The cattle at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes have proved challenging, putting even seasoned competitors on the ropes. The 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro followed that trend, and the finalists were “looking for a leader” late into the first set on Thursday, April 7, according to Megan Miller.
Miller stepped into the role when she threw down a 220.5 aboard stallion Hit Tha Flo, only to be matched by Ryan Rapp and gelding Next Stopp Cowtown in the following set.
They settled for the co-championship rather than work it off, and each earned $19,064 for the effort.
Megan Miller & Hit Tha Flo
Hit Tha Flo has proved himself a consistent performer for Megan Miller and husband, EquiStat Elite $4 Million Rider Matt Miller. The 2016 stallion has been owned by the couple since he was a weanling, racking up more than $173,000 under their guidance. Now as a 6-year-old, Miller said “Kion” has come into himself.
“This year, after the break after the [NCHA] Futurity and he came back he just seemed so much stronger and confident. He’s been so good everywhere we’ve gone this year. He’s pretty easy to get ready and he loves his job,” Miller said.
Hit Tha Flo (Dual Smart Rey x Miss Woody Two Shoes x High Brow Cat) was bred by Lannie Louise Mecom of Avondale, Colorado. For the 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro finals, Miller said she tried to keep things simple.
“It wasn’t going real great for anybody. So, my goal was to just try to get cut clean and show the best I could. Try to keep it simple and let it build,” Miller said.
Ryan Rapp & Next Stopp Cowtown
Next Stopp Cowtown earned the title of “difficult student” back home, but with extended riding from Ryan Rapp the 5-year-old finally coming together.
“This horse has always been kind of a problem child. We bought him out of the Western Bloodstock Sale [as a yearling]. He would be good, then he wouldn’t be,” Rapp said.
The Waco Bend Ranch-bred horse started his career off nicely when Mary Ann Rapp piloted him to a fourth-place finish in the 2020 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity. Eventually, though, he wound up in Ryan’s hands for more riding.
“I just worked him every day,” Rapp said. “Showed him [and] worked him.”
Based on the performance in the NCHA Super Stakes, the tactics worked.
Sired by the Rapp family’s stallion, Dont Stopp Believin, Next Stopp Cowtown is out of the One Time Pepto mare, Manytimes. With the Non-Pro 5/6-Year-Old win, the gelding’s lifetime earnings stand at more than $70,000, according to EquiStat.