Smooth Talkin Style alone, at last

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Smooth Talkin Style

The spotlight belonged solely to Smooth Talkin Style and Lloyd Cox, after a 225-point win in the 2015 Breeders Invitational Open Derby, on May 23 in Tulsa, Okla. Button Down Supercat and Wes Galyean scored 222 points for reserve and CR Too Tuff, with Ronnie Rice, claimed third place with 220 points.

Although the Breeders Invitational was Smooth Talkin Style’s third win, it was the first title he did not have to share with another horse. Trained and shown by Lloyd Cox for Gail Holmes and Hill Ranches, Smooth Talkin Style placed second with 225 points in the 2014 NCHA Futurity, then tied with Magistic Moon, ridden by Beau Galyean, for the Arbuckle Mountain 4-Year-Old championship, in February.

On April 18, in Fort Worth, Smooth Talkin Style and Cox tied Dont Stopp Believen and Phil Rapp with 223 points, to become co-champions of the NCHA Super Stakes. With earnings of $274,793, including the Breeders Invitational winner’s purse of $71,464, Smooth Talkin Style tops the charts as 2015′s leading 4-year-old cutting horse.

Bred by Gail Holmes’ Double Dove Ranch, Smooth Talkin Style is sired by Smooth As A Cat and out of Stylish Play Lena. Trained and shown by Cox to earn $264,474, Stylish Play Lena is a leading dam of the earners of more than $1.4 million, including Hottish $286,109, by Spots Hot; Pepto Boom $235,857, by Peptoboonsmal; Halreycious $227,459, by Dual Rey; Reydiculous $142,703, by Dual Rey; and Stilish Rey $101,680, by Dual Rey.

In addition to Smooth Talkin Style, Hottish (who won the 2012 Breeders Invitational), Hayreycious, and Reydiculous were also all trained by Cox, an all-time leader with $7 million in lifetime earnings.

For complete results with pedigrees, click here.

Lizzys Gotta Player – 1995 to 2015

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Lizzys Gotta Player, 2004 NCHA World Champion Stallion and sire of 61 NCHA money earners with $2 million and an average of $31,771, died May 12, following colic surgery. He was owned all of his life by Drummond Land & Cattle Company and buried on the Drummond Ranch near Pawhuska, Okla.

Bred by Oxbow Ranch and sired by Freckles Playboy, Lizzys Gotta Player was a full brother-in-blood to the noteworthy sire and dam’s sire Freckles Merada, whose offspring included Meradas Little Sue $670,098, at one time the sport’s all-time leading female money earner.

In 1997, the same year Drummond Land & Cattle Company sold their preeminent sire Docs Stylish Oak, Charles Drummand purchased Lizzielena from Oxbow Ranch, hoping the Freckles Playboy foal the Doc O’Lena daughter was carrying would be a “stud colt.”

“When we owned Docs Stylish Oak, the best cross on him was with Playboy mares,” said Tim Drummond, a fourth generation rancher and son of Charles Drummond. “So we wanted Lizzys Gotta Player to cross on our Docs Stylish Oak mares, with the theory of using that good cross in reverse.”

The theory proved all but flawless. The majority of Docs Stylish Oak’s money earners were out of daughters of Freckles Playboy or his son Freckles Merada, including 15 who each earned more than $100,000. Moreover, five of the 15 – Stylish Foxie $303,736; Stylish Play Lena $264,474; Mr Mom DNA $223,084; Stylish Playlin $181,525; and Playin Stylish LTE $111,330 – were bred by Drummond Land & Cattle Company. One of the five, Stylish Play Lena is also a leading producer of earners of $1.3 million, with four individual earners of more than $200,000 each, including Smooth Talkin Style, champion of the 2015 NCHA Open Super Stakes and reserve champion of the 2014 NCHA Open Futurity.

In addition to being the colt Charles Drummond had hoped for, Lizzys Gotta Player was a strong, cow-savvy athlete. Trained by Terry Riddle, who also trained and showed Freckles Merada, and showed Docs Stylish Oak throughout the stallion’s limited age event open career, Lizzys Gotta Player competed as an open finalist in five major 4-year-old events in 1999, including the Bonanza Futurity, where he won the open championship under Riddle. Tim Drummond showed Lizzys Gotta Player in 1991, as well, to win the Kansas Futurity Non-Pro finals.

In 2000, Kathy Daughn showed Lizzys Gotta Player as an open finalist in three major events, and in 2004, Robert Rust campaigned him to earn the NCHA World Champion Stallion title.

