• Dennis Moreland Tack

Eastern Champions: Jeff Byars in Non-Pro; Kenneth Warner in Amateur

March 17th, 2017

Non-Pro champion Jeff Byars on MK CD High Roller. Hart Photography.

The NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals wrapped up on Friday, March 17, in Jackson, Miss., with the Non-Pro and the $50,000 Amateur Finals. Jeff Byars, Town Creek, Ala., won the Non-Pro championship with 215 points on MK CD High Roller, by CD Olena; Kenneth Warner, Clover, S.C., also scored 215 points to win the $50,000 Amateur championship riding That Kotn Pikn Pepto, by One Time Pepto.

Non-Pro reserve champion Blake Graham on Legal Dream

The Non-Pro reserve championship and the $50,000 Amateur reserve championship went, respectively, to Blake Graham, Rockledge, Ga., and Butch Johnson, Perrin, Tex., each with scores of  214.5 points. Graham rode Legal Dream, by Dual Rey, while Johnson showed Lil Rey Prince, by TR Dual Rey.

Page Bowman, Simpsonville, KY, on Tom E Boy, and Cameron Thompson, Crossville, Tenn., on Hard Eight BBQ, tied with 214 points to split third and fourth places in the Non-Pro Finals. While Michelle Marshall, Okeehcobee, Fla., on Catch A Starlight, and Kristal Vaughn, Forsyth, Ga., also tied with 214 points, to split third and fourth places in the $50,000 Amateur Finals.

This was Non-Pro champion Jeff Byars’ first time to win a division of the NCHA Eastern Nationals and his third time to qualify. However, MK CD High Roller LTE $110,112, owned by Jeff’s son, Lew Byars, is a nine-time Eastern Nationals finalist. The 13-year-old gelding was a 2016 Non-Pro finalist with Jeff in 2016, and has also carried Lew in seven non-pro and amateur division finals, as well. MK CD High Roller and Lew also won the 2015 NCHA World Finals $50,000 Amateur championship and placed in this year’s NCHA Eastern Nationals $50,000 Amateur Finals.

The Non-Pro Finals counted as reserve champion Blake Graham’s third finals appearance in this year’s NCHA Eastern Nationals. Graham also showed DMAC Cheshire Cat in the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro Finals, as well as Legal Dream in the Senior Youth Finals. In addition, Graham kicked off his 2017 show season by winning the Augusta Futurity Amateur Unlimited on 4-year-old Zacks Smoothie.

Legal Dream, by Dual Rey out of Short Candy LTE $132,953, is a full brother to Dr Cruzin LTE $112,312, who tied for sixth place in this week’s NCHA Eastern Nationals $35,000 Non-Pro Finals with Tom Murrell.

$50,000 Amateur champion Kenneth Warner on That Kotn Pikn Pepto.

Kenneth Warner’s mount, That Kotn Pikn Pepto LTE $27,106, “warmed up” for the $50,000 Amateur division by qualifying, on the first day of Eastern Nationals competition, for the $25,000 Novice Finals with 220 points under Gabe Reynolds.  One week later, Warner showed the 6-year-old mare to qualify for the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro Finals. Warner, with NCHA lifetime earnings of $6,295 prior to the Eastern Nationals, placed with Faith In My Kat earlier this year, in the 2017 Augusta Futurity Amateur Unlimited 5/6 division.

$50,000 Amateur reserve champion Butch Johnson.

Butch Johnson earned his first big check ($18,229) when he placed third in the 2004 NCHA Futurity Amateur Finals and had accumulated $159,361 in NCHA lifetime earnings before coming into this year’s NCHA Eastern Nationals with Lil Prince Rey. Last year, Johnson placed third in the Non-Pro Finals of the NCHA Western Nationals riding Scooters Light, who also carried him to the Non-Pro Finals of the Eastern Nationals that year.

Seven-year-old Lil Prince Rey LTE $9,169 was bred by Butch and Wendy Johnson. Wendy showed Lil Prince Rey’s dam, Lil Shea Lena LTE $21,693, as well as his three-quarter sister, Lily Shea Rey $LTE $106,423. Wendy also won the 2015 NCHA Eastern Nationals $50,000 Amateur championship on Lily Shea Rey and placed with her in the finals of six other divisions between 2014 and 2016.

