Stylish Bet, Ichis My Choice tie in Round 1

Saturday, November 26th, 2016
Lindy Burch on Stylish Bet.

Lindy Burch on Stylish Bet.

Stylish Bet and Ichis My Choice split the victory in the first round of the Mercuria NCHA Open World Finals Friday night in Fort Worth’s Watt Arena. Both horses marked 226, with Dont Stopp Believin placing third at 225.5.

Stylish Bet is bred and owned by Oxbow Ranch and ridden by Lindy Burch. The 8-year-old mare is by Docs Stylish Oak out of Bet Yer Blue Boons, the mare that Burch rode to win the 2000 NCHA World Championship. Stylish Bet’s half-brother, Bet Hesa Cat, is also an NCHA World Champion.

Stylish Bet has earned $163,000 and is now ranked seventh in the 2016 NCHA World Standings, with three working rounds left in the World Finals.

Grant Setnicka rode Ichis My Choice for J5 Horse Ranch. The 4-year-old mare was bred by EE Ranches by Cat Ichi out of My Little Abra, an Abrakadabracre mare that was reserve champion of the Abilene Spectacular and earned $64,000.

Setnicka won the Breeders Invitational and was reserve champion of the NCHA Super Stakes in limited age competition this year. The team also won the Mercuria NCHA World Series finals at El Rancho Futurity in the fall. Ichis My Choice has earned $286,000 and is sitting sixth in the World Standings.

Dont Stopp Believin, in third place in the first round of the World Finals, was bred by Waco Bend Ranch and is owned and ridden by Phil Rapp. The 5-year-old is by Dual Rey out of former World Champion and Horse of the Year Dont Look Twice.

Meanwhile, A Little Bossy, ridden by R.L. Chartier for Gary and Karen Fields, lengthened his lead in the standings by placing sixth was a 222. The 11-year-old gelding by CD Lights earned $1,689 to bring his total for the year to $91,849.

Judy Rogers

Judy Rogers

In the Non-Pro division, Judy Rogers marked a career best of 229 on Spoonfulla Cat to win by two points over Kaitlyn Wimberly and Light N Lily.

Spoonfulla Cat was bred by Rob and Carrie Tiemann by Hes A Peptospoonful out of Cats Barmaid Chick. The 8-year-old gelding was an NCHA Futurity finalist and NCHA Derby reserve champion with Jonathan Rogers, and has now earned more than $208,000.

The win moved Judy Rogers up from 10th to 4th in the 2016 Non-Pro standings.

Wimberly, however, put a lock on the World Championship with her second-place finish. She has now earned $116,952 for the year, and the math will keep her in the lead over April Widman, who currently has $89,305 in the second spot in the rankings.

At present, Wimberly has the third highest earnings ever for a Non-Pro World Champion, behind Dan Hansen with $134,396 in 2011 and Mary Jo Milner with $120,182 in 2001. Each round of the Open and Non-Pro World Finals pays $6,035 to the winner. So, with three working rounds and a “pencil” round left, both of those records are within reach for Wimberly.

Merry eyes lead with 20-20 vision

Thursday, November 24th, 2016
Cara Brewer on Metallic Merry. Hart Photography.

Cara Brewer on Metallic Merry. Hart Photography.

Metallic Merry and Cara Brewer matched their 220 in the first round with a 220 in the second to take the lead in the first day of Open second-round competition Wednesday at the Jerry’s Chevrolet NCHA Futurity, presented by Great American Insurance.

Their cumulative 440 put them half a point ahead of Tatum Rice on Hashtags who marked 220,5 and 219 for a 439.5.

Metallic Merry is a bay roan mare bred by Cindy McIlvanie and owned by Michelle and Michael Merkley of Peoria, Illinois. She is by Metallic Cat out of Playguns Star, a Playgun mare that Cara Brewer’s mother, Sue Barry, rode to fifth place in the 2001 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity.

Playguns Star earned $115,000 and has produced five money earners, including Stars And Cats, a three-quarter sister to Metallic Merry that Brewer rode to the Breeders Invitational finals.

Brewer, who has earned more than $900,000, won the 2004 NCHA Super Stakes on Playin Tag. She is a two-time NCHA Futurity finalist, in 2004 and 2008.

UPDATE: Metallic Merry’s score held up to lead after the second round of the Open. Sixty-four horses marked 432.5 or better to advance to the semi-finals, scheduled for Friday, December 9.


World leader tops final day of Open first round

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
R.L. Chartier on Crafty With Cows. Hart Photography.