“He was a pleasure to ride,” said Drummond. “An absolute dream. He just wanted to please and to do whatever you wanted.”

“It’s been a constant goal of ours to raise good horses and improve our bloodlines,” Drummond continued. “That’s what my grandfather started years ago. We still breed a lot of horses for ranch work because we have need for them on a daily basis. One of my dad’s philosophies was that he only trained fillies (for competition). Most of the horse colts stay here as ranch geldings.

“After Lizzy went through his limited age event career, we brought him home and pasture bred him for four years to just a very limited number of mares. It takes a long time to develop (their babies) from the time you breed them to the time they get to the show pen. So we would have better served him, if we had stood him to the public earlier in his career. But he served us very well and we appreciate everyone who believed in him and bred to him. We also appreciate all EE Ranches did for him. He wasn’t just a tenant, they truly cared about him.”

The Drummonds stood Lizzys Gotta Player his entire public career at Jo Ellard’s EE Stallion Station in Whitesboro, Tex., also the home to six other stallions, including two-time NCHA World Champion sire, as well as Horse of the Year sire, Cat Ichi, owned and bred by EE Ranches.

“We will really miss him,” said Ellard of Lizzys Gotta Player. “Whenever I went to the stallion barn in the mornings and evenings, he was always one of the first to come to their stall doors and greet me.”

Lizzys Gotta A Player’s lifetime count of 61 NCHA performers includes 38 earners produced out of Docs Stylish Oak daughters, among them My Lizzie Babe $154,689; Sir Stylish Lizzy $142,514; Card Trick $142,514; and Lizzys Got Style $103,252, all bred by Drummond Land & Cattle Company.

Finals cut

Monday, May 4th, 2015

What do cutting and Thoroughbred racing have in common? Aside from affinity sponsor Ram Trucks, the dissimilarities are obvious. Yet the breeding economies of both sports are impacted by results of two seminal 3-year-old events – the Kentucky Derby and the NCHA Futurity. Without attempting to draw comparisons or detail differences between The Jockey Club and the American Quarter Horse Association, here is a breeding breakdown of the 2014 NCHA Futurity Open finalists. Look for a breeding breakdown on the 2014 Kentucky Derby finalists later this week.

2014 NCHA Open Futurity
25-horse field
7 finalists sired by High Brow Cat
7 finalists sired by sons of High Brow Cat
4 finalists out of High Brow Cat daughters
2 finalists with 2nd dams sired by High Brow Cat

Open finalists sired by High Brow Cat
Classy CD Cat – 1
Sueper Kitty – 3
A Tale Of The Cat – 7/9
RO Buckaroo Cat – 14/15
CR Highlight – 17/18
Dual Famous Cat – 19/21
Miss Stylish Cat – 25

Open finalists sired by a son of High Brow Cat
Smooth Talkin Style (x Smooth As A Cat) – 2
Twice As Smoothe (x Smooth As A Cat) – 5/6
Metallic Mandy (x Metallic Cat) – 7/9
Metallic Little Cat (x Metallic Cat) – 10
TF High Chex CD (x High Brow CD) – 13
Metallic Man (x Metallic Cat) – 16
Maximum Royal Flush (x High Brow CD) – 19/21

Open finalists dams sired by High Brow Cat
CR Tuff Lucy (out of Lucindas Catolena) – 4
Cisco Kid (out of Hissy Cat) – 5/6
Suen You Will See (out of Cat O Connor) – 23/24
Dualin Cat Lena (out of Little Cat Lena) – 23/24

Open finalists 2nd dams sired by High Brow Cat
HNS Sofia (second dam Boon San Kitty) – 11
CR Missnjethro Woody (second dam Dees Cats Meow) – 17/18

5 of the 25 NCHA Futurity Open finalists in 2014 contain no High Brow Cat bloodlines in their pedigrees:
CR A Little Peek (Halreycious x Peek A Boon)
Tick Tock Shorty (One Time Pepto x KD Shorty)
Fancy Rey (Dual Rey x Poosmal)
Cherry Peppers (One Time Pepto x Violets)
Andreya – Dual Rey x CDs Masterpiece

Sires of 2014 NCHA Futurity Open finalists other than High Brow Cat or High Brow Cat sons:
Dual Rey (x Dual Pep) – 3 finalists
One Time Pepto (x Peptoboonsmal) – 2
Woody Be Tuff (x Nitas Wood) – 2
Third Cutting (x Boonlight Dancer) – 1
Halreycious (x Dual Rey) – 1
Boon Too Suen (x Peptoboonsmal) – 1
Dualin Boon (x Dual Rey ) – 1

