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.
The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby is one of the great highlights of the summer reining season. This year, the Level 4 Open Champion was Magnum Starlights, a 5-year-old stallion owned by Antler Ridge Ranch LLC. He was nominated by his breeder, George Lawrence, and ridden to the Championship by Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Casey Deary. A look at his pedigree shows an interesting twist through his sire and some interesting ties to NRHA Hall of Fame stallion Topsail Cody.
When Russell Dilday and Topsails Rien Maker won their third World’s Greatest Horseman title in 2011, they cemented their place in the annals of reined cow horse history as a legendary team. The recent loss of Topsails Rien Maker brings an end to the saga of this great team, but not to the legend of Topsails Rien Maker, one of the most versatile horses to grace the performance arena.