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Rice takes Reserve World Championship

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

Kylie Rice on Dual Lights. Hart Photography.

Kylie Rice of Weatherford, Texas, took the Non-Pro Reserve World Championshp with $103,896 earned on Snap Crackle Cat, Lookin Likya Like, and her World Finals mount, Dual Lights. She earned $10,501 of that total at the Mercuria NCHA World Finals, posting go-round scores of 218 / 217.5 / 220 / 216.5 / 872.

Rice’s husband, Tatum, showed the Open Reserve World Champion, Eazee E, for her parents, Kevin and Sydney Knight.

Rice was a major event winner in reined cowhorse events before turning up the heat on the cutting world a few years ago.

She won the Mercuria World Series at El Rancho Futurity with Dual Lights in 2013, and went on to take the World Finals with the same horse that year.

She finished fifth in the Non-Pro World standings in 2013 and 11th the following year. She’s also been putting sparkle in her aged event trophy case with horses like Master Mate, Lookin Likya Like, Reyhanna and Eazee E.

Dual Lights, her World Finals mount, was bred by Winston Hansma by CD Lights out of Graciela Dual.

Rice’s go-to horse during the year was Snap Crackle Cat, an 8-year-old gelding bred by Mark and Mary Michels by High Brow Cat out of Dualsnap.

Ties for highs on Saturday

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

Jaycee Lowery on Rey Banz Cat and Traci Shehady on You Cant Buy Love. Hart Photography.

Traci Shehady and Jaycee Lowery tied with 216 points, the high Unlimited Amateur score on Saturday, the third day of NCHA Futurity Unlimited Amateur/Amateur go-round competition. And three riders tied with 214.5 points, the day’s Amateur high mark.

It has been a busy week for Traci Shehady, Poolville, Tex., and was a gratifying day on Saturday, when she showed homebred You Cant Buy Love, by Cats Gotta Diamond, in the NCHA Futurity Unlimited Amateur, and won the NCHA $25,000 Novice Non-Pro World Finals on Biscuit Love, the sorrel mare’s dam. Shehady won the 2013 NCHA World Finals $5,000 Non-Pro Novice championship on Biscuit Love. You Cant Buy Love, by Cats Gotta Diamond, is the Smart Aristocrat daughter’s first performer.

Shehady, the NCHA earner of $139,648, was a 2016 NCHA Futurity Unlimited Amateur finalist riding Wild And Playful, by Wilds My Thing. She also placed third on Biscuit Love in the 2013 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Unlimited Amateur Finals.

Jaycee Lowery, Gardendale, Ala., and Rey Banz Cat, her mount on Saturday, also share a family history. Rey Banz Cat, by Dual Rey, is out of Catarose LTE $98,860, by High Brow Cat, who carried Lowery to claim the reserve championship in the 2016 NYCHA Junior Scholarship Cutting. Catarose and Lowery also earned the 2012 Non-Pro Cutting Amateur reserve championship and placed in the finals of the 2012 NCHA Classic Challenge Amateur and the 2012 Cotton Stakes Amateur.

Saturday’s high-scoring Amateurs were :

  • 214.5 Nicole Pietrafeso of Elbert, Co. on Sugar Rap (Rap Cat x Okies Sweet Pea)
  • 214.5 Viki Williamson of Argyle, Tex., on Metallic Princess (Metallic Cat Rey x Ms Dualin Colonel)
  • 214.5 Jerry Gregory of Fruita, Co., on Sally Love It (Third Cutting x Oduals Wee Lass)

The Unlimited Amateur/Amateur go-round continues through Sunday, December 2.

Record falls to Deluxe Checks

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

Deluxe Checks, ridden by Austin Shepard. Hart Photography.

Deluxe Checks and Austin Shepard won the Mercuria NCHA Open World Finals and set a new record for earnings to take the World Championship as well Saturday evening in Fort Worth’s Watt Arena.

At the World Finals, Deluxe Checks strung together scores of 233 / 233 / 228 / 219.5 / 913.5, the third highest cumulative score in World Finals history. She earned $23,777 at the show, which gave her a season’s total of $146,977. That eclipsed the record of $142,346 established by 2015 World Champion Special Nu Baby.

Deluxe Checks, by Im Countin Checks out of Catrina Starlight, is a 6-year-old mare bred by Kyle Manion and owned by Amanda and Rhien Standish of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who purchased her for $34,500 at the 2012 Western Bloodstock Futurity Sales.

The World Champion’s family have enjoyed success in Fort Worth. Catrina Starlight was fourth in the 2008 Non-Pro NCHA Derby with Lach Perks, and an Open Derby finalist with Bruce Morine. Second dam, Stella Starlight, won the 2000 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity with Perks, and placed fifth in the Open with Morine.

This year, Deluxe Checks won the West Texas Championship and the Mercuria NCHA World Series at Congress, in addition to the Open and $25,000 Novice titles at the NCHA Eastern Nationals last spring. She was also a Mercuria World Series finalist at Augusta, Houston and the Mane Event in Las Vegas, and a limited age finalist at Augusta, the Breeders Invitational and West Texas Classic.

