Manion leads 2nd round of NCHA Non-Pro Derby

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
Kyle Manion

Kyle Manion.

Kyle Manion put together back-to-back scores of 220.5 and 217.5 on A Smooth Satin Doll to lead the second round of NCHA Derby Non-Pro competition Wednesday at the NCHA Summer Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance.

Forty-seven horses marked 428 or better to advance to Thursday’s semi-finals.

Bred by Karen Freeman and owned by Kyle’s dad, Tommy Manion, A Smooth Satin Doll is a mare by Smooth As A Cat out of $1.6 million producer Autumn Boon.

Tarin Rice showed the mare to the Open finals at the Abilene Spectacular in January, but so far A Smooth Satin Doll has earned only a little more than $4,200.

Manion is a two-time NCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro champion on Smooth As A Cat offspring; A Smooth Criminal (2011) and Holly Is Smooth (2012).

Mary Ann Rapp and Miss Kitty Reycine had the second highest cumulative score, a 437 (218/219) heading into the semi-finals. Miss Kitty Reycine is by Smooth As A Cat out of Miss Reycine and is a three-quarter sister to Reyzin, Rapp’s 2013 Non-Pro Horse of the Year.



Don Bussey, 1937-2016

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Don BusseyFormer NCHA President and Members Hall of Fame inductee Don Bussey, 79, of Guin, Alabama, passed away August 2.

Beginning in the 1980s, Bussey enjoyed showing both on the weekends and in limited age events. He served as an affiliate president, NCHA Director, and member of the NCHA Executive Committee before eventually becoming NCHA President in 2004.

At the same time, he was active in his community, as a banker, a member of Guin’s Industrial Development Board, and as a civic leader.

Bussey’s interest in cutting traced back to the early 1970s when he visited a friend in Oklahoma who rode cutting horses. Bussey rodeoed in high school and spent years with western pleasure horses before the cutting bug bit him for good.

“I guess I wanted to get more active riding than just going in circles,” he said. “When you ride a cutting horse for the first time and feel one or two big moves, you’re hung. It’s addictive. The second time you ride one, you’re hung worse. After that, you’re over the hill. You’ve got to have one.”

Known for his sense of humor, Bussey never wavered from his belief that cutting should be fun.

As president of the North Alabama Cutting Horse Association, he promoted an Amateur Cutting Tournament that offered Rubbermaid buckets for prizes.

“A lot of people get the wrong idea that people just cut for money,” he said. “That’s not true. Those Amateurs who won a bucket were thrilled.”

Along with James Hooper and the late Pat Earnheart, Bussey revived the Memphis Futurity, to give the sport a solid event east of the Mississippi. It continues to thrive today as the Tunica Futurity.

In his campaign in the NCHA Vice President elections, he said, “I want to do all that I can to ensure that my children and yours, my grandchildren and yours, can enjoy the thrill and excitement that I have felt while participating in cutting.”

Services will be held Friday, August 5 at 3:00 p.m. at Guin First Baptist Church, with burial in the Guin City Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 1:00-3:00 at Guin First Baptist Church.

Cerny, Burgess share John Deere title

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
Co-champion Clay Cerny on Mare E Hughes.

Co-champion Clay Cerny on Mare E Hughes.

Clay Cerny riding Mare E Hughes, and Jon Burgess riding Littlemak, both marked 222 to split the championship of the John Deere Division of the NCHA Derby at the NCHA Summer Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance, Tuesday.

Cerny rode Mare E Hughes for his in-laws, Don and Kathy Boone of West Columbia, Texas. The mare was bred by Lake Gulch Cutting Horses, by the Boones’ stallion, Thomas E Hughes, out of Short On Sass, a Shorty Lena mare that earned $13,000.

Clay Cerny was a professional calf roper when he married into one of cutting’s most prominent families. His bride was Jodie Boone, the 1995 NCHA Youth World Champion and a Non-Pro Hall of Famer. His Mother- and father-in-law are Kathy and Don Boone, both in the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame. His grandparents-in-law are seven-time NCHA President, Members Hall of Fame inductee Jim Reno (whose sculpture stands outside the NCHA and AQHA headquarters), and Non-Pro Hall of Famer Mary Jo Reno Hawkins.

When they got married, Jodie had to cut back on her cutting to follow the rodeo circuit. “We were gone all the time and she just didn’t have time to ride,” Cerny recalled. “I said, ‘when I quit rodeoing, we’ll go back to cutting.

