Rick Thompson was under the weather and didn't get to ride Woodys Tuff Stuff as much as he wanted, but they made the most of their short time in the show pen by tying with Marcos Chocron and Stonecold Bessie at The Cattlemen's. • Photo by S. Sylvester Photography.

Too Close To Call: Thompson and Chocron Split The Cattlemen’s

There was no splitting Rick Thompson and Marcos Chocron at The Cattlemen’s. The two horsemen each scored a 218.5 in the 11-horse Amateur finals to each receive a $3,050 prize on Wednesday, March 10. 

For Thompson and Woody Be Tuff mare Woodys Tuff Stuff and out of CR Little Cat (by Dual Rey), The Cattlemen’s was a chance to perform like trainer Tarin Rice knew they could. 

“I have had limited showing with her because I had COVID,” Thompson said. “We didn’t get to show at the NCHA Futurity, so this is her fourth time in the pen with me.”

He and his wife, Nora, came down with the virus the first week of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity. Nora fared the sickness well, but Thompson developed pneumonia and said it was five weeks before he recovered.

Now, Thompson is trying to make up for lost time.

“I’ve put too much pressure on myself and it’s caused me to make mistakes that I wouldn’t normally make. But It’s finally coming together,” Thompson said. 

Chocron and Thompson were the last to compete in the Amateur Derby Finals, leading to a nail-biting finish.

“We drew dead last in the finals,” Thompson said. “We didn’t know how it was going to go… but she couldn’t have been any better.”

Marcos Chocron & Stonecold Bessie

For Venezuelan native Chocron, The Cattlemen’s was a continuation of a stellar 2020 that saw him clinch the NCHA Limited Age Event Rookie of the Year title.

The current South Florida resident entered Stonecold Bessie (Once In A Blu Boon x Little Bessie Boon x Boon A Little) in the Amateur and Unlimited Amateur, making the finals in both. A fourth-place finish in the Unlimited earned the duo an additional $1,750.

Marcos Chocron and Stonecold Bessie earned The Cattlemen’s Amateur Co-Championship. • Photo by S. Sylvester Photography

“She made everything really easy. The cows were a bit of a challenge at this show, but she was perfection,” Chocron said. 

According to Chocron, Stonecold Bessie has made the finals in every class he has entered in thus far. In the 2020 NCHA Futurity, the mare earned more then $12,000 for finalist appearances in the Amateur and Unlimited Amateur, according to Equi-Stat.

Currently, Stonecold Bessie’s lifetime earnings stand at $17,480.