When National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Non-Pro champions Brandon Westfall and Fiddle And Steel entered the arena for the Breeder’s Invitational Derby Non-Pro finals, the duo had already won more than $127,000.
At the Breeder’s Invitational, they banked their third major win of 2021 and added another $27,000 to their records by winning the Derby Non-Pro and making the finals of the Derby Open on Saturday, May 29 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
They won $17,150 of that total by marking a big 225 to the Derby Non-Pro. The duo’s first 2021 championship came at The Cattlemen’s Derby and Classic in March. Then, in April, they won their second Triple Crown event by marking a 225.5 to take home the NCHA Super Stakes 4-Year-Old Non-Pro title.
At the Breeder’s Invitational, Westfall and Fiddle And Steel marked a 219.5 in the first go and a 213.5 in the second to enter the finals on the bubble, where they pulled out all the stops for the win.
Westfall was excited for Fiddle And Steel’s success. He said he’s learned if he does his job, the stallion will answer the call and do his as well.
“He honestly has everything,” said Westfall, who also rode the stallion to a tie for 14th in the Derby Open. “He has the cow sense and the cow smarts; he’s athletic; he has a big stop; I mean, he honestly doesn’t really have any weaknesses. I’ve never ridden one that has everything like that.”
For the last few months, Westfall said he’s just tried to maintain Fiddle And Steel by keeping their practice sessions together simple. As long as he can get a good, competent work out of him, he’s happy, he added.
Fiddle And Steel (Metallic Cat x Lil Bit Reckless x CD Royal) was bred by Westfall’s parents, Russ and Janet, and was trained by Russ. He is the highest money-earner out of his dam, a producer of more than $365,000, and is a sibling or half-sibling to four other money-earners.
Westfall planned to next take the stallion to the NCHA Summer Spectacular to try for the trifecta. He thanked his parents for supporting him and expressed appreciation to his help — Morgan Cromer, Clint Allen, Boyd Rice and Casey Green.
Kadie Weeks Hermes rode Badaboomsmall (Metallic Cat x Reyboomsmall x Dual Rey) to the Derby Non-Pro Reserve Championship with a score of 221. The mare, who was bred by Kim Ezell, collected $14,578 for owners Curtis and Brenda Weeks.