• Dennis Moreland Tack

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Bob Byrd 1928-2017

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Bob Byrd. Photo by Sally Harrison

Bob Byrd, 88, the 1964 NCHA Futurity Co-Champion and a contestant and honoree in the NCHA Futurity 50th Anniversary Champions Cup in 2011, died Friday, Sept. 8, 2017 in Jayton, Texas.

Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, September 10 at Bell-Cypert-Seale Funeral Home, 3101 College Avenue, Snyder, Texas. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, at the First Baptist Church, 110 Travis Street, Jayton, Tex. Burial will follow at Clairemont Cemetery.

Born on Sept. 11, 1928 to Charlie and Lizzie Byrd, Bob Byrd and Maricate Warren married in September 1951. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Maricate, two brothers and two sisters.

Survivors include two daughters, Lisa Starkey and her husband, Skip, of Cross Plains, Tex., and Lori Chisum and her husband, George, of Jayton; one son, Barry Byrd and his wife, Renee, of Weatherford, Tex.; one brother, Jim Byrd of Post, Tex.; 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch or a charity of choice.

Clean sweep for Padgett as Fly Baby Fly wins $3 million All American Futurity

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Fly Bay Fly, photo courtesy Ruidoso Downs

Over-looked with odds of 11-1, Fly Baby Fly, owned by Fly Baby Fly Partnership, Waverly, Texas and trained James Padgett II, powered past 8-5 favorite Bigg Daddy, on Monday, September 4 at Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico to win the $3 million All American Futurity by one and a-half lengths,  in :21.492.

“The filly always has trouble with the break and it takes a little while to start her running,” said Fly Baby Fly’s rider Jose Vallejo. “But today she put everything together. We knew she could run 440 and she proved it today. She got the lead probably at about 250 yards and then just pulled away.”

The 440-yard All American Futurity has the largest purse of any two-year-old race in North America.

“My horse beat the doors open,” said Bigg Daddy’s rider G.R. Carter Jr. “I couldn’t have dreamed that he could have left the gate any better and he ran a really good strong race. Give Fly Baby Fly credit. She just run me down and beat me. I’m real proud of my horse because he ran really well.”

Bigg Daddy, a New Mexico-bred gelding and $25,000 Ruidoso Yearling Sale graduate, is owned by Too For Too, Vado, N.M., and trained by Wes Giles. Hotstepper, a neck behind Bigg Daddy for third under Cody Jensen, is owned by Hubbard, Cope, Willis and Southway, and trained by Sleepy Gilbreath.

Fly Baby Fly, a daughter of One Famous Eagle, was a $180,000 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale graduate, bred by Julianna Hawn Holt, Blanco, Tex., out of champion two-year-old Higher Fire, the earner of $1.3 million. Fly Baby Fly, winner of the fourth of 14 All American Futurity trials, came into Monday’s race with three wins from five starts, and a fourth-place finish in the $1 million Rainbow Futurity.

On Saturday, prior to the All American Futurity, Fly Baby Fly’s half-brother, A Galaxy Guardian, by Corona Cartel, topped the All American Select Yearling Sale at $320,000. He was consigned by Julianna Hawn Holt and purchased by Judd Kearl.

The Labor Day Weekend at Ruidoso Downs offers Quarter Horse racing’s richest three-day venue. This year, trainer James Padgett broke the bank with wins in the All American Futurity; the $1.3 million All American Derby (Hold Air Hostage); the $200,000 All American Gold Cup (Jessies First Down); and the $200,000 All American Juvenile Jesse Lane).

Dominating win for Hold Air Hostage in All American Derby

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

Hold Air Hostage, Ruidoso Downs photo

Hold Air Hostage showed why he is the number-one-ranked older American Quarter Horse in the nation with total domination of his rivals in the Grade 1, $1,365,908 All American Derby on Sunday, September 3, at Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico.

