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Chaser Crouch and Jack Bell win TransWest Western National Youth Champions

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

July 23, 2018, Denver, Colo.

On the first day of the NCHA TransWest Western National Finals, Senior Youth competitor Chaser Crouch, Corsicana, Tex., scored 215.5 points for the championship on 11-year-old GS Zans Cat, by Smooth As A Cat, while Kensley Barnett, Oakley, Kan., and Brooke Turner, Bushnell, Fla., tied for the reserve with 215 points, riding 10-year-old Pepto Lucky Jewel, by Peptoboonsmal, and 5-year-old Checkaleno, by Ima Countin Checks, respectively.

Last year, Chaser Crouch showed GS Zans Cat LTE $166,328 as fourth-placed finalist in the NCHA Denver Nationals, as well as fifth-placed finalist in the Senior Youth; his father, Casey Crouch, also placed sixth on GS Zans Cat in last year’s Open finals.

This is his tenth trip to the Eastern or Western National Championships finals in the $35,000 Non-Pro or Youth divisions.

Junior Youth Finals

Junior Youth champion Jack Bell on Spin To You. Ted Petit Photography.

Jack Bell, Duluth, Minn., scored 219 points on 9-year-old Spin To You, by Mr Boonsmal To You, to win the Junior Youth championship. Kate Roberson, Mineral Wells, Tex., earned reserve with 215 points riding 11-year-old Catmerize, by High Brow Cat, and Aiden Marley, Cave Creek, Ariz., placed third with 214 points aboard 14-year-old San Tules Heritage, by San Tule Freckles.

Jack Bell and Spin To You LTE $73,318, made the leader board in 2017, as reserve champions in the NCHA World Finals. Spin To You had previously carried Kenny Platt successfully in open competition, as well as Robert Tregemba in amateur divisions.

Reserve champion Kate Roberson on Catmerize. Ted Petit Photography.

Kate Roberson placed in last year’s NCHA Denver Nationals Junior Youth Finals riding Smart Olee Smoke, where her mother, Nikki Roberson, showed Catmerize as a finalist in the $35,000 Non-Pro finals. Catmerize LTE $54,445, out of Merada Missy, by Freckles Merada, is a half-sister to Rambo Merada LTE $205,935 and Starched Wranglers LTE $200,334.

Aiden Marley placed third in last year’s NCHA Denver Nationals riding Shimmerz LTE $58,244, by Smart Lil Ricochet.

$25,000 Novice Round 1

Sharing the bill with the Youth was the first round of the $25,000 Novice division, where Scott Amos led the pack with a 222 on Lintons Playcat, owned by George Shaeffer of New Castle, Colorado. Casey Crouch had the second high score on Louis The Cat, the defending World Champion in this class, owend by Amy and Mike Delange and Rick Dubay of Fort Gratiot, Michigan.

In all, 24 horses marked 215.5 or better to advance to Sunday’s $25,000 Novice finals.

$25,000 Novice go-round leader Lintons Playcat, ridden by Scott Amos. Ted Petit photo.

Lintons Playcat is a 5-year-old gelding bred by David Hartman by Auspicious Cat out of Lintons Playgirl, a producer of earners of $549,000, including Stylish Playlin ($181,000) and Its All Play For Rey ($113,000).

Lintons Playcat, a $20,000 graduate of the Western Bloodstock NCHA Futurity Sales as a yearling, won both the Open and Non-Pro divisions of the Utah Derby last fall with Scott Amos, and Pamela Shaeffer, respectively, in the saddle.

The gelding was a $5,000 Novice finalist at last year’s Denver Nationals.

Louis The Cat was World Champion in the $25,000 Novice last year with Casey Crouch, and in the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro with Tyler Delange. The 8-year-old was bred by John Harrah by High Brow Cat out of Louella Again.

The horse took Tyler Delange to the $35,000 Non-Pro championship at last year’s NCHA Eastern Nationals, and to a reserve championship in the same class this spring. Crouch won $5,000 Novice reserve championships with him at both Jackson and Denver last year.

The NCHA Western Nationals at Denver continues through June 30.

Hot and hotter at The Non Pro Plus Open

Monday, June 18th, 2018

June 17, 2018, Ardmore, Okla.

Sean Flynn showed Paula Wood’s Cool N Hot to win at Ardmore.

