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Von Sutten rode Knicks N Lakers to the Unlimited Amateur title at the 2021 Cattlemen's Derby & Classic. • Photo by S. Sylvester Photography.

Slam Dunk! Sutten Rides Knicks N Lakers to Cattlemen’s Win

Some partnerships are primed with experience and a good eye for compatible pairs. For Von Sutten and Knicks N Lakers, known as “Nickers,” the connection was immediate. 

Their chemistry began paying dividends on Wednesday, March 10 at The Cattlemen’s Derby and Classic, where a score of 220 in a competitive 4-Year-Old Unlimited Amateur class turned into a $5,000 payday.

“He’s a very experienced horse. Guy Woods did the small futurities on last year and my trainer Casey Green my had been wanting to buy him for me,” Sutten explained. 

Knickers’ ability in the pen garnered him $23,438 in 2020, and Sutten was an experienced and successful cutter with $620,955 in lifetime earnings going into The Cattlemen’s, according to Equi-Stat. As soon as the gelding was available, Green and Sutten were there, and the matchmaking skills paid off.

“They finally decided to price him and sell him, and we jumped in line. Fortunately, we got there quick enough and purchased him. 

I went to Whitesboro a few weeks ago and showed him in a $25,000 Novice Non-Pro class, and he was really good. After he won that, I felt very confident,” Sutten said.

Nickers is a 2017 stallion by Laker Doc and out of Snicker Bar Ichi (by Cat Ichi). Sutten humbly described himself as a pilot on the gelding, saying the horse knows his job so well he cuts like a 6-year-old. 

“It’s truly about the horse. I just had to cut my cow and let him do his job,” Sutten said. 

Sutten’s trust and respect only grew for Knickers as he held their third cow in the finals, who ran them wall-to-wall until the buzzer rang. 

“That cow about took me out of the cutting,” Sutten said, “Nickers hunkered down and I was saved by the buzzer.”

Reserve Champion Rick French and mare Sloane (Once In A Blu Boon x Our Little Noel x Smart Mate) were also enjoying a new partnership. The Lexington, Tennessee, resident purchased the mare two weeks ago. Their score of 219 earned them $3,000 in the Unlimited Amateur. 

“I want to thank Sean Flynn for selling her to me, and knowing she would be a good fit,” French said.