Archive for December, 2017

Mel Shearin, 1930-2017

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Mel Shearin.

Mel Shearin, of Saint Clair, Missouri, a horseman’s horseman and a giant among Midwestern cutters, has passed away at age 87. Shearin, who was inducted into the NCHA Hall of Fame in 2009, began working with horses when he was 13 and was an NCHA member from the 1950s.

Born in Farmington, Missouri on June 21, 1930, Shearin began working for local farmers as a 12-year-old, earning fifty cents a day, as well as setting pins at the local bowling alley for a nickel a game.

But by the time he was 13, he got a job driving a team of horses, and at 15, he spent summers working in Texas.

He served in the Korean War, receiving a Purple Heart and the United Nations Service Medal. After the war, he worked for Adams Milk, driving a six-pony hitch in local events. He married Irma Smith in 1956 and they had four children, Lisa, Louis, Larry and Linda.

In the early 1960s, Shearin went to work for August Busch at Grant’s Farm, caring for their world-famous Clydesdales. He also began making a name for himself in the cutting world with horses like Gold Tender, with whom he won the American Royal, one of the biggest cuttings in the country at the time. He also won championships  at Congress, the Denver National Show, and the Kansas and Missouri Maturity.

A full page photo of Shearin on Gold Tender appeared in Sports Illustrated, along with a caption that described them as “apparently defying gravity.”

Shearin mentored many amateur and non-pro riders over the years, and had a special influence with youth cutters. His trainees included NCHA Youth World Champions Larry Shearin and Debbie Shaw, and future NCHA president Ernie Beutenmiller Jr.

Besides cutting, he trained halter and pleasure horses for many years. One of his stars, Van Decka, set an AQHA record for youth points.

When a reporter noted that Shearin had been called the ‘Stan Musial of the cutting horse industry,’ Shearin replied,  ”I’m a little uncomfortable with that comparison. I’ve met Stan Musial. He was quite a baseball player and is a great person.”

He preferred to say that he was a simple man who had been fortunate to live his dream of being a cowboy.

Services for Mel Shearin are pending.

Champions converge in Dual Reyish

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Dual Reyish, the champion of the 2017 NCHA Futurity, is the product of two horses that also won championships in historic Will Rogers Coliseum, but there are some surprising twists in his background.

Ridden by Austin Shepard, Dual Reyish is the only active cutting horse owned by Billy Wolf of Whitesboro, Texas. Bred by Greg Smith, the chestnut stallion is by freshman sire Hottish, out of A Little Reylena.

Chula Dual
Spots Hot
Sweet Shorty Lena
Docs Stylish Oak
Stylish Play Lena
Play Lena
DUAL REYISH, chestnut s. 2014
Dual Pep
Dual Rey
Nurse Rey
A Little Reylena
Smart Little Lena
Katie Little Lena
Doc’s Chico Girl

Hottish, ridden by Lloyd Cox. Alan Gold photo.

Hottish ($286,109) was bred by Gail Holmes’ Double Dove Ranch by Spots Hot out of Stylish Play Lena.

Going back up the top line, Chula Dual was a grandson of 1977 NCHA Futurity champion Peppy San Badger (Buster Welch, $172,711). Chula Dual’s sire, Dual Pep, earned $302,054, and sired the earners of $23 million including Dual Rey Me ($812,942), Tapt Twice (dam of Dont Look Twice, $824,546), NCHA Futurity champion Playboy McCrae (Paul Hansma, $263,723).

Spots Hot was bred by Jody Galyean and was the first money earner out of Sweet Shorty Lena who went on to be a $1 million producer, including Steve Norris’ evergreen Innovation Time ($194,122) and His Reyflection ($130,195). Spots Hot won the 2004 NCHA Futurity with Wesley Galyean, after which the younger Galyean turned in his Non-Pro card on his way to the NCHA Riders Hall of Fame. Spots Hot earned $502,682 and has sired earners of more than $4.3 million, including 2016 NCHA Futurity champion Second Spot (Matt Gaines, $245,874).

Trained by Lloyd Cox, Dual Reyish’s sire Hottish earned $286,109 for Dustin and Deena Adams. Cox won the Breeders Invitational, NCHA Derby, South Point Derby, Idaho Derby and placed 11th in the NCHA Futurity. In Non-Pro company under Dustin Adams, the stallion won the NCHA Super Stakes and NCHA Classic Challenge, and the Pacific Coast Futurity Classic.

The class of 2014 was Hottish’s first crop, and he will go down as the leading freshman sire of 2017. Besides his Open NCHA Futurity champion, he sired fifth-placed Just Gettin Started, Non-Pro finalists Cool N Hot, Sheza Smokin Hot Gal, Liimited Non-Pro champion Sneakish, Unlimited Amateur finalist Buckin Hot, Limited Open finalist Reyzmehot, and a number of finalists at the season’s smaller futurities.

A Little Reylena, ridden by Kade Smith. Alan Gold photo.

On his bottom side, Dual Reyish is out of A Little Reylena, who has already produced earners of $397,613. A Little Reylena was bred by Donata Loveless, who was reserve champion Non-Pro of the 1994 Iadho Derby on the mare’s dam, Katie Little Lena, by Smart Little Lena.

