Chick Tari and the 1982 NCHA Super Stakes

March 30th, 2020
1982 Super Stakes champion Chick Tari, ridden by Pete Branch.

The 1982 NCHA Super Stakes, with 34 subscribed stallions, offered a gross purse of $628,266 and an Open winner’s purse of $137,480, an increase of more than $60,000 over that of Stylish Lynx, winner of the inaugural Super Stakes in 1981.

Colonel Lil, the 1981 NCHA Futurity champion, shown by Joe Heim for W.B. Wood, Brenham, Tex., and Chick Tari, the Futurity reserve champion under Pete Branch for Louis Pearce, Jr., Houston, Tex., were obvious favorites going into the Super Stakes. But Blue Lynx drew attention during the go-rounds with a top combined score 437.5 and a 219-point Semi-Finals win. The blue roan Doc’s Lynx daughter was shown by Mike Mowery for Bud Sweazea and Don Parker, owners of 1981 Super Stakes champion Stylish Lynx.

It was a tight race to the finish in the 16-horse Super Stakes Finals, where Chick Tari prevailed with 218 points; Colonel Leo Bar claimed the reserve champion title with 217.5 points under his owner Pat Earnheart, Hernando, Miss., and four horses, including Colonel Lil and Blue Lynx, tied for third with 216.5 points. Dry Dot, one of the third-placed finalists, ridden by her owner J.E. Jumonville, Ventress, La., also won the Non-Pro championship; Lovely Freckles, also third-placed, was shown by Rod Edwards for Texas football legend Bob McLeod.

In the end, Chick Tari came out of the Super Stakes with a $12,233 edge ($255,633 to $243,340) over Colonel Lil, as the season’s leading 4-year-old.

While pedigrees of the dams of early day limited age event competitors varied widely, after 1970, when the full brothers Doc O’Lena, and Dry Doc, by Doc Bar, won the 1970 and 1971 NCHA Futurities, there was no looking back. Doc Bar sons were the ticket to success and Dick Gaines, a bank executive, rancher and non-pro cutting competitor from Byers, Texas, was determined to have one of his own.

Gaines purchased Doc Tari, bred by Tony and Larry Homen, King City, Calif., as a weanling and showed him as reserve champion of the 1973 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity, as well as a finalist in the NCHA Non-Pro Derby. Standing for $2,000 at Gaines Ranch in Byers, Doc Tari had sired some top competitors before Gaines syndicated him for a reported $2.3 million in 1980, and Doc Tari became a Super Syndicate Stallion in 1982.

Bred by J.W. Beavers, Jr., Sanger, Texas, Chick Tari was the first money earner out of Duhon’s Chick, by Joe Duhon, who legendary trainer Matlock Rose had shown to win reining, cutting, and halter events, and to place fifth in the1971 NHCA Top Ten standings. Joe Duhon was by a half-Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse stakes sire, and out of Belva Ka, whose sire was a son of Hanna’s Princess. Hanna’s Princess was also the dam of 1968 NCHA Futurity champion Uno Princess, sired by 1969 NCHA World Open Champion Jose Uno. Uno Princess, in turn, was the dam of One Time Soon, who was dam of 2005 NCHA Super Stakes Open champion One Time Pepto, the sire of NCHA earners of over $13 million.

Chick Tari LTE $260,112, Doc Tari’s top lifetime money earner, was trained by Pete Branch, who had begun his career at 18, breaking colts for Sam Wilson at Wilson’s ranch in Pattison, Tex. At the time, Wilson was standing AQHA halter and pleasure champions Skip A Star and Pawnee Eagle, as well cutting champion Doc Quixote, a Doc Bar son who would also became a Super Syndicate stallion.

While at Wilson’s, Branch also broke and started the Doc Bar son, Doc Wilson, whose full brother Son Ofa Doc, would become a leading sire of earners of over $4.5 million, including 1991 NCHA Open World Champion Bob Acre Doc, who in turn sired 1993 NCHA Futurity champion Bobs Smokin Joe.

