Daily Chatter

Big win for Lance Cooper in Open Limited

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Zen And Tonic, ridden by Lance Cooper. Hart Photography.

2018 Lucas Oil NCHA Super Stakes – April 16, 2018 – Fort Worth, Tex.

First to the herd in his first Open finals, Lance Cooper, 17, took no prisoners with a 223-point win in the Super Stakes Open Limited. Riding Zen And Tonic, by High Brow CD, owned by his parents, Michael and Jennifer Cooper, Weatherford, Tex., and with go-round scores of 216 and 213.5 points, Cooper stepped up to the occasion and was never threatened.

Garrett Hampton, riding Merlott, by Dual Rey, for Jose Sigala, Weatherford, Tex., earned the reserve championship with 217 points, while Greg Wright on Sugarush, by Kit Kat Sugar, for Monte Strusiner, Northbrook, Ill., and Christian Miller on SDP Hy Jane, by Hydrive Cat, for SDP Buffalo Ranch, tied for third and fourth with 216.5 points in the 14-horse finals.

Lance Cooper and Zen And Tonic have been a team since the NCHA Futurity, where they won the Non-Pro Limited championship and placed 11th in the Non-Pro finals. Since then, shown exclusively by Lance, Zen And Tonic has claimed eight more major Non-Pro/Non-Pro Limited titles, in addition to Monday’s Open Limited championship.

Cooper, the NCHA earner of $180,719, cashed his first major event check in 2014, as a 2014 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro finalist (12th) and Futurity Non-Pro Limited finalist on Post Card From Paris, by Light N Lena. But his first shiny buckle came as champion of the 2013 NCHA Summer Spectacular Junior Youth aboard A Little Bossy LTE $403,677, by CD Lights and owned by Gary and Karen Fields.

Merlott, ridden by Garrett Hampton. Hart Photography.

Garrett Hampton, 18, Weatherford, Tex., had earned $36,923 before Monday’s finals on Merlott, who had no NCHA earnings before the finals. Hampton’s biggest previous check came as a 2017 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro semi-finalst on Cattonoogalena, by Catto Boy. In 2016, he won the NCHA Western Nationals Senior Youth riding Ima Little Ichi, by Cat Ichi.

Greg Wright, Piedmont, Okla., showed Sugarush as an NCHA Futurity Open semi-finalist and Open Limited finalist (12th), as well as an Open finalist in the 2018 Bonanza Open Futurity. Wright, the NCHA earner of $789,259, won the 2015 NCHA Super Stakes Open Limited championship on Stars Freckled Girl, by Metallic Cat, and the 2016 Arbuckle Mountain 5/6 Open Limited aboard Ima Hot Model, by Spots Hot. He also placed sixth in the 2018 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Open Limited and the Super Stakes Classic Open with Aristocratic Star, by High Brow Cat, a three-quarter sister to Sugarush.

Christian Miller, the NCHA earner of $111,584, who won the 2008 NCHA Eastern National Junior Youth championship on Bob Acre Ray, by Bob Acre Doc, earned his biggest check as a 2017 NCHA Derby Open semi-finalist and Open Limited finalist riding Daisy Poochanan, sired by Smooth As A Cat and owned by Paul and Julie Hansma. His Super Stakes mount, SDP Hy Jane had earned $56 prior to Monday’s finals.

The NCHA Super Stakes continues through April 22. For daily live action and results go to nchacutting.com/events/triple-crown/superstakes


Pinkston and Taurel tie with Day Two high score

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Lica Pinkston on Stylish Top Brow. Hart Photography.

2018 Lucas Oil NCHA Super Stakes – April 6, 2018 – Fort Worth, Tex.

Lica Pinkston, Alice, Tex., and Jacob Taurel, Whitesboro, Tex., tied with 219 points aboard Stylish Top Brow and Little Jewels Olena, respectively, to top Day Two of Amateur/Unlimited Amateur 5/6 Classic first go-round competition. Hilary Watson, Overland Park, Kan., earned 217.5 points, the day’s second-highest score on Reychel.