Grand finale on Friday at the NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals

March 16th, 2017

Michelle Reichart and CD To The Max posted the high score of 219.5
in the first round of the Non-Pro Thursday.

The NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals in Jackson, Miss., concludes on Friday, March 17 with the $50,000 Amateur Finals and the Non-Pro Finals. Amateur go-round contenders who scored 207 points or higher advanced to the 26-horse Finals, while Non-Pro go-round competitors with 211 points or better gained the Non-Pro Finals.

Michelle Reichart, Frankton, Ind., topped the Non-Pro go-round with 219.5 points on CD To The Max, by CD Olena, while Alexis Stephas, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Priscilla Wilson, Rosenburg, Tex., each marked 219 points to tie for second and third.

Ten-year-old CD To The Max LTE $92,625 was an Open Finalist at this year’s Eastern Nationals under Bradley Davis, and also a 2015 Open Finalist with Brett Davis. Reichart has shown him eight times as a finalist in Jackson, including this year and in 2014, when the duo claimed the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro reserve championship.

Michelle’s husband, Gary Reichart, also qualified for Friday’s $50,000 Amateur Finals with the second-highest score (217 points) on Boons Playin, by Mr Boonsmal To You LTE $114,118. Shane Crawford, Mount Olive, Miss., won the $50,000 Amateur go-round with 222 points, riding Smooth As A Angel LTE $31,682, by Smooth As A Cat.

Alexis Stephas, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame rider with lifetime earnings of $645,890, rode Once You Go Black, by Hydrive Cat, for her 219-point score, and also qualified for the finals with 211 points aboard Reycin Car, by Dual Smart Rey. Stephas and Once You Go Black LTE $180,933 won the NCHA Eastern Nationals $15,000 Novice Non-Pro championship in 2015 and have also placed together eight additional times in novice non-pro and non-pro divisions, including the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro Finals of this year’s event.

Stephas showed both Reycin Car (5/6 tie) and Queen Of Hots (8/10 tie) in the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro Finals.

In addition to earning the reserve championship with Yadayadayadatime on Wednesday, in the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro Finals, Priscilla Wilson, also placed fourth with Yadayadayadatime and eleventh on Total Reycall in Tuesday’s $25,000 Novice Non-Pro Finals. Wilson, with NCHA lifetime earnings of $301,162, also placed this year in the finals of the 2017 Augusta Futurity 5/6 Non-Pro riding Yadayadayadatime, and in the Augusta Futurity 4-Year-Old Non-Pro division with Puddy Isas Puddydoes.

Five-year-old Yadayadayadatime LTE $36,000 is by One Time Pepto and a half-brother to NCHA Futurity reserve champion Yadacat LTE $93,609.

Other Non-Pro contenders in Friday’s Non-Pro Finals with 2017 Eastern Nationals winners’ credentials include Ashley Reese Davis, champion of the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro on CDs Pepto Gal; Page Bowman, champion of the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro riding Tom E Boy;  and Twistful Thinking, shown by Cade Shepard. Twistful Thinking was Open co-champion under Cade’s father, Austin Shepard.

Ashley Davis and CDs Pepto Gal score championship win

March 15th, 2017

Ashley Davis and CDs Pepto Gal won the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro. Hart Photography.

Ashley Reese Davis, Texarkana, Tex., scored 214 points on CDs Pepto Gal to win the $5,000 Novice/Non-Pro championship on Wednesday, at the NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals in Jackson, Miss. Priscilla Crawley Wilson, Rosenberg, Tex.,  scored 213 points on Yadayadayadatime for the reserve championship, while Becky Elliott, Estill, S.C., placed third with 212 points on Lafite R Hot.

Davis, with NCHA lifetime earnings of $66,702, placed as an NCHA Eastern Nationals Senior Youth finalist in 2008, 2009 and 2011, riding Bald Face Dually. In 2015, she placed as a non-pro finalist in The Non-Pro Cutting, and also earned reserve in the Non-Pro Limited division, with Haida The Cat.

CDs Pepto Gal LTE $21,449, by High Brow CD, was reserve champion under McCall Hansma in the 2016 Breeders Invitational 5/6 Non-Pro Limited, as well a non-pro 5/6 finalist with Hansma in The Non-Pro Cutting. The 7-year-old mare is out of Little Pepto Gal LTE $490,951, the 2002 NCHA Horse of the Year and producer of earners of $874,656, including CDs Pepto Gal’s three-quarter brother, Little Pepto Cat LTE $416,514.