The Non Pro Plus Open Cutting in Ardmore, Okla. concluded on Sunday, June 17, with the 4-Year-Old Open Finals, where Cool N Hot sizzled with a 226-point win under Sean Flynn. Purdy Metallic, shown by Paula Hansma, scored 222.5 points for reserve, and Miss Masterson, ridden by James Payne, placed third with 219 points.

Bred and owned by Paula Wood, Stephenville, Tex., Cool N Hot LTE $223,916, by Hottish, came into the Ardmore show off of the Bonanza Open and the NCHA Super Stakes Open wins under Kobie Wood, as well as the Breeders Invitational reserve championship with Flynn, who is catch-riding while Wood recovers from by-pass surgery. Paula also showed the stallion as champion of the Bonanza Non-Pro division.

Cool N Hot, out of Donas Suen Boon LTE $315,104, is half-brother to Boon Too Suen LTE $422,455, who carried Paula Wood to win the 2012 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro championship and placed seventh with Kobie in the Futurity Open.

Purdy Metallic LTE $21,975, sired by Metallic Cat and owned by Jimmie Miller Smith, Geary, Okla., was a finalist with Hansma earlier this year at the Abilene Spectacular and Cattlemen’s Derby. His dam, Purdy Aristocrat LTE $100,403, by Smart Aristocrat, is the producer of earners of $659,573.

Miss Masterson LTE $26,849, sired by Cat T Masterson and owned by John Johnson, Ardmore, Okla., placed seventh with Johnson in the 2017 NCHA Futurity Limited Non-Pro. So far this year, she has placed with James Payne in open divisions of three major events, including the Abilene Spectacular, Ike Hamilton Futurity; and Cattlemen’s Derby. Out of Too Smart Toodie by Smart Mate, Miss Masterson is a half-sister to Peptotoodie LTE $160,633, by Peptotime.

James Payne

James Payne also won the Non Pro Plus Open 5/6 Classic with 223 points on Hot Revolver, owned by Kathleen Moore, Madill, Okla. Sired by Spots Hot, 5-year-old Hot Revolver LTE $122,660 has been a consistent finalist under Payne, including a fourth-place finish in the 2018 Abilene Spectacular Classic.

CR Gotcha Covered scored 219 points for reserve in The Non Pro Plus Open 5/6 Classic Open with Tarin Rice. The 6-year-old stallion, sired by Dualin Boon, is owned by Joel Colgrove, Boligee, Ala., and had earned $179,004 prior to June 17.

Sweat Son, shown by Lloyd Cox for Nick Vandesteeg, Santa Ynez, Calif., scored 215 points to place third. The 5-year-old son of Metallic Cat won the 2017 Cotton Stakes and the 2017 PCCHA Futurity with Cox, and has placed under him as a 2018 open 5/6 finalist in the Abilene Spectacular, the Bonanza, and the Breeders Invitational.

For complete results from the The Non Pro Plus Open go to nchadella.com/nonpro/index.shtml

Cromed Out Cat shines in Mercuria

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

Cromed Out Cat, ridden by Geoffrey Sheehan. Midge Ames photos.

Cromed Out Cat, ridden by Geoffrey Sheehan for Beechfork Ranch of Weatherford, Texas, marked 229 for a clear win in the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting at the Pacific Coast Derby in Las Vegas Saturday night. Ichis My Choice was second with Grant Setnicka at 223.5, and Gavin Jordan placed third on Some Kinda Highbrow with a 223.

It was the first appearance for both Sheehan and Cromed Out Cat in the finals of a Mercuria NCHA World Series event. Sheehan, 33, passed the million-dollar mark in NCHA earnings this year. The Mercuria win puts Cromed Out Cat over $200,000 in lifetime earnings.

Cromed Out Cat was bred by Jackson Land & Cattle Co. by High Brow Cat out of Peptos Fancy Jewel, by Peptoboonsmal. The 6-year-old mare has been a finalist in the NCHA Futurity, Super Stakes, Super Stakes Classic and Classic Challenge. She’s posted major wins at the Pacific Coast Futurity and West Texas Classic.

In second, Ichis My Choice, the 2016 NCHA Horse of the Year, is shown by Grant Setnicka for J Five Horse Ranch of Weatherford, Texas. The 6-year-old mare by Cat Ichi out of Sweet Abra was bred by EE Ranches. She was a $300,000 purchase at the 2014 Western Bloodstock NCHA Futurity Sales. Ichis My Choice has earned more than $386,000.