Lica Pinkston and Stylish Top Brow won three Amateur Unlimited 4-year-old championships (Southern Futurity, West Texas Futurity and Cattlemen’s Derby) in 2017, in addition to claiming the reserve championship of the NCHA Derby Limited Non-Pro and ninth in the Derby Amateur Unlimited. This year, they have placed third in the Cattlemen’s Derby 5/6 Amateur Unlimited; fourth in the Ike Hamilton Futurity 5/6 Amateur Unlimited; and fifth in the Ike Hamilton Futurity 5/6 Amateur.

Five-year-old Stylish Top Brow, by High Brow CD, is the NCHA earner of $93,010; Lica Pinkston is the earner of $316,769.

Jacob Taurel on Little Jewels Olena. Hart Photography.

Jacob Taurel, the NCHA earner of $149,207, was a 2017 NCHA Super Stakes 4-Year-Old Amateur Unlimited finalist (6th) on Metallic Martinis, by Metallic Cat. He also showed V Eight Smooth Ichi, by Smooth As A Cat, as a finalist (18th) in the 2017 NCHA Futurity Amateur Unlimited.

Five-year-old Little Jewels Olena, by Athena Puddy Cat, carried Taurel as reserve champion of the 2017 Brazos Bash 4-Year-Old Amateur, and as a finalist in the NCHA Derby Amateur, and is currently the earner of $13,679.

Earlier this year, Hilary Watson and Reychel earned the reserve championship of the Bonanza 5/6 Amateur Unlimited, and placed (8th) in the Bonanza 5/6 Amateur finals, as well as in the Arbuckle Mountain 5/6 Amateur and 5/6 Amateur Unlimited divisions.

Five-year-old Reychel, by Light N Lena, is the earner of $21,109; Watson is the NCHA earner of $242,077.

The NCHA Super Stakes and Super Stakes Classic continue through April 22. For daily live action and results go to nchacutting.com/events/triple-crown/superstakes

Lance Cooper claims Day 2 of Non-Pro

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Lance Cooper on Zen And Tonic. Hart Photography.

Lance Cooper, Weatherford, Tex., winner of the 2017 NCHA Senior Youth World Finals, had just the tonic on Saturday for the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro first go-round. Riding Zen And Tonic, by High Brow CD, Cooper scored 219 points to top the second day of Non-Pro competition. Gary Byrd, on Fear The Frog, and Ashley Galyean, aboard Desiresomemettalic,  tied with 218.5 points, while Ty Moore earned 217.5 points, the third-highest score of the day, on Sheza Smokin Hot Gal.

Cooper, the NCHA earner of $92,416, made his first mark in an NCHA Futurity in 2014, when he was reserve champion of the Limited Non-Pro and placed twelveth in the Non-Pro Finals riding Post Card From Paris LTE $65,907. In 2015, he was a Non-Pro finalist on Smart Lil Bugley. Last year, Cooper earned money as a Futurity Non-Pro Semi-Finalist with Bet Shes A Smoothie LTE $39,763, and this year he showed the Smooth As A Cat daughter as reserve champion of the Bonanza 4-Year-Old Non-Pro as well as reserve champion in the Abilene Spectacular Non-Pro Limited.

Zen And Tonic, Cooper’s current mount, was bred by Greg Coalson out of Dual Citizen LTE $61,820, the dam of four NCHA money earners of $50,589.

Gary Byrd, Athens, Tex., won the 2016 Brazos Bash 4-Year-Old Amateur on Thirds Catmas LTE $46,432 and claimed the 2015 NCHA Super Stakes Amateur reserve title with Platinum Metallic LTE $36,721. He purchased Fear The Frog, a Metallic Cat son and three-quarter brother to Catty Hawk LTE 239,044, at the 2015 NCHA Futurity Sales. Byrd is the NCHA earner of $60,167.