“It just worked out. When I quit, we had colts hitting the ground, and started from scratch. I knew nothing about (cutting). I still don’t know anything, but I’ve had so much help from Faron Hightower, Robert Rust . . . just so many people who have helped me along the way. And from my in-laws who gave me the opportunity.”

While the sports are different, cutting and rodeo share common themese that reach beyond the arena walls. Cerny once gave one of his horses to a 4-year-old calf-roping fan with cerebral palsy whom he’d met at a rodeo, so the boy could use the horse in a hippotherapy program.

In the John Deere finals, he looked like an old pro at his new sport as he racked up 222 points. He’s already qualified for the Open semi-finals, while Jodie rode Mare E Hughes to the high score of the first day of Non-Pro competition.

But the switch between sports hasn’t been seamless. Cerny gave credit to his help, Kody Porterfield, Grant Setnicka, Boyd Rice and Tarin Rice.

“I’m terrible at picking cows,” he admitted. “I always pick the wild side. If I would do the opposite of what I like, I think I would be alright.

“Cutting is totally different than rodeo. There’s a clock running as you’re roping, and there’s a clock running here; it’s just going backwards. So it’s hard to slow myself down a lot of times, but it’s getting better.

“The horse has been good all week,” he added. “Hopefully we can keep going and see what happens. I’m drawn last in the semis, so I’ll know what I have to do, anyway.”

Co-champion Jon Burgess on Littlemak.

Co-champion Jon Burgess on Littlemak.

Burgess, who also won the John Deere Division of the Super Stakes with Littlemak, shows the gelding for Steve Anderson of Victoria, Texas. Littlemak was bred by Joann Parker by her stallion, Starlights Gypsy, out of Justa Swinging Gal, by Justa Swinging Peppy.

Burgess, his wife Traci, and Steve Anderson have all been successful with PKR Big Mac, a full brother to Littlemak that has earned more than $167,000.

Littlemak drew 10th in the 12-horse finals, but Burgess wasn’t overly concerned about earlier riders who’d struggled with the cattle.

“I know as along as I don’t cut a cow that’s just stupid, he’s going to slow it down. He’s not going to scare it,” Burgess said.  “I thought if I could get him cut clean and give him a shot, we’re good. And that’s pretty much what we did.

“My help, Jonathan Rogers, Chris Hanson, Lee Francois and Jesse Lennox did a great job finding cows deep in there.

“He’s a nice, steady horse. He’s cowy, hard-stopping, and moves good.”

Burgess said he is also training a 3-year-old sibling to Littlemak, and he bought a 2-year-old himself from breeder Joann Parker.

“They’re good horses,” he said. “The Gypsys get a little strong-minded sometimes, but they’re strong and they’re capable. I’ve had some luck with that cross. They like what I do, and I kind of like what they do. We don’t fight a whole lot; just train them and be nice to them, and they’ll try their guts out.”

Burgess, who also qualified for the Open semi-finals with Littlemak, was notching up his third John Deere Division win. He took the 2015 Super Stakes Classic with Gold From Home, as well as this year’s Super Stakes with Littlemak.


Non-Pro trio on top

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Luke Barnhart on Cool Cat Cowboy.

Three riders posted the top score of 219 in Monday’s first day of Non-Pro NCHA Derby competition at the NCHA Summer Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance in Fort Worth, Texas.

Luke Barnhart Roca, Nebraska, tied for the Non-Pro lead, as well as heading the first day’s Limited Non-Pro contestants. He rode Cool Cat Cowboy, a gelding by Bet Hesa Cat out of Dry Docs Cowgirl, by El Kineno. They were Limited Non-Pro finalists at the Super Stakes, and Jack Barnhart rode the gelding to both the Rios of Mercedes Amateur and Unlimited Amateur finals at the Summer Spectacular.

Jodie Cerny on Mare E Hughes

Jodie Cerny on Mare E Hughes

Also marking 219 on Monday was Jodie Cerny of Brazoria, Texas on Mare E Hughes, a daughter of Thomas E Hughes out of Short On Sass, by Shorty Lena. Her husband, Clay Cerny, will ride Mare E Hughes in Tuesday’s John Deere Division of the Open Derby. Jodie, a former Youth World Champion, was a semi-finalist at the Super Stakes on Mare E Hughes.

Kelsey Johnson on RR Lil Boomer Cat.

Kelsey Johnson on RR Lil Boomer Cat.