Deluxe Checks earned 79 checks during the point year in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Colorado, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Nevada. Austin Shepard rode her in the vast majority of shows, with his father, Sam Shepard, and Brett Davis filling in a few times.

The mare’s career earnings top $279,000 now.

Austin Shepard, who won the 2011 NCHA World Championship on Bet Hesa Cat, is an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with $7.1 million in career earnings. He has also qualified two horses, Dual Reyish and CR Dualin Tuff, for next Saturday’s NCHA Futurity Open semi-finals.

Metallic Rebel, owned by Thomas Guinn and shown by Beau Galyean, is the World Champion Stallion of 2017.

Little Pepto Cat, owned by Jim Milner and shown by Cullen Chartier, is the World Champion Gelding of 2017.

Smart Little Lena
Smart Lil Ricochet
Moria Sugar
Im Countin Checks
Dual Pep
Autumn Boon
Royal Blue Boon
Deluxe Checks, chestnut m. 2011
High Brow Hickory
High Brow Cat
Smart Little Kitty
Catrina Starlight
Grays Starlight
Stella Starlight
Torsion Girl

Eazee E crowned Reserve World Champion

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

Eazee E, ridden by Tatum Rice. hart Photography.

Eazee E, owned by Kevin and Sydney Knight and ridden by their son-in-law, Tatum Rice, is the 2017 NCHA Open Reserve World Champion with earnings for the year of $120,427. This is the first time both the World Champion (Deluxe Checks) and Reserve World Champion in the Open division have topped $100,000. Only four Open World Champions in history have bettered Eazee E’s earnings.

The 7-year-old mare was bred by Frank and Belinda Vandersloot by High Brow Cat out of Zee Dualy, the dam of Mary Jo Milner’s $616,000 earner Smooth Asa Zee.

Eazee E enjoyed a successful limited age career which saw her take a reserve championship in the Brazos Bash Classic, and make the finals at the NCHA Classic Challenge, Abilene, Arbuckle Mountain, the Breeders Invitational, Cotton Stakes and the Bonanza.

In 2017, she won the Mercuria NCHA World Series at El Rancho, and was second at Calgary and Idaho. She also made Mercuria finals at Pacific Coast Derby, Congress and Houston.

Tatum Rice is an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with earnings of more than $1.6 million.

Doc’s Hickory
High Brow Hickory
Grulla San
High Brow Cat
Smart Little Lena
Smart Little Kitty
Doc’s Kitty
Eazee E, sorrel m. 2010
Peppy San Badger
Dual Pep
Miss Dual Doc
Zee Dualy
Doc’s Jack Sprat
Jae Bar Pamela
Supreme Question

Widman’s winning year

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

April Widman on Woodys Baby. Hart Photography.

Non-Pro World Champion April Widman of Weatherford, Texas, finished the year with earnings of $122,375. She earned money at 104 shows during the regular season, riding her World Finals mount, Woodys Baby, for those paydays and That Sly Bob for the remainder.

After finishing as Reserve World Champion in 2016, her 2017 campaign saw her take paychecks in Texas, Arizozna, Nevada, Mississippi, New Mexico, Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, California and South Dakota.

She and Woodys Baby were Mercuria NCHA World Series finalists at Houston, Pacific Coast Derby, El Rancho Futurity and Congress, as well as at the West Texas Championship.

Widman first found herself in the spotlight at age 20 in 1998 when she won the Amateur NCHA Futurity on Trouble N Sonita, a gelding by Smart And Trouble. She went on to win the $50,000 Amateur finals at the NCHA Eastern National Championships the following spring, riding Peppy Snicker Bar, by Wheeling Peppy.

In 2000, she won her first NCHA World Championship, riding former NCHA Futurity Open champ Playboy McCrae in the $10,000 Novice Non-Pro division.

In 2009, she won the AQHA World Show on SR Instant Tee, an SR Instant Choice x Tee Cross O Lena gelding bred by her parents.

Other horses that have stood out over the years include Cat Of Monte Cristo, Brave Red Feather, and Purdy Feather.

But Woodys Baby has been her go-to horse the past two seasons. Bred by Mike and Laurie Jones, the 8-year-old gelding is by Nitas Wood out of You N Me Baby, by Smart Mate. He had a successful limited age career with trainer Ashley Baxstrom, and Widman has carried on by pulling the gelding’s earnings over the $360,000 mark.

Widman herself has earned more than $560,000.


Doc Tari
Zack T Wood
Lintons Lady Doc
Nitas Wood
Doc Quixote
Nitas Quixote
Chickasha Anita
Woodys Baby, sorrel g. 2009
Smart Little Lena
Smart Mate
Freckles Playmate
You N Me Baby
Doc’s Spencer Bar
Spencers Babe
Babe’s Latrell

Middleton to the fore

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

Lauren Middleton on Sweet Reyvenge.

