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* Photo by John Brasseaux.

Metallic Cat Ascends to All-Time Leading NRCHA Sire

Metallic Cat is now the leading sire in the history of the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) with more than $4.2 million in progeny earnings, officials with the association say.

The red roan stallion bred by The Roan Rangers is in elite company, having passed the great Shining Spark to take the position as NRCHA’s leading sire.

“This is a monumental moment for our industry, one in which we simultaneously honor the ongoing influence of the incomparable Shining Spark and celebrate the meteoric rise of Metallic Cat,” NRCHA Executive Director Anna Morrison said in a statement announcing the accomplishment. “Metallic Cat’s mark on reined cow horse is evident as you watch the athleticism and talent of his offspring in our arenas. We are grateful to Bobby Patton and Rocking P Ranch for their ongoing support of NRCHA, and are proud to celebrate this remarkable accomplishment with them.”

Owned by Bobby Patton’s Rocking P Ranch, the 2005 stallion by High Brow Cat and out of Chers Shadow (by Peptoboonsmal), made his name as a performer in the cutting pen – becoming the 2008 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open Champion and recording more than $637,711 in his 12-month performance career.

Metallic Cat retired to stallion duty for then-owner Fults Ranch, which launched his highly successful stallion career before selling him to Rocking P in 2017. His progeny have excelled in reined cow horse and cutting, as well as other disciplines, pushing him to the rank of EquiStat Elite $46 Million Sire.

Specifically in the NRCHA, Metallic Cat was the 2019 NRCHA Sire of the Year and his sons and daughters currently have earned $4.25 million at the association’s shows.

“We are just thrilled he reached this milestone in such a short time,” Alvin Fults said in a statement released by the NRCHA. “That was always a goal of ours when we started breeding with Metallic Cat to the cow horse industry breeders. The sky is the limit where he goes; there are lots of offspring showing and will be for many more years. Congratulations to Bobby Patton for all he’s done to keep promoting Metallic Cat.”

Patton acquired the stallion a year after he had purchased NCHA Futurity Open Champion Spots Hot, an EquiStat Elite $7 Million Sire that he said showed him what the breeding business was like. 

“I could see an immediate return on investment in the breeding year following buying ‘Spot.’ That gave me a taste of stallion ownership and an understanding of the business,” Patton said in the statement. “When I got Metallic Cat, I wanted to do something different to market him. I have to give [Patton’s representative] Debbie [Roberts] credit because she thought it would be a good idea to branch Metallic Cat out to reined cow horses and that led to our involvement in the NRCHA. It made sense to me. At that time, I didn’t have an appreciation of [cow horse], but I got educated and gained perspective on the industry.”

Reined Cow Horse Success

In 2018, Metallic Cat became an NRCHA Million Dollar Sire and less than a year later surpassed the Two Million Dollar Sire mark. Metallic Cat passed the Three Million Dollar Sire mark in August 2020, and again took less than a year to pass his next major sire milestone. Now, a sire of NRCHA earners of more than Four Million Dollars, he joins only former all-time leading NRCHA sire, Shining Spark, bred and owned by Carol Rose, with that honor.  

For 17 years, the legendary Shining Spark reigned as the king of cow horse sires. He reached all-time leading sire status in the NRCHA first in 2003, and remained at the top until September of this year. He was the first sire to reach Three Million Dollar Sire status in the NRCHA and is the Number One Maternal Grandsire of cow horse money earners, with his daughters foaling earners of more than $9.4 million in the discipline, according to EquiStat records.

Shining Spark’s highest money-earning offspring in the NRCHA is Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finalist Smart Shinetta, a 2002 mare out of Smart Hickory (by Docs Hickory), who earned more than $128,170. 

“I want to tip my hat to Carol Rose and Shining Spark,” Patton said. “We may be the new leader in lifetime earnings, but that horse has had nearly 20 years atop the industry. There are a lot of Metallic Cat and Shining Spark crosses out there and that benefits our entire industry.” 

Top NRCHA Offspring

Metallic Cat’s top money-earning offspring in the NRCHA is Metallic Train, a mare owned by Beverly Servi that won the NRCHA Stallion Stakes Open and Intermediate Open, as well as the Open Hackamore World Championship. Ridden by Clayton Edsall, the daughter of Sparking Train (by Shining Spark) have won $172,250 in NRCHA earnings. Most recently, the duo placed third in The Run For A Million Invitational Fence Work Challenge presented by Teton Ridge. 

“One of the reasons you see so many Metallic Cats in the show pen, the winner’s circle and the sale is that they have the ability to be trained and be successful,” Edsall said in the NRCHA’s statement. “I’ve found that even if one doesn’t make a cutting horse, it makes a cow horse or a rope horse. He checks a lot of boxes as a breeder — color, size and bone, athleticism and mind.”

With the multi-dimensional reined cow horse competition, and the steer stopping component of the World’s Greatest Horseman event, trainability comes into play just as much as athleticism. Metallic Cat’s top two money-earning stallions in the NRCHA – Call Me Mitch and Cats Picasso –  are both horses that have competed in all aspects of reined cow horse events.

Call Me Mitch, a 2011 stallion out of Miss Hickory Hill (by Docs Hickory) and owned by the late Estelle Roitblat, has $171,377 in earnings and Cats Picasso, a 2012 stallion out of Playboys Vixen (by Hickoryote) and owned by Coast Performance Horses, has $159,097. 

Though the older horses rise to the top of the 437-horse list of Metallic Cat’s offspring in the NRCHA database, the young performers are just as competitive. In April, 2016 stallion Hazardouz Material, out of Scooters Daisy Dukes (by Dual Smart Rey), earned the NRCHA Stallion Stakes Open Championship for owner Linda Mars, and pushed his lifetime earnings to $104,517.62. And, Metallic Cat’s son, Ricato Suave, took the Dom Conicelli Memorial Eastern Derby Open Derby Champion title to push his lifetime NRCHA earnings to $104,601.

At this year’s NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, presented by Metallic Cat, Rocking P Ranch is also supporting the event’s draw party and After Party. 

The Snaffle Bit Futurity, presented by Metallic Cat, runs Oct. 7-23 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Metallic Cat Snaffle Bit Futurity Draw Party is on Oct. 20, and the Metallic Cat After Party in the Coliseum parking will feature food truck fun, live music and dancing.