Kelsey Johnson also scored a 219 with RR Lil Boomer Cat, a mare by High Brow Cat out of $100,000 earner Peps Little Boomer, by Peppys Dry Award. Johnson was a finalist at the Super Stakes and the Bonanza, and a semi-finalist at the NCHA Futurity on the mare.

The first round of the Non-Pro Derby continues Tuesday.

CR Gotcha Covered lead first day

Friday, July 29th, 2016
Tarin Rice on CR Gotcha Covered. Hart Photography.

Tarin Rice on CR Gotcha Covered. Hart Photography.

Tarin Rice, winner of the 2014 NCHA Derby, and CR Gotcha Covered marked 222 Friday to lead the first day of Open Derby competition at the NCHA Summer Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance.

CR Gotcha Covered was bred by Jerry and Kathy Erwin and is owned by Joel Colgrove of Boligee, Alabama. He is by Dualin Boon out of The Catattac, a daughter of 2005 NCHA World Champion Mare Sprats Dualin Jewel.

CR Gotcha Covered was a finalist in the NCHA Futurity, Abilene Spectacular and Cattlemen’s Derby for Center Ranch on his way to the Summer Spectacular. He has earned more than $54,000.

Acres In Autumn, an Autumn Acre gelding owned by Rose Valley Ranch and ridden by Michael Cooper, marked 221.5, the day’s second highest score.

Kenneth Platt and NCHA Super Stakes champion Moms Stylish Player had the third highest score for owner Robert Tregemba, at 221.

The first round of the Open Derby continues Saturday.



No passing Lane

Thursday, July 28th, 2016
Lane Cooper on Holly Is SMooth.

Lane Cooper on Holly Is SMooth.

Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Coliseum has been ground zero for great cutting horses and riders over the past half century, but 17-year-old Lane Cooper may have one-upped them all in the Faith Mountain Ranch NYCHA Senior Scholarship Cutting Thursday at the NCHA Summer Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance.

Riding Holly Is Smooth, Cooper marked 233, which is believed to be an arena record for NCHA-produced events. That gave him a 7 1/2-point lead over reserve champion Regan Plendl.

Cooper, of Weatherford, Texas, has ridden Hall of Fame Horses Auspicious Cat and SL Jaybird in past Scholarship Cuttings. On Thursday, he was on board Holly Is Smooth, a Smooth As A Cat x Holly N Zack mare bred by Kyle Manion and owned by Rose Valley Ranch. Ten-year-old Holly Is Smooth has earned more than $224,000.

Cooper’s dad, Michael Cooper, is an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with earnings of $2.5 million.

Reserve champion Regan Plendl of Kinglsey, Iowa, has already earned more than $100,000 in NCHA competition. She marked 225.5 on Joe Wes Davis’ C Spot Cut, and 8-year-old son of Spots Hot that Garrett Hampton rode to win the 2014 Senior Scholarship Cutting.

Regan Plendl on C Spot Cut.

Regan Plendl on C Spot Cut.

Queen, Princess rule in Junior Scholarship cutting

Thursday, July 28th, 2016
Katherine Queen and Princess And The Pea.

Katherine Queen and Princess And The Pea.

Twelve-year-old Katherine Queen of Allendale, South Carolina, marked 220 to win the Faith Mountain Ranch NYCHA Junior Scholarship Cutting Thursday at the NCHA Summer Spectacular presented by Great American Insurance.

She rode Princess And The Pea, a 5-year-old mare owned by her parents and bred by Carroll’s Cutting by Halreycious out of A Purrfect Cat. Princess And The Pea has earned more than $46,000.

Queen, who has made the Scholarship Cutting finals three times before, going back to 2012, is the daughter of 2009 NCHA Non-Pro World Champion Elizabeth Queen and Skip Queen, who has won multiple major events in Will Rogers Coliseum.

Jaycee Lowery of Gardendale, Alabama, scored 218.5 on Catarose for the reserve championship. Catarose is a 10-year-old mare bred by Mahler and Meredith by High Brow Cat out of Rosies Playboy Lena, and owned by Keith Waid of Gardendale, Alabama. Jaycee was an Amateur finalist with Catarose in the 2012 NCHA Classic Challenge.

In third place with a 218 on Belles N Bullets, Cassie Cerny was making her first Scholarship Cutting finals. She is a fourth generation cutter, and is the great granddaughter of seven-time NCHA President, the late Jim Reno.

Jaycee Lowery and Catarose.

Jaycee Lowery and Catarose.