Archive for May, 2013

Pat Earnheart, 1947-2013

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Pat Earnheart

Pat Earnheart

Popular horseman Pat Earnheart of Hernando, Mississippi, passed away May 28 following a long illness. Earnheart, who was inducted into the NCHA Riders Hall of Fame in 1994, and the Members Hall of Fame in 2009, was associated with great horses like Dual Pep, Cals San Badger and Colonel Leo Bar.

Earnheart started cutting on the ranch and in his local association at age 10. When he was 14, he met trainer Jimmy Orrell and “got serious” about the sport.

“I set to do some serious learning, and as soon as I got my driver’s license at age 15, I spent as much time as I could at the ranch with Jimmy and the horses,” he once recalled.

His first major success came in 1971 when he rode Royal Hank to third place in the NCHA Open World Standings. He first qualified for the NCHA Futurity finals in 1972, and he was reserve champion with Cals San Badger in 1986.

Earnheart said Dual Pep was the smartest horse he ever rode, and together they won the NCHA Classic, the Augusta Classic, the Pacific Coast Classic Challenge and the Bonanza Cutting.

At one point, Earnheart counted 60 horses in his barn. “I didn’t realize I had them,” he said. “I went down to around 35.

“I was pretty busy over the years, and I always had a good hand breaking horses. Most of those boys became good horse trainers.”

Earnheart’s work ethic and hands-on experience were valuable assets when he turned to show production. He produced major events in Louisiana and Mississippi that were fixtures on the limited age calendar for years.

Visitation for Pat Earnheart will be Sunday, June 2 from 5-8 p.m. at the Hernando Funeral Home. Services will be Monday, June 3 at 11 a.m. at Eudora Baptist Church in Hernando, 9670 Highway 304, Hernando, MS 38632. (662) 429-6129

Lil Catbaloo claims Tulsa with 227 points

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Lloyd Cox

It was a dazzling conclusion to 15 days of competition – Lil Catbaloo’s 227-point Open Derby win under Lloyd Cox at the Breeder’s Invitational in Tulsa. Reyzin and Phil Rapp claimed reserve with 222.5 points and Dark And Sultry placed third with 222.

Bill Cowan and Merada Jo scored 220 points for the Non-Pro championship, while Kristen Galyean was reserve with 219 points on Tattoos On This Town, as well as third with 216 points on Dark And Sultry. Wes Galyean, champion in April of the NCHA Super Stakes on Hes A Hot Cat, also tied for seventh in the BI Open aboard Tattoos On This Town.

Altogether, Wes and Kristen Galyean, Claremore, Okla., won $92,876; Lloyd Cox and his wife Christina, who placed 11th and 21st in the Non-Pro, won $95,356; and Phil and Mary Ann Rapp, tied for fourth in the Non-Pro on Reyzin, earned $84,466 (Phil also placed fifth on Waco Bend’s mare Manytimes).

Lil Catbaloo, owned by Gene and Michelle Morris, Florence, Mont., placed fourth with Cox in the NCHA Futurity; qualified for the Abilene Spectacular; was reserve champion of the Arbuckle Mountain Derby; and placed sixth in the Bonanza.

Sired by High Brow Cat, bred by John Harrah and sold for $20,000 at the NCHA Futurity Yearling Sales, Lil Catbaloo is out of a half-sister to the dam High Brow CD, an all-time leading money earner and sire of Reyzin, owned by Phil and Mary Ann Rapp.

Manytimes, Phil Rapp’s fifth-placed mount (219 points), is out of Cats Twisted Whisker, who Phil rode to win the 2007 Breeder’s Invitational Derby.

Dark And Sultry, sired by Spots Hot, was bred by Jeff and Jennifer Foland out of Hissy Cat, who earned over $300,000 under Darren Simpkins and Jennifer Foland. Jennifer also tied for 15th in the Breeder’s Invitational Derby Non-Pro division on Hissterya, a half-brother, by Dual Rey, to Dark And Sultry.

Click here for the full roster of Breeder’s Invitational results.