Branch left Wilson’s to go to work showing pleasure and halter horses for Louis Pearce, under manager Sonny Rice, who was showing Pearce’s cutting horses.  “I was fairly well up the ladder in the pleasure and halter business by then,” said Branch. “When Sonny left, I was burned out on pleasure horses and Mr. Pearce just moved me right over to the cutting horses, and we did away with the pleasures horses.”

Born in Houston, Texas in 1917, Louis Pearce, who died in 2012, was involved with cattle ranching and raising and showing horses all of his life. He was an honored statesman at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, where he was chairman of the Horse Show from 1950 through 1966, and served as president of the HLSS&R from 1967-1969. A member of the AQHA Hall of Fame, Pearce bred and registered over 350 Quarter Horses, including the 1976 Doc Bar son Especial, who also became a Super Syndicate stallion.

Also a longtime member of NCHA and committed advocate for the sport, Pearce was inducted into the NCHA Members Hall of Fame in 1995. “I was born wanting to be a cowboy and I never quite succeeded,” said Pearce, who had earned $600 in cutting competition. “But I guess the closest I ever got was the NCHA Hall of Fame.”

Pete Branch, who was inducted into the NCHA Riders Hall of Fame in 1994, has trained and shown many great horses since the 1982 Super Stakes, including 1993 NCHA Open Horse of the Year Little Badger Dulce, and Kit Kat Sugar, 2012 NCHA Horse of the Year and son of Little Badger Dulce’s daughter, Sugar N Dulce.

Chick Tari, who Pearce sold in September 1982, belonged to seven other owners before her death in 2003, at the age of 25. During that time, she produced 18 foals, including 10 NCHA money earners and one NRHA money earner. Little Worm DNA, a 1993 gelding by Peppy San Badger, was her top money earner, with a career total of $15,593.

Widows Freckles 1994 – 2020

March 26th, 2020

Widows Freckles, 2002 NCHA Eastern Nationals Open and Non-Pro champion, owned by NCHA Hall of Fame inductees David and Stacie McDavid, of Fort Worth, Texas, was put to rest on March 24.

The McDavids, also owners of the stallion Hickorys Indian Pep, purchased Widows Freckles from Robert Middleton in 2006. Bred by the late Franklin Jones Jr., Marshall, Tex., Widows Freckles was sired by Freckles Playboy out of The Widow Wilson, by Son Ofa Doc, and was raised and trained by Son Ofa Doc’s owner Sam Wilson, Pattison, Tex.

Robert Middleton, Flora, Miss., purchased  Widows Freckles in June 1999, and that fall showed the sorrel stallion to win the Southern Futurity Non-Pro 5/6 championship. Robert, his daughter Lauren, also a non-pro competitor, and trainer Robert Rust continued to show Obi, as Widow Freckles came to be called, successfully through his 6-year-old season. In 2002, Austin Shepard took up the stallion’s reins to win the NCHA Eastern National Open championship, while Lauren Middleton showed Widows Freckles to win the Non-Pro. The next year, Shepard and Widows Freckles placed sixth in the NCHA Open World standings.

“I may not be able to stay away from home and win the World, but I’d like to get him qualified for the World Finals,” Shepard said in March 2003 about his plans for Widows Freckles. “My best three-year-old for the (2003) Futurity is by him, so it’s kind of neat to show him in the open (World competition) and then my best three-year-old, when I get home.”

Shepard and Widows Freckles did qualify for the World Finals, where they topped one of the go-rounds with 228 points, and Widows Freckles, who had already sired three crops of foals, retired with NCHA career earnings of $113,522. Through February 2020, Widows Freckles had sired earners of over $1.5 million.

Shepard’s top Futurity prospect, Widows Intentions, a gelding by Widows Freckles out of a Bob Acre Doc daughter, didn’t make the cut for the Futurity Finals, but he did qualify for the Semi-Finals, and six months later claimed the 2004 NCHA Derby Open reserve championship. Shown by  Shepard and owner Jim Langdale, Widows Intentions retired with lifetime earnings of $352,665.  

“I knew I liked him, when I first saw him,” said Shepard, after he qualified for the NCHA Futurity Semi-Finals on Widows Intentions. “He looks just like his daddy and is real low-headed and confident.

“His daddy, when you got a cow in front of him and serious about what he was doing, he was going to get there. I thought a lot of that horse because he was so gutsy.”

