The crowd s at Will Rogers Coliseum knows a special performance when it sees one. And, it sure had something to cheer about in the run by Gingersnaps and Morgan Cromer in the Derby Open finals at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Metallic Cat Summer Spectacular.
The cheering began as they worked their first cow, grew in intensity throughout the run and reached a crescendo when the Californian and the daughter of Smooth Talkin Style finished off their final cow Saturday, July 25 in Fort Worth.
An expectant hush fell over the building while everyone waited for the score, broken by screams when a 229 flashed across the scoreboard. Cromer punched her fist in the air as she rode the little mare out of the pen.
It was a great performance, one of several big runs this year from the mare owned by 7 R Ranch, LLC. She entered the show after winning the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Derby Open with 230-point run that left Cromer wondering if it was the best run she’d ever had.
“I don’t know that you ever know that they’re this good. You know what I mean,” Cromer said after the NCHA Summer Spectacular victory. “I mean, you can have ten that feel like they’re ready to go show, and one of them will come out being a show horse like that.”
Cromer knew the mare was good when she got the daughter of the broodmare Catnaps (by High Brow Cat) midway during her 3-year-old year. The mare came with a good foundation courtesy of Russ Miller, and also a great recommendation.
“Russ doesn’t say much, but he told me he felt she was as good as Kittens,” Cromer said.
That is high praise: Kittens – a full sister to Catnaps – earned more than $286,248 during her cutting career with Miller and her owner, Bonnie Martin, of Bitterroot Ranch LLC, sharing time in the saddle. They won money at shows across the West and Pacific Northwest, and the mare also made the Open finals at the NCHA Summer Spectacular and NCHA Super Stakes.
Cromer found out how good the Gingersnaps really was in February at the Arbuckle Mountain Futurity in Ardmore, Oklahoma. They showed early in a draw of the Derby Open finals against horses like 2020 NCHA Futurity Open Champion All Spice and Catolena Cashin In, who at that point had just won the Derby Open at The Ike.
Cromer, knowing the firepower coming later in the draw, asked for a big-time run that day in Oklahoma and she got one, winning with a 228.
“That was probably the first run [that] I was like, ‘Holy moly!'”
After that, Gingersnaps won the Breeder’s Invitational Derby Open Championship with a 226 before heading to the PCCHA Derby Open, where she and Cromer marked that big 230.
“It’s one of those things where sometimes you got to pinch yourself a little bit, you know, because she doesn’t take a lot of work,” she said of the mare bred by Flying V Ranch, of Val Verde, California. “She’s not one that you think is gonna outthink you. You know, I mean? She is so pure minded.”
Now, they also have a partnership that’s raked in more than $154,683 in lifetime earnings for the mare.
“I think she’s really confident that I’m going to do my part of it for her. And I’m really confident in her.”