Breeder’s Invitational update

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Jaime Snider

The cutting world is focused on Tulsa, Okla this week and one of the sport’s richest events, the Breeder’s Invitational, which concludes on Saturday, May 25 with the Open and Non-Pro Derby Finals.

Last week’s 5 & 6-year old Classic/Challenge competition saw Sly Playgirl and Jaime Snider claim their second consecutive Breeder’s Invitational title for owner Luis De Armas, who also rides the 6-year-old mare in non-pro competition. Bred by Glade Knight’s Slate River Ranch, owner of her late sire, That Sly Cat, Sly Playgirl won $22,826 and has career earnings of $312,000.

Thundercat, shown by Wesley Galyean for Steven Feiner, was Open reserve champion; Galyean also tied for sixth on High Classed Hottie, owned by Norda Burger

Last week’s biggest surprise, however, came on Saturday, May 18. The same day that Oxbow upset Kentucky Derby winner Orb in Maryland’s Preakness Stakes, I C Hi Stars and Francisco Sigala upset a 27-horse finals field in Tulsa to win the Breeder’s Invitational Non-Pro Classic/Challenge, with 220 points.

Although Francisco Sigala, 25, has a Texas Futurity title and three major reserve championships on record, this was I C Hi Star’s limited age event competition debut. The Cat Ichi daughter, who Sigala purchased last November, had previously been shown at weekend events and came to the Breeder’s Invitational with a career total of $3,138. Woodys Wildest Cat, the reserve champion with Mandy Chisum, came to Tulsa with NCHA earnings of $211,616 and also won the Classic/Challenge Ltd Non-Pro.

Payouts for the Breeder’s Invitational Non-Pro Classic/Challenge champion and reserve champion were $15,346 and $12,533, respectively.

High Classed Hottie and Norda Berger won the Classic/Challenge Amateur championship, with Amanda Purdin reserve riding Divas On Time, while William Cook and Sho is claimed the Derby Amateur title.

Click here for complete details and for Derby results on Saturday.

Oxbow upsets Orb to win Preakness

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Oxbow in a pre-race work

Oxbow, sixth-place finisher as a 25-1 shot in the Kentucky Derby, cruised to an early lead to win the $1 million Preakness Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths, at 15-1, on Saturday. Kentucky Derby winner Orb, the odds on favorite, broke his impressive five-win streak to finish fourth. Itsmyluckyday and Mylute were second and third, respectively.

“I get paid to spoil dreams,” said Oxbow’s trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who realized his sixth Preakness and 15th Triple Crown wins with Oxbow’s victory at odss of 15-1.

It was the third Preakness win for Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, 50, whose last came aboard Point Given in 2001. Stevens returned to racing this past January, after a seven-year retirement during which he pursued an acting career.

“He was so right today,” said Stevens of Oxbow. “It reminded me of Winning Colors in the Derby.” Stevens won the 1988 Kentucky Derby on Winning Colors, trained by Lukas and one of only three fillies to ever win the Derby.

Oxbow also gave owner Calumet Farm its eighth Preakness win. The historic farm has also produced eight Kentucky Derby winners, including Triple Crown winners Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948).

Sired by Awesome Again, Oxbow was bred by Colts Neck Stables and purchased by Calumet for $250,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. His biggest win prior to the Preakness came in the G3 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds in Jamuary. He also placed second by a head to stablemate Will Take Charge in the G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn in March.

Oxbow, who now has a record 3 wins, one second, one third and $921,000 from 10 starts, was one of three Lukas entries in the nine-horse Preakness field. Will Take Charge finished seventh and Titletown Five was last.

2013 Breeders Invitational

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Looking for a good book? Search no further…

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Parker County in North Central Texas is named for her Uncle Isaac. Yet had it not been for her son, Comanche warrior Quanah Parker, Cynthia Ann Parker’s name might have been lost to history, along with countless other victims of brutality on the Western frontier.

When Quanah Parker appeared as part of the posse in the 1908 silent short The Bank Robbery, it was a pivotal moment for the fledgling movie industry and the beginning of America’s love affair with the bygone Western frontier. In his recently released book “The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend,” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel connects the saga of Quanah Parker with the making one of Hollywood’s most iconic movies.