In third, Some Kinda Highbrow was shown by Gavin Jordan for Michelle LeMaster of Las Vegas. The 8-year-old gelding by High Brow CD out of NCHA Futurity champion Some Kinda Memories, has earned more than $385,000.

In the Non-Pro division, there was an unprecedented three-way tie for the win among Elizabeth Quirk of Denham Springs, Louisiana, Jill Roth of  Paso Robles, California and Bill Cowan of Ardmore, Oklahoma, all marking 224 to earn $8,219 each.

Elizabeth Quirk on Cat Sheree.

Quirk, who was the top qualifier with a 227, showed Cat Sheree, an 8-year-old mare bred by Bill Paxton by High Brow CD out of Nurse Sheree. Quirk was inducted into the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame last year. She is currently leading the NCHA Non-Pro World Standings. She was also co-champion of the previous Mercuria NCHA World Series show at The Mane Event.

Jill Roth on Bea Pure Cat.

Jill Roth, a former Amateur and Novice Non-Pro World Champion, showed Bea Pure Cat, a 9-year-old bred by Jim Crawford by High Brow Cat out of Mae Bea Marie. The gelding is a full brother to NCHA Futurity champion He Bea Cat. It was Roth’s second trip to the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting finals. She and Bea Pure Cat were also contenders in last year’s event at the Pacific Coast Derby.

Bill Cowan on Billies Catty.

Non-Pro Hall of Famer Bill Cowan showed Billies Catty, a home-bred 7-year-old mare by Catty Hawk out of Little Bonnie Blue. Cowan is now 2-for-2 in Mercuria finals: He was co-champion with Quirk in the show at The Mane Event earlier this year.



PCCHA Derby and Classic Non-Pro Champions

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

Cougars Diesel, a finalist in Friday’s PCCHA Core Balance Derby Open under Adan Banuelos, won the Derby Non-Pro on Saturday with 219 points for Bill Lacy, Crested Butte, Colo. Megan Miller, Poolville, Tex., claimed reserve with 216 points aboard Spur That Spot, as well as third-place with 213 points on Carolena Reyn, the PCCHA Core Balance Derby Open reserve champion on Friday with Matt Miller.

Bill Lacy

Bill Lacy, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame member with career earnings of $833,501, won the 2016 PCCHA Futurity Non-Pro with This Blonds Not Easy, who he also qualified for Saturday’s PCCHA Mercuria World Series of Cutting. Cougars Diesel LTE $30,181, by High Brow Cougar, made his career debut as an NCHA Futurity Open semi-finalist with Tatum Rice. He also carried Lacy as a finalist in the NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro and ranked fifth in the Super Stakes Non-Pro Gelding division.

Megan Miller is the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame earner of $1,110,809. Among her numerous championships, the 2018 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro win with Dual Smart Rey daughter Carolena Reyn LTE $124,784 counts as her most recent. She also showed Spur That Spot, by Spots Hot, as a Super Stakes Non-Pro semi-finalist.

Emily Clark, Bend, Ore., scored 222 points riding Cool Cat In Shades LTE $58,714 on Saturday to claim the PCCHA Core Balance 5/6 Classic Non-Pro championship. Cameron Thompson, Poolville, Tex., and This Isa Third LTE $148,372, by Third Cutting, earned reserve with 219 points, and Kate Banuelos, Las Vegas, Nev., placed third with 216 points on Bella Do LTE $10,563, by WR This Cats Smart.

Emily Clark and Cool Cat In Shades, a 2012 gelding by WR This Cats Smart, have been earning finalist checks since 2015, when they placed second in both the PCCHA Futurity Amateur Unlimited and the PCCHA Futurity Amateur finals.

Clark earned her first limited aged event checks in 2014 with LHR Who Dat Cat LTE $68,164, by High Brow Cat, who carried her to win the PCCHA Cutting Stakes Amateur, Amateur Gelding, Amateur Unlimited Gelding, and $25,000 Amateur divisions.

Cameron Thompson, the NCHA earner of $176,606, showed This Isa Third to win the 2017 Cotton Stakes 5/6 Amateur Unlimited and earlier this year to place in the NCHA Super Stakes 5/6 Classic Non-Pro. Thompson, who placed in the 2017 NCHA Non-Pro Top 15 World Standings and the 2017 NCHA Non-Pro World Finals, won the 2013 NCHA Eastern Nationals Senior Youth on Tracker Jones, the same year that he was reserve in the Southern Futurity Amateur Unlimited aboard SF Smart And Smooth.