NCHA Super Stakes: 40 years and counting

March 24th, 2020
$5 million sire SR Instant Choice is a son of inaugural NCHA Super Stakes champion Stylish Lynx. Don Shugart photo.

COVID-19 has caused postponements and cancellations of sports venues worldwide, including the 2020 NCHA Kit Kat Sugar Super Stakes, which was set to begin a 25-day run on March 24. While cutters await word on the status of this year’s Super Stakes, it seems a good time to revisit the history of this important link in NCHA’s famous Triple Crown.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the NCHA Super Stakes, which was created to enhance the breeding industry and offer cutting horse owners a unique opportunity to promote their stallions, as well as to increase the market value of their progeny.

The early 1980s ushered in a boom time for the US economy, including the cutting horse industry. NCHA memberships, show entries, and purses had increased dramatically in the previous decade and, in 1980, NCHA leaders created a unique incentive for the offspring of subscribed stallions. In 1981, seventeen stallions subscribed to the first NCHA Super Stakes, including Doc’s Lynx, whose daughter, Stylish Lynx, won the inaugural event’s Open championship. Five years later, in 1986, five times as many stallions were enrolled, and by 2015, the total had reached 248.

Stylish Lynx, shown by Don Parker, came into the 1981 Super Stakes following a thirteenth-place finish, in the 1980 NCHA Futurity. Her competition in the 15-horse Super Stakes Finals included the Futurity champion, Mis Royal Mahogany, and third-place Futurity finisher Freckles Hustler, a full brother to Freckles Playboy. But Stylish Lynx won the day, and $79,525, with a score of 219 points. Miss Peppy Also, by Mr San Peppy, claimed the reserve championship and $52,154, with 218 points under Buster Welch.

As if to prove the power of Super Stakes sires, Doc’s Lynx, her sire, was the only notable horse in the pedigree of champion Stylish Lynx, whose dam, Stylish Squaw, was by Silver King Jr. out of Balmy Squaw. But Stylish Lynx has left her mark on future generations of cutting horses through her Doc’s Hickory son, SR Instant Choice, sire of the earners of $5.9 million.

Following the 1981 Super Stakes, eight horsemen, including Shorty Freeman, who had successfully syndicated Doc O’Lena in 1978, created the Super Syndicate Ltd., in 1982, an ambitious marketing plan that initially consisted of eight stallions, including Doc’s Lynx and Smokin Jose, owned by Texas businessman Bud Sweazea and trainer Don Parker. Doc Athena, by Doc O’Lena; Smokin Jose, by Jose Uno; and Leonard Milligan, by Okie Leo, were the only stallions of the original Super Syndicate eight that were not sired by Doc Bar. The five Doc Bar sons were Doc Quixote, Doc Tari, Doc’s Hickory, Nu Bar, and Doc’s Lynx, all also subscribed to the NCHA Super Stakes.

The Super Syndicate did not survive the stock market crash of 1987, and Doc Athena, Doc Tari, Especial, and Smokin Jose were consigned to the Central Texas Summer Sale, held at Ables Equestrian Center, in Benbrook, Tex., on July 28, 1989. The NCHA Super Stakes, however, did survive and thrive into the 21st century and beyond.

This is the first in a series of “Looking Back” posts highlighting the NCHA Super Stakes.

For more about the history of the NCHA Triple Crown, read Cutting Horse Gold: 50 Years of the NCHA Futurity.

Missy Jean Etheridge captures NCHA Eastern National Non-Pro championship

March 15th, 2020
Missy Jean Etheridge on Cutting Commander. Seth Petit photo.

Missy Jean Etheridge, Corinth, Miss., scored 224 points riding Cutting Commander on Saturday, March 14, to win the 2019 NCHA Eastern National Non-Pro Finals. Colt Moore, Williston, Fla., showing Highbrow Nadine, claimed the reserve championship with 222 points, while Denise Seiz, Cedartown, Ga., placed third with 217.5 aboard Willie J Rey.

