Woody Be Lucky, 2000–2020

February 18th, 2020

Woody Be Lucky, ranked #6 with $699,276, among official NCHA all-time leading money earners, passed away on February 17, according to owner Dan Hansen. The Nitas Wood-sired gelding helped NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame honoree Hansen win two NCHA Non-Pro World Championships and also carried him to two NCHA Non-Pro World Finals wins.

Bred by Craig Crumpler, Wichita Falls, Tex., Woody Be Lucky won the 2004 Bonanza 4-Year-Old Open with Don Crumpler and placed in numerous other limited age open and non-pro events under Don Crumpler and Karen Hansen.

In 2007, Dan Hansen stepped aboard, and with 7-year-old Woody Be Lucky as his main mount, earned $101,578, to win the 2007 NCHA Non-Pro World Championship.  Over the next seven years, Hansen and “Freak” became standard fixtures in annual NCHA World Non-Pro Top 10 standings. In addition to Non-Pro World Championships in 2007 and 2011, Hansen and Woody Be Lucky won NCHA Non-Pro World Finals titles in 2011 and 2012.

“Freak responds to the crowd and loves what he does,” said Hansen, following his 2012 World Finals win. “I trust him completely on cattle. He reads them so well and is so smart about it. When one is trying to be tricky and I’m not sure what they’re going to do, I just let him do it. He knows where we’re going.”

Following back-to-back wins in the NCHA World Series at San Antonio and Houston, the distinguished gelding was retired in 2015.

Woody Be Lucky is the leading money earner of Nitas Wood, whose #5 leading money earner is Woody Be Tuff LTE $351,063, the sire of earners of $4.2 million. Woody Be Luckys’s dam, Playboys Ladyluck LTE $29,675, by Freckles Playboy, was a 1985 NCHA Super Stakes and Derby Non-Pro finalist with Craig Crumpler. Playboys Ladyluck is a full sister to Playful Scotty LTE $198,001, a 1988 NCHA Futurity Open finalist (7th) under John Tolbert.

Hit Tha Flo turns the tide in Bonanza 4-Year-Old Finals

February 17th, 2020

Hit Tha Flo and owner-rider Matt Miller scored a 221.5-point win on Monday, February 17, as last to show in the 27-horse Bonanza Open 4-Year-Old Finals. The win was worth $23,677 for the Dual Smart Rey-sired colt, who also earned $5,510, as the high-scoring $25,000 Novice Open 4-Year-Old entry.

Sanctus, a High Brow Cat colt owned by Scott Durham and shown by Rodrigo Taboga, earned the reserve title and $18,941 with 221 points. Beau Galyean showed Buonvino, sired by Metallic Cat and owned by Billy Wolf, to place third with 220.5 and collect $16,574. Buonvino also earned $4,408 with the second-highest score in the $25,000 Novice Open, and $2,652 as the high-scoring Gelding, as well as the APHA 4-Year-Old Chrome Award of $1,550.

Bred by Lannie Louise Mecom, Hit Tha Flo was an NCHA Futurity Non-Pro semi-finalist with Megan Miller. Her dam, Miss Woody Two Shoes LTE $136,250, by High Brow Cat, is a full sister to Woodys Wildest Cat LTE $342,510, one of 19 money earners of over $1.3 million out of Miss Echo Wood, by Doctor Wood.

Sanctus LTE $25,019 won the Abilene Spectacular 4-Year-Old Futurity Open Limited in January, with 226 points under Rodrigo Taboga. The sorrel stallion, bred by Isidro Sigala, is out of the Dual Rey daughter Sophie Rey LTE $148,557, the dam of eight NCHA money earners.

Buonvino LTE $25,183, out of Never Reylinquish LTE $84,709, by Dual Rey, came into the Bonanza after claiming the Ike Hamilton Futurity Open reserve championship under Galyean, as well as top money in Open Gelding and Novice divisions. The pair also placed in the 2020 Abilene Spectacular Open (13th).

