Matt Gaines has an Equi-Stat record of $7.8 million earned in National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Open competition, making him the leading open rider of all-time. Despite his success, he had never won the NCHA Futurity Open. That came to an end on Dec. 10, when he rode Second Spot to a score of 229, earning the elusive title of NCHA Futurity Open Champion. They earned $225,395 for Second Spot's owners and breeders Gary and Shannon Barker, of Madill, Oklahoma.
When Spooky Whiz and Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Rider Andrea Fappani won the 2016 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity Level 4 Open on Dec. 3, they wrote their names in history as the winners of the 50th renewal of the NRHA’s premier event. They did it in good style by scoring a 225.5 and earning the guaranteed winner’s check of $150,000 for owner Rancho Oso Rio LLC.
Kobie and Paula Wood’s Donas Suen Boon was recently named the World Champion Senior Cutting Horse at the Lucas Oil American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Championship Show in Oklahoma City. The title adds to a long list of accolades for the mare, who has built an Equi-Stat record of $351,125 with Kobie, an Equi Stat Elite $5 Million Rider, and non-pro Paula, an Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider. The success of this mare has truly been a family affair not only for this family of cutters, but for her pedigree family, as well.
Stylish Whizard and rider Luke Jones have been busy with three futurity wins this fall. The latest win came in the Colorado Reined Cowhorse Association (CRCA) Futurity Open, where they earned $2,668. Their previous wins came in the South Dakota Reined Cow Horse Association Rode to Reno Stallion Stakes Futurity and the North Central Working Western Futurity Open.
Bobs Smart Badger and Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Rider Russ Westfall have been busy this fall earning four West Coast futurity championships. The first two wins came in the El Rancho Futurity Open and Gelding Open in Rancho Murieta, California. The next championships came in Las Vegas, when they won the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA)/Holy Cow Performance Horses Futurity Open and Gelding Open. The 2013 gelding started his career as an Open finalist at the West Texas Futurity before he annexed four wins for an Equi-Stat record of more than $40,000 for owners George and Charlene Lane.
The fall futurities mark the beginning of many a fine young horse’s show career. It also marks the beginning of the breeding career of the first-crop sires – those great young stallions that oftentimes thrilled us in the arena.
When Kathy Ferguson and her Royal Isabella won the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Non-Pro, Intermediate Non-Pro and Novice Non-Pro, it prompted a closer look at the mare from the first American crop of One Time Royalty. The three wins netted Ferguson $28,951 in earnings. Royal Isabella and Ferguson also won the Southwest Reined Cow Horse Association Rode To Reno Futurity Novice Non-Pro.
The term “blue hen” refers to a mare that is the foundation of a family of horses that excels not only in the arena, but in the breeding shed as well. The Smart Look is No. 3 on the Equi-Stat Lifetime Cutting Statistics dams chart with offspring earnings of more than $1.6 million. Add in the fact that her grandsons and granddaughters have produced earners in excess of $10 million, and The Smart Look becomes a truly great blue hen.
The Lucas Oil & Protect The Harvest National Stock Horse Association (NSHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open was won by Duals Lucky Charm. He was trained and ridden by Kelby Phillips to a composite score of 660, winning $18,438 for owner Mike Stewart. In early 2015, Duals Lucky Charm was purchased from breeders Carolyn and Mark Murray by Will Roden. In December 2015, Roden sold the 2013 gelding to Mike and Robyne Stewart.
A Triple Crown Championship is one of the most elusive titles a horse can win. The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Triple Crown is made up of the NCHA Futurity, NCHA Super Stakes and NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby, and only three horses have won the title. They are Smart Little Lena, Docs Okie Quixote and Chiquita Pistol – all winners in the Open division. Now, the NCHA adds Watch Me Whip as the first NCHA Non-Pro Triple Crown winner.
When Reyzin The Cash and Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Rider Gary Gonsalves entered the Will Rogers Coliseum on July 22, 2016, they were returning to the scene of their biggest win to date – the 2015 NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Open. When they left the arena, they had marked a 229 to win the NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Open. They earned $51,250 for owner/breeder Tom Bailey, of Iron Rose Ranch LLC in Carbondale, Colorado.