Directed by John Ford, starring John Wayne, and released by Warner Bros. in 1956, The Searchers was based on Alan LeMay’s novel of the same title, inspired by the story of Quanah Parker’s mother, Cynthia Ann.

In 1836, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker and four family members were abducted during a Comanche raid on their isolated pioneer stockade, in the newly created Republic of Texas. Five others, including Cynthia Ann’s father, uncle and grandfather were savagely killed and dismembered. Twenty-four years later, having assimilated Comanche culture and mothered three children by tribal chief Peta Nocona. Cynthia Ann was discovered by Texas Rangers, following the Battle of Pease River, and released to her uncle, Isaac Parker.

Terrified by her white “captors,” Cynthia Ann more than once attempted escape with her infant daughter Prairie Flower, before resigning herself to her fate. Despite well-meaning efforts by a succession of Parker family members who took her in, Cynthia Ann pined for her Indian family until her death in 1871.

“She was virtually a prisoner among her own loving kindred, but they did not realize it until it was too late,” said Isaac Parker.

The transition to the white man’s world was much easier for Cynthia Ann’s son, who had evaded capture until 1875. Practical, as well as savvy, Quanah Parker helped enforce reservation laws and negotiate peace with the few remaining renegade bands that remained on the High Plains. He also made friends and eventually became business partners with influential ranchers such as S.B. “Burk” Burnett, E.C. Sugg, and Dan Waggoner, and even won over Theodore Roosevelt, who invited him to participate in his 1904 inaugural parade.

Proud of his white blood, Quanah Parker tracked down his mother’s unmarked grave in 1910 and had her reburied near his home in Comanche County, Okla. According to his son-in-law, Aubrey Birdsong, at the reburial, Quanah Parker said, “I love my mother. I like white folks….When people die today, tomorrow, ten years, I want them be ready like my mother. Then we all lie together again.”

Quanah Parker died in February 1911 and was buried next to the grave of his mother and Prairie Flower. The funeral was attended by 1,200 people, evenly divided between Indians and whites. His headstone bears the inscription: “Resting Here Until Day Breaks and Shadows Fall and Darkness Disappears Is Quanah Parker Last Chief of the Comanches.”

Texas ties for Preakness contender Mylute

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Mike Rutherford, Jr.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb will be the horse to beat this Saturday in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. But Mylute, who followed Orb from the tail end of the pack through the back stretch and closed to finish fourth, could be a sentimental favorite for cutting horse fans, especially those from Texas.

Trained by Tom Amoss for GoldMark Farm, Mylute, was bred by long-time NCHA member Mike G. Rutherford, Houston, Tex., whose son, Mike Jr., 53, of Buda, Tex., is a well-known non-pro competitor.

“I was close to 30 when I started riding cutting horses,” said Rutherford Jr. “I traded a Thoroughbred mare for a cutting horse. Ann Riddle and my dad picked her out for me. He used to have cutters and has been looking at horses for so many years that I really trust him.”

One of Rutherford Sr.’s star homebreds, now a member of his Kentucky-based Manchester Farm broodmare band, is the Seattle Slew daughter Lakeway, winner of four Grade 1 stakes races: the Santa Anita Oaks, Mother Goose, Hollywood Oaks and Las Virgenes. Rutherford also bred Cara Rafaela, 2006 broodmare of the year and dam of Bernardini, world champion 3-year-old and 2006 Preakness winner over Barbaro, who suffered a fracture during the race that led to his untimely death.

Mike Rutherford Jr.’s first significant win came in 2000 aboard Dual Flo in the NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes. But 2008 proved a banner year for him as well, when he showed two 4-year-olds, Magnifi Cat and Smart Taz Trouble, as a finalist in seven limited age event finals, as well as 3-year-old Quite The Fat Cat, as a finalist in the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity.

In addition to her Texas connections through Rutherford, Mylute also carries the colors for her dam’s sire, 20-year-old Valid Expectations, the perennial leading sire in Texas. Valid Expectations stands at Lanes End Texas in Hempstead.