Archive for October, 2012

2012 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductees

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Cast from disparate backgrounds, the lives of the four 2012 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductees, honored at a banquet in Fort Worth last week, are connected by one vital thread – horseback competition.

Sunny Hale

Sunny Hale grew up in California under the tutelage of her mother Sue Sally Hale, a pioneer who, according to Sports Illustrated, disguised herself as a man to play professional polo in the 1950s and 1960s. At age ten, Sunny began competing in polo tournaments. When she was 19, she turned professional, and at 28 became the first female in the 100-year history of the United States Polo Association selected to play on a US open championship team. Today she is the highest ranked female polo player in the United States.

In 2005, Hale founded the Women’s Championship Tournament Series, and in 2006 she founded the American Polo Horse Association to preserve the pedigrees of US polo horses and to showcase polo’s equine stars.

Barbra Schulte

Barbra Hulling Schulte grew up on a ranch in Smithton, IL, where her father, Cletus Hulling, bought and sold Quarter Horses, many of which were destined to become champions. By the time she graduated from high school, Barbra was an expert horsewoman with championships in many disciplines, but her sights were on a career far from the horse arena. After earning a BS degree in speech, Barbra obtained an MS in speech pathology and audiology and became a teacher at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and the University of Arizona.

In the early 1980s, Barbra took up the reins again, this time as as a professional cutting horse trainer, as well as coach of riders and competitors. She became one of the few women competitors to claim a major National Cutting Horse Association open title, when she won the NCHA Derby in 1988; and she was the first woman to serve as an executive of the NCHA, when she became vice president of the association in 1992. Since then, Barbra has broadened her outreach to include, in addition to training cutting horses, personal performance coaching for riders of all disciplines. She is also in demand worldwide as a clinician and equine consultant, and has authored two books – Cutting, One Run at a Time, and The Gift.

Stacy Westfall

Stacy Glidden Westfall grew up in Maine, where she learned to ride on a Shetland pony, which was later replaced by a Quarter Horse mare. Stacy’s passion for horses took flight when she enrolled at the University of Findlay in Ohio and discovered reining horse competition and met her future husband, Jesse Westfall.

After Stacy and Jesse were married, horse training became their family business and they home schooled their three boys in order to travel to shows. In 2003, Stacy won the National Reining Horse Association freestyle championship while riding bridleless, and followed with many other titles. In 2006, she became the first female trainer to win the annual Road to the Horse colt-starting contest; and that same year, she won the Quarter Horse Congress freestyle reining championship riding bareback and without a bridle, in a stunning performance which she dedicated to her recently deceased father who had “taught her to try new things and dream new dreams.”

Mildred Farris

As the daughter and main “cowhand” of a West Texas cattleman, Mildred Cotten Farris fit the conventional definition of cowgirl from an early age, but her competitive spirit soon set her apart from her contemporaries. In 1955, she became the Texas Barrel Racing Association’s first champion, the same year she graduated from Alpine College and married champion bareback rider John Farris.

The Farrises traveled the rodeo circuit together for 14 years, during which time Mildred qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 12 times and was runner-up to the world champion in 1959, 1960 and 1969. During the same time she also served the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association as director, vice president and president, and has served as a rodeo secretary for five decades for venues that include the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo; Stiner’s Rodeo; Neal Gay; and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Christmas comes early for Dottie Hill

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
Bobby and Dottie Hill

Bobby and Dottie Hill

“I told Dottie I hoped she liked her Christmas present because she might not get another one for a while,” said Glen Rose, Tex. rancher and investor Bobby Hill, with a twinkle in his eye.

Hill was referring to Stylish Martini, the 5-year-old cutting horse champion he had just purchased for $700,000 at the Marvine Ranch Reduction Sale, on October 20. While the price was a record for a show horse, given her performance record, strong pedigree and potential as a young broodmare, Stylish Martini stands a good chance to recoup her sale price.