Dam’s sires of 2014 NCHA Futurity Open finalists:
High Brow Cat (x High Brow Hickory) – 4
Peptoboonsmal (x Peppy San Badger) – 4
Dual Pep (x Peppy San Badger) – 3
CD Olena (x Doc O’Lena) – 2
Grays Starlight (x Peppy San Badger) – 2
Docs Stylish Oak (x Doc’s Oak) – 1
Freckles Merada (x Freckles Playboy) – 1
Smart Little Lena (x Doc O’Lena) – 1
Freckles Playboy (x Jewel’s Leo Bars) – 1
Dual Rey (x Dual Pep) – 1
Kit Dual (x Dual Pep) – 1
Rum Squall (x Peppy San Badger) – 1
Lenas Jewel Bars (x Doc O’Lena) – 1
Miss N Okie (x Miss N Cash) – 1
Chula Dual (x Dual Pep) – 1

Sires of 2nd dams of 2014 NCHA Futurity Open finalists:
Doc O’Lena (x Doc Bar) – 3
Smart Little Lena (x Doc O’Lena) – 3
Boon Bar (x Doc Bar) – 2
Doc’s Hickory (x Doc Bar) – 2
Freckles Playboy – (x Jewel’s Leo Bars) – 2
High Brow Cat (x High Brow Hickory) – 2
Peppy San Badger (x Mr San Peppy) – 2
Shorty Lena (x Doc O’Lena) – 2
Bueno Chex (x King Fritz) – 1
Docs Stylish Oak (x Doc’s Oak) – 1
Dry Doc 16 (x Dry Doc) – 1
Freckles Hustler (x Jewel’s Leo Bars) – 1
Freckles Merada (x Freckles Playboy) – 1
Hickoryote (x Doc’s Hickory) – 1
San Jo Lena (x Peppy San) – 1

*Dual Famous Kitty’s 2nd dam, Smart Little Kitty, is the dam of High Brow Cat. And Stylish Play Lena, the dam of Smooth Talkin Style, is also the dam of finalist sire Halreycious.

Sires of the Super Stakes

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

The offspring of 71 stallions earned checks at the 2015 Lucas Oil NCHA Super Stakes and Super Stakes Classic, with six of  them bringing in $100,000 or more.

At $553,926, Metallic Cat was the leader of the pack. Here’s a look at how they all fared, based on all checks earned at the show, a total of $3,088,166.

Sire Super Stakes/Classic $
Metallic Cat $553,926
Dual Rey $407,988
High Brow Cat $345,370
One Time Pepto $250,040
Smooth As A Cat $219,464
High Brow CD $162,427
Hes A Peptospoonful $89,463
Hydrive Cat $85,507
Im Countin Checks $66,338
Peptoboonsmal $54,948
Nitas Wood $54,399
Athena Puddy Cat $48,849
Halreycious $43,882
Woody Be Tuff $41,448
Reys Dual Badger $40,206
Cats Moonshine $35,953
Sweet Lil Pepto $32,991
WR This Cats Smart $32,890
Cat T Masterson $29,759
Boon Too Suen $29,224
Cats Quixote Jack $28,164
Thomas E Hughes $27,688
Dual Smart Rey $27,018
Peeka Pep $26,687
Lizzys Gotta Player $24,265
Wilds My Thing $17,889
CD Olena $16,853
Light N Lena $15,751
Cats Merada $15,750
Autumn Acre $14,738
TR Dual Rey $14,579
Dual Pep $13,920
Catty Hawk $13,233
CD Lights $12,791
Dualin Boon $11,160
Quite A Boon $10,512
War Bird Dog $10,423
That Sly Cat $10,092
Palo Duro Cat $9,494
Oh Cay Quixote $9,262
Peptotime $8,912
San Tule Freckles $8,492
Starlights Gypsy $7,377
Widows Freckles $7,243
Playgun $7,108
Pepto Rio Playboy $7,049
Quejanaisalena $6,250
Smart Little Jerry $6,134
Mr Playinstylish $5,945
EBR Kitty Hawk $5,531
Peptos Stylish Oak $5,509
CD Royal $5,000
High Brow Cougar $5,000
Smart Little Lena $4,816
Boon San $4,000
Little Dulces Rey $4,000
Purdy Boy Flash $4,000
Sophisticated Catt $4,000
Spots Hot $4,000
Stylin Cat $4,000
Mr Boonsmal To You $3,806
Mr Black And Decker $3,548
Bobs Hickory Rio $2,398
Mecom Blue $1,654
Smart Lil Scoot $1,619
Wild Haired Cat $1,448
Gunsmokes Memorial $1,161
Boon A Little $1,125
Smart Royal Rey $950
Cat Ichi $532
Cowboy Cattylac $239