Owned by Darling Farms, Lamont, Okla., Hold Air Hostage powered away from the 10-horse field to win by an easy two-and-one-quarter lengths in :21.231. One Sweet Racy, owned by Johnny Trotter, Hereford, Tex. and trained by Trey Wood, finished second by a neck over Duponte, owned by Bobby Cox and Homero and Kristen Paredes.

Hold Air Hostage’s win gave trainer James Padgett II and jockey Rodrigo Sigala Vallejo their second Grade I win of the afternoon. Two races earlier on the program, Padgett and Vallejo combined to win the Grade 1, $200,000 All American Gold with Jessies First Down.

“I don’t want to sound too confident or like I’m bragging, but as soon as he broke in front, it was over,” said Padgett of Hold Air Hostage, the fastest qualifier for the 440-yard race in :21.109. “The horse is a monster. He’s the fastest I’ve ever seen.”

The All American Derby was the fifth consecutive victory for Hold Air Hostage, a gelded son of Apollitical Jess and a $50,000 supplemental nominee to enter the Derby trials. He started his winning streak by taking the Grade 2, $297,000 Heritage Place Derby on June 3 and moved to the number-one position, after his one-and-three-quarter-length victory in the Grade 1, $1,150,000 Rainbow Derby on July 22. The All American Derby winner’s share of $573,681 boosted Hold Air Hostage’s career earnings to $1,214,143.

Third-place finisher Duponte, also from James Padgett’s barn, has been a force in the Grade 1 ranks since his two-year-old season. Last year, the American Runaway son won the Grade 1, $1-million Heritage Place Futurity. Duponte, the second fastest All American Derby qualifier with :21.441, was ridden by Jose Amador Alvarez.

James Padgett also has two entrants in Monday’s $3 million All American Futurity: Hawkeye, with a qualifying time of :21.807 and owned by Bobby Cox, Fort Worth, Tex., and Fly Baby Fly, with :21.902, owned by the Fly Baby Fly Partnership, Waverly, Tex.

For complete Ruidoso Downs’ information, go to www.raceruidoso.com.


Sir Long Legs lands the NCHA Derby championship

Sunday, August 6th, 2017
Sir Long Legs

Sir Long Legs and Austin Shepard. Hart Photography.

Sir Long Legs, owned by Lew Hall, Lakeland, Fla, and Austin Shepard pulled out all the stops for a rousing 229-point eleventh hour win, on Sunday, August 6, in the 2017 NCHA Open Derby Finals. Metallic Smart Cat, owned by Cynthia Villa, Chico, Calif., and ridden by Matt Miller, scored 224 points for the reserve championship. While Pharoah And James, with Clint Allen for David and Stacie McDavid, Forth Worth, Tex., and Hashtags, shown by Tatum Rice for Hashtags Ventures, Weatherford, Tex., tied with 223 points to split third and fourth places.

Altogether from a field of 21 finalists, a record eight horses scored 220.5 points or higher.

Shepard and Sir Long Legs, by Highbrow Cat, drew last in the two-set, 21-horse field, which had already seen seven horses score 220.5 points and higher. But Shepard, who had scored 218 points on Tap This early in the first set, took no prisoners. Sir Long Legs’ score of 229 points stands as a new record for the NCHA Derby Open Finals.

Sir Long Legs, reserve champion of the 2016 NCHA Futurity under Shepard, is the current leader among NCHA 4-year-old money earners with $255,544. Lew Hall purchased the colt as a yearling, from his breeder, Cannon Quarter Horses, for $90,000 at Western Bloodstock’s 2014 NCHA Futurity Sales. Sir Long Legs is out of Lil Lena Long Legs LTE $189,672, by Smart Little Lena, and a full brother to Cat Belue LTE $189,189, as well as half-brother to Two Time Dual LTE $123,189.

Austin Shepard is an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider and earner of $6.9 million.

Metallic Smart Cat

Metallic Smart Cat and Matt Miller. Hart Photography.