This was Missy Jean Etheridge’s thirty-fourth ride in an NCHA Eastern Nationals division finals and her second win. Her first win came in the 2004 NCHA Eastern Nationals $10,000 Amateur aboard Pepto Jack LTE $33,466, by Peptoboonsmal, following her 2003 reserve championship in the $2,000 Limited Rider Finals on Chloes My Aunt LTE $57,299, by SR Hallmarked. The NCHA earner of $396,242, Etheridge has also competed successfully in NCHA limited age events, including last year, when she showed Rey Too Purdy LTE $59,291, by Dual Smart Rey, to win The Non-Pro 5/6 Classic, and earlier this year when she won the Ike Hamilton Futurity Classic Non-Pro Intermediate with Metallic Royal Mate LTE $98,831, by Metallic Cat.

Eight-year-old Cutting Commander LTE $98,855, a Third Cutting daughter, had also been a successful limited age event competitor under Tag Rice, who showed her as an NCHA Futurity Open finalist and to place third in the NCHA Derby. Missy Jean and Vick Etheridge, also showed her as finalists, respectively, in Non-Pro and Amateur limited age events.

William Moore on Highbrow Nadine. Seth Petit photo.

This marks Colt Moore’s second 2019 NCHA Eastern championship title aboard Highbrow Nadine LTE $83,462. Last Sunday, March 8, he won the Senior Youth Finals showing the 7-year-old High Brow CD daughter, who won the $25,000 Non-Pro/Novice this week for Kolby Don Moore, Colt’s brother. Owned by Kolby Don, Highbrow Nadine, is the only NCHA money earner out of 24-year-old Ladys Pagan, by Haidas Little Pep.

Denise Seiz, the NCHA earner of $303,462, won the 2011 NCHA Eastern Nationals $35,000 Non-Pro on Stylish Playlin LTE $181,525, the Docs Stylish Oak gelding who had been reserve champions of the 1997 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity and 1998 NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes under Tag Rice.

Seiz’s 2019 NCHA Eastern Nationals ride, 6-year-old Willie J Rey LTE $105,545, most recently carried her to place eighth in the 2020 Augusta Futurity 5/6 Amateur Finals. The Dual Rey gelding also carried Walt Erwin to win the 2019 Augusta Futurity Open 5/6 Classic, and to place third in the 2020 Augusta Classic. Willie J Rey’s dam, Cat Black I LTE $208,229, carried Seiz to win the 2013 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Amateur championship, as well as the reserve amateur championship of the 2013 Tunica Classic, and was also was shown by Randy Chartier, as an NCHA Open World Top 10 finalist in 2016 and 2017.

Check here for complete results from the 2019 NCHA Eastern National Championships.

Kandace Stone rock solid with $50,000 Amateur win

March 15th, 2020
Kandace Stone on Laneys Gotta Player. Seth Petit photo.

Kandace Stone, Dublin, Tex., rode Laneys Gotta Player, by Lizzys Gotta Player, to a 222-point win in the NCHA Eastern Nationals $50,000 Amateur Finals, on Saturday, March 14. Katelyn Grace Lawson, Cookesville, Tenn., earned the reserve title with 218 points aboard Boonbay Cat, by High Brow Cat, while Mark Timothy Simpson placed third with 217.5 points, riding Superey, by Dual Rey.

Stone, the NCHA earner of $51,032, and Laneys Gotta Player LTE $34,391 had placed in last year’s NCHA Western Nationals $35,000 Non-Pro and $50,000 Amateur Finals, as well as in the NCHA Classic Challenge 5/6 Amateur Finals. Earlier this week, Laneys Gotta Player also placed fifth with Ben Roberson in the NCHA Eastern Nationals Open Finals, and fifth in the $5,000 Novice.

Seven-year-old Laneys Gotta Player, bred by EE Ranches of Texas, is out of Catalaney, a half-sister to Cat Ichi LTE $238,691, among 17 earners of more than $1.4 million out of Laney Doc $221,332, by Doc Quixote.

Katelyn Grace Lawson on Boonbay Cat. Seth Petit photo.

Katelyn Grace Lawson, the NCHA earner of $20,361, first showed as a finalist at Jackson in 2014, riding Cats Quick Pick LTE $88,039 in the $2,000 Limited Rider Finals. Since then, she has been a finalist 10 times, including last year, when she showed Boonbay Cat as a finalist in the $35,000 Non-Pro, the $15,000 Amateur, and the Senior Youth. In addition to the $50,000 Amateur reserve championship, Boonbay Cat LTE $64,461 also carried Lawson as a finalist in this year’s Senior Youth LTE $64,461.

