Archive for December, 2012

Louis M. Pearce Jr., 1917-2012

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Louis PearceLouis Pearce, a longtime cutting horse enthusiast and a staunch supporter of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, passed away December 26. Pearce, who owned NCHA Super Stakes Champion and NCHA Futurity Reserve Champion Chick Tari, also bred the prominent sire Especial.

“I was born wanting to be a cowboy, and I never quite succeeded,” Pearce once said, “but I guess the closest I ever got was the NCHA Hall of Fame.”

He was inducted into the NCHA Hall of Fame in 1995, and is also in the AQHA Hall of Fame. He was a lifetime member of the Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and sat on the Executive Committee of the AQHA.

Pearce began ranching in 1938, and was President of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo for three years (1967 – 1969), as well as serving 16 years as chairman of the HLS&R horse show.

He first became involved with the Show in 1939 when he bought a bull. In 1948, he began exhibiting Quarter Horses at the HLS&R. He was elected to the Show’s board of directors in 1961. Pearce served as a Show vice president from 1963 to 1965 and as secretary in 1966. He was elected to the Show’s Executive Committee in 1975.

During his Show presidency, an additional four acres were added to the Astrohall, , the rodeo purse reached $100,000, a commercial female cattle sale was added, scholarship amounts were doubled from $2,000 to $4,000, and the Grand Champion Steer sold for a record $31,000.

In 1970, Pearce was instrumental in signing Elvis Presley as a star entertainer, as well as George Strait in 1983. The bronze statue “Dreams and Memories,” located in Carruth Plaza at Reliant Park, was dedicated to Pearce in 1986. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Louis M. Pearce Jr. Board Dining Room is named in his honor.

Pearce was born in Houston Feb. 17, 1917, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis M. Pearce Sr.

In November 1940, he joined the army and served as a sergeant in the horse cavalry. Two years later, he went to Officer Candidate School at Fort Riley, Kan., and received his commission. He was sent to Italy in 1943 where he served in all phases of the Italian campaign with the II Corps as an aide to Lt. Gen. Keyes, Commander of the II Corps. He was discharged in 1945 with the rank of Major.

Pearce was a rancher since 1938 and operated commercial cattle ranches in three Texas counties: Brazoria, Atascosa and Maverick.

A 1954 mare named Smoky So helped get Pearce hooked on cutting.

“I had a reasonable amount of success with her,” he recalled in 1996. “I was able to compete back in the days before they had the Non-Professional cutting. Of course, I was competing against the Buster Welch’s and Matlock Rose’s. They beat me a lot more than I beat them.”

Arrangements are pending.

2012 NCHA Futurity

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

NCHA Futurity Sales reflect an overall 5-year high

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Need proof that the economy is on the mend? Check out the results from Western Bloodstock’s 2012 NCHA Futurity Sales.

“We had the highest overall average and the highest overall percentage of horses sold since 2007,” said Milt Bradford, of Western Bloodstock.

The bottom line for the cutting industry’s largest and most prominent sales event was: 745 sold from 924 offered, for an average of $16,420 and 81% completed sales.

“The highlights of the sales were horses under saddle,” said Western Bloodstock’s Ben Emison. “Two-year-olds and older show horses were in high demand. Breeding stock seemed to be off somewhat from previous years, but good yearling prospects with clean radiographs were really hot.”

“The public made good use of the repository this year, with 30 percent more x-rays available,” Bradford added.

The final sales session, the NCHA Futurity Seasoned Cutting Horse Sale, held on December 15, the morning before the Open Finals saw 99 horses sold from 115 offered for an average of $24,466 and 86% completed sales. Olenasduallyfeather and Chita Blue Star, Lots 6004 and 6005 were the high sellers of the session at $150,000 each.

Five-year-old Olenasduallyfeather, 2011 NCHA Super Stakes Open champion, consigned by Lisa Hewitt, is in training with Clint Allen. Seven-year-old Chita Blue Star, consigned by Jeremy Barwick as agent, sold with two 2012 foals by Metallic Cat and High Brow CD, as well as an embryo by High Brow CD for 2013.

For complete results, in lot order, go to:

Rice and Rice: 2012 NCHA Futurity Co-Champions

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

He Bea Cat. Alan Gold photo

The 37-year difference between Tarin Rice and his great uncle, Ronnie Rice dissolved last night in the 2012 NCHA Futurity at Will Rogers Coliseum, Fort Worth, Tex. Tarin is the second youngest rider in the event’s 51-year history to win the championship; Ronnie, 60, is the oldest, and second only to Buster Welch in number of Futurity wins (3).