Riding Sweet Reyvenge, Lauren Middleton of Weatherford, Texas, won the Non-Pro Mercuria NCHA World Finals Saturday with a half-point win in the non-working finals, 882 to April Widman’s 881.5.

With running scores of 215 / 225.5 / 228 / 213.5 / 882, placing 9th, 1st, 1st, 12th and 1st in the go-rounds, Middleton earned $18,105 at the show to win the World Finals by $482.50 over April Widman on Woodys Baby.

Sweet Reyvenge was bred by Bobby and Francie Butler and is owned by Middleton’s parents, Dr. Robert and Debbie Middleton. The 9-year-old gelding is by Reys Dual Badger out of Sweet Camille, by Chicks Achy Braky. He has now earned more than $164,097 in his career.

Middleton and Sweet Reyvenge will also be recognized as the top Non-Pro riding only one horse for the season.

Middleton, who first made the Top 10 in the Non-Pro at the age of 15, was notching up her first World Finals win.  She’s in the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame, and has earned more than $660,000.

Dual Pep
Dual Rey
Nurse Rey
Reys Dual Badger
Haidas Little Pep
Herezalil Remedy
Sweet Reyvenge, g. 2008
Smart Chic Olena
Chicks Achy Braky
Pep Bar Lady
Sweet Camille
Jae Bar Fletch
Fletchs Amigo
First Little Lena

One Time At Night takes $5,000 Novice

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

One Time At Night, ridden by Mike Wood. Hart Photography.

One Time At Night, ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Wood for Teresa Home of Santa Ynez, California, claimed Saturday’s first championship by winning the $5,000 Novice division of the Mercuria NCHA World Finals in Fort Worth. The 7-year-old gelding put together scores of 219 / 223 / 442 to win the second round and non-working finals, earning a show-topping $3,981.

Bred by Matthews Cutting Horses, One Time At Night is by One Time Pepto out of Lenas Snow, a Docs Stylish Oak mare that has produced earners of more than $510,000. One Time At Night had won more than $100,000 prior to the World Finals, as an Amateur limited age champion for Mary Agnes Johson and as an Open aged event finalist with Phil Hanson.

This is the fourth year in a row that Mike Wood has won the $5,000 Novice at the World Finals. He scored with Scoot Justa Lil in 2014, Clays Little Kit Cat in 2015, and Buzzted last year.

Check Counter, ridden by Steve Schlesinger for Mark Nelson, is the $5,000 Novice World Champion with $37,791. One Time At Night is the Reserve World Champion with $34,109.

Rebecca Drake on One Red Mist.

In the $50,000 Amateur, Rebecca Drake’s scores of 222 / 211 / 433 topped the first round and non-working finals to earn $3,797 and the World Finals championship. She rode One Red Mist.

One Red Mist was bred by Arcese Quarter Horses by One Time Pepto out of Pacific Coast Derby reserve champion Cat Mist, a producer of earners of more than $590,000. One Red Mist accounts for more than $149,000 of that total. The 8-year-old mare had placed third in the Non-Pro NCHA Classic Challenge with Barney Mac Smith, and fourth in the Breeders Invitational Non-Pro with Mary Ann Rapp.

Jason Reed of Faith, South Dakota, is the $50,000 Amateur World Champion. He rode Chitas Cats Merada at the World Finals, and also earned money on Cat Pep and Mikaela during the year. Reed wound up with $67,070.

Rebecca Drake was the Reserve World Champion with $59,020.

Traci Shehady on Biscuit Love.

Traci Shehady of Poolville, Texas, won the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro World Finals with Biscuit Love. She scored 214.5 / 219 / 433.5 to win the second round and non-working round, earning $3,552.

Biscuit Love was bred by Shellbird, Inc. The 10-year-old mare is by Smart Aristocrat out of Get Her Flowing, a Pacific Coast Classic champion by Mr Peponita Flo. She has earned more than $58,000. Shehady and Biscuit Love won the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro at the 2013 World Finals.

The $25,000 Novice Non-Pro World Champion is Louis The Cat, shown by Tyler Delange. He also won the $25,000 Novice World Championship with Casey Crouch. Louis The Cat is by High Brow Cat out of Louella Again. He earned $45,258 in the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro.

The Reserve World Champion is Smooth As I Can, shown by Janice Eaton, with $26,478.

Christy Hannon on Hy Lights.

The World Finals winner in the $15,000 Amateur was Christy Hannon of Cameron Park, California, with scores of 216.5 / 221 / 437.5 to win the second and non-working rounds, earning $2,444 at the show.

She rode Hy Lights, an 8-year-old Hydrive Cat x Glo N Flo mare bred by Brinkman Ranch.

The $15,000 Amateur World Championship went to Israel Valles with $15,309. He rode Smokem Jo Lena, by Joes Midnight Son, throughout the year.

The Reserve World Championship went to Kelsey Roderique with $12,612 earned on Lizzys Lil Player, by Lizzys Gotta Player.