Cutting

CR Tuff Lucy heads to finals in front

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016
CR Tuff Lucy and John Mitchell. Hart Photography.

CR Tuff Lucy and John Mitchell. Hart Photography.

CR Tuff Lucy, ridden by John Mitchell posted the top cumulative score of 442.5 after the first two rounds of the NCHA Classic Challenge concluded Monday at the NCHA Summer Cutting Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance in Fort Worth, Texas.

They put together scores of 222 and 220.5 in the go-rounds.

Twenty-six contestants marked 436.5 or better to advance to Friday’s finals.

CR Tuff Lucy was bred by Center Ranch and is owned by Glade Knight’s Slate River Ranch of Weatherford, Texas. She is by Woody Be Tuff out of Lucindas Catolena. An earner of more than a quarter-million dollars, she won the Abilene Spectacular and was reserve champion of the NCHA Derby under Tarin Rice, and was reserve champion of  the Super Stakes Classic this spring with Mitchell.

Wesley Galyean on Button Down Supercat and Kobie Wood on Cool Cat Dual Rey both marked 442 for the second high score after round two.

Button Down Supercat (218 / 224), is a 5-year-old mare by Dual Rey out of NCHA Futurity champion Highbrow Supercat, owned by Steven Feiners SMF Cutting Horses of Aspen, Colorado.

Cool Cat Dual Rey (221 / 221) is a 6-year-old son of Dual Rey out of $315,000 earner Donas Cool Cat, owned by Cotton/Davis Cutting Horses of Kaufman, Texas.

Walt Erwin and Rosie Boon San, who won last year’s John Deere Division of the NCHA Derby, posted the top score of 435.5 among this year’s Classic Challenge John Deere Division qualifiers. The Boon San x Stylish Rosie mare is owned by Kelly Gates of Martinez, Georgia.

Lil Jackson Cat leads first round

Sunday, July 17th, 2016
Lloyd Cox

Lloyd Cox.

Lil Jackson Cat and Lloyd Cox marked 223 Sunday for the high score in the first round of the Open Classic Challenge at the NCHA Summer Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance.

Ninety-two horses marked 214 or better to advance to Monday’s second round.

Lil Jackson Cat is a 6-year-old mare bred by Ken Jackson and owned by Thomas and Natalie Humprheville of Glenwood, New Mexico.

She is by all-time leading sire High Brow Cat out of Money Talks Smart, making her a full sister to $245,000 earner High Brow Jackson.

With Cox riding, Lil Jackson Cat won last year’s Cotton Stakes, and was a finalist in the NCHA Super Stakes Classic this spring. The mare also won last year’s John Deere Division of the Classic Challenge with Nate Miller on board. She has earned more than $104,000.

Three horses marked 222 for the second high score. They were CR Tuff Lucy and Johnny Royal from Saturday, and Sweet Lil Amanda, ridden by Matt Miller for Chris and Tracy Brengard on Sunday.

CR Tuff Lucy, Johnny Royal lead first day

Saturday, July 16th, 2016
John Mitchell.

John Mitchell.

CR Tuff Lucy, ridden by John Mitchell, and Johnny Royal, ridden by Russ Westfall, shared the first day’s high score of 222 in the NCHA Classic Challenge Saturday as the NCHA Summer Cutting Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance, got underway in Fort Worth, Texas.

CR Tuff Lucy was bred by Center Ranch and is owned by Glade Knight’s Slate River Ranch of Weatherford, Texas. She is by Woody Be Tuff out of Lucindas Catolena. An earner of more than a quarter-million dollars, she won the Abilene Spectacular and was reserve champion of the NCHA Derby under Tarin Rice, and was reserve champion of  the Super Stakes Classic this spring with Mitchell.

Russ Westfall

Russ Westfall.

Johnny Royal is a 5-year-old gelding bred by Frank and Belinda Vandersloot, and owned by George and Charlene Lane of Lancaster, California. He’s by CD Royal out of Sues Best Bet, a daughter of three-time World Champion and $1.4 million producer Meradas Little Sue. Johnny Royal was reserve Non-Pro champion of last year’s Pacific Coast Derby with Russ Westfall’s son, Brandon. The gelding has earned more than $44,000.

Five horses marked 220 or better on the first day of competition. They included Some Kinda Highbrow (High Brow CD) ridden by Austin Shepard at 221; Countess Cat (Im Countin Checks) ridden by John Sanislow at 220; and Eazee E (High Brow Cat), ridden by Tatum Rice, also at 220.