Ashley Galyean, the NCHA earner of $382,506, was a 2016 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro finalist riding Metallico, by Metallic Cat. Desiresomemettalic, a Metallic Cat daughter, scored 218.5 points in the first go-round of Open competition with Ashley’s husband Beau Galyean. Bred by the Rockin  5 Ranch, Desiresomemettalic is out of Desire Some Freckles LTE $188,990, a leading dam of NCHA earners of $1,211,397, including Thundercat LTE $302,762, by High Brow Cat, and 2007 NCHA Futurity Open reserve champion Desires Little Rex LTE $287,519, by Smart Little Lena.

Ty Moore’s numerous wins include, most recently, the Brazos Bash 5/6 Non-Pro on Set Fire To The Reyn LTE $113,097, and the Brazos Bash Futurity with Sweet Sister Cat. Moore, from Madill, Okla. and the NCHA earner of $898,729, bred Sheza Smokin Hot Gal, by Hottish, out of Smooth N Smokin LTE $42,917, by Smooth As A Cat.

Czisny and Coldstone Cat ice competition in $25,000 Novice Non-Pro

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

$25,000 Novice Non-Pro champion Coldstone Cat,
ridden by Amber Czisny. Ted Petit photos.

Amber Czisny, Marietta, Okla., scored 218 points on Wednesday to win the NCHA Denver Nationals $25,000 Novice Non-Pro championship aboard Coldstone Cat. Holly Muench, also of Marietta, Okla., marked 217.5 points riding CD Pretty Cat for the reserve championship. Nancy Burkes, Hibbing, Minn., placed third with 215 points on Moms Dual N Badger.

Amber Czisny, the NCHA earner of $269,827, was a finalist in Tuesday’s Denver Nationals $5,000 Novice Non-Pro Finals on Little Third Cutting. Her previous money-earning performance on Coldstone Cat came as fourth-placed finalist in the 2016 Augusta Futurity 5/6 Non-Pro, the same year that she won the Augusta Futurity Non-Pro on Meradas Molly Mac.

Seven-year-old Coldstone Cat LTE $27,659, by High Brow Cat, was bred by Black Rock Ranch out of Hagandaz LTE $49,289, by Grays Starlight.

Reserve champion CD Pretty Cat and Holly Muench.

Holly Muench, an NCHA earner of $71,584 won last year’s Non-Pro championship and placed third in the $15,000 Novice Non-Pro division of the NCHA Western Nationals aboard CD Pretty Cat. This past week, Muench was a finalist in the Denver Nationals $5,000 Novice Non-Pro division riding Rey My Belle and her husband, trainer Teryn Muench, placed as a finalist in the Open and $25,000 Novice divisions aboard CD Pretty Cat.

Nine-year-old gelding CD Pretty Cat LTE $45,585 is by Pretty Boy Cat out of Katie May CD, by CD Olena.

Nancy Burkes, the NCHA earner of $77,153, placed sixth in the 2016 NCHA Futurity Amateur Finals and second in that division’s Senior Finals riding RS Smooth Player. She also placed fifth in the 2017 Bonanza 5/6 Amateur  Finals on Call Me Queen B.

Yesterday, June 27, Burkes placed in the finals of the Denver Nationals $35,000 Non-Pro division riding Moms Dual N Badger, as well as in the finals of the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro on Metallic Jones.

Nine-year-old Moms Dual N Badger LTE $176,721, by Reys Dual Badger, had a successful limited age event career for former owner Glade Knight and trainer Darren Simpkins. The gelding, a half-brother to Moms Stylish Cat $267,275 and This Cats Got Style LTE $195,443, placed in 30 major open or non-pro finals.

Woodward claims PCCHA Classic Challenge title

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Tracey Woodward, Los Alamos, Calif., marked 219.5 points on Shesa Show Stopper to win the 2017 PCCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro championship. Kade Smith, Hailey, Idaho, riding Hay U, and Lindy Ashlock, Abilene, Tex., tied for reserve with 218 points.