Reserve Derby champion Metallic Smart Cat LTE $42,086, by Metallic Cat, was bred by his owner, Cynthia Villa, out of Smart Jerri Lee LTE $52,721, by Smart Little Jerry, and is a three-quarter brother to Smoothlee As A Cat LTE $54,765, by Smooth As A Cat. Matt Miller showed Metallic Smart Cat as a semi-finalist in the NCHA Futurity, and most notably placed third in the Arbuckle Mountain 4-Year-Old Open Finals, as well as second in the Arbuckle 4-Year-Old Open Gelding and Novice divisions.

Matt Miller, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with earning of $2.9 million, also scored 221.5 points to place sixth in the NCHA Derby Finals on Lou Lou Louise, owned by Lannie Louise Mecom, Avondale, Colo.

Pharoah And James, owned and bred by David and Stacie McDavid, Fort Worth, Tex., earned his first paycheck as an NCHA Futurity Open semi-finalist under Clint Allen. Since then, Allen and the gelded son of Hickorys Indian Pep have been finalists in nine major events, including the NCHA Super Stakes, and the Bonanza, where they placed third.

Out of Wise Little Miss LTE $72,567, by Wise Play, Pharoah And James is a full brother to DMAC Wise Guy LTE $73,451, also bred and owned by the McDavids, who own the sire Hickory Indian Pep. In 2016, Stacie McDavid showed DMAC Wise Guy to place second in the NCHA Derby Non-Pro Gelding division, and to win the NCHA Derby Non-Pro Senior title.

Clint Allen, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider and earner of $4.5 million, won the 2009 NCHA Derby and NCHA Super Stakes on Wood I Never LTE $356,137. He was also reserve champion of the 2006 NCHA Futurity on Hydrive Cat LTE $410,627.

Hashtags LTE $179,446, by Metallic Cat and out of Dual Rey Tag, by Dual Rey, was champion of the NCHA Open Super Stakes with Tatum Rice. His second dam, Playin Tag LTE $220,949, by Playgun, was Open champion of the 2004 NCHA Super Stakes.

Tatum Rice, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with $1.5 million in earnings, placed third in the 2013 NCHA Open Futurity aboard Johnny Reyngo and eighth in 2016 on Hashtags.

Paula Wood – 2017 NCHA Derby Non-Pro Champion

Sunday, August 6th, 2017
Paula Wood

Paula Wood on Suen Too Be Black. Hart Photography.

Paula Wood, Stephenville, Tex., scored 219.5 points, on Sunday, August 6, to win the 2017 NCHA Derby Non-Pro Finals on Suen Too Be Black, by Boon Too Suen. Madalyn Colgrove, Boligee, Ala., scored 218 points for the reserve championship on Sweet Baby Marie, by High Brow CD. Megan Miller, Poolville, Tex., placed third with 217.5 points on Olive Martini, by Metallic Cat.

This was the second NCHA Derby Non-Pro championship for Paula Wood, who first won the event in 1997, riding the Cash Quixote Rio daughter Chita Cash LTE $207,169, second dam of Suen Too Be Black. Wood also showed Chitas Blue Boon LTE $55,805, by Duals Blue Boon, as a 2004 NCHA Derby Non-Pro finalist.

Paula Wood is an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame member, NCHA Non-Pro World Champion, and earner of $2,263,226. Her many career highlights include the 2012 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro championship on Donas Suen Boon LTE $388,939, bred by Paula, trained by her husband, NCHA Hall of Fame Rider Kobie Wood. Donas Suen Boon, out of Paula’s 2006 NCHA World Finals Non-Pro champion Donas Cool Cat LTE $315,104, was also sired by Boon Too Suen.

On Saturday, August 5, Marley Wood, daughter of Kobie and Paula, placed fourth riding Suen Too Be Black in the NCHA Derby Limited Non-Pro Finals.

Madalyn Colgrove

Madalyn Colgrove on Sweet Baby Marie. Hart Photography.

Madalyn Colgrove and Sweet Baby Marie LTE $97,542 made their mark earlier this year as reserve champions of the Breeders Invitational Non-Pro, while Madalyn’s grandfather, Joel Colgrove, rode the mare as an Unlimited Amateur finalist in the Ike Hamilton Futurity. Matt Miller showed then 3-year-old Sweet Baby Marie to win the Open championships in the 2016 West Texas Futurity, the 2016 Southern Futurity and the 2016 Idaho Futurity and has continued to show her as a finalist in four 4-year-old events.