Bred by Marvine Ranch owners Jon and Abby Winkelried, Weatherford, Tex., and trained by Roger Wagner, Stylish Martini has earned over $233,000. As a half-sister to NCHA Horse of the Year Copaspepto and a daughter of legendary broodmare sire Docs Stylish Oak, she is a valuable commodity. The same is also true of 11-year-old Quintan Blue, who brought $600,000 at the sale from Penny Youngblood’s Circle Y Ranch, Millsap, Tex.

Penny Youngblood, left, and Nancy Pearce

Penny Youngblood and business partner Nancy Pearce segued from reining to cutting horses in a big way earlier this year, when they purchased Horse of the Year and NCHA Futurity champion producer Boon San Kitty and her full sister RW Sallycat from Alice Walton. In April, Youngblood and Pearce also acquired the young stallion Im Countin Checks from Tommy Manion.

While Im Countin Checks settles in for the 2013 breeding season at Don Ham Quarter Horses in Whitesboro, Tex., Quintan Blue, the earner of over $600,000 and dam of earners of $400,000, will join Boon San Kitty, RW Sallycat, and 23-year-old One Time Soon, the dam of NCHA Futurity sire One Time Pepto, in Millsap, Tex. ¬†The original Youngblood Ranch, founded by Penny’s late father, J. Lee Youngblood, is located in Aubrey, Tex., but in September, Penny purchased the former Radio Ranch in Millsap with the purpose of relocating .

“That area (Aubrey) has changed so much over the years,” said Youngblood. “I am really looking forward to the move.”

Dottie is the mastermind behind the Hills’ operation, which consists of an elite group of broodmares whose offspring are tailored for the NCHA Futurity yearling sale market. The Hills pasture-raise the foals on their ranch, then send them in late September to be fitted for sale at Don Ham’s. The Hills’ 2012 Futurity Sale crop includes yearlings out of Justaswinging Peanut, dam of Justa Smart Peanut $353,414; Classical CD, earner of $221,413 and dam of Duallys Fever $85,956; Hicapoo, earner of $446,712, Horse of the Year, and dam of two $100,000-plus earners; and Bueno Chex Dually, earner of $153,797 and dam of Cherry Chex Dually $230,488.

Click here to see full results from the Marvine Ranch Sale.

Marvine Ranch Sale shatters records

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Marvine Ranch owners Jon and Abby Winkelried, on left, with Dottie and Bobby Hill.

Cutting horse auction history was rewritten on Saturday, October 20, at the Marvine Ranch Reduction Sale, produced by Western Bloodstock, at the ranch in Weatherford, Tex. With an average of $82,150 on net sales of $2,135,900, the catalog of Marvine-owned horses included 29 head, with one withdrawal and two RNAs for gross sales of $2,455,400 and an average of $87,693.

Five-year-old Stylish Martini, purchased for $700,000 by Dottie and Bobby Hill, Glen Rose, Tex., set an all-time record price for a cutting show horse at auction. While the $600,000 purchase of 11-year-old Quintan Blue by Penny Youngblood and Nancy Pearce, Millsap, Tex., ranks among the top five prices ever paid for a cutting horse broodmare at auction.

The sale of Stylish Martini and Quintan Blue also marks the first time two cutting horses have ever commanded $600,000 or more in one sale.

Miss Martini Boon, purchased by Coyote Rock Ranch for $265,000, also came close to the record of $285,000 for a 2-year-old filly set by Autumn Blue in the 2003 Manion Ranch Near Dispersal.

Go to for the Marvine Ranch catalog and complete results and look for more details on the sale here tomorrow.

Reyleann scores in World Series

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Reyleann and Josh Dozier. Jeff Kirkbride photo.Josh Dozier and Reyleann marked 227 for a three and a half-point win over Horse of the Year Dont Look Twice in the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting Open finals at the All American Quarter Horse Congress Friday.

It was the biggest win to date for the 30-year-old trainer from Amory, Mississippi who took a reserve championship in the $3,000 Novice in last year’s NCHA Eastern National Championships.

Bred by Jim Holmes of Longmont, Colorado, Reyleann is an 8-year-old mare by Dual Rey out of the Grays Starlight mare Playgirl Fancy, who comes from a 50-year line of NCHA money earners. She was a Limited Open finalist with Kenny Miller at the 2007 NCHA Futurity, and was purchased by Vick Etheridge of Corinth, Mississippi in 2010.