This Isa Third made his career debut as 2015 NCHA Futurity Open Limited champion and place third in the NCHA Futurity Open with Kody Porterfield.

Kate Banuelos, the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame earner of $633,190, has been a Mercuria NCHA World Finals winner in multiple divisions, as a Non-Pro and Amateur limited age event champion in numerous events. In 2003, she rode High Dollar Trix to claim the NCHA Futurity Amateur reserve championship, and in 2005, she earned $53,354, as reserve champion of the MillionHeir Classic on MH MillionHeir Oak.

Six-year-old Bella Do previously carried Kate Banuelos to place seventh in the Pacific Coast Winter Roundup.

June Bug Jam claims Open PCCHA Derby

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018, Las Vegas, Nev.

Darren Simpkins

Darren Simpkins

June Bug Jam came into the PCCHA Core Balance Derby Open unheralded, with just $578 in earnings. But the 4-year-old Kit Kat Sugar daughter, shown by Darren Simpkins for Carol Ward, Rancho Murieta, Calif., took control with 223 points in the first go-round. She followed with 222 points in the second round, and on Friday, scored 224 points for the championship and an $18,000 paycheck.

Carolena Reyn, by Dual Smart Rey, bred and owned by Megan and Matt Miller, and shown by Matt, scored 223.5 points for the reserve championship and $15,000; while Nikes Lil Sue, by Boon Too Suen, placed third with 220 points, for $13,000, under R.L. Chartier for breeder and owner and Theresa Gillock, Las Vegas, Nev.

June Bug Dually, bred by Jeff and Margaret McCoy, is out of the Dual Pep daughter June Bug Dually LTE $222,860, shown by Simpkins to place third in the 2007 NCHA Futurity. Her half-sister, One Time In June, by One Time Pepto, is the earner of $71,032.

Carolena Reyn LTE $124,784 had earned money as a 2018 finalist in five limited age events before the PCCHA Derby, including the NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro championship win with Megan Miller and the Arbuckle Mountain Open championship with Matt. She also gained this Saturday’s PCCHA Derby Non-Pro finals with Megan, who qualified with Spur That Spot, by Spots Hot, as well.

Matt Miller

Matt Miller.

Matt Miller also won Friday’s PCCHA Core Balance 5/6 Classic and $12,500 with 226 points on Mistresssis LTE $165,625, sired by Metallic Cat and owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses.

Carolena Reyn is out of Carolena Moon LTE $76,150, producer of the 16 earners of over $800,000, including A Smooth Criminal LTE $137,656, by Smooth As A Cat; Stylish Swagger LTE $122,996, by Stylish Rey; and Reylena Moon LTE $118,075, by Dual Rey.

Nikes Lil Sue LTE $24,948 was a 2017 NCHA Futurity Open semi-finalist and placed seventh in the 2018 Breeders Invitational Open with R.L. Chartier. She is the first performer out of Cat In White Nikes LTE $53,026, by High Brow Cat.

R.L. Chartier also claimed the PCCHA Core Balance 5/6 Classic reserve championship and $10,500 with 225.5 points on Crafty With Cows LTE $256,430, sired by High Brow CD and bred and owned by Carol Ward. Ward also qualified for Saturday’s Non-Pro Classic finals with Crafty With Cows and is in the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting Non-Pro finals with Spooked By A Cat.

Moms Stylish Player LTE $301,939, sired by Lizzys Gotta Player and owned by Robert Tregemba, Lawrence, Kan., scored 223.5 points for third place and $8,500 in the PCCHA Core Balance 5/6 Classic.

Big weekend on track

Friday, June 8th, 2018

While cutters head for major events that begin this weekend in Oklahoma and Nevada, Quarter and Thoroughbred race fans will be tuned to New Mexico and New York for the first leg and the last leg of racing’s two Triple Crown events.

The Non-Pro Cutting, in Ardmore, Okla., the PCCHA Core Balance Derby, in Las Vegas, and the Ruidoso Futurity and Derby, highlight Quarter Horse performancers. The Ruidoso Futurity is the first jewel in the Quarter Horse Triple Crown, but the 2018 Belmont Stakes, where Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Justify makes his bid for the Thoroughbred Triple Crown, also has strong Quarter Horse connections.

Bob Baffert

Justify’s trainer, Bob Baffert, grew up on a 240-acre cattle ranch near Nogales, AZ and began galloping his father’s Quarter race horses when he was 12. He hoped to become a jockey, but by the time he graduated from the University of Arizona, he was training Quarter Horses on the side.

