Archive for July, 2015

Merrill wins second Limited Non-Pro title

Friday, July 31st, 2015
McKenzie Merrill

McKenzie Merrill won the NCHA Ltd Non-Pro Derby on Kausac Kat. Hart Photography.

McKenzie Merrill won the NCHA Derby Limited Non-Pro Derby back in 1999 on Roobun, whose sire and dam were both out of Reserve World Champion Doc’s Starlight.

On Friday, she won the same event on Kausac Kat, marking 219 as the first rider, to win by three and a half points over Austin Adams on Pur Tee. Merrill’s 1999 paycheck was $2,588. This year, she collected $8,430.

Kausac Kat was bred by Ronald Dowdy by Smooth As A Cat out of Lenas Tangygirl, by Lenas Telesis. Lenas Tangygirl is from the family of million-dollar sire Tangys Classy Peppy.

Russell Harrison developed Kausac Kat and Merrill’s trainer, Grant Setnicka, put the horse on his radar at the NCHA Futurity. Merrill got him this spring, and won the Cattlemen’s Derby Limited Non-Pro, as well as placing fifth in the Cattlemen’s Non-Pro finals.

Merrill, who had shifted her focus to reined cowhorse competition between her NCHA Derby Limited Non-Pro wins, said, “I was more nervous than usual, but he just felt ‘on’ tonight.”

Kausac Kat’s earnings will go over $19,000 with his latest paycheck.

Austin Adams marked 215.5 for the reserve championship on Pur Tee, a daughter of Cat T Masterson and Purdy Aristocrat, by Smart Aristocrat, bred by Jack and Susan Waggoner.

Adams was an NCHA Futurity Non-Pro finalist on the mare and won the Abilene Spectacular and Arbuckle Mountain Limited Non-Pro on her. Pur Tee comes out of the Derby with earnings of more than $95,000.

Lynn Anderson, 1947-2015

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Lynn AndersonGrammy Award winning singer and cutting horse enthusiast Lynn Anderson died July 30, following a heart attack.

Anderson, whose signature song, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden,” became one of the biggest selling country cross-over hits of all time, recorded a dozen chart-topping records. She received awards from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, and was named Billboard’s Female Artist of the Decade (1970-80). In 1974, she was the first female country artist to headline and sell out Madison Square Gardens.

The daughter of country songwriters Casey and Liz Anderson, she was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and raised in Fair Oaks, California. She had her first success in the horse show arena in California as a youngster, eventually winning 700 trophies, and being named California Horse Show Queen in 1966. She won 16 national and eight world championships, along with several celebrity titles.

She was a popular—and successful—supporter of the Careity Foundation’s Celebrity Cutting at the NCHA Futurity.

Anderson raised horses at her ranch in New Mexico and worked with Special Riders of Animaland, a horseback riding therapy program for children.

Her Quarter Horses Lady Phase and Skipsters Chief were produced as plastic models by Breyer Animal Creations. Skipsters Chief was also the poster horse for the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association.

Lynn Anderson made television appearances with such stars as Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, John Wayne and Tom Jones and she performed for presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan.

She is survived by her father, her partner Mentor Williams and her children, Lisa Sutton, Melissa Hempel and Gray Stream.

The cutting edge for animal welfare

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

By Sally Harrison

The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), producer of the world’s richest equine events outside of racing and a leader in animal welfare, recently unveiled a custom-built horse ambulance to be available on-site at all major NCHA events.

“We were the first western stock horse performance association to develop a medication policy and now we are the first to provide an on-site ambulance with a specially trained emergency team,” said Lindy Burch, past president of the association and chairman of its Horse and Cattle Welfare Committee.

“Hopefully we never have an accident, but if we do, we can safely and easily move an animal into the ambulance, where it can be stabilized by our on-site veterinarian, and transported from the arena to an emergency equine veterinary clinic.”

Jerry Durant, owner of Durant Auto Group and a cutting horse owner, has donated the use of a new Chevy pickup for the ambulance during the NCHA shows.

The ambulance was custom built by Kyle Zanetti Trailers, Weatherford, Tex., with input from Burch, NCHA Welfare Committee member Chris Benedict, and two equine sports veterinary specialists. Its many features include a hydraulic ramp and a winch-operated Becker sling system to stabilize or suspend a horse, depending on its injuries.