An earner of more than $84,000 with her latest win, Reyleann was Dozier’s mount in the 2011 Mercuria NCHA World Finals in Fort Worth.

She marked 219.5 in the World Series go-round at the Congress, to tie for the third highest score heading into the finals.

Runner-up Dont Look Twice, who marked 223.5 with Phil Rapp in the finals, is cutting’s all-time richest mare. She has earned more than $719,000 for Waco Bend Ranch, is leading the 2012 NCHA World Champion race.

Laredo Montana

Kaitlyn Larsen on Laredo Montana. Jeff Kirkbride photo.

Kaitlyn Larsen of Millsap, Texas, took the Non-Pro division with a 223 on Laredo Montana, a 7-year-old Light N Lena gelding bred and owned by Kaitlyn’s father, Billy Martin. Martin won the Non-Pro NCHA Derby on Laredo Montana and was a Derby finalist on the gelding’s dam, Little Memory Maker.

Larsen kicked 2012 off with a win in the Mercuria World Series event at the Augusta Futurity, and also placed second on him at the Battle in the Saddle this summer. She was Non-Pro Reserve Champion with him in both the NCHA Super Stakes Classic and the NCHA Classic Challenge last year.

Laredo Montana has won more than $175,000 in NCHA competition to date. Larsen, 23, has more than $343,000 in NCHA earnings.


2012 NCHA World Series Congress

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

2012 Congress Futurity

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Loony tunes music to Kingsley’s ears

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Loony Cat became a top-ranked cat among 3-year-old cutting horses this week with a 220-point win in the Brazos Bash Futurity. It was the second consecutive win in two shows for the gelding, who claimed the Cotton Stakes Futurity with 220 points on September 14 and has cumulative earnings of $30,000.

Matt Gaines

Bred and owned by legendary country music radio host Bob Kingsley, Weatherford, Tex., and trained and shown by Matt Gaines, High Brow Cat-sired Loony Cat also won the first go-round of the Brazos Bash with 219 points and earned the high cumulative go-round score of 435.5.

“Loony was a great cutting horse and now it looks like she’s a great producer,” said Kingsley of Loony Cat’s dam, Little Pepto Gal, who earned the barn name of Loony because of her antics. Also trained and shown by Gaines, Little Pepto Gal was named 2002 NCHA Horse of the Year and retired with $490,951 in official NCHA earnings. Her nine performers have combined earnings of $491,156.

Loony Cat’s full siblings, 4-year-old Cats Little Pepto and 6-year-old Little Pepto Cat, were fifth-and-sixth-place finalists, respectively, under Gaines in the Brazos Bash Derby and the Classic.

“It took Little Pepto Cat through his 4-year-old year to really get it together, but this horse has come on a lot faster,” said Kingsley. “I think it has a great deal to do with the fact that we (gelded) him when he was two as opposed to at three.”

Little Pepto Cat, lifetime earner of nearly $260,000, has been an open and/or non-pro finalist in 13 major events and claimed four championship wins in 2012, alone. Cats Little Pepto is the earner of $67,969 from six major finals in 2011 and 2012.

What made Kingsley decide to show Loony Cat in the fall futurities and forfeit a shot for up to $200,000 in the NCHA Futurity?

“I leave that to the trainer,” he said. “Matt obviously feels like he’s got two better three-year-olds. For me, I would rather my horses go to the small futurities with the trainer who has had them since they were two, as opposed to going to the big Futurity with a catch rider. I know it works for some people, but it has never worked for me.”

Smooth As I Can, shown by Matt Miller for Janice Easton, was reserve champion of the Brazos Bash Futurity with 217 points. The Smooth As A Cat daughter, who won the West Texas Futurity and placed third in the Cotton Stakes, has cumulative earnings of $38,000.

Gaines also placed eighth in the Brazos Bash Futurity riding Prada Catwalk for Kyle and Charlene Aymond, and 13th in the Classic aboard Pepto Blues for Thad Herron.

Click here for full results from the Brazos Bash.