but I tried to go do my job,” Westfall said. “Fiddle’s the type of horse that I can cut whatever I want to cut. I feel like he can hold whatever you put in front of him.”
According to Westfall, the softer cattle wanted to stick together and didn’t respect the cutters. Fiddle, who is the son of Equi-Stat Elite $40 Million Sire Metallic Cat and out of show mare Lil Bit Reckless (by CD Royal), steadily pushed the sticky cattle out before showing off his “look” on the soft cattle. For Westfall, the result was validating.
“I believe I had Tatum Rice, Casey Green, Boyd Rice and my dad turning back for me. I want to thank my help, and thank my mom and dad,” Westfall said.
Reserve Champion in the Derby Non-Pro was Austin Adams and A Shoot N Star (Smooth Talkin Style x SG Catty Starlight x WR This Cats Smart), who bagged $6,000 for their 220 performance.