Ashley Snider, Greg Smith’s daughter, was a Non-Pro finalist at the Idaho and Utah aged events on Tronacate, a son of Katie Little Lena.

Kade Smith, Ashley’s brother, and Greg, would go on to have a great run with A Little Reylena. At 19, Kade won the Limited Non-Pro NCHA Classic Challenge on A Little Reylena and placed sixth in the Classic Challenge Non-Pro. They made Non-Pro finals at the NCHA Super Stakes Classic, South Point Winter Championship, Brazos Bash, Breeders Invitational, El Rancho and more. Greg Smith made Open finals on the mare at Idaho and Utah.

A Little Reylena’s first money earner was the 2010 mare Four Eyed Cat, by Hydrive Cat, who took Kade to Non-Pro finals at Abilene,  and Arbuckle Mountain, earning $24,986.

The mare’s 2011 crop included Hay U (Third Cutting) and Lottery Ticket (Hydrive Cat). Hay U has made $186,268 with Kade winning limited age events at Calgary, Idaho and the Canadian Supreme, and making finals at the NCHA Classic Challenge, Super Stakes Classic and a string of other shows, and winning the 2016 Mercuria NCHA World Series at Idaho.

Greg Smith has shown Lottery Ticket in Open company, winning back-to-back aged events at Calgary and earning $57,310.

Jaime Snider, Greg’s son-in-law, was an Open NCHA Futurity and Super Stakes finalist on Rey To Sly, A Little Reylena’s 2012 foal by That Sly Cat. Rey To Sly has earned $85,164.

A Little Royal Rey is a 2013 mare by One Time Royalty out of A Little Reylena that Christina Cox has earned $34,577 with, including a sixth-place finish in the NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes.

Kade Smith was also a Non-Pro semi-finalist at the 2017 NCHA on Rey Some Sugar On Me, by freshman sire Kit Kat Sugar out of A Little Reylena.

Dual Reyish wins 2017 NCHA Futurity Open Championship

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Dual Reyish, ridden by Austin Shepard. Hart Photography.

Dual Reyish, by first-time sire Hottish, scored 228 points on Sunday, December 10 in Fort Worth, to win the 2017 NCHA Open Futurity and $192,672. It was the second NCHA Futurity win for his rider, Austin Shepard, and the first for his owner Billy Wolf, of Whitesboro, Tex., as well as for his breeder, Greg Smith, Mineral Wells, Tex.

Austin Shepard won the 2007 NCHA Futurity on High Brow CD LTE $502,202, and was reserve champion in 2016 on Sir Long Legs LTE $271,872. Shepard also won his second NCHA Open World Championship earlier this month riding Deluxe Checks $279,235, by Im Countin Checks. His first World Champion was Bet Hesa Cat LTE $267,465. In addition, Shepard also tied for 12/13 place in the 2017 NCHA Futurity on CR Dualin Tuff, sired by Woody Be Tuff and owned by Center Ranch.

The Animal, a full brother to 2016 NCHA Horse of the Year Ichis My Choice, by Cat Ichi, scored 225.5 points for reserve and $169,404. The Animal and Ichis My Choice LTE $339,438 were both bred by EE Ranches. This was the second NCHA Futurity Reserve title for The Animal’s rider, Lee Francois, who was reserve in 2008 on Smart Kitty RG LTE $211,383; it was the first Futurity title for The Animal’s owners, Richard and Beth Carney, Kemp, Tex.

Special Nu Boon, sired by Boon Too Suen, placed third with 224 points under Michael Cooper and earned $126,134 for his owner Rose Valley Ranch, Weatherford, Tex. Special Nu Boon also claimed the title of 2017 NCHA Futurity Champion Gelding. Michael Cooper also tied for 16/17 place on Judgement Day, owned by Rose Valley Ranch.

CR Smart Boots, also sired by Boon Too Suen, had already earned more than $19,000 at the 2017 NCHA Futurity, before he placed fourth with Ty Brown in the Open Finals to earn $111,292. Earlier in the 22-day show the sorrel gelding had placed third with Brown in the Open Limited Finals, and was a Non-Pro Semi-Finalist with his owner Bridey Greeson of Sarco Creek Ranch, Victoria, Tex.

Just Getting Started, sired by Hottish and shown by Jody Galyean, placed fifth with 220 points to earn $100,660. The sorrel gelding is owned by Lloyd and Christina Cox, Marrietta, Okla. Lloyd Cox won the 2010 NCHA Futurity with the event’s record high score of 230 points on One Time Royalty LTE $442,674. This was the eighteenth NCHA Futurity Open Finals for Jody Galyean, Christina Cox’s father, who won the 1986 NCHA Futurity on Royal Silver King.

Complete results from the 2017 NCHA Open Futurity go to

NCHA Futurity Sales strong from beginning to end

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Sunday’s high seller Miss Meow at $190,000, photo by Jim Arnold

The 2017 NCHA Futurity Sales ended as strongly as they began, as 73 horses sold for $1,949,100 and an average of $26,700, on Sunday, December 10, in the NCHA Futurity Cutting Horse Sale. Over all the seven sales averaged $24,684, with 84% sales completed compared to 79% in 2016.