R.L. Chartier on Crafty With Cows. Hart Photography.

Hall of Fame Rider R.L. Chartier, who is leading the NCHA Open World Standings for 2016 on A Little Bossy, marked 222 Tuesday on Crafty With Cows to lead the final day of the first round of Open competition at the Jerry’s Chevrolet NCHA Futurity, presented by Great American Insurance.

Craig Thompson topped the go-round with a pair of 223s on Reysurbetsonthis Cat and Metallicity.

Crafty With Cows is bred and owned by Carol Ward of Rancho Murieta, California, by High Brow CD, out of Miss Haulin Hickory, by SR Instant Choice. Ward, who has since been inducted into the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame, won the Amateur Abilene Spectacular and Limited Non-Pro at the Augusta Futurity on Miss Haulin Hickory back in 2002.

Miss Haulin Hickory produced $224,000 earner Lil Dulce Lu, which won back-to-back Mercuria NCHA World Series events on at Calgary Stampede in 2011-2012.

Chartier is heading to the Mercuria NCHA World Finals with a lead of nearly $5,000 in the Open standings. He is riding A Little Bossy for Gary and Karen Fields.

He has qualified for the NCHA Futurity three times, with a best finish of third in 2014 on Sueper Kitty, also owned by Gary and Karen Fields.

Two hundred forty-one horses marked 213 or better to advance to the second round of the Open NCHA Futurity which runs Wednesday through Friday.



Thompson times two

Monday, November 21st, 2016
Craig Thompson on Reyzurbetsonthiscat. Hart Photography.

Craig Thompson on Reyzurbetsonthiscat. Hart Photography.

Hall of Famer Craig Thompson was already leading the first round of the Open at the Jerry’s Chevrolet NCHA Futurity, presented by Great American Insurance, thanks to his 223 on Metallicity on Friday.

On Monday, he tied that score riding Reyzurbetsonthiscat, owned by Barnwell Ramsey of Huntersville, North Carolina.

Pharoah And James, ridden by Clint Allen for David and Stacie McDavid, moved into a tie for the second highest score, 222, with Sir Long Legs and Austin Shepard.

Reyzurbetsonthiscat was bred by Linda Holsey by NCHA World Champion Bet Hesa Cat out of Ariel Rey, by Dual Rey. Ariel Rey was a West Texas Futurity champ with Kathy Daughn, earning $99,000 in Open and Non-Pro competition. She has produced earners of $263,000.

Thompson, 46, is an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider, with career earnings of $2.3 million. He has qualified for the NCHA Futurity finals six times, and won twice, on Oh Cay Felix (2006) and Oh Miss Caroline (2011).

Pharoah And James was bred by the McDavids by their stallion Hickorys Indian Pep, out of Wise Little Miss, a Wise Play mare tha won the Brazos Bash Classic with Jason Clark and the Chisholm Trail Fall Roundup with Shannon Hall.

Connections: Oxbow Ranch

Monday, November 21st, 2016

2015 NCHA Futurity Open Reserve Champion Bet Shes Smooth and Lindy Burch

The 2016 NCHA Futurity, November 17 through December 10 in Fort Worth, represents a 37-year benchmark for Lindy Burch, owner of the Oxbow Ranch. It was in 1979 that Burch launched her training career with the NCHA Futurity Open Co-Reserve championship title on Diamond Mystery. She won the 1980 NCHA Futurity on Mis Royal Mahogany to become the first woman in history to claim the championship. Only one other woman has won the event in the 36 years since 1980. And last year, she claimed the 2015 NCHA Futurity reserve championship on Oxbow-bred Bet Shes Smooth, $101,415.

The Oxbow Ranch brand has commanded respect for over three decades, as has Burch, the architect of the Oxbow’s famous breeding program. In the past decade alone, horses with Oxbow connections have claimed three NCHA Futurity Open championships; three NCHA Open World championships; three NCHA World Finals Open championship wins; and two NCHA Futurity Open reserve championships.

Oxbow-bred Chers Shadow is the dam of Metallic Cat, $637,711, #1 NCHA Leading Sire in 2016, as well as an all-time leading sire of earners of $9.6 million. Metallic Cat won the 2008 NCHA Open Futurity and his son, Stevie Rey Von, won the 2015 NCHA Open Futurity. Smart Kitty RG, the 2008 NCHA Futurity Open reserve champion, is a granddaughter of Oxbow’s 1987 NCHA Futurity Open Finalist, Moria Sugar, $97,370.