Reserve champion Priscilla Wilson on Yadayadayadatime.

In addition to her reserve championship in the $5,000 Novice/Non-Pro, Priscilla Wilson, also placed fourth with Yadayadayadatime and eleventh on Total Reycall in Tuesday’s $25,000 Novice Non-Pro Finals. Wilson, with NCHA lifetime earnings of $297,611, also placed with Yadayadayadatime in the finals of the 2017 Augusta Futurity 5/6 Non-Pro and with Puddy Isas Puddydoes in the Augusta Futurity 4-Year-Old Non-Pro division.

Five-year-old Yadayadayadatime LTE $32,449 is by One Time Pepto and a half-brother to Yadacat LTE $93,609.

Becky Elliott had ridden horses for years, before she discovered cutting in 1988, while visiting Augusta, Ga., home of the Augusta Futurity. Since that introduction, Elliott has earned more than $400,000 in NCHA competition and watched her daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and Skip Queen, become accomplished cutters. Elizabeth, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame rider and 2009 NCHA Non-Pro World Champion, has earned $1.5 million, while Skip, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame rider turned professional, has earned $2 million.

Six-year-old Lafite R Hot LTE $15,480 is by Spots Hot and out of the High Brow Cat daughter Cateau Lafite.

Page Bowman and Tom E Boy are $25k N/NP champs

March 14th, 2017

Page Bowman won the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro on Tom E Boy. Hart Photography.

Page Bowman, Simpsonville, Ky., and her seven-year-old gelding Tom E Boy scored 222 points on Tuesday to win the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro championship of the NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals. Kathy Sokol, Seville, Fl., was reserve champion with 218 points on Bet On Finale, while Lauren Middleton and Sweet Reyvenge placed third with 215.5.

This was the third Eastern Nationals title win for Bowman, who showed Athena Mad Man as $5,000 Novice Non-Pro champion in 2015, and was 2010 Junior Youth champion with Snazzy Easter Bunny. In addition, Bowman and Tom E Boy placed second in last year’s Eastern Nationals $5,000 Novice Non-Pro division.

Bowman, LTE $525,508, has also won seven major championships in limited age events, including the 2014 NCHA Derby Non-Pro on Big Daddys CD and the 2015 Augusta Futurity 5/6 Non-Pro with Tom E Boy. She took reserve with Tom E Boy in the 2016 Augusta Futurity 5/6 Non-Pro, as well as reserve with him in the 2016 Congress 5/6 Non-Pro.

Bred by Bowman’s parents, Mike and Libby Bowman, and trained by Austin Shepard, Tom E Boy LTE $113,388, is by Thomas E Hughes and out of an unshown half-sister to Snazzy Easter Bunny LTE $165,637 and Scoot Over Here LTE $100,857.

Kathy Sokol was reserve champion on Bet On Finale.

This was Kathy Sokol’s second reserve title in the Eastern Nationals and her sixth time to qualify for the finals. She was reserve champion in the $20,000 Non-Pro division of the 1999 Eastern Nationals riding Peppy Sandalena, and placed third in the 2015 Non-Pro division on Catsmall, who her husband Ted showed as an Open Finalist last Thursday for current owner, Stacey Burkins.

Sokol, LTE $162,378, also showed Bet On Finale, by Bet Hesa Cat, to place in the 2015 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Limited and to win the 2016 Southern Futurity Non-Pro Limited.

NCHA Hall of Fame Non-Pro rider Lauren Middleton, LTE $583,901, Weatherford, Tex., is an eight-time NCHA Eastern Nationals champion. She won the 2002 Non-Pro championship on Widows Freckles and the 2010 and the 2015 Non-Pro championships, as well as the $15,000 Novice Non-Pro 2010 championship on Cees Little Poo. Swoopn Indian, Spoonful Of Tears and Sweet Reyvenge have all carried her to four more Novice Non-Pro wins.