USS Tucker, shown by Steve Oehlholf for Sweet Blessings Ranch LLC, scored 222 points to win the 2020 Bonanza 5/6 Intermediate Open Finals, where Bill Oreylly, with Armando Costa Neto for Fazenda Barrinha Corp., placed second with 221 points.

Sired by Dual Smart Rey, 6-year-old USS Tucker LTE $39,308 won the 2019 PCCHA Derby Amateur Unlimited Classic with Cristy Erickson, and also earned money in the 2020 Bonanza Open Novice and Open Gelding divisions with Jonathon Rogers.

Six-year-old Dual Rey gelding Bill Oreylly LTE $27,538, a 2017 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro semi-finalist with Armando Costa Neto, also placed seventh with Costa Neto in the 2020 Bonanza Open Finals. In addition Costa Neto placed second on Shady Lil Smooth, owned by Fazenda Barrinha Corp., in the 2020 Bonanza 4-Year-Old Intermediate Finals, which was won by Lil Miss Jackson, shown by Jody Galyean for Thomas Humphreville.

Lil Miss Jackson LTE $11,398 earned $10,198 for her 216-point win. Earlier in February she placed in the Ike Hamilton Futurity Open Limited with Alex Morris. Sired by Dual Rey, Lil Miss Jackson is out of Lil Jackson Cat LTE $118,714.

The APHA Chrome Award is a new program in 2020 created by the American Paint Horse Association to reward Paint horses in NCHA and NRCHA limited age events and to encourage owners who might not be aware their horse might be eligible for APHA registration. For more information contact apha.com

The 2020 Bonanza Cutting continues through Friday, February 21.

2020 Bonanza Open Classic champion Metallic Drifter

February 16th, 2020

Metallic Drifter LTE $144,665, owned by Jim Vangilder, Weatherford, Tex., and shown by Matt Gaines, scored 223 points on Friday, February 14, to win the 2020 Bonanza Open Classic, in Belton, Tex. The 6-year-old Metallic Cat gelding, one of 15 finalists, also earned top money in the Open Gelding and Open $25,000 Novice divisions, for a grand total, including the Classic Open Finals payout, of $22,682.

Metallic Curveball LTE $156,179, a 5-year-old Metallic Cat gelding shown by Jesse Lennox for Rocking P Ranch, Fort Worth, Tex., scored 221 points for reserve, while 6-year-old Carolena Reyn LTE $266,898, sired by Dual Smart Rey, and 5-year-old Ristos Fair Cat LTE $61,621, by High Brow Cat, tied with 220 points for third ridden, respectively, by Matt Miller for Rocking P Ranch, and by Grant Setnicka for SMF Cutting Horses LLC.

Bred by Arcese Quarter Horses, Metallic Drifter made his career debut as an NCHA Futurity semi-finalist with Gaines and has since been a working finalist in eight events, including a win and a reserve in the 2019 Arbuckle Mountain Classic and the 2019 Cotton Stakes Classic.

Metallic Curveball, a half-brother to Cinca Im Hot LTE $259,169, by Spots Hot, placed third to earn $54,972 in the last year’s NCHA Super Stakes, in addition to payouts in the Gelding and Novice divisions. He also placed seventh in the Breeders Invitational and eighth in the NCHA Derby, and was reserve champion of the El Rancho Futurity.

Carolena Reyn enjoyed a stellar 4- and 5-year-old career under her breeders and former owners Matt and Megan Miller. She won the 2018 Arbuckle Mountain and the West Texas 4-Year-Old Open Futurities with Matt, and the 2018 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro championship, as well as the 2018 Pacific Coast Non-Pro Futurity with Megan. In 2019, she carried Megan to win the NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Classic, as well as the reserve championship of the NCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro.

Bred by Darren Blanton, Dallas, Tex., Ristos Fair Cat was a 2019 Open finalist under Grant Setnicka, in seven major events, including the NCHA Super Stakes.

The Bonanza Cutting continues through Friday, February 21.