One Time Royalty, $447,543, winner of the 2010 NCHA Open Futurity, is by One Time Pepto, $331,097, an all-time leading sire of the earners of $12.1 million. One Time Pepto is out of Oxbow-bred One Time Soon, an unshown daughter of 1968 NCHA Open Futurity champion Uno Princess.

The 2014 and 2013 NCHA Open World Champion, One Time Choice, $289,296, a One Time Pepto son, also carries Oxbow breeding through One Time Soon.

Bet Hesa Cat, $267,465, the 2011 NCHA Open World Champion was bred by Oxbow Ranch, out of the inimitable Bet Yer Blue Boons, $350,615, 2000 NCHA Open World Champion and two-times NCHA World Finals winner under Burch. Bet Yer Blue Boons is also a leading NCHA dam, with produce earnings of $1,052,403.

CR Sun Reys, winner of the 2015 and 2014 NCHA World Finals, was also bred by Oxbow Ranch, out of Play Peek A Boon $205,795. CR Sun Reys scored 233 points in the 2014 Finals to tie with the record set by Bet Yer Blue Boons in 1999. Play Peek A Boon is out of the Peek A Boon, $78,852, a half-sister to Bet Yer Blue Boons.
Third Cutting, $545,146, the 2009 NCHA Futurity Open Super Stakes and Open Derby champion, and a Top Sire 15 sire of 2016 money earners, is also out of an Oxbow-bred mare, Crab Grass, $50,914.

Burch qualified to show the Bet Yer Blue Boons daughter, Stylish Bet, $157,332, a half-sister to Bet Shes Smooth, during the 2016 NCHA World Finals, which is held simultaneously with the 2016 NCHA Futurity. She will also aim for the NCHA Futurity Finals on Kats Bet, a Metallic Cat daughter out of Bet Yer Blue Boons, and Betchalou, by Bet Hesa Cat out of Louella Again, in the NCHA Futurity go-rounds.

Cattomatic leads Sunday

Sunday, November 20th, 2016
Phil Hanson.

Phil Hanson.

Cattomatic, ridden by 2014 NCHA Futurity winner Phil Hanson, marked 219.5 Sunday, the day’s highest score as first-round Open competition continued in the Jerry’s Chevrolet NCHA Futurity, presented by Great American Insurance.

Friday’s top contestant, Metallicity ridden by Craig Thompson, retains the overall lead at 223.

Cattomatic was bred by the late Dave Behnen’s DMI Land & Cattle Co., by High Brow Cat out of Haida Rey, by Dual Rey.

Haida Rey earned $18,000 and has produced four NCHA money earners of $36,000.

Cattomatic is owned by sculptor, cutter and AAAA NCHA judge Kelly Graham and his wife, Donna, of Weatherford, Texas. Graham’s works include the celebrated bronze in Weatherford celebrating Parker County as the “Cutting Capital of the World.”

Hanson, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with earnings of $3.8 million, won the 2014 NCHA Futurity on Classy CD Cat. He also rode NCHA Horse of the Year LHR Smooth Jamie May. He has made the NCHA Futurity finals four times.


Sir Long Legs takes Saturday’s lead

Saturday, November 19th, 2016
Austin Shepard

Austin Shepard

Hall of Fame Rider Austin Shepard and Sir Long Legs marked 222 in the seventh and final set Saturday for the day’s high score in the Open first round of the Jerry’s Chevrolet NCHA Futurity, presented by Great American Insurance.

Friday’s top contestant, Metallicity ridden by Craig Thompson, retains the overall lead at 223.

Sir Long Legs was bred by Michelle Cannon and purchased as a yearling for $90,000 by Lew Hall of Highland City, Florida, at the Western Bloodstock NCHA Futurity Sales.

The sorrel stallion is by High Brow Cat out of Lil Lena Long Legs, a Smart Little Lena mare that took Shannon Hall to a reserve championship in the 2006 NCHA Super Stakes. Lil Lena Long Legs earned over $189,000, and has produced earners of $293,000.

She is out of Lil Lucy Long Legs, an NCHA Futurity finalist with Winston Hansma that Hall won major titles on at the Bonanza, El Cid, Steamboat Springs and Gold Coast. Lil Lucy Long Legs made $160,000 in the arena and has produced earners of $459,000.

Lil Lucy Long Legs, in turn, is out of Hickory Prescription, a mare that Tommy Marvin rode to the NCHA Derby reserve championship, and which produced earners of $852,000.

Shepard, who has career earnings of $6.5 million, won the 2007 NCHA Futurity on High Brow CD, and he’s been a finalist nine times.