He Bea Cat and Tarin scored 222.5 points late in the first set of cattle to over-write Catbaloo’s early 221-point lead under Lloyd Cox. Tarin’s score was never threatened until Ronnie went to the herd as the next-to-last rider in the last set and rode out with 222.5 points.

“I think he was supposed to beat me,” said Tarin, who showed He Bea Cat for Jim Crawford, Lexington, Neb. “It was just unbelievable.”

“He’s so talented it’s not even right,” said Ronnie of Tarin. “I had to work my whole life to be able to get to do what he’s doing right now. He is just so talented.”

CR Tuff Hearted Cat

CR Tuff Hearted Cat.

CR Tuff Hearted Cat was bred and is owned by Center Ranch, Centerville, Tex., who owns and stands her sire, Woody Be Tuff. Ronnie Rice was reserve champion of the 2011 NCHA Futurity on Jewel Bars Cat, by High Brow Cat, also owned by Center Ranch.

“Last year, when I was reserve (with 225 points), was probably the greatest run I’ve ever had in this pen,” said Rice, who won the the 2001 NCHA Futurity on San Tule Freckles, where his son, Tag, was reserve champion on Mr Beamon; the 1998 NCHA Futurity on Dainty Playgirl; and was also reserve champion in 2005 with Peptocandy.

Boyd Rice, Tarin’s father, placed eighth yesterday on Botero for Wagonhoud Land and Livestock; it was the twelfth time he has qualified for the Futurity finals. Tarin showed in the NCHA Futurity finals for the first time in 2010, on Reyvorce; his brother, Tatum, 27, was a finalist in the 2011 NCHA Futurity aboard Austin Rey.

CR Tuff Hearted Cat and He Bea Cat each earned $201,971 for their dual wins. He Bea Cat also earned $15,053 in the John Deere Ltd. Open, where he tied for fourth, and CR Tuff Hearted Cat made another $2,574 as champion of the Senior (Rider) division.

Austin Shepard, winner of the 2007 NCHA Futurity on High Brow CD, showed his homebred stallion Bamacat to third place in the finals with 221.5 points.

Donas Suen Boon, champion of the Non-Pro Futurity with Paula Wood, wound up a top overall 2012 Futurity money earner, when Paula’s husband showed their homegrown mare to place seventh in the Open division. Donas Suen Boon, who competed in eight go-rounds, compared to the four go-rounds for Open-only mounts, earned a total of $83,015.

One Gone Cat, who earned $30,089 under Rowdy Larson in the Open Finals, also served double duty, carrying owner Jill Peacock as fourth-placed finalist in the Non-Pro Futurity, where she earned $41,553, for a Futurity total of $71,642.

Bamacat raises bar with 224-point win in Semi-Finals

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Austin Shepard topped the Semi-Finals with Bamacat. Hart Photography.

Bamacat and Austin Shepard, who tied for the win in the Open second go-round with 219 points, came back in style yesterday with a 224-point win in the Semi-Finals of the NCHA Futurity.

High Brow Jackson and Monty Buntin placed second with 221.5 points; Grant Setnicka was third with 220 aboard Hi Ho Nabisco.

“I had a good draw today and we were lucky and cut three good cows,” said Shepard, who had drawn first to work in the previous go-rounds.

“He can go fast and stop hard and has enough look and intensity about him that he does everything really pretty. There aren’t many holes in him, if I do my job.

“He’s sure been there every time I’ve needed him.”

Shepard and his wife, Stacy, raised Bamacat out of MH San Tules Dually, who was shown by both Austin and Stacy to earn $330,220.- in open and non-pro competition.

Shorty after he won the 2007 NCHA Futurity on High Brow CD, Shepard  suggested they bred MH San Tules Dually to High Brow Cat, the sire of High Brow CD.

“In my opinion, High Brow Cat is the best breeding horse we will ever see in our generation,” said Shepard. “He cost a lot of money, but I told Stacy that’s the best mare we will ever own and we need to breed her to Cat.

“From the first ride, this colt has been really smart. I was the only one who worked him and the year I hauled Bet Hesa Cat (for the world championship), I wasn’t home very much. But that summer I could cut a cow on him and he looked like one of my three-year-olds.”You always dream that they are going to be this good, but you’re still surprised when they are.”