Bred by Painted Springs Farm, Boonbay Cat was trained and shown successfully in limited age event competition for them by Brad Mitchell. The 10-year-old gelding is out of Boonbay Smash LTE $125,510, also trained and shown by Mitchell.

In addition to the $50,000 Amateur Finals, Mark Timothy Simpson, Dry Ridge, Ky., also showed his gelding  Superey in this week’s NCHA Eastern Nationals $35,000 Non-Pro and $5,000 Novice/Non-Pro Finals. Seven-year-old Superey LTE $91,756 also placed seventh in the $25,000 Novice Finals with Matt Williams. Mark Simpson is the NCHA earner of $22,589.

Trained by and shown successfully in Open limited age event competition by Wesley Galyean, Superey also earned money as a 4-year-old Non-Pro for Kristen Galyean, and as a 5/6-year-old Amateur under Von Sutten. Bred by Cross Timbers Cutting Horses, Superey, is a full brother to Lil Rattler LTE $338,873, among 22 NCHA money earners of over $1.4 million, out of NCHA Futurity Open champion Highbrow Supercat LTE $364,690.

Check here for complete results from the 2019 NCHA Eastern National Championships.

Jordan Vaughn wins $5,000 Novice Non-Pro championship

March 13th, 2020
Jordan Vaughn on Juan In A Million. Seth Petit photo.

It was has been “Juan” special week for Jordan Vaughn, Forsyth, Ga., who scored 222.5 points with Juan In A Million on Friday, March 13, to win the NCHA Eastern $5,000 Novice/Non-Pro championship, one day after he and his 7-year-old gelding claimed the $25,000 Novice/Non-Pro reserve championship. In addition, Vaughn placed third in the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro Finals with 219 points on CR Tuff Catty Trey, by Woody Be Tuff.  Doug Secrest, New Albany, Ohio, claimed the reserve championship with 219.5 points aboard Desire A Third Cat, by Third Cutting.

Vaughn, the NCHA earner of $308,539, and Juan In A Million LTE $84,203, by Spots Hot, won five major limited age event championships in 2018 and 2019, and captured top money in many other non-working finals. Earlier this year, the pair also captured the Augusta Amateur All-Age Championship. In addition, Vaughn and 4-year-old CR Tuff Catty Trey LTE $31,115 claimed championship wins in the 2020 Augusta Futurity Non-Pro and the Amateur Finals.

Juan In A Million, bred by Patrick and Laura Collins out of Oh Miss Peacock LTE $104,607, by High Brow Cat, is a full brother to 2006 NCHA Open and Amateur champion Oh Cay Felix LTE $466,878, also bred by Patrick and Laura Collins, and shown in the NCHA Futurity by Craig Thompson and Patrick Collins.

 CR Tuff Catty Trey, bred by Arcese Quarter Horses out of ARC Catty Dual LTE $168,762, by Dual Pep, is a full brother to 5-year-old CR Dualin Out Tuff LTE $90,256, who placed third earlier this week under Austin Shepard in the NCHA Nationals $25,000 Novice Finals, and who is a half-brother to One Catty Cupid LTE $191,577, by One Time Pepto.

Doug Secrest on Desire A Third Cat. Seth Petit photo.

Doug Secrest, the NCHA earner of $126,644, rode Dual Smart Sherman LTE $30,168, by Dual Smart Rey, and Smooth Spyder Rey LTE $77,830, by Smooth As A Cat, as a five-time finalist at last year’s NCHA Eastern Nationals. He showed Smooth Spyder Rey as reserve champion of the $50,000 Amateur and to place seventh in the $25,000 Novice/Non-Pro. He also showed Dual Smart Sherman as reserve champion of the $5,000 Novice/Non-Pro, as well as a finalist in the $50,000 Amateur and the $25,000 Novice/Non-Pro.