Anne Windfohr Marion, 1938-2020

February 14th, 2020

Anne Windfohr Marion, Fort Worth, Texas, influential businesswoman, rancher, and patron of the arts, passed away on February 12; she was 81.

Marion was the great-granddaughter of Samuel Burk Burnett, founder of the famous Burnett cattle empire of Texas. In 1980, when her mother, Anne Burnett Tandy, passed away, Anne Marion inherited Burnett Ranches, including the Four Sixes in Guthrie, headquarters of the horse division.

As a keen horsewoman, Anne Marion has left an enduring impact on the Quarter Horse breed. She brought new bloodlines into Burnett Ranches stock, while maintaining the foundation established by her grandfather, Tom Burnett. Most of today’s prominent Quarter Horses, including race and cutting horse performers, carry Burnett Ranches bloodlines deep, if not up close, in their pedigrees.

She also played an instrumental role in establishing Fort Worth as home of what became the National Cutting Association’s showcase event, the NCHA Futurity, which rivaled the All American Futurity, as the Quarter Horse industry’s richest event.

“I was layin’ all the time for this place (Will Rogers Coliseum),” said the late Marion Flynt, an early-day NCHA president. “We had obligated ourselves to a pretty good sum of money, and the only way we could get it was to sell these boxes. So I called ‘Little Anne,’ a good friend of mine, and I told her, ‘I want you to sell every box that we have, if you can.’ She came up with the money and from that day on it caught fire. It grew beyond anybody’s expectations.”

In addition to her dedication to ranching and horses, as an arts patron, Anne Marion was a major benefactor of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and founder of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She also donated the life-size bronze of racehorse champion and sire Dash For Cash, created by NCHA Hall of Fame Member Jim Reno, to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum, and the bronze that stands in front of the National Cutting Horse Association office in Fort Worth.

Among many honors, Anne Marion is included on the Hall of Fame rosters of the American Quarter Horse Association, the National Cowgirl Museum, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, and the National Ranching Heritage Museum.

Lee Garner, 1944 – 2020

February 12th, 2020
Lee Garner and Baldy Freckles. Sally Harrison photo.

Ernest Levi “Lee” Garner Jr., 75, an NCHA Members Hall of Fame honoree, as well as the 1990 NCHA Non-Pro World Champion, the 1996 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity Champion, and a member of the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame, passed away on February 11, in his hometown of Batesville, Miss.

It was Garner who put Batesville, population 7,500, on the map for weekend cutters, when he began hosting events at his covered arena there in the late 1980s. Although he was born 20 miles east, in Oxford, Garner spent most of his life in Batesville, where he established a home health care business.

As a teenager, Garner kept a horse and competed in rodeo events, but gave up rodeo and horses, when he accepted a football scholarship under legendary Ole Miss football coach John Vaught. “He told me I had to make up my mind, either rodeo or college football,” Garner recalled. “That was a real quick decision. I was going to scholl on an athletic scholarship and I wasn’t about to mess that up.”

It was a fateful day in March 1986 that connected Garner  with the sport of cutting. “I thought I would go down to Jackson and buy a Quarter Horse at the (NCHA) Area Workoff,” he remembered. “I ended up buying eleven.”

Initially interested in breeding horses, Garner had no intention of showing, but encouraged his son’s interest in competition. “I guess I was an over-achiever as a father,” he admitted. “ One day I scolded Lee for cutting a cow that somebody else had just lost and he said, ‘Daddy, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but you might need to try this yourself. It’s a lot harder than it looks.’”

Garner took up Lee III’s challenge and recruited help from trainers Arthur Jackson, Bobby Brown, Billy Ray Rosewell and Mike Haney. But it was Mel Shearin who gave Garner the tip on Baldy Freckles, winner of the 1987 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Limited under Harold Franklin, and Garner purchased the stocky, 15.2 gelding in May 1989.