2015 NCHA Super Stakes Sale continues upward trend

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Metallic Flo

Metallic Flo, a 3-year-old Metallic Cat daughter in training with T.J. Good, was the high-selling lot, at $60,000, during Western Bloodstock Ltd.’s NCHA Super Stakes Sale on Saturday, April 18, at Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth, Tex. Cancan Reyvolution, an 8-year-old gelding sired by Dual Rey brought $40,000, as the sales second-highest seller.

The Top 10 sellers averaged $28,000, representing a 23 percent increase over the sale’s 2014 Top 10 sellers, and the Top 20 sellers averaged $22,150, a 22 percent increase over 2014.

The sale’s net average of $11,341 on 76 horses sold represents a seven percent increase over 2014 sale, figures, while the percentage sold remained at 73 percent, from 104 lots, with a gross average of $14,725.

Metallic Flo, consigned by Alan Chappell, Gainesville, Tex., was purchased by Cody Erwin, Vancouver, Wash. Cancan Reyvolution, the 2011 NCHA Derby Non-Pro champion and NCHA earner of $145,837, was purchased by Kent Arnold DVM, Terrell, Tex., from John and Lica Pinkston, Alice, Tex.

Purrfect Playgirl was the high-selling 4-year-old at $25,500. The High Brow Cat daughter, in training with Bill Riddle, was consigned by Glenn Drake, Napa, Calif., and sold to Juan Carlos Rengel Leon, Valencia, Venezuela.

Smart Metallic RG, at $22,000, was the high-selling stallion. The 4-year-old Metallic Cat son, in training with T.J. Good, was consigned by Mariposa Farms and purchased by Billy Gene Crenshaw, Kountze, Tex.

The NCHA Summer Spectacular Sale, August 1 at Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth, is the next sale on Western Bloodstock Ltd.’s agenda, followed by the Center Ranch Production Sale, in Centerville, Tex. on October 10, and the NCHA Futurity Sales in Fort Worth, in December.

Two tops for 2015 NCHA Super Stakes

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Smooth Talkin Style, reserve champion of the 2014 NCHA Open Futurity under Lloyd Cox, and Dont Stopp Believin with Phil Rapp, each scored 223 points on Saturday to reign as co-champions of the 2015 Open Super Stakes. Adelle and Lindy Burch claimed the second-highest mark with 221.5 points.

Smooth Talkin Style

Lloyd Cox, co-champion on Smooth Talkin Style. Alan Gold photos.

“I’m really comfortable on him and he gives me a reason to be comfortable,” said Cox of Smooth Talkin Style, sired by Smooth As A Cat, bred by Gail Holmes, and owned by Holmes and Dottie Hill. “He reads the situation really good, and on top of that he has ability.”

This was the first Super Stakes win for Cox, 50,  the Super Stakes reserve champion in 2003, on TR Dual Rey, and in 1996, on High Brows Nurse, and an NCHA Riders Hall of Fame member with earnings of $6.9 million.

Dont Stopp Believin, by Dual Rey, gave NCHA Hall of Fame rider Phil Rapp, lifetime earner of $8.4 million, a record third Super Stakes win. Rapp’s first was in 1994, aboard Dont Stopp Believin’s maternal great-granddam Tap O Lena. His second was in 2006, on Dual Smart Rey.

Dont Stopp Believin

Phil Rapp, co-champion on Dont Stopp Believin.

“In 1984, my dad bought Tapeppyoaka Peppy for me,” said Rapp. “She was four and I was 14 and everyone asked why he hadn’t bought me an older horse. He said he wanted me to have a good horse and we could learn together.

“It took a few years, but it has been quite an adventure, and for five generations, we’ve always had a pretty good horse.”

Tapeppyoaka Peppy was the dam of Tap O Lena, NCHA earner of $450,639 and 17 championship wins under Rapp,  in open and non-pro competition.

Bred by Waco Bend Ranch and owned by Phil and Mary Ann Rapp, Dont Stopp Believin is out of Don’t Look Twice, 2011 NCHA Horse of the Year, 2012 NCHA World Champion, and cutting’s all-time female money earner with $804,954 and 26 championship wins.

Smooth Talkin Style and Don’t Stopp Believin each earned an estimated $56,853, as co champions.