Earlier this year, Secrest and 6-year-old Desire A Third Cat LTE $18,346 placed second in the Augusta Futurity 5/6 Non-Pro Intermediate Finals, and fourth in the Augusta Futurity 5/6 Non-Pro. Desire A Third Cat is the first of two NCHA money earners out of Desires Prissy Cat, a full sister to Thundercat LTE $302,762, Desires Katrina LTE $128,812, and Desires Kitty Cat LTE $118,149, among 30 NCHA money earners out of Desire Some Freckles LTE $188,990, a leading dam of NCHA money earners of over $1.5 million.

The 2019 NCHA Eastern National Championships continue through Saturday, March 14.

Kolby Don Moore wins NCHA Eastern Nationals $25,000 Novice/Non-Pro

March 13th, 2020
Kolby Don Moore on Highbrow Nadine. Seth Petit photo.

Riding Highbrow Nadine, by High Brow CD, on Thursday, March 12, Kolby Don Moore, Crawfordville, Fla., scored 220 points to win the 2019 NCHA Eastern Nationals $25,000 Novice/Non-Pro championship. Jordan Vaughn, Forsyth, Ga., scored 219.5 points on Juan In A Million, by Spots Hot, to earn reserve, and Trey Rogillio, Ethel, La.; Kandace Stone, Dublin, Tex.; and Lauren Minshall, Vine Grove, Ky, tied with 218 points to split third, fourth and fifth riding, respectively, Sweet Lil Willy, by Sweet Lil Pepto; Laneys Gotta Player, by Lizzys Gotta Player; and Lafite R Hot, by Spots Hot.

Kolby Don Moore, the NCHA earner of $142,116, had shown Highbrow Nadine LTE $80,351 successfully as a limited age event finalist, including as reserve champion of the 2018 Southern Futurity Classic Non-Pro Finals and champion of the Non-Pro Limited. He also showed her as last year’s  NCHA Eastern Nationals $25,000 Novice/Non-Pro reserve champion.

Last Sunday, March 8, Kolby Don’s brother Colt Moore, Williston, Fla., scored 220 points to claim the 2019 NCHA Eastern Nationals Senior Youth Championship riding Highbrow Nadine. The 7-year-old gray mare is the only NCHA money earner out of 24-year-old Ladys Pagan, by Haidas Little Pep.

Jordan Vaughn on Juan In A Million. Seth Petit photo.

Jordan Vaughn, the NCHA earner of $305,794, and Juan In A Million LTE $81,458, won five major limited age event championships in 2018 and 2019 and captured top money in many other non-working finals. Earlier this year, Vaughn and his 7-year-old Spots Hot gelding also won the Augusta Amateur Championship. At the same time, Vaughn and 4-year-old CR Tuff Catty Trey LTE $29,786, by Woody Be Tuff, claimed championship wins in the 2020 Augusta Futurity Non-Pro and Amateur Finals.

Trey Rogillio, the NCHA earner of $75,524, and 10-year-old Sweet Lil Willy LTE $21,837, were finalists in last year’s NCHA Eastern Nationals $35,000 Non-Pro and $25,000 Novice/Non-Pro divisions, as well as in the NCHA Western Nationals Non-Pro and $50,000 Amateur divisions. Rogillio also showed Sadie Smooth LTE $8,121, by Smooth As A Cat, earlier this year as reserve champion of the Augusta Amateur Futurity, and placed in the Augusta 5/6 Classic Non-Pro and Non-Pro Limited aboard Hughes Your Daddy LTE $25,579, by Thomas E Hughes.

Kandace Stone, the NCHA earner of $51,032, and 7-year-old Laneys Gotta Player LTE $34,391 placed in last year’s NCHA Western Nationals $35,000 Non-Pro and $50,000 Amateur Finals, as well as in the NCHA Classic Challenge 5/6 Amateur Finals.

Lauren Minshall, the NCHA earner of $407,794, came to Jackson after earning a fourth-place finish and first-place money in the Augusta Non-Pro and Non-Pro Intermediate Futurity with Reyz Your Chelada LTE $10,752, by Reydioactive. Minshall won 2006 NCHA Eastern Nationals $20,000 Finals on Suggies Travelin LTE $95, 084, by Travalena.

The 2019 NCHA Eastern National Championships continue through Saturday, March 14.