Madalyn, the NCHA earner of $424,760, won the 2014 NCHA Classic Challenge 5/6 Amateur, when she was 14, riding Hes A Heapinspoonful, the horse she also showed as champion of the 2014 Breeders Invitational 5/6 Amateur, and the 2014 Cotton Stakes 5/6 Amateur and Unlimited Amateur divisions. Madalyn also won the 2016 Breeders Invitational 5/6 Unlimited Amateur on One Catty Cupid.

In addition to her Derby Non-Pro championship on Sweet Baby Marie, Madalyn also placed fourth in the Derby Non-Pro Finals with 217 points on Peptos Turn To Dual LTE $27,488, by Dual Rey; and twelfth place on Tank Tallic $21,771, by Metallic Cat.

Megan Miller, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame member and earner of $943,806, placed ninth in the 2016 NCHA Derby Non-Pro Finals riding Justa Lil Catfight LTE $70,978, a mare Miller’s sister, McKenzie Merrill, showed as a 2015 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro finalist. Miller also won the 2009 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro championship on Itawtathenapuddycat and the 2009 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Non-Pro on Travs Scooter, who her husband, Matt Miller, now an NCHA Hall of Fame Open Rider, showed to win the 2006 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity.

Prior to the 2017 NCHA Derby, Megan and Olive Martini LTE $22,637 placed third in the PCCHA Derby Non-Pro and ninth in the Bonanza Non-Pro Finals. Olive Martini, out of Martinis Miss Peppy, is a half-sister to the Freckles Playboy daughter Miss Martini Play LTE $89,418, dam of 2007 NCHA Open Horse of the Year Copaspepto $414,619, and nine other money earners, including Stylish Martini LTE $361,920 and Shesa Dirty Martini LTE $361,920.

Following the 2017 NCHA Derby Non-Pro Finals on Sunday, Matt Miller placed as reserve champion of the NCHA Derby Open Finals on Metallic Smart Cat, and also claimed sixth place on Lou Lou Louise.


Cole Rothwell and Khaleesi Cat carry Non-Pro Limited Finals

Saturday, August 5th, 2017
Colton Rothwell

Colton Rothwell on Khaleesi Cat. Hart Photography.

Cole Rothwell, Dallas, Tex., was the clear winner with 221 points aboard Khaleesi Cat on Saturday, in the NCHA Derby Limited Non-Pro Finals. Lica Pinkston, Alice, Tex., claimed reserve with 217.5 points riding Stylish Top Brow, while Barney Mac Smith, Maryneal, Tex., scored 215 points to place third on Catillac Smooth.

Cole Rothwell, the NCHA earner of $400,242, won the 2004 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Amateur championship riding Little Lady Stylish LTE $34,089. Khaleesi Cat LTE $56,381, by Jazarell Cat, carried Rothwell as the sixth-place finalist in the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro and  a finalist in the Limited Non-Pro. The pair also won the 2017 Cattlemen’s Derby Limited Non-Pro and placed as reserve champion in the Non-Pro division of that event. Khaleesi Cat’s second dam, Bambi Freckles LTE $102,104, won the 2001 NCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro Championship.

Lica Pinkston

Lica Pinkston on Stylish Top Brow. Hart Photography.

Lica Pinkston, the NCHA earner of $261,767, also showed Stylish Top Brow as a finalist in the 2017 NCHA Derby Unlimited Amateur division. The pair also won the Cattlemen’s Derby Unlimited Amateur and Pinkston placed second in the Breeders Invitational 5/6 Unlimited Amateur aboard Stylish Metallic Cat LTE $71,142.

Stylish Top Brow LTE $46,693, is by High Brow CD out of Stylish Top Girl LTE $80,508, by Docs Stylish Oak.