In the early 1980s, with leading trainer titles to his credit from Arizona’s Rillito Downs and Prescott Downs, Baffert landed in California, where he acquired Gold Coast Express, a 3-year-old palomino gelding that he conditioned to win the 1986 AQHA World Championship.

In the late 1980s at California’s Los Alamitos Race Track, in addition to Quarter Horses, Baffert began training Thoroughbreds. He rose to national prominence in the Thoroughbred world when he saddled Thirty Slews to win the 1992 Breeders Cup Sprint at Gulfstream.

In 1997 and 1998, Baffert won rare back-to-back victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with Silver Charm (1997) and Real Quiet (1998); in 2002, he won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with War Emblem; and in 2015, Baffert sent out American Pharoah, who became the first Thoroughbred Triple Crown winner in 37 years.

Justify’s jockey Mike Smith, looking for his first Triple Crown win at the age of 52, got his start riding Quarter Horses in New Mexico, where he grew up. Other Quarter Horse connections in the 2018 Belmont Stakes include contender Tenfold’s trainer Steve Asmussen, who won his first race at Ruidoso Downs, where his father rode Quarter Horses and his mother trained them, and Todd Pletcher, who saddles contenders Vino Rosso and Noble Indy, and as a boy served as a hot walker for his father Jake, a trainer at Ruidoso Downs.

Post time for the Belmont Stakes is Saturday, June 9 at 4:00 pm CDT: https://www.nbcsports.com/belmont-stakes

The $1 Million Ruidoso Futurity will be the last of 10 races beginning at 1:00 pm at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday, June 10: https://www.raceruidoso.com/suza-returns-faces-tough-task-in-1-million-ruidoso-futurity/


2019 AQHA Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Six horses and five American Quarter Horse Association members have been selected for induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2019.

The horses in the Class of 2019 are Harlan, a 1951 buckskin stallion; Mr Jess Perry, a 1992 sorrel stallion; Tiger Leo, a 1958 sorrel stallion; Vital Signs Are Good, a 2000 red roan mare; and Zippos Mr Good Bar, a 1984 red roan stallion. The 1976 Thoroughbred mare Trippy Dip will also join the Hall of Fame.

The AQHA members who will join the Hall of Fame are Billy Allen of Scott City, Kansas; AQHA Past President Johne Dobbs of Gastonia, North Carolina; the late J.M. Frost III of Houston; the late Hans Hansma of Granum, Alberta; and AQHA Past Executive Director of Publications Jim Jennings of Amarillo, Texas.

Two of the 2019 AQHA Hall of Fame inductees have strong ties to the National Cutting Horse Association:

Hans Hansma

Canadian Quarter Horse owner and breeder Hans Hansma (1917-1996), founded the Quarter Horse Association of Alberta, Canada and was a founding director of the Alberta Stakes and Futurities Association, which has become the Canadian Supreme, the largest western performance event in Canada. In 2002, Hansma was awarded the distinguished service award from The Horse Industry Association of Alberta.

Three of Hansma’s sons, Winston, Paul and Gerry, are NCHA Hall of Fame Riders. Winston Hansma, Weatherford, Tex., earner of over $2.3 million, and Paul Hansma, Fort Worth, Tex., earner of more than $6 million, are both NCHA Futurity Open champions. Gerry, Granum, Alberta, earner of over $1.3 million, is a Canadian Supreme and Calgary Stampede champion. Paul Hansma also bred 1994 NCHA Open Horse of the Year Hicapoo $446,712, who was out of Super Poo, a Hans Hansma family-owned mare.

J.M. Frost III (1914-2013), born on Frost Ranch in Houston, was a fourth-generation Texan, whose lifelong involvement with horses ranged from jumping horses, as a young man, to cutting horses, as a rider, owner and breeder, to race horses, as a breeder and owner. He was inducted into the NCHA Members Hall of Fame, and served as an AQHA director from 1962 until 1985, when he became one of the association’s first directors emeriti. At the 2013 AQHA Convention, he was recognized as the senior member of the AQHA board.

Harlan, foaled in 1951, also had ties to cutting competition. Bred by Paul and Jack Smith of Indiahoma, Okla., by Hank H out of Dixie Beach, in addition to an AQHA world champion, 17 AQHA Champions, eight Superiors, and two AA-rated race winners, in the early years of National Cutting Horse Association competition, Harlan also sired the NCHA earners of $15,241,