Bea Pure Cat leads Open go-round

April 29th, 2016
Bea Pure Cat and Kenny Platt led the Open go-round. Ted Petit photo.

Bea Pure Cat and Kenny Platt led the Open go-round. Ted Petit photo.

Kenny Platt, who won the $15,000 Novice earlier in the show, topped the qualifying round in the Open division Friday at the 6666 Ranch NCHA Western National Championships in Denver.

In the Open, he marked 222 on Bea Pure Cat, owned by Jill and William Roth of Lockwood, California. Twenty-one horses scored 215.5 or better to advance to Sunday’s Open finals.

Bred by Jim Crawford, Bea Pure Cat is by High Brow Cat out of Mae Bea Marie. The 7-year-old gelding is a full brother to NCHA Futurity champion He Bea Cat. Bea Pure Cat has won more than $77,000, including the 5/6-year-old Unlimited Amateur with Jill Roth at last year’s Pacific Coast Futurity.

Two horses tied at 219 for the second high score of the Open qualifying round.

They were Huntin Time, by One Time Pepto, ridden by Scott Martin for Sandra Figge of Ketchum, Idaho; and Ichi Sangria, by Cat Ichi ridden by Guy Woods for EE Ranches of Whitesboro, Texas.

Also on Friday, Dalton Laekea Vicar led the first round of the $2,000 Limited Rider class, riding Gerald Dorros’ Cat In White Nikes.

Bred by Robert Ballard, Cat In White Nikes is by High Brow Cat out of $95,000 earner Smart Little Nike. The 11-year-old mare was a three-time Western Nationals finalist with previous owners  Theresa and Gerald Gillock, and was a $2,000 Limited Rider finalist last year with Gerald Dorros.

There were 18 contestants who scored 210 or better to move on to Monday’s finals.


Little Lenas Cat bags $15K Novice

April 28th, 2016
Kenny Platt and Little Lenas Cat won the $15,000 Novice at the NCHA Western Nationals. Ted Petit photos.

Kenny Platt and Little Lenas Cat won the $15,000 Novice at the NCHA Western Nationals. Ted Petit photos.

When you’re hot, you’re hot. Kenny Platt, fresh from his win at the NCHA Super Stakes, marked 221 on Little Lenas Cat to win the first title of the 6666 Ranch NCHA Western National Championships in Denver Thursday. Both Little Lenas Cat and Super Stakes champ Moms Stylish Player are owned by Robert Tregemba of Castle Rock, Colorado.

Little Lenas Cat was bred by Gilbert Cattle Co. by Smart Little Lena out of Cassies Kit Cat. Cassies Kit Cat earned $45,000 and has also produced 2013 Super Stakes champion Hes A Hot Cat (by Spots Hot).

Platt has been an Open limited age finalist on Little Lenas Cat at a string of shows including the Idaho Classic, Pacific Coast Classic, and the Western States Fall Derby. Tregemba has also had success with the 7-year-old gelding, including an Amateur championship at last year’s Western States Fall Classic.

Little Lenas Cat has earned more than $80,000. Platt passed the million-dollar mark in career earnings at this year’s Super Stakes.

Scooter McGavin, ridden by Cullen Chartier, and This Cats Phat, ridden by Mike Wood, tied for the reserve championship at the Western Nationals with 219 points.

Scooter McGavin, a 7-year-old gelding by Smart Lil Scoot, won the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting finals at San Antonio with Chartier this spring. He is owned by Tom and Hilary Watson of Westwood, Kansas.

This Cats Phat is owned by Butlin Ranches of Edmonton, Alberta. The 8-year-old gelding is by WR This Cats Smart. Wood was the top qualifier for the $15,000 Novice on Christine King’s Buzzted, by Light N Lena, who finished fifth in the finals.

Guy Woods and Ichi Sangria topped the first round of the $5,000 Novice.

Guy Woods and Ichi Sangria topped the first round of the $5,000 Novice.

Meanwhile, in the $5,000 Novice…
Ichi Sangria and Guy Woods scored 222 for a half-point lead over Kenny Platt and Indian Clay, in the first round of the $5,000 Novice on Thursday. Twenty-six horses marked 216 or better to advance to Saturday’s finals.

Ichi Sangria is a 6-year-old mare bred and owned by Jo Ellard’s EE Ranches. She is by Cat Ichi out of Scratchin, an $80,000 earner that won the NCHA Eastern Nationals Open title in 2004.