Barney Mac Smith, the NCHA earner of $162,431, was 2016 NCHA Futurity Amateur and Unlimited Amateur finalist with Catillac Smooth. And in 2015, Smith placed third in the NCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro riding One Red Mist LTE $135,480. Catillac Smooth LTE $31,907, is by Smooth As A Cat, and out of CDs Masterpiece LTE $99,877, by CD Olena, and a full sister to Mercedes Smoothie LTE $148,900.

Copperish claims Open Semi-Finals

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Lloyd Cox on Copperish. Hart Photography.

Copperish, shown by Lloyd Cox for Jimmie Miller Smith, Geary, Okla., scored 221.5 points on Saturday to win the NCHA Derby Open Semi-Finals. Desires Time, owned by H.B. Bartlett, Pike Road, Ala., and shown by Lee Francois, scored 221 points for second; Sir Long Legs, under Austin Shepard for Lew Hall, Lakeland, Fla., and Cinca Im Hot with Jesse Lennox for Rocking P Ranch, Fort Worth, Tex., tied for third with 220 points.

Twenty-one horses with scores of 217 points or higher from the 50-horse Semi-Finals qualified for Sunday’s NCHA Derby Open Finals.

Copperish LTE $67,534 has won or placed in five major 2017 events under Lloyd Cox, including championship wins in the Bonanza Cutting and the Cattlemen’s Derby. In addition, the sorrel mare earned money as a semi-finalist in the NCHA Futurity and the NCHA Super Stakes.

Sired by Metallic Cat, Copperish is a three-quarter sister to Smooth Talkin Style LTE $293,232, the 2015 NCHA Open Horse of the Year. Their dam, Stylish Play Lena LTE $264,474, has produced 18 NCHA money earners of $1,602,114. Cooperish’s owner, Jimmie Miller Smith, has had a long and “colorful” career as a horse owner and breeder. In 1983, Smith’s flashy Appaloosa stallion, sired by Doc O’Lena and trained by Bill Freeman, who at the time also had the now legendary Smart Little Lena in his barn, won the 1983 PCCHA Derby. Another Smith-bred Appaloosa, Ima A Little Lena, from Smart Little Lena’s first crop of foals, was a 1988 Augusta Futurity finalist under Freeman, as well.

Miller purchased Copperish as a yearling from her breeder and consignor, Double Dove Ranch, for $210,000, at Western Bloodstock’s 2014 NCHA Futurity Sales.

Lloyd Cox, who also showed Copperish’s dam, Stylish Play Lena, as well as Smooth Talkin Style, is an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider and is ranked third among all-time leading cutting horse trainers with earnings of $7,869,581.

Desires Time $33,817, by One Time Pepto, was bred by H.B. “Woody” Bartlett, out of Reys Desire, by Dual Rey. Reys Desire LTE $393,766 won the 2010 NCHA Super Stakes Open and the 2011 Super Stakes Classic under Lee Francois, who showed her as a finalist in 24 major events.

Sir Long Legs LTE $214,682, by High Brow Cat and out of Lil Lena Long Legs LTE $189,672, by Smart Little Lena, was the 2016 NCHA Futurity Open reserve champion under Austin Shepard. The sorrel stallion’s owner, Lew Hall, purchased him as a yearling from his breeder, Cannon Quarter Horses, for $90,000 at Western Bloodstock’s 2014 NCHA Futurity Sales.

Austin Shepard, who also qualified for the NCHA Derby Open Finals with 217.5 points on Tap This for Joel and Jayne Colgrove, is an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider and NCHA earner of $6,895,065.

Cinca Im Hot LTE $102,540, by Spots Hot and out of Cinca De Maya LTE $106,341, by Dual Rey, was an NCHA Futurity Open finalist and won the 2017 Breeders Invitational under Jesse Lennox for Rocking P Ranch, who owns Cinca Im Hot’s sire.  Second dam Highbrow Supercat LTE $364,690, won the 2005 NCHA Futurity Open championship and is a leading dam of earners of $1,170,000.