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Baby Im Hot, one of three horses owned by Pat and Lisa Taylor in the NCHA Futurity Open finals, competes in the 2021 NCHA Futurity Open with Lloyd Cox. * Photo by Molly Montag.

Pat and Lisa Taylor Savor NCHA Futurity to Remember

As the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open finals played out, the phrase “Owned by Pat and Lisa Taylor” rang out over the Will Rogers Coliseum time and time again. With three horses in the Open finals, the Taylors had a futurity season to remember. 

“We never even dreamt of that,” Lisa said. “We always wanted one horse in the Open finals. We started with three and ended with three. That was a fun show for sure.”

The Taylors have been involved in the cutting industry for decades, with Pat’s EquiStat ownership record reaching back to 1989. This year, the duo finally achieved their goal of advancing not just one – but three – horses to the Open finals. 

“The previous three or four years we’ve had a couple in the semi-finals that were good horses that might could have made the finals they just didn’t have the luck and it didn’t work out. This is the first year that that is actually all came together,” Pat reflected a few weeks after that magical night in Fort Worth. “To me, it still doesn’t seem real.”

After the NCHA Futurity success, Pat & Lisa Taylor enjoyed the holidays with their son, Tyler, 18. • Photo courtesy of Pat Taylor.

Pat and Lisa Taylor have owned more than $1 million in earners, and Lisa consistently shows in the limited-age events, garnering titles such as the 2019 NCHA Super Stakes Derby Unlimited Amateur Co-Championship. The couple owns Paul Taylor Saddle Company, which has been in business since 1957 and operates out of Aubrey, Texas. 

“We work every day to support this hobby,” Lisa said.

The Big Leagues

For the Taylors, the Futurity was the culmination of industry experience, thoughtfully placing horses with trainers and trusting the trainers’ expertise.

“It’s all about placing the horses in the right area with the right person. Get them in the places where they fit those people,” Lisa said. 

Lloyd Cox trained and rode Baby Im Hot, while Rodrigo Taboga trained both Sweet N Looow and One Way Or Anuther, though Foster Johnson catch-rode Sweet N Looow –– who is a full sibling to the Taylor’s show stallion, Slooow Ride and a half to 2004 NCHA Futurity Open Champion Spots Hot –– for Taboga at the Futurity.

As the NCHA Futurity progressed, it was shaping up to be a close call in the Open semi-finals for their third horse Sweet N Looow (Metallic Cat x Sweet Shorty Lena x Shorty Lena) and Johnson, who had scored a 218.5 and were on the bubble for the Open finals.  

“We were ecstatic that we had two in the finals, and we went back to our trailer and watched a movie. About an hour later they called us and told us a [218.5] made it. It was really unreal then,” Pat said.

Sweet N Looow joined Baby Im Hot (Hottish x Special Nu Baby x Dual Rey) and One Way Or Anuther (NRR Cat King Cole x Duallys Little Queen x Dual Pep) in the Open finals.

Rodrigo Taboga rode One Way Or Anuther for the Taylors in the NCHA Futurity Open finals. • Photo by Molly Montag.

Cox with Baby Im Hot and Taboga with One Way Or Anuther tied for 13th, while Foster and Sweet N Looow finished 21st. Together, the horses earned more than $80,000.

The Open Futurity finals didn’t end with a victory as the Taylors had hoped, but the sheer number of finalists is a feat within itself. Lisa thanked Shannon and Gary Barker, Lloyd Cox and his team, Todd Nelson, Richard Jordan, Rodrigo and Nila Taboga, Foster Johnson, all her help and Pat for “making dreams come true.”