Shepard credits other trainers and friends for helping him to stay upbeat, after a disappointing 212-point first go-round performance on Bamacat

“So many of them made a point to wish me luck or encourage me,” he said. “And Jason Clark invited me to come and work him at McDavid’s place. I think that made all the diffrence in the world – letting him see a good cow and being able to take my time.

“I really have to thank Jason for doing that. The Futurity is hectic and he had a lot going on.” Clark is a finalist tonight, as well, on Reverendquitanspoon, owned by David and Stcie McDavid.

Golden win for Paula Wood in the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity

Friday, December 14th, 2012
Paula Wood

Paula Wood on Dona Suen Boon.

“I’ve wanted that gold buckle for a long time,” said Paula Wood, after her 220-point winning performance in the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity Thursday on Donas Suen Boon, by Boon Too Suen.

Greg Coalson and Mia Browbeater scored 219 points for the reserve championship.

Wood won the 2005 NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes on Chita Cash Cat, and the 1997 NCHA Non-Pro Derby on Chita Cash, and was also 1993 NCHA Non-Pro World Champion. But the Futurity championship had eluded her, until last night.

“It’s just a dream come true, that’s all,” said Wood. “A lot of times, when you come to the Futurity, you don’t have that kind of a horse, so you have to cut really careful and smart.

“So when you come to the Futurity on a horse like this, it’s ten times the pressure.”

Kobie Wood trained Donas Suen Boon, as well as her sire, Boon Too Suen; her dam, Donas Cool Cat; and Meradas Little Sue, three-times NCHA Open World Champion, and dam of Boon Too Suen.

“She’s got her mama’s read and her daddy’s reach, and the way she comes through there is like her daddy,” said Kobie of Donas Suen Boon. “And she stops a lot like her mama, and has all that of Meradas Little Sue.”

Reserve champion Greg Coalson was also reserve champion of the 1999 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity on Quejanapep, LTE $202,060, half-brother to Mia Browbeater, by High Brow Cat. Quejanaisalena, LTE $329,571, a half-brother by Smart Little Lena to Mia Browbeater, was another homegrown star raised and shown by Coalson.

Amateur champions

Destini Benson, Hillsborough, NJ, hit the jackpot with her first time to show in Fort Worth and a 217-points NCHA Amateur Futurity win.

“My horse was consistent, so he handled the bad cows really well,” said Benson of Jimmy Cracked Corn, by Widows Freckles

Luke Barnhart and Hal Of A Mate claimed reserve with 216.5 points.

Mary Ann Rapp tops Non-Pro Semis at 220

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Phil and Mary Ann Rapp

Phil and Mary Ann Rapp.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, or in the hock, as Hilllbilly Handfishin proved to Mary Ann Rapp.

Yesterday, Rapp showed the  gelded son of Autumn Acre to top the  NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Semi-Finals with a score of 220 points.

Paula Wood was second with 219 points on homegrown Donas Suen Boon, by Boon Too Suen; and Dean Holden third on Playin With A Spoon.

As a 2-year-old, Hillbilly Handfishin’s career as a cutting horse depended on whether or not his potential merited the cost of surgery for a lesion on his hock.

He was bred by Lori and Bobby Gale, Conway, SC, and discovered to have the lesion, when the Gales had routine x-rays taken of their yearlings.

“He’s by Autumn Acre and that’s why they gave him to us,” explained Rapp, a syndicate owner of the young sire, who was an NCHA Open Futurity finalist (4th) and earner of nearly $300,000 under Phil Rapp.

“We kicked him out with our other yearlings and thought we’d see how he’d do. He was okay, when we started him, so we castrated him and decided to ride him until the fall of his two-year-old year. If he stayed sound and was any good, then we’d go ahead and have surgery done on his hock.”

When Hillbilly Handfishin proved to be one of their best prospects, they had his hock x-rayed once again and found that the lesion had healed and did not require surgery.

“He’s one of the soundest horses we’ve ever had, so it’s kind of ironic,” said Rapp, cutting’s all-time leaing non-pro money winner and 2002 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro champion on Little Janey Lena.

Amateur Semi-Finals

Dennis Levering on Nitas Little Jazz, by Nitas Wood, and Destini Benson with Jimmy Cracked Corn, by Widows Freckles, topped yesterday’s NCHA Futurity Amateur Semi-Finals with 217 points. Page Bowman was third aboard Athena Mad Man, by Athena Puddy Cat.