The first round continues Sunday, with the second round scheduled for Monday.

Calgary to the Max

Thursday, July 14th, 2016
Travis Rempel on This Cats Max.

Travis Rempel on This Cats Max. James Hudyma photos.

This Cats Max and Travis Rempel marked 225 to win the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting at the Calgary Stampede on July 13. Carol Ward won her third Non-Pro Mercuria at Calgary, setting a record.

This Cats Max is bred and owned by by Doug Wiens of Lindell Beach, British Columbia. The 7-year-old is by WR This Cats Smart out of PF Docs Med, by Peppys Formula. Dustin Gonnet won the Calgary Derby and Silver Slate Futurity with the gelding. His latest win takes him over the $100,000 mark in career earnings.

Rempel was the only rider with two horses in the finals. He also placed third on Suzie Blue, a Mecom Blue mare owned by James Mann of Abbotsford, British Columbia.

This was Rempel’s biggest win so far, with his finals checks taking his earnings over $79,000. He has previously been a finalist at the Calgary and Canadian Supreme limited age events.

Jason Taylor and Cats In Ya Dreams marked 222 to place second in the Open finals for Carol Ward of Rancho Murieta, California.

Carol Ward on Spooked By A Cat.

Carol Ward on Spooked By A Cat.

Ward became the first Non-Pro to win three championships at one location in the Mercuria NCHA World Series.

She marked 221 on Spooked By A Cat to earn $10,936. She had previously won at Calgary in 2011 and 2012 riding Lil Dulce Lu.

Spooked By A Cat is a 10-year-old gelding bred by Jeff Barnes by Cat Ichi out of $1.3 million producer San Starlight. His five half- or three-quarter siblings that have six-figure earnings include Spookys Cash ($284,000), Spookys Smarty Pants ($230,000), Spookys Cat Deville ($195,000), Spookys Catmando ($165,000) and Spookystimetoshine ($107,000).

Spooked By A Cat has now earned more than $264,000. Ward, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame inductee, celebrated her birthday on July 11, the same day she qualified for the Mercuria finals.

Sixteen-year-old Andrew Viola of Fort Worth, Texas, placed second in the Non-Pro finals with a 216 on Louellas Cat. The 9-year-old mare by High Brow Cat out of Louella Again, has earned more than $299,000. She was a two-time Mercuria Open champion in recent years with Lindy Burch at El Rancho Futurity. Viola’s $8,702 check made it his biggest payday yet.

 

 

This Cats Got Style leads Calgary qualifiers

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

This Cats Got StyleDustin Gonnet and This Cats Got Style marked 223 this afternoon to top the go-round for the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting at the Calgary Stampede.

NRR Cat King Cole and Tracy Barton were second in the go-round with a 221.5, followed by Stylish Bet and Lindy Burch at 221.

Ronald Patton of Nanton, Alberta, owns This Cats Got Style. The 7-year-old mare was bred by Rhodes River Ranch by High Brow Cat out of Moms Stylish Pepto, by Peptoboonsmal. Moms Stylish Pepto has produced earners of $1 million, including Moms Stilish Cat ($266,000), Moms Dual N Badger ($166,000), Moms Stylish Scoot ($151,000), Dual With Style ($132,000) and Compact Style ($100,000).

This Cats Got Style has piled $178,000 onto the total, with wins at the Western Bloodstock NCHA Winter Showdown in Cowtown, the Canadian Supreme, and the NCHA Western Nationals $15,000 Novice.

“She’s been the best horse I’ve ever gotten to train and show,” Gonnet added. “She’s so physical and has so much eye appeal. When those cows come to her, she’ll just crawl on her belly and look real pretty.”

NRR Cat King Cole is bred and owned by North Ridge Ranch. He’s an earner of $183,000 by High Brow Cat.

Stylish Bet is bred and owned by Oxbow Ranch. The Docs Stylish Oak mare has earned more than $143,000.

Gerwien leads in Calgary Non-Pro

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
Carl Gerwien.

Carl Gerwien.

Carl Gerwien of Nanton, Alberta, marked 219 to lead the qualifying round for Non-Pro division of the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting at the Calgary Stampede Monday. Eight riders qualified for Wednesday’s finals.

Gerwien, who was the first Canadian inducted into the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame in 2005, rode Shes Almost Heaven. The 6-year-old mare was bred by Kyle Manion by Im Countin Checks out of Smooth And Stunning, a Smooth As A Cat mare that goes back to $1.6 million producer Autumn Boon. Autumn Boon’s offspring include Im Countin Checks.

