Lloyd Cox and Blackish took the Cutting Challenge Championship at The Run For A Million * Photo by Amy Olson

Lloyd Cox Crowned Cutting Champion at The Run For A Million 2023

Just a few days ago, the West Texas Cutting Futurity was running late into the night. Lloyd Cox normally wouldn’t bat an eye at a few cattle sets on his last day, but he had to drive five hours back to Fort Worth, pack his bags and catch a flight.

Blackish was already in a trailer with Clay Johnson’s horses headed straight from Amarillo, Texas to Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 2014 black mare by EquiStat Elite $13 Million Sire Hottish is out of SS Blacks Lil Kitty (Blue Bayou Boon). Blackish, although somewhat retired, makes appearances for top-dollar events such as The Run For A Million (TRFAM). In March, Cox rode the mare to a Reserve Championship at The American Performance Horseman.

“They both had the same feel [TRFAM & American], a huge, enthusiastic crowd,” Cox said. “But this one’s better since I won first instead of second.”

The Marietta, Okla. based trainer just crossed $11 million in earnings last month. He and Blackish took home another $50,000 for their win last night. The cows were fast in Vegas but Cox had smart herd help in every corner and is comfortable showing in the South Point arena.

“I had a had a good draw, and we had some cows picked out. Not every one of those that I cut was was once we talked about. In the first couple of horses the cows, being in this atmosphere, they. seemed like they had a lot of juice on them,” Cox said.

“I like to cut you know, more cow on this mare but my help and I talked about it briefly before I went down there and said, ‘Listen let’s go softer.’ So the first two were what we thought would be more manageable cattle. And the last one, I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know but it came and they hollered. ‘It’s good.’ And I just went with it,” Cox explained.

The lights and noise may have kept the cattle on their toes but Blackish was on her’s all night as well.

“She’s smart, and she stops big and reads well,” Lloyd credited the black horse. “She’s just one of those mares, you hope you get another one at some point.”

Cox said he doesn’t know what’s next for the mare, because it’s up to owner Julie Jarma. They are raising some offspring out of Blackish and may want to completely retire her, but she may also make a few more showings at large events. Her score of 228 proved that Blackish is still at the top of her game.

John McClure and Chris Weaver of Bobs Custom Saddles present Lloyd Cox with his trophy saddle for The Run For A Million Cutting Challenge Championship. * Photo By Kelsey Pecsek