Blake Perry is pretty sure someone special was watching over him and his mare Doralee at the Kit Kat Sugar National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes this week.
The rider from Foster, Oklahoma, made that determination after winning his second championship this week with a mare named Doralee. They won the 4-Year-Old Amateur on Thursday, April 15, which came on the heels of their win earlier in the 4-Year-Old Intermediate Amateur.
While it’s special that the mare nicknamed “Rita” is the first cutting horse Perry has trained from the start, what made the success even more meaningful is where she came from. Perry bought her from his grandfather-in-law, the late Terry Riddle.
A member of the NCHA Hall of Fame and the trainer of such greats as Freckles Playboy, Riddle passed away in January at age 69. According to Perry, “he’s who taught me how to train a horse.”
“He’d be proud that’s for sure,” said Perry, who marked his biggest career wins at this year’s Super Stakes “He would be proud.”
Perry bought Doralee out of a one of the Triangle Sales, where she had been consigned by her breeder, Riddle. She’d banked more than $3,100 during her career, winning money with Perry as well picking up a check with Cass Tatum in the Open, but then injured her hamstring earlier this year after a show in Abilene.
Once Doralee recovered from that injury, the mare by Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Sire Once In A Blu Boon has been cutting at a different level, Perry said.
“When she finally got healed up, she became a different horse,” he said. “I think that hamstring was bothering her for a while, but when she got healthy she became a different horse.”
The cowy mare’s biggest asset is how much heart she has, Perry said.
“She tries hard every day, she’s athletic … she’s got everything,” he said.
Now an earner of nearly $30,000, Doralee is the leading earner out of her dam, Dora Cat (by Auspicious Cat). After his Super Stakes success, Perry now has a lifetime Equi-Stat record of more than $32,591.