Gerwien has been a finalist at the Calgary Futurity, Big Sky Futurity and Canadian Supreme with Shes Almost Heaven. The mare has earned more than $20,000.

This will be the first Mercuria NCHA World Series finals for Gerwien, who is a four-time winner of the Pacific Coast Futurity.

Kelsey Conn of Hempstead, Texas and Boon Tooth marked 217 for the second high score in the go-round. She was riding Boon Tooth, a Mr Boonsmal To You gelding that has taken her to 11 previous World Series finals.

Carol Ward of Rancho Murieta, California, celebrated her birthday on Monday by qualifying for the finals on Spooked By A Cat, a son of Cat Ichi. Ward won back-to-back Mercuria World Series finals at Calgary in 2011-2012 on Lil Dulce Lu.

The Non-Pro finalists are:

  1. Carol Ward / Spooked By A Cat
  2. Margaret Meagher / Docs Stylish Fox
  3. Andrew Viola / Louellas Cat
  4. Ginger Turner / Dream Little Sue
  5. John Thomas / Dual Smart Deal
  6. Kathi Fisher / RPL Smart Ruby Rey
  7. Carl Gerwien / Shes Almost Heaven
  8. Kelsey Conn / Boon Tooth

Don Strain, 1933-2016

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Don StrainFormer NCHA Executive Committee member Don Strain, 83, of White River, South Dakota, passed away July 8 after a long battle with cancer. Strain was inducted into the NCHA Members Hall of Fame in 2006.

Don’s father, Eugene, who later received South Dakota’s Eminent Farmer Award, was one of the first to irrigate from the Little White River, bringing a new type of agriculture to the area.

Strain got his first job at the age of 12, riding colts and checking cattle. His dad had about 20 ranch horses and when Don was a junior in high school, they made a deal that he could have one of the horses if he handled the paperwork with AQHA. That got him started on the path to becoming a 50-year Legacy Breeder of American Quarter Horses.

Don learned cowboying from old-timers who had worked the big herds of the late 19th Century. He appeared in Life Magazine in 1962, helping drive 1,800 head of cattle through a blizzard and over the frozen Big White River.

In his early 20s, Strain caught the cutting bug when he saw his first cutting horse at the Denver Stock Show. He saw an ad for NCHA World Champion Phil Williams in Western Horseman, and sent him a mare to train.

That mare didn’t work out, but Williams offered him a Houston Livestock Show champion named Dun Gone for $1,000.

“That was the first really good cutting horse that I had been on,” Strain said. “When I got off that horse, the insides of my legs were raw. I was 22 years old and didn’t have a lick of sense and less money.”

Within two months, he’d won nearly $1,000 on Dun Gone, and sent Williams a check. But not long after that, Dun Gone died, and Williams offered him 1952 NCHA World Champion Little Tom W for $5,000. Strain borrowed the money and began a successful campaign with the horse. He recalled hauling Little Tom W to 39 shows in 1959, earning 33 checks. He owned Little Tom W until the horse died at age 32.

Don Strain won his first NCHA buckle in 1956, and his most recent one came in 2015. Over the years, he competed at every level, from weekend shows to limited age events, and was a show producer, affiliate president, and a $1 million breeder. He judged every major AQHA show at least once, and judged in Europe several times. Throughout it all, he remained true to the grassroots cutter.

“I firmly believe that the future and success of our organization lies with the grassroots cutters and their support group – volunteer secretaries, cattle handlers, ground workers, panel movers – all the people who produce the cuttings across the United States and Canada.

“The success of weekend cuttings can only lead to more and bigger aged events and an increase in demand and price for our horses.”

Strain became an NCHA Director for South Dakota in 1960, and helped to establish the South Dakota CHA. He became an NCHA and AQHA judge in 1962. He served on several NCHA committees through the years, including the Judges Rules, Open Show and Long Range Planning committees. He served six years on the Executive Committee, from 1999-2005.

“Don was an icon to our sport,” said long-time friend Tracy Barton. “He believed with all his heart that he would make cutting better, and he accomplished that goal.”

When visitors would mention how beautiful his ranch is, he would reply “the good Lord made it this way. I just try to keep it nice”.

Don is survived by his wife Kathy, his three sons, 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren plus a very large extended family.

A Remembrance time will be at the ranch on Friday evening July 15 from 6-8 p.m. A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, July 16 at the White River Community Events Center at 11:00 a.m.