Playful Smoothtalker
Playful Smoothtalker & William Moore • Photo by Seth Petit

Playful Smoothtalker and Moore Go Two-for-Two at NCHA Futurity

After 10 days of competition, the first champions were crowned at the 2022 Metallic Cat National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity during the Intermediate Open and Limited Open finals on Nov. 23.

The Intermediate Open finals were up first, during which Playful Smoothtalker and William “Colt” Moore picked up the Championship with a 224 score. They then turned around and marked a big 226 in the Limited Open finals afterward to also nab that title, too.

“I’m ecstatic. I can’t even describe it,” said Moore, who had originally just been happy to make his first NCHA Futurity finals at the event. “I had hoped to do good because I felt like the horse deserved it, and I’m glad we got a chance for him to get what he deserved.”

Playful Smoothtalker & William “Colt” Moore • Photo by Seth Petit

Moore said as they progressed from one finals to the next, Playful Smoothtalker seemed to get better and better. The more he’s shown him at the Futurity, he said, the more the horse seems to love his job.

“He was so gritty and quick, and he was stopping so good,” Moore said. “His intelligence was really awesome. I’ve never felt a horse go that fast and be that smart in that big of a moment.

“He just got more confident, and I got more confident, throughout the Futurity,” Moore added. “He’s been solid all year and has been really willing, it’s just been how much I’ve asked of him. He let me ask of him as much as I needed to in every round. He was pretty steady the whole pace.”

Moore initially found Playful Smoothtalker (Smooth Talkin Style x Playful Ricochet x Smart Lil Ricochet) through his fiancé, Jencee Jarvis, who saw the then-yearling colt at a sale. Moore liked the colt’s bottom side, as he was out of Playful Ricochet, who was ridden by his former mentor, Sam Shepard.

There was just one small problem: Moore didn’t have the money to buy the colt at the time.

“I called my brother, Kolby, and said, ‘Hey, we have to buy this horse. I just have a good feeling,’” Moore said. “He lent me a little money, and we had Jencee buy that horse for us.”

“Sam,” named after Shepard, proved himself from the beginning. Moore said he was very good-minded and seemed to understand everything Moore asked him to do. Moore wasn’t the only one who saw something special in him — shortly before the Futurity, Ten/27 Ranch owners Todd and Elizabeth Quirk approached Moore about the Jerome Bradford-bred stallion and ended up buying him. In return, Sam rewarded them with a winner’s check worth $27,497 from the Intermediate Open and another $13,628 from the Limited Open.

Though he’s with new owners now, Moore hopes to continue showing Sam after the Futurity. The 22-year-old has been training for about three years now and works under Russ Westfall.

“I want to thank my family — Kolby; my dad, Casey; and my grandparents — Gary, Skip, Sharon and Judy,” Moore said. “I’d also like to thank my help: Lloyd Cox, Clay Johnson, Adan Banuelos and Russ, who, along with his wife, Janet, is always there for me and always has the right things to say when I need advice. Thanks to the whole team.

“Finally, I want to thank my fiancé for loping him,” Moore continued. “They’re each other’s person, and I think that’s pretty awesome.”

A 223.5 score gave Phil N Dangerous (Hottish x Lil Maddy Rey x Dual Smart Rey) and Lindy Thorn the Intermediate Open Reserve Championship. The duo banked $24,867 for owner and breeder Misty Greeson.

Moore collected the Limited Open Reserve Championship with a second entry, Rock My Rey (Stevie Rey Von x Reyleann x Dual Rey), who scored a 222. The Bobbie and Dottie Hill-bred stallion, who is owned by James and Gay Karhan, collected $12,493.