Ichi Sangria is in record-breaking territory. She has already won an unprecedented three NCHA National championships, taking the $5,000 Novice at Eastern Nationals last year, and both Novice divisions at Eastern Nationals this spring.

Buzzted out in front

April 27th, 2016
Mike Wood on Buzzted marked 224 in the $15,000 Novice go-round. Ted Petit photo.

Mike Wood on Buzzted marked 224 in the $15,000 Novice go-round. Ted Petit photo.

NCHA Hall of Fame Rider Mike Wood marked 224 on Buzzted to lead the first round of the $15,000 Novice on opening day of the 6666 Ranch NCHA Western National Championships in Denver. The finals will be held April 28, and the show continues through May 6.

Buzzted is owned by Christine King of Scottsdale, Arizona and was bred by Billy Martin. The 7-year-old gelding is by Light N Lena out of Honey Bee Time, an Open limited age finalist that won the 2007 Amateur Augusta Futurity with Kaitlyn Wimberly.

Buzzted won the 2013 NCHA Derby with Sean Flynn and has earned more than $190,000.

Wood is a three-time Novice champion at the Western Nationals. He scored with Nina Get Your Gun in 2004, Teninas Playgirl in 2009 and Smart Stingrey in 2014.

Scott Amos had the second highest go-round score, a 221 on George Eidsness’ Sashay Cat, by High Brow Cat.

Twenty-eight horses marked 216 or better to advance to the finals.

Jack Newton, 1925-2016

April 24th, 2016
Jack Newton on 1959 World Champion Poco Stampede.

Jack Newton on 1959 World Champion Poco Stampede.

NCHA Hall of Fame Rider Jack Newton, 90, of Keller, Texas, passed away Sunday.

Newton was a World Champion cutting horse rider, a long-serving NCHA judge, a mentor to a new generation of trainers and a top roper. He adapted an idea from the bird dog world, lobbied against strong resistance and finally helped launch what is today cutting’s signature event, the NCHA Futurity.

Newton grew up on a cotton farm near Abilene, Texas, but at 15 went to work for his uncle, Guy Weeks, who sold Thoroughbreds as polo ponies and to the U.S. Army, and kept 5,000 mother cows.

“They made good ranch horses,” Newton said of the Thoroughbreds. “We’d use them working cattle and whatever we had to do. They were six or seven before the polo players would want them, and they knew if the horses had been working cattle, they were broke pretty good.”

Newton met George Glascock, NCHA’s first World Champion, who would buy cattle from Weeks. And Glascock mentored him as Newton took a mare named Guthrie Ann to the 1951 Fort Worth Stock Show. While he was showing Guthrie Ann for oilman G.F. Rhodes, Newton broke tradition and held onto the saddle horn and lowered his rein hand.

“Very seldom would you see anyone ride with his hand down,” Newton recalled. “He’d have his hand up over that horn.”

But other riders began to follow suit, and now you’d be hard-pressed to find a cutter riding in the old style.

In the late 1950s, Newton showed Poco Stampede, who would become the 1959 NCHA World Champion. At a big show in Odessa, Texas, he won the AQHA cutting, the open cutting and was grand champion at halter.

“Poco Stampede could hold a real bad cow,” Newtwon said. “I would watch and if there was a bad cow in there that got away from somebody else, I’d cut it.”

Newton told the story of a cutting held on the infield of a racetrack, where Poco Stampede followed a calf over the snow fence which had been set up to hold the cattle. “We were outside the arena holding that calf,” he said. “They didn’t know whether to let me have another ride or what. Finally someone said, ‘Well, he didn’t lose the cow.'”

As a member of the NCHA executive committee in the early 1960s, Newton pushed for a new event for 3-year-old horses, the NCHA Futurity.

“We had to come up with something,” he said. “We didn’t have anywhere to go with a young horse. We could put them in a junior cutting and that was it, In a novice class, a horse might have to win against horses that were seven or eight years old.”

Newton found an ally in Buster Welch, who would go on to win the NCHA Futurity a record five times.

“We had to go out and get people to donate money for the purse at the first Futurity,” Newton said. “NCHA wouldn’t help us. But when the first one was over, they let us have money for the next one.

“When we started, Buster and I tried to figure out how to come up with $100,000 for the winner. Back then, a World Champion won less than $12,000. The Futurity is what kept us going. All these aged events are spin-offs of the Futurity.”