“I make trailers for people who want special features that regular manufacturers can’t provide,” said owner Kyle Zanetti, who builds custom trailers with the help of six employees. “The NCHA Equine Ambulance was a collaboration with Lindy and Chris, who told me what was needed and shared their knowledge. But I did everything in my shop and have had my hands on every part of this trailer.”

“We as cutters are very proactive in caring for our horses,” Burch pointed out. “We love them, we want to protect their welfare in training and during competition, and having an equine ambulance at our events will give us peace of mind that we are better prepared, if an accident does take place.”

The sport of cutting evolved from cattle roundups, where calves were separated from their mothers for branding by cowboys or cowgirls on horseback. Today’s cutting competition demands highly skilled and conditioned athletes able to counter evasive calves with powerful precision, and at breath-taking speed.

Lindy Burch

“They are just like human athletes,” noted Burch, an NCHA Open World Champion, Hall of Fame Rider, and NCHA Open Futurity Champion, who has been showing for four decades. “Sometimes they get sore or injured during training and we treat and rehab them. But in all the years I have been competing, I have seen very few horses incur a serious injury during competition, because we do everything we can do to keep them comfortable and in optimum shape.

“Still, it is good to know the ambulance is there, if something does happen to a horse or even a cow. And in the future, we hope to make it available to other equine events.”

In addition to the hydraulic ramp and winch-operated sling system, the ambulance can be lowered 3 ½ inches for ease of loading, and also carries a special “sled” that can be placed underneath a prostrate animal and winched inside the trailer.

Other features full air-ride suspension; alleys and doors to provide easy access to the animal from both sides; a 12 volt LED lighting system; a converter-charging system so that it can be plugged into a 110 volt outlet, when parked; cushioned Polylast flooring with anti-fungal and bacterial properties; and ample storage and refrigeration for medical supplies.

While the NCHA Equine Ambulance is the first of its kind for Kyle Zanetti Trailers, as well as for the performance horse world, it is not the only “first” with a Zanetti stamp. Last year, Kyle designed and built an 18-horse trailer for cutting horse trainer Adan Banuelos.

“That is an ultimate trailer,” said Zanetti of the Banuelos rig. “When somebody says nobody can do it, I say give me a shot. I grew up in this business and I love it, and I am always going to offer a premiere product.”

For additional information or photo images, contact Lindy Burch, Chairman of the NCHA Horse and Cattle Welfare Committee, at or Julie Davis, NCHA Member Services Director, at

Rosie Boon San, Walt Erwin claim John Deere title

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Rosies Boon San

Walt Erwin won the John Deere Division of the NCHA Derby on Rosies Boon San. Hart Photography.

“We call her Alice,” said Walt Erwin, winner on Tuesday, July 28 of the NCHA Derby John Deere Open Limited championship on Rosie Boon San.

“Alice” because Rosie Boon San, by Boon San, was bred by Alice Walton’s Rocking W Ranch, which won last week’s NCHA Open Classic Challenge with Boon San Spoon, shown by Jesse Lennox.

Rosie Boon San scored 219 points for her win, while Scott Wray and SDP Hicapoo Cat, owned by Chris Brengard, scored 218.5 points for the reserve championship. Countess Cat, shown by John Sanislow for Circle Y Ranch, was third with 216.5 points.

“Scott Wray is a good friend and we’ve been working at his place while we’re here,” said Erwin, who is based in Cleveland, Ga. and shows Rosie Boon San for Kelly Gates, of Martinez, Ga. “I love this building. I was reserve world champion showing pleasure horses here as a youth, when I was 12.”

Wray, 38, trained western pleasure and reining horses and had never seen a cutting horse competition, until 2003, when Chiquita Pistol won the NCHA Derby–and the Triple Crown.

“I thought it was amazing,” said Erwin. “That mare could run and murder the ground. Coming from a reining background, I love a horse with a good stop. But pleasure horses and reiners are not allowed to think. Cutting horses have to think.

“When I first tried (Rosie Boon San) out, I loved what I felt. She could stop and she was quick coming back out of the ground to catch that cow. If you can do that, you can cut anything.”

When Erwin purchased Rosie Boon San this past March from Ben Roberson, the Boon San daughter had no show record. Erwin rode her at a few weekend shows to “get her seasoned” and decided to enter her in the NCHA Derby. “This mare just fit me,” he said. “I loved what I felt.”

Rosie Boon San and Erwin scored 217 points and 216, respectively, in the first and second go-rounds to also qualify for this Friday’s Open Derby Semi-Finals.