Woodward, the NCHA earner of $195,916, most recently placed third in the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Non-Pro Limited riding Stylish Look Bella and was also an Amateur Unlimited finalist on Shesa Show Stopper. Sired by Peptoboonsmal, 6-year-old Shesa Show Stopper LTE $44,739, is out of Absolutely Stunning LTE $106,787, a three-quarter sister to Im Countin Checks LTE $509,642. Absolutely Stunning is out of Autumn Boon, one of the all-time leading producers of NCHA money earners, with $1,680,044 in produce earnings.

Kade Smith, the NCHA earner of $499,811, has shown Hay U as a non-pro finalist in three other 2017 limited age events, including a third-place finish in the Breeders Invitational 5/6 Non-Pro. Sired by Third Cutting, 6-year-old Hay U LTE $143,061 was trained by Kade’s father, Greg Smith, and was shown by Kade to win the 2015 Idaho Futurity Non-Pro, the Calgary Futurity Non-Pro, and the Canadian Supreme Non-Pro championships. Hay U’s dam, A Little Reylena LTE $126,058, was also shown by Kade and Greg Smith.

NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame rider Lindy Ashlock was the third-place finalist in both the 2017 PCCHA Mercuria Non-Pro and the PCCHA Derby Non-Pro on Sweet Reyvenge and In Reyverse, respectively. Prowlin High LTE $83,473, her PCCHA Classic Challenge mount, has carried her as a non-pro finalist in eight limited age events, including the 2015 NCHA Super Stakes, the 2016 NCHA Super Stakes Classic, and the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes Classic.

Prowlin High, by High Brow Cat and out of Hangem High Playboy $75, 543, is a full sister to Hangem Cat LTE $267,432.

Two leaders after $15,000 Amateur go-round

Thursday, March 10th, 2011
Andy Bylo on Wha Zupp

Andy Bylo on Wha Zupp. Forrest Photography.

Andy Bylo of Sullivan, Missouri, and Matthew Dedden of Burlington, Kentucky both marked 218 to tie for the lead in the first round of the $15,000 Amateur at the NCHA Eastern National Championships, presented by 6666 Ranch, Thursday.

Bylo, 35, rode Wha Zupp, a 7-year-old son of Hyadualin out of Little Siren, an Open limited age finalist by Smart Little Lena.

Matthew Dedden

Matthew Dedden

Dedden, 13, rode A Cat Named Sue (P), and is also entered in the Junior Youth on the 11-year-old gelding by High Brow Cat out of Merada Hickory Sue. He rode A Cat Named Sue to a top 15 finish in the Junior Youth World standings in 2010.

It took a score of 211 or better to advance to Friday’s finals of the $15,000 Amateur in Jackson, Mississippi. The finals purse will be an all-time record of more than $46,000.

Kathy Strain is Non-Pro champion

Monday, May 10th, 2010
Kathy Strain and Sneakin Sam.

Kathy Strain and Sneakin Sam.

Kathleen Strain and Sneakin Sam won the 2009 NCHA Western Nationals Non-Pro championship with 219 points. The pair have competed in the Western National finals division 11 times between 2004 and 2010 and earned the Non-Pro reserve championship in 2008 and placed third in the Open finals in 2006.

“My horse can handle a pretty tough cow,” said Strain of 13-year-old Sneakin Sam, who was raised by Strain and her husband Don.

“He loves to cut. That’s what’s so special about him. Today in both of my runs he shook all over. He can’t wait to go.”

The Strains own a cattle and horse ranch, where Don grew up, near White River, SD, where Kathleen is postmaster.

Sneakin Sam was trained by Shannon Hall, who campaigned the Sneakin Lena son for the Strains in limited age events (he was an open finalist in the NCHA Futurity and Derby).

The Strains sold Sneakin Sam at five to Jim Vangilder and in 2006, Don purchased him back at auction as a surprise birthday gift for Kathleen.