Newton showed Commander King for James Kemp, and he bred and trained a Commander King son named Dun Commander that won 20 all-around titles with points in halter, reining, roping, western pleasure and cutting.

He was also the first rider to put two horses, Poco Stampede and Swen Miss 16, into the NCHA Hall of Fame. Newton was inducted into the NCHA Riders Hall of Fame in 1989.

“I feel real fortunate,” Netwon told me in 1995. “There are so many people that work five days a week, and when they get a chance, they come out here and do for fun what I do for a living. I may not make much, but I’m making a living doing what I like to do.”

There will be a memorial service for Jack Newton on Sunday, May 1 at 2:00pm at Clay Johns Cutting Horse Arena, 151 Johns Lane, Millsap, Texas 76066.

2016 NCHA Super Stakes Sale averages $19,762

April 18th, 2016

Web_image_MissReycineThe catalog was slim, but the results were striking at Western Bloodstock’s 2016 NCHA Super Stakes Sale, with gross sales of $731,200 and an average of $19,762, on Saturday, April 16, during the NCHA Super Stakes in Fort Worth, Tex.

Miss Reycine, dam of 2013 NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year Reyzin, was the sale’s high seller at $170,000. The 14-year-old Dual Rey daughter, along with her 2016 embryo by Metallic Cat, was consigned by Sunrise Ranch and purchased by Bobby and Dottie Hill, Glen Rose, Tex. The Hill’s, owners of 2014 NCHA Futurity Open Champion Classy CD Cat and co-owners of 2015 NCHA Open Horse of the Year Smooth Talkin Style, also purchased Sunrise Ranch consignment Smart Scat, an 11-year-old daughter of Smart Starbuck, as well as an NRHA Non-Pro Futurity champion, for $37,000.

An additional 2016 embryo out of Miss Reycine and sired by Metallic Cat sold to Leslie Wallace, Langley, BC, Canada, for $26,000.

Sunrise Ranch’s eight-lot consignment included four of the sale’s five top sellers. In addition to Miss Reycine and Smart Scat, they included: the 12-year-old High Brow Cat daughter Cats Ruby, who along with her 2016 embryo by Spots Hot, was purchased for $55,000 by Neidhart Cutting Horses, Weatherford, Tex., and 16-year-old Playin Tag, 2004 NCHA Super Stakes Open Champion, purchased with her 2016 embryo by Spots Hot for $50,000, by Julie Magness, Brookshire, Tex.

The sale’s high-selling gelding, 4-year-old One Super Cat, consigned by John and Hope Mitchell and sired by One Time Pepto, sold for $48,000 to Amanda Lasater, Tyler, Tex.

For the complete Super Stakes Sale catalog, as well as sale results, go to

Decisive win for Platt and Player

April 17th, 2016
Kenny Platt and Moms Stylish Player won the Open Super Stakes.

Kenny Platt and Moms Stylish Player won the Open Super Stakes.

Kenny Platt and Moms Stylish Player parlayed impressive go-round scores to a decisive win in the Open finals of the 2016 Lucas Oil NCHA Super Stakes in Fort Worth Saturday night. They marked 228 to take the lead from Grant Setnicka and Ichis My Choice, who scored 222.5 in the run preceding Moms Stylish Player.

Moms Stylish Player, by Lizzys Gotta Player, marked a 226 in the first round. Adding his 219 in the second round gave him a 445 cumulative score, which many have called a Super Stakes record. He came back to top the semi-finals with a 223.

“When I marked those big scores in the go-rounds, it wasn’t because I necessarily over-showed him, or cut too much cow for him,” said Platt. “I just showed him to get through a run, and I cut clean.

“Before I went down there tonight, Grant (Setnicka) gave me a pep talk to show him like I did through the go-rounds, and I just tried to show him through a good run.”

The way that played out was cutting one of their choices right off the top, and then getting a quick second cow before going in for a deep cut.

“I hate cutting a cow that’s in a bad spot, so if I see something that’s in a good spot, I usually try to cut it first, and make a deep cut a little bit later,” Platt said. “Sometimes it gets me in a bind having a little too much time on my third cut, but it gets me in there working.

“Tonight, the last cow scared me to death. I’m pretty sure I almost had a heart attack.
I didn’t know if the buzzer ran out at the end because I didn’t hear it.”