Rosie San Boon is by Walton-bred Boon San and out of fourth-generation Walton-owned Stylish Rosie, reserve champion of the 2001 NCHA Derby. On September 21 and 22, Walton Rocking W Ranch will hold a total dispersal sale, conducted by Western Bloodstock Ltd., at Rocking W Ranch in Millsap, Tex., where Boon San, as well as 90 other Walton bred horses will be sold at public auction.

“Jesse (Lennox, Walton Ranch trainer) said they have a 3-year-old full sister to this mare that is open caliber,” said Erwin. “The Rocking W sale should really be something.”

Reserve champion SDP Hicapoo Cat is sired by Hydrive Cat; third-placed Countess Cat is by Im Countin Checks.

Big win for Hedlund and Meteles Cat

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Cody Hedlund

Cody Hedlund won the Non-Pro Showdown in Cowtown on Meteles Cat. Hart Photography.

It was a big win in more ways than one, for Cody Hedlund and Meteles Cat on Monday night, in the Non-Pro division of the inaugural Western Bloodstock NCHA Showdown in Cowtown. The 227-point score was Hedlund’s highest earned in a limited age event, and the winner’s purse of $35,000 hit a home run out of Will Rogers Coliseum.

“That’s a huge check with a huge number on it,” said Hedlund, who collected $16,417 for his Non-Pro win in the 2015 Breeders Invitational. “This (Showdown in Cowtown) is going to be a big deal and I hope they continue it.”

Steven Feiner and Lil Rattler placed second with 222 points to earn $22,000, while Kylie Rice and Master Mate scored 219 points for third and $20,000.

The Showdown in Cowtown was a concept suggested to NCHA by Western Bloodstock Ltd.’s Jeremy Barwick, an innovator in cutting horse marketing and sales.

Five-year-old Meteles Cat, by Metallic Cat, is now the earner of more than $220,000. In addition to his Breeders Invitational win, he also placed as non-pro reserve champion in the 2014 Breeders Invitational and NCHA Super Stakes, and won the PCCHA non-pro championship.

Six-year-old Lil Rattler, by Dual Rey out of 2005 NCHA Futurity champion Highbrow Supercat, also surpassed all of her previous non-pro earnings with her Showdown cache of $22,000. The lifetime earner of nearly $260,000, Lil Rattler’s biggest previous share of a purse came as fourth-placed open finalist in the 2013 NCHA Super Stakes, under Wesley Galyean.

“I was getting kind of nervous and I don’t usually get too nervous,” said Cody Hedlund, who drew last to work in the 12-horse field of the Non-Pro Showdown in Cowtown finals, where Feiner and Lil Rattler drew next-to-last. “With Steven having that run right before me, I wanted to make sure I had an aggressive run and they (judges) knew I was here.

“My help did an awesome job of keeping me calm and finding my cows.”

Meteles Cat was bred and trained by Hedlund’s father, Rock, who qualified for this week’s NCHA Derby Open Semi-Finals with 434 points on Twice As Smoothe. Meteles Cat is also a half-brother, out of Teles Lies, to Teles Bout This Cat LTE $223,509, by WR This Cats Smart.

Rapp, Hansma, win Scholarship Cutting

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Ryan Rapp and Cade Hansma won the action-packed Junior and Senior Youth finals of the NYCHA Scholarship Cutting in Will Rogers Coliseum on July 23.

Ryan Rapp

Ryan Rapp marked 229 on Spookystimetoshine to win the Junior Scholarship Cutting. Hart Photography.

Rapp, who had marked a lifetime best score of 222 on Spookystimetoshine a few days earlier in the first round of the Grace Ranch NYCHA World Finals, outdid himself with a 229 in the junior division of the Scholarship Cutting finals. Blakley Colgrove was second with a 222 on Bowmans Cat (by High Brow Cat), while Cade Shepard was third with a 221 on Divas On Time (by One Time Pepto).

Rapp, the son of Hall of Famers Phil and Mary Ann Rapp, was also named NYCHA Rookie of the Year. He rode Spookystimetoshine in Fort Worth, an 8-year-old son of One Time Pepto and $1.3 million producer San Starlight, bred by Jeff Barnes. He had won the $2,000 Limited Rider class on Spookystimetoshine at The Non-Pro and The Open Cutting in June.

Cade Hansma

Cade Hansma won the Senior Scholarship Cutting on Little Pepto Cat.