“Finding the right horse is like (finding) a dance partner,” said Garner, who won the 1990 NCHA Non-Pro World Championship showing Baldy Freckles. “You can see a girl dancing with another guy and she looks like a fantastic dancer. But when you dance with her, she doesn’t have the right moves. You don’t gel. Thank the Lord, Baldy and I jelled. According to Garner’s calculations, by the end of 1993, he and Baldy Freckles had been to the herd together 1,232 times.

Garner, who had always preferred riding week-end horses, purchased Peponitas Acre, his 1996 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity Champion, at the 11th hour through trainer Billy Ray Rosewell. “Billy Ray only let me on him three times after I bought him, for 10 or 20 seconds each time.” Garner remembered. “So when I got to the Futurity, I had to take it real easy and make sure I didn’t mess up.”

Garner kept his cool, but confessed he didn’t remember much about his Finals performance. “I do remember though, when I finally sat down on him, it was one of the few times I wasn’t on top of the saddle horn, and it felt like a million dollars. I wanted to get off and kiss him.”

Altogether, between 1990 and 2014, Lee Garner won or placed in the NCHA World standings 23 times.

“I built an arena before I even showed,” said Garner. “They say build a baseball field and people will come. Well build an arena and people will come, especially if you have fresh cows. I enjoy cutters so much because most of them are independent business people who have made it on their own, and most of them like athletics and love horses.”

A celebration of Lee’s life will be 11:00 A.M. Friday morning, February 14, 2020, at the First United Methodist Church in Batesville, MS, with the family receiving friends Thursday evening, February 13, 2020 from 5:00 – 8:00 P.M. at Wells Funeral Home. The interment will follow the service at Magnolia Cemetery in Batesville, MS.

Hottish 2008 – 2020

February 8th, 2020
Lloyd Cox on Hottish. Alan Gold photo.

Hottish, a rapidy rising star among young cutting horse sires, was humanely euthanized on February 7, at the Springtown, Texas ranch of his owners, Dustin and Deena Adams.

At the time of his death, Hottish ranked fourth only to Metallic Cat, Dual Rey, and High Brow Cat, among 2020’s leading sires. His three lifetime performing crops had also produced earners of over $3.3 million, for an average of $31,709, including 2017 NCHA Futurity Open champion Dual Reyish LTE $383,364 and 2018 NCHA Open Horse of the Year and Super Stakes champion Cool N Hot LTE $358,835.

An NCHA Futurity Open finalist under Lloyd Cox, Hottish became a leading money earner at four, when he won the Breeders Invitational, the NCHA Derby, and the South Point Derby with Cox, as well as the NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes with Dustin Adams. He was retired from the show arena in 2014, following his NCHA Classic Challenge 5/6 Non-Pro win with Adams, and with career earnings of $286,109.

Bred by Double Dove Ranch and sired by Spots Hot, Hottish was out of Stylish Play Lena, cutting’s #2 all-time leading dam of the earners of over $2 million. “We bought him from Gail Holmes as a yearling and Deena picked him out,” said Adams, who sent Hottish to Lloyd Cox as an early 3-year-old. “Lloyd had always showed up to help me inside and out of the arena. I knew he was good with studs and rode the mother and knew the family, and it was a good fit.”

Adams did not plan to ride Hottish in the Super Stakes, but when Cox had some tough luck in the Open second go-round, Adams purchased a slot in the Non-Pro. It was his first time to show Hottish and he scored 227 points to win the Non-Pro championship. Three months later, Cox and Hottish won the NCHA Derby with 228 points.

“He is so strong physically that he’s hard to ride,” said Adams, following his Super Stakes win. “For me it was just a matter of staying in the middle of him because his legs were going everywhere. It’s hard to sit in the middle of them, when they’re like that.”

Cox, who today is cutting’s all-time leading money earner, with over $9.3 million, was also impressed by Hottish’s physical prowess.  “He gets really deep in the ground and sometimes you think he’s not going to be able to handle it, but the harder he stops, the better he gets. It’s not a worry, no matter how hard he stops.”