Platt credited his help, Setnicka, Lloyd Cox, T.J. Good and Clay Johnson, and his wife, Rebecca–who preps the horse–and owner Robert Tregemba for his Super Stakes success.

Moms Stylish Player was bred by Drummond Land & Cattle Co out of Moms Stylish Babe, a mare that has produced earners of more than $950,000 now, including Cat Mom Do ($199,000), Card Trick ($178,000), My Lizzy Babe ($162,000), Lizzys Gotta Babe ($91,137) and Stylish Lizzie ($90,000).

Moms Stylish Babe is out of $908,000 producer Playboys Mom, who in turn is out of Lenaette, the mare that Shorty Freeman rode to win the 1975 NCHA Futurity.

Moms Stylish Player earned an unofficial $91,969 for the win, including $25,000 to the winner sponsored by Alvin and Becky Fults’ Metallic Cat. He also won the Open Gelding class within a class, to take his unofficial career earnings over $119,000.

Along with money earned as a Super Stakes Classic finalist on A Smooth Dually, Platt will go over the $1 million mark with his Super Stakes earnings.

Platt took a liking to Moms Stylish Player as a yearling at the Western Bloodstock Sales, but got talked out of buying him because of the horse’s size.

“He was tiny and he had a big pot belly,” Platt recalled. “I could have gone in the stall and lifted him up and carried him out of there.”

But he kept tabs on him as his friend, Lawson Hadlock, brought the horse along as a 2-year-old. Eventually he gave him a test ride, and it was all over.

Moms Stylish Player went well through the first two rounds of the NCHA Futurity, but didn’t get past the semi-finals.

“It was kind of a blessing because people stopped asking if he was for sale,” Platt said. “People kind of wrote him off as just another horse.

“I knew he wasn’t and I took him home and just worked at it every day. He’s been a tough horse to train. It’s not a battle, but sure enough I’ve worked every day, but he’s really paid me back in the last couple months. He’s what I thought he was when I tried him.

“Which is really cool.”

At 27, Platt is the fourth youngest rider to win the Super Stakes (behind Cara Barry, 22; Phil Rapp, 24; and Pete Branch, 26).

Reserve champion Grant Setnicka rode Ichis My Choice for J5 Horse Ranch. Bred by EE Ranches, the mare is by Cat Ichi out of My Little Abra. Setnicka placed 9th in the NCHA Futurity with her, and was reserve champion at the Cattlemen’s Derby this spring.

Costa, Payne share Non-Pro victory

April 16th, 2016
Non-Pro co-champion Armando Costa Neto on Watch Me Whip.

Non-Pro co-champion Armando Costa Neto on Watch Me Whip.

Two cutters born outside the USA demonstrated their skill at America’s own horse sport by splitting the Non-Pro win at the Lucas Oil NCHA Super Stakes on Saturday. Brazilian Armando Costa Neto and Austrian-born Nadine Payne both marked 222. The two cutters are also the winners of the past two NCHA Futurities.

For Armando Costa Neto, the win on Watch Me Whip keeps alive his prospect of becoming the first cutter to sweep the Non-Pro Triple Crown.

Watch Me Whip was bred by his family’s Fazenda Barrinha Corporation, by Playgun out of Look The Look, by High Brow Cat. Costa was an NCHA Futurity Non-Pro finalist on Look The Look, and John Mitchell was an Open Futurity finalist on the mare. Look The Look is a granddaughter of $1.6 million producer The Smart Look.

Co-champion Nadine Payne on Velvets Revolver.

Co-champion Nadine Payne on Velvets Revolver.

Costa, an NCHA Hall of Fame Non-Pro, took reserve championships at Arbuckle Mountain and the Cattlemen’s Derby, and was a Bonanza finalist with Watch Me Whip prior to the Super Stakes. Watch Me Whip’s earnings will top $86,000 with her share of the Super Stakes purse.

Payne rode Velvets Revolver, a gelding bred by Michael Hancock by WR This Cats Smart out of Velvets Best Shot, by Playgun. She was a Limited Non-Pro finalist and Non-Pro semi-finalist on the gelding at the NCHA Futurity. From there she won the Ike Hamilton Futurity, as well as picking up checks at the Abilene Spectacular, and Arbuckle Mountain.

Velvets Revolver will go over $66,000 in career earnings with his Super Stakes check.

Payne, whose husband is Hall of Fame Rider James Payne, won the 2014 NCHA Futurity on Great Expectations, a daughter of Third Cutting.