Cade Hansma, daughter of Hall of Famers Paul and Julie Hansma, marked 225 on Little Pepto Cat to win the Senior finals over Salem Brown who marked 220 on Rumorhasit (by Nitas Wood), and Sheridan Clark with a 219.5 on Katz Flash (by Purdy Boy Flash).

Little Pepto Cat, a winner of $318,000 for Bob Kingsley’s Bluestem Ranch, is by High Brow Cat out of Horse of the Year Little Pepto Gal. Last year, Cade won the NCHA Classic Challenge Limited Non-Pro finals on Little Pepto Cat’s half-brother, Chucks Little Pepto.

Cade’s twin sister, McCall, won this year’s NCHA Classic Challenge Limited Non-Pro on Chex My Cat. This was the first time the sisters have won major championships at the same show.

Spotlight on Amateurs

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
Blakley Colgrove

Blakley Colgrove won the Unlimited Amateur Derby on Paradox Cat. Hart Photography.

Amateur riders took center stage at Will Rogers Coliseum on July 22 as NCHA hosted the Rios of Mercedes Amateur and Unlimited Amateur finals in both the 4-year-old and 5/6-year-old divisions.

Junior Youth competitor Blakley Colgrove of Boligee, Alabama, became only the second rider in history to win two Amateur titles at an NCHA Triple Crown show when she won the Unlimited Amateur Derby on Paradox Cat and the Unlimited Amateur Classic Challenge on Vespaa. The only previous double Amateur winner was Mary Ellen Graves, who was 16 in 2004 when she won the NCHA Derby and Classic Challenge with Smart Bobbi Sock and So She Wood.

In the Unlimited Amateur Derby, Colgrove marked 220 on Paradox Cat for a five-point win over Danny Jones on Sweet Metallic Sugar, by Metallic Cat.

Bred by Mike and Sue Christensen, Paradox Cat is by High Brow Cat out of Thimblerey, by Dual Rey. Colgrove won the NCHA Amateur Futurity on him, and a few weeks later, Austin Shepard rode Paradox Cat to the Augusta Futurity championship. His latest win gives Paradox Cat earnings of more than $39,000.

Blakley Colgrove

Blakley Colgrove won the Unlimited Amateur Classic Challenge on Vespaa.

Colgrove marked 220.5 on Vespaa to beat Barney Mac Smith on One Red Mist, by One Time Pepto, in the 5/6-year-old unlimited finals. Bred by Bar H Ranche, Vespaa is a 6-year-old by CD Olena out of My Scooters Smokin, by Smart Lil Scoot. Vespaa has won over $130,000, most of it with Colgrove, including wins at the Breeders Invitational and Cotton Stakes last year.

Lica Pinkston

Lica Pinkston won the Rios of Mercedes Amateur Derby on Stylish Metallic Cat.

Lica Pinkston, a former NCHA Rookie of the Year from Alice, Texas, won the Rios of Mercedes Amateur Derby with a 219.5 on Stylish Metallic Cat. While Pinkston has won senior titles at NCHA Triple Crown events before, this was her first overall championship in Will Rogers Coliseum.

Stylish Metallic Cat  is a homebred son of Metallic Cat and Stylish Lil Player, a Playin Stylish mare that took Pinkston to fourth place in the 2008 NCHA Classic Challenge Amateur finals. Stylish Lil Player traces back to Doc’s Serendipity, the mare Joe Heim showed for the reserve championship in the 1977 NCHA Futurity.

Pinkston won Amateur championships at the Bonanza and The Non-Pro & The Open with Stylish Metallic Cat on her way to the Classic Challenge.

John Brengard

John Brengard won the Rios of Mercedes Amateur Classic Challenge on SDP Hydriven Hicapoo.

John Brengard of Paragould, Arkansas won the Rios of Mercedes Amateur Classic Challenge with a 219 on SDP Hydriven Hicapoo. Amanda Standish on Countin On Stella, by Im Countin Checks, and Grace Ann Vangilder on Shes A Smokin Dually, by Third Cutting, both marked 215 to share the reserve championship.

Bred by Buffalo Ranch, SDP Hydriven Hicapoo is by Hydrive Cat out of Horse of the Year Hicapoo, by Doc’s Hickory. The 6-year-old mare has earned over $110,000.

Brengard, who won this class last year on Smooth As A Huntress, was also a Breeders Invitational finalist this spring on SDP Hydriven Hicapoo’s full sister, SDP Hicapoo Cat.