Cade Shepard, 13, becomes NCHA’s youngest Non-Pro Triple Crown event champion

Cade Shepard

Non-Pro Champion Cade Shepard on Twistful Thinking

Cade Shepard, 13, struck fear in the hearts of more than a few non-pro competitors on Saturday, with an eleventh-hour, 217.5-point win in the 23-horse NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Finals.

With his win on Twistful Thinking, Cade became the youngest rider in history to win an NCHA Non-Pro Triple Crown event. The previous record was held by Kelle Earnheart, winner at 15, of the 2000 NCHA Non-Pro Derby on Justa Swinging Jane.

Ashley Galyean earned the reserve championship on Saturday with 216.5 points on Pedaltothemedal, by Metallic Cat.

Since his NCHA Futurity debut, as co-reserve champion of the 2014 Non-Pro Limited, Cade and his One Time Pepto daughter have earned $45,724, including $16,923 for the Super Stakes win. The precocious pair also claimed reserve in the Ike Hamilton Non-Pro Futurity, as well as that event’s Non-Pro Limited championship.

“It’s definitely the most money I’ve won in one year,” said Cade, son of Austin Shepard, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with NCHA earnings of $5.9 million, and grandson of Sam Shepard, also a member of the NCHA Riders Hall of Fame.

Sam Shepard trained Twistful Thinking for the NCHA Futurity, where he sold her to Cade, who at nine had shown the mare’s dam, Some Kinda Twister, to place as a Junior Youth Finalist in the NCHA Eastern National Championships.

“I I think I am getting a little bit better,” said Cade of his riding skills. “But I’m going to say the horse is getting better and probably helping me get better.”

Wright on for Stars Freckled Girl

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Stars Freckled Girl and Greg Wright. Alan Gold photo

Greg Wright and Stars Freckled Girl, by Metallic Cat, scored 217 points, as the next-to-last entry in the 16-horse John Deere Division of the Lucas Oil NCHA Super Stakes Open Finals, to claim the championship for owners Lincoln and Bonnie Clifton, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Wes Ashlock, aboard Gone Are The Times, by One Time Pepto, and Fons De Barbanson on Wild Starz, by Wilds My Thing, tied with the second-highest score of 216 points. Gone Are The Times and Wild Starz are owned by John and Jana Thacker and Nachos QHs, respectively.

Shut out by a renegade cow earlier in the Finals on High On Smarts, also owned by the Cliftons, Wright put his trust in his helpers and Stars Freckled Girl for the eleventh hour win, his first in Will Rogers Coliseum.

“We bought her from Phil Hanson last July, after the Derby,” said Wright. “They did a fabulous job with her. She was cutting when we bought her and we’ve just tried to keep her cutting.”

Shown by both Wright and Lincoln in the 2014 NCHA Futurity, Stars Freckled Cat placed with Lincoln in the Non-Pro Finals, as well as the Non-Pro Limited Finals; placed fifth with Wright in the Open Limited Finals; and earned $15,000 as an Open Semi-Finalist.

“I was a golfer and a friend introduced me to cutting horses,” said Clifton, a trucking company owner with ties to the oil industry. “My handicaps went from a 10 back to a 15, and the next thing I knew, I had about twenty head of horses and babies.”

Stars Freckled Girl, bred by Phil and Leah Hanson, is by Metallic Cat out of Badge To The Bone, a Freckles Playboy daughter with unique connections to the NCHA Futurity and the NCHA World Championships.

Badge To The Bone is out of Badge Of Courage, by Peppy San Badger. Bred by S.J. Agnew out of the Doc Bar daughter Tenino Fair, Badge of Courage was a full sister to Little Tenina $385,822, and three-quarter sister to Tenino San $144,658. Little Tenina was champion of the 1991 NCHA Futurity and 1992 NCHA Derby under Greg Welch, and Tenino San won the 1982 NCHA World Championship, also under Welch.

Wright began his career in California as a reined cowhorse trainer, before he switched to cutting. In 1992, he was reserve champion of the PCCHA Futurity aboard Lakotah Warrior, then won the championship in 1993 aboard Whisper Ofa Playgirl. After that, he struggled to stay competitive.

“I got strung out on dope – meth and crack,” said Wright, matter-of-factly. “But Shannon Hall and his family had a big play in getting me straight. After I went to rehab, I went to work for Shannon for two and a half years, and Shannon got me the job working for Linc.”

Lincoln Clifton is slated to show Stars Freckled Girl in the third set of Lucas Oil Super Stakes Non-Pro first go-round competition on Tuesday, April 14.


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