“At the time I was doing mostly aged events,” said Kathleen. “So then I had to go weekend cut and it’s been a blast. I’ve met so many people that I didn’t know before and have had so much fun.”

Kate Banuelos, Las Vegas, NV, won the $15,000 Novice Non-Pro championship on Saturday and came back to place as reserve champion of the Non-Pro division on Sunday with 222 points. Both times she rode Bettin With Chex, trained by her husband, Cookie Banuelos.

“He’s my favorite horse in the whole world,” said Banuelos of her 7-year-old gelding sired by Bet On Me 498. “He’s great for me every time.

“He was born and raised on my mom’s ranch (Paula Gaughan who produces the South Point championship shows in Las Vegas) and she gave him to me toward the end of his 4-year-old season.”

Kate and Cookie were married in January and are expecting early next year.

“Mom texted Cookie before the finals and told him to tell the baby to hang on because she had a feeling that I was going to go fast,” she said.

$50,000 Amateur

$50K Amateur champion Roger Booth, with his son, David.

$50K Amateur champion Roger Booth, with his son, David.

Roger Booth, Acton, CA, showed Magnalight, by Grays Starlight, to a 219-point win in the $50,000 Amateur division.

“We skated through the go-round with a 213, but I found some more gears to him that worked real well in the Finals,” said Booth, a construction business owner. “He’s a blast.

“He’s an old-timer and has a ton of heart. He gives you everything he’s got every time.”

Sixteen-year-old Magnalight belongs to Booth’s son, David, but Roger rode him last year to win the NCHA world championship in the $50,000 Amateur  division.

This year Roger’s wife, Elizabeth, is hauling for the $50,000 Amateur world championship.

Magnalight, a 1998 NCHA Super Stakes finalist under Jimmy Don Purselley, is the earner of nearly $200,000.

Neil Shanks.

Neil Shanks.

Neil Shanks, Alberta, Canada, scored 218 points as reserve champion of the $50,000 Amateur division.

“I scored 211 points in the go-round and just made it on the bubble,” said Shanks, who rode Call Me Smurf, by Jose Boon.

“We tried to show as good as we could and it all worked out,” said Shanks. “The horse was amazing. He’s an incredible athlete.”

Guy Heinz, who trained Call Me Smurf, also showed the 6-year-old gelding as reserve champion in the $3,000 Novice division.

Shanks, who owns a chain of auto transmission shops in Canada, has been riding for four years.

“The first time I put my hand down on a natural, trained cutting horse, it was like being five years old and opening the best Christmas gift,” he said. I smiled from ear-to-ear and I still do every time I have the opportunity to show.

“This wouldn’t have happened though without good help,” he added. “I get the glory and those guys do all the work.”

$15,000 Novice/Non-Pro

Katie Banuelos.

Katie Banuelos.

Kate Banuelos and Bettin On Chex topped the $15,000 Novice/Non-Pro Finals with 222 points, while Constance Jaeggi and Explicit Lyrics claimed reserve with 218 points.

Jaeggi, a Swiss native and student at TCU in Fort Worth, was also reserve champion of the 2010 NCHA Eastern Nationals $15,000 Novice/Non-Pro on Explicit Lyrics, and Chubby Turner rode the 6-year-old CD Olena daughter as reserve champion of the Western Nationals Open and finalist in the $3,000 Novice divisions.

Constance Jaeggi.

Constance Jaeggi.

“I was sixth in the bunch and the cows were pretty tough,” said Jaeggi of her finals run. “I cut the last cow for 30 seconds (on the clock). It was exhausting. I never wanted to hear the buzzer ring so badly. It seemed to last forever.”

Jaeggi, who has been showing for four years, also scored 218 in the go-round.

“We get along well together,” said Jaeggi. “There’s a connection that you don’t have with every horse. She has this big heart and she’s great.”

Jaeggi and Explicit Lyrics were also Amateur finalists at the 2010 NCHA Super Stakes.