In 2003, when Cox won the NCHA Classic Challenge riding Stylish Play Lena for Gail Holmes, it was just his second win in Will Rogers Coliseum. He had won the 1999 NCHA Derby on Smart Lookin Hi Brow, and before that was reserve champion of the 2003 NCHA Super Stakes on TR Dual Rey LTE $291,111 and of the 1996 NCHA Futurity on Royal Serena Belle LTE $124,146.

“She’s just one of those kind,” said Cox, after his Classic Challenge win on Stylish Play Lena. “It’s her attitude and ability combined. She’s physically gifted, but she’s not hard to ride because she’s so smooth. And her intelligence is something to be admired.  You don’t get those very often.”

Like his dam, Hottish was “just one of those kind,” and his legacy is assured for generations.

Quirk and Quirk go 1-2 in Ike Classic Non-Pro Finals

February 6th, 2020

Todd and Elizabeth Quirk, Dehnam Springs, La., dominated  the 2020 Ike Non-Pro Classic, on Wednesday, February 12, with Todd’s 225-point win on Reystylin Smooth, and Elizabeth’s 221-point reserve title on Dressedin Smartstyle. Elizabeth also scored 218 points to place fourth in the six-horse finals riding Catillac Reys LTE $192,573, by Metallic Cat, while Todd and Reystylin Smooth claimed first-place payouts in the Classic Non-Pro Novice and Gelding divisions, and Elizabeth earned second and third-place payouts on Dressedin Smartstyle, in both of those divisions, as well.

Six-year-old Reystylin Smooth LTE $187,008, by Smooth As A Cat, has been a winner with both Todd and Elizabeth, as well as with with Adan Banuelos, who won the Brazos Bash Open Classic and the West Texas Futurity Open Classic riding the Quirks’ gelding.

Reystylin Smooth, bred by Eddie and Barbara Young, is out of Rey N Style LTE $102,608, by Dual Smart Rey.  Reystylin Smooth is Rey N Style’s second foal and first money earner.

Dressedin Smartstyle LTE $152,075, bred by Double Dove Ranch and sired by Dual Smart Rey, was a 2018 NCHA Open Futurity finalist (10th) and 2019 Super Stakes finalist (7th) under Adan Banuelos, and also won the 2019 Idaho Non-Pro Futurity with Elizabeth Quirk. The 5-year-old gelding, out of Stylish Play Lena LTE $264,474, by Docs Stylish Oak, is also a half brother to the earners of over $2 million, including Pepto Boon LTE $296,183, Smooth Talkin Style LTE $293,232, Hottish LTE $286,109, Copperish LTE $281,844, and Halreycious LTE $227,459.

Todd Quirk is the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame earner of $665,924: Elizabeth Quirk is the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame earner of $1,027,215.

Hashtag Metallic and Brad Mitchell win Derby Open Limited

Hashtag Metallic, by Metallic Cat, scored 220 points under Brad Mitchell to win the Ike Derby Open Limited, on Wednesday. Gunnar Jensen, by Cat Ichi, scored 218.5 points with Craig Thompson to claim reserve, while Reyahna, by Dual Rey, and Kelle Earnheart placed third with 218 points.

Gunnar Jensen and Thompson also placed first in the Derby Open Limited Novice and Open Limited Gelding divisions, while Reyahna and Earnheart placed second in the Open Limited Novice.

Hashtag Metallic LTE $15,013, bred by Rock Creek Ranch and owned by Tom Williams, Haleyville, Ala., is the first money earner out of Shes Playin Tag, an unshown High Brow CD daughter out of Playin Tag LTE $220,949. Hashtag Metallic made his debut in the 2019 NCHA Futurity, where he carried Tom Williams as an Amateur finalist.

Tom Williams also owns Sofies Choice Cat LTE $57,165, who Brad Mitchell showed to place second in the 5/6 Classic Open Limited Finals, on Tuesday, and who Williams showed as reserve champion of the 2018 NCHA Amateur Futurity.

The 2020 Ike Derby and Classic continues through Saturday, February 8.