In 2017, in addition to her ride in the NCHA Eastern Nationals, Middleton showed Sweet Reyvenge to win the 2017 Mercuria NCHA World Series in Houston. She also claimed the Ike Hamilton Futurity Non-Pro reserve championship and placed sixth in the Bonanza Futurity Non-Pro on Cake By The Ocean, by Sweet Lil Pepto.

DeLange champion of the $35,000 Non-Pro

March 13th, 2017

Tyler Delange won the $35,000 Non-Pro on Louis The Cat. Hart Photography.

Tyler DeLange, Fort Gratiot, Mich., scored 216.5 points to win the $35,000 Non-Pro division of the NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals, on Monday in Jackson, Miss. DeLange was riding 8-year-old Louis The Cat LTE $65,384, by High Brow Cat, who placed seventh in the Open Finals last week with Casey Crouch. DeLange will show Louis The Cat again on Tuesday, in the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro go-round.

Reserve champion Sandra Brown on Shes A Peptostar.

Sandra Brown, Newton Square, Pa., placed second with 216 points aboard 11-year-old Shes A Peptostar LTE $35,480, by Hes A Peptospoonful. Brown has earned $33,371 in NCHA weekend competition, but this was her first time to win a buckle at the NCHA Eastern Nationals.

Heidi Denis, Geneva, Fl., with Dualin Pepto Rio, and Jennifer Rector, Rogersville, Mo., riding Smooth Reyn tied with 214 points to split third and fourth. Denis and 8-year-old Dualin Pepto Rio LTE $35,480, by Pepto Rio Playboy, were also finalists in last week’s $15,000 Amateur Finals, and placed fifth in last year’s NCHA Eastern Nationals $35,000 Non-Pro division.

Rector and 5-year-old Smooth Reyn LTE $48,119, by Smooth As A Cat, have placed as finalists in six amateur limited age events, including the NCHA Futurity and the NCHA Derby.

Standish a standout as $2,000 Limited Rider

March 12th, 2017

$2,000 Ltd Rider champion Rhein Standish on Divas On Time. Hart Photography.

Rhein Standish, champion of the NCHA 6666 Eastern National $15,000 Amateur Finals on Friday, earned another championship on Sunday, when he scored 226 points to win the $2,000 Limited Rider division, riding Divas On Time.

Reserve champion Will Bushaw on Smooth As A Twist.

Nine-year-old Will Bushaw, fourth on Saturday in the Junior Youth Finals, scored 217 points to claim the $2,000 Limited Rider reserve championship on Smooth As A Twist, while Doug Wallace, riding WH Wild Hair Sunrise, placed third with 216 points.

Standish also placed fourth in the $2,000 Limited Rider with 215.5 points under Countin On Stella, his $15,000 Amateur championship mount. Will Bushaw’s older brother, Charles Russell, 12, champion of the Junior Youth Finals, finished fifth in the Limited Finals with 215 points on Peptotoodie, his Junior Youth champion.

Nine-year-old Divas On Time LTE $158,175, by One Time Pepto, has been a standout for Rhein Standish and his wife, Amanda, who live in Baton Rouge, La., and are involved with Amanda’s family-owned Arabian Horse farm. Last October, Amanda, who shows Arabians under English tack and has been riding since she was eight, earned a championship at the U.S. Arabian Nationals in Tulsa, Okla.

In 2013, Amanda, a relative newcomer to cutting, showed Divas On Time, trained by Austin Shepard, as reserve champion of the Breeders Invitational Amateur 5/6 division. In 2014, the duo won the NCHA Eastern Nationals Non-Pro championship, and in 2016 claimed the $50,000 Amateur title. Rhein also showed Divas On Time at last year’s Eastern Nationals, where he placed as $2,000 Limited Rider reserve champion.

Earlier this week, 6-year-old Deluxe Checks, also owned by the Standishes, won the $25,000 Novice championship and the Open championship under Austin Shepard.

Will Bushaw, whose family owns Crown Ranch in Weatherford, Tex., earned his first buckle as a Junior Youth at the 2016 NCHA Western Nationals riding Metallic Jones. Will’s father, NCHA Hall of Fame Non-Pro rider Chad Bushaw, trained Smooth As A Twist LTE $134,682, by Smooth As A Cat, and showed her as a non-pro champion, reserve champion or finalist in 22 major limited age events.

NCHA Youth shine in Jackson

March 11th, 2017

Senior Youth champion Pittman Todd Turner
on Hickorys Handy Cat. Hart Photography.

Saturday belonged to the Youth at the NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals in Jackson, Miss. Competition was keen from the go-rounds, beginning in the morning, through the Senior and Junior Youth Finals later in the day.

Pittman Turner, 17, from Franklin, Ga., won the Senior Youth championship with 222 points on Hickorys Handy Cat, while Ryan Rapp, 15, Weatherford, Tex., was reserve champion with 219 points aboard Im Reydioactive. Lance Cooper, who scored 221 point to win the Senior Youth go-round, and Skylar Kidd tied for third with 215 points on Im Stuck On You and Pretty Uptown, respectively.

Pittman Turner, last year’s Junior Youth reserve champion on Hickorys Handy Cat, is an eight-times NCHA Eastern Nationals finalist. He won his first buckle in the 2012 Junior Youth aboard Hez Neon Blue. In 2013, he was a Junior Youth finalist with A Cat Named Sue and a $2,000 Limited finalist riding Heza Smart Doc.

In 2014, riding Hez Neon Blue, he claimed reserve in the $15,000 Amateur Finals, and was a Junior Youth finalist on Hickorys Handy Cat, who he also showed as a Junior Youth finalist in 2015. It was Hez Neon Blue, however, who carried him as a finalist in the 2015 $15,000 Amateur Finals.

Hickorys Handy Cat, by High Brow Cat, is an NCHA Eastern Nationals veteran. The 10-year-old gelded son of  High Brow Cat was a three-times Open finalist with Zeke Entz; won the 2013 $2,000 Limited Rider championship with Bobbie Hughes; and carried Zeke Entz and his daughter Katlyn in five other finals divisions between 2012 and 2014.

Senior Youth reserve champion Ryan Rapp on Im Reydioactive.

Ryan Rapp came to Jackson off of a reserve championship performance on Tuff Julie LTE $65,720 in the 2017 Bonanza Cutting 5/6. In 2016, Ryan won the NCHA Derby Non-Pro Limited and the Cotton Stakes Non-Pro Limited on the Woody Be Tuff daughter, who he has shown to place in 10 major events, as well as in the 2015 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Semi-Finals.

Seven-year-old Im Reydioactive LTE $110,201, by Dual Rey, Ryan’s Eastern Nationals mount, also recently carried Ryan’s mother, NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame rider Mary Ann Rapp, to win the Mercuria NCHA World Series at Augusta.  In 2014, when owned and shown by Kristen Galyean, Im Reydioactive won both the NCHA Derby and the NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Gelding championships.

Junior Youth champion Charles Russell Bushaw on Peptotoodie.

Junior Youth Finalists

Charles Russell Bushaw, Weatherford, Tex., scored 222 points to win the NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals Junior Youth championship. Lily Erwin, Cleveland, Ga., earned the reserve championship with 216.5 points.  Josceylyn Pilcher, Lovington, Ill., placed third with 216 points, and Charles Russell Bushaw’s younger brother, Will James, tied Maggie Malee Wilson, Cordova, Ala., for fourth with 213 points. Interestingly, fifth-placed Ryann Packard, Sun City, Kan., and Maggie Wilson were both riding horses out of the Lenas Jewel Bars’ daughter Pretty Jewels.

Rounding out the Junior Youth finalist field were Millie Joe Rosenberg, Bush, La., Blake Heid, Bryan, Tex., Faith Farris, Houston, Tex., and Karrigan Cagley, Livingston, La.

This was Charles Russell Bushaw’s first NCHA Eastern Nationals finals, but in 2016 he placed third in the Non-Pro Cutting $15,000 Amateur division on Peptotoodie LTE $150,491, and also showed the Peptotime daughter as a Junior Youth finalist in the NYCHA World Finals and the NYCHA Scholarship Cutting. In addition, 12-year-old Charles Russell was a 2016 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Semi finalist and Non-Pro Limited finalist riding Bellas Cat.

Junior reserve champion Lily Erwin on Playful Highbrow CD.

Reserve champion Lily Erwin rode Playful Highbrow CD, a gelding that Walt Erwin rode to win lat year’s Open championship at the NCHA Eastern Nationals.

Walt also rode the 7-year-old son of High Brow CD to win the Limited Open last year at the Non-Pro Cutting.