The sale topper, Miss Meow LTE $194,781, brought $190,000 from SDP Buffalo Ranch, Fort Worth, Tex. Consigned by Tommy Manion, Inc., the 5-year-old High Brow Cat daughter is a full sister to 2005 NCHA Horse of the Year and leading sire Smooth As A Cat LTE 501,874, out of Shes Pretty Smooth LTE $75,526, dam of the earners of $1,265,749.

Other highlights from the NCHA Futurity Cutting Horse Sale included Rey To Sly LTE $85,164, who sold to Holmes and Hill, Glen Rose, Tex., for $95,000. The 5-year-old daughter of That Sly Cat was consigned by Shadow Oak Ranch and is out of the Dual Rey daughter A Little Reylena LTE $126,058, the dam of six money earners, including Hay U $182,631, by Third Cutting.

Cat Stevens LTE $92,674, consigned by Faith Mountain Ranch, sold for $75,000 to Mel Smith, Dunnihan, Calif. The 7-year-old daughter of High Brow Cat is out $207,972 producer Shesa A Stylish Babe LTE $147,133, by Docs Stylish Oak.

Superey LTE $48,621, consigned by the Glover GalyeanPartnership and purchased by Von Sutten, Weatherford, Tex., was the day’s high-selling gelding at $51,000. A 4-year-old sired by Dual Rey and in training with Wesley Galyean, Superey is out of Highbrow Supercat LTE $366,230, the 2005 NCHA Futurity Open champion and a leading producer of the earners of $1,282,638.

Moooy Bueno LTE $111,036, a 6-year-old gelding sired by Cats Moonshine, brought $50,000 from Lynda Ross, Acampo, Calif. Consigned by Dacole Investment Company, Moooy Bueno is out of Tangy Moo Cha Cha, by Tangys Classy Peppy.

Also selling at $50,000 was Reyhanna LTE $147,787. Consigned by John Kennedy/Beaver Creek Ranch, the 2009 daughter of Dual Rey was purchased by Fortalesa De Santa Terezinna, Agricultuae Pecuaria.

For the 2017 NCHA Futurity Sales online catalog and daily results, as well as information on upcoming sales:

Dual Reyish and Shepard win Open Semi-Finals

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

Dual Reyish, ridden by Austin Shepard. Hart Photography.

The line was drawn in the sand Saturday night, when 24 horses with scores of 217 points or higher, from a field of 69 semi-finalists, qualified for the 2017 NCHA Futurity Open Finals. On top of the roster, with 223 points were Dual Reyish, by Hottish, and Austin Shepard, for Billy Wolf, Whitesboro, Texas; followed by One Time Pepto daughter Timely Collette, with 222 points under her owner Kelle Earnheart; and Im Quintan Checks, by Im Countin Checks, with 220.5 points under John Sanislow, for Circle Y Ranch, Millsap, Tex.

Austin Shepard, who won the 2007 NCHA Futurity on High Brow CD, also qualified for the Open Finals with 218 points on CR Dualin Tuff, by Woody Be Tuff, owned and bred by Center Ranch. Center Ranch-owned CR Look At Me Now, with 217 points under Gary Gonsalves, also qualified for the Finals.

Center Ranch, Centerville, Tex and Rose Valley Ranch, Weatherford, Tex., were the only 2017 NCHA Futurity Open Finalist owners represented by two horses. Finalists Judgement Day, by High Brow Cat, and Special Nu Boon, by Boon Too Suen, are both owned by Rose Valley Ranch and both earned 219 points in the Semi-Finals under Michael Cooper. In addition to Austin Shepard, Michael Cooper was one of just three riders to qualify two horses for the Open Finals. The third is Morgan Cromer who qualified with 220.5 points on Metallikhaleesi, sired by Metallic Cat and owned by Texas Holy Cow Performance Horses, Santa Ynez, Calif., and 217 points on Little Dirty Harry, by Metallic Cat and owned by West Coast Cutting Horses, Santa Ynez, Calif.

Dual Reyish represents the first crop of performers sired by Hottish, who was bred by Double Dove Ranch out of Stylish Play Lena LTE $264,477. Stylish Play Lena has produced earners of $1,664,563, including 2014 NCHA Futurity Open reserve champion Smooth Talkin Style LTE $293,232.

Hottish also sired Just Getting Started, owned by Lloyd and Christina Cox, Marrietta, Okla. Just Getting Started qualified for the Finals with 218.5 points under Christina’s father Jody Galyean, who won the 1986 NCHA Open Futurity with Royal Silver King. Christina’s brothers, Beau and Wesley are both also NCHA Futurity Open champions – Beau in 2008 on Metallic Cat, and Wesley in 2004 on Spots Hot.

Jody Galyean, 63, and Ronnie Rice, 65, are the oldest riders to qualify for the 2017 NCHA Futurity. Rice, who qualified with 217.5 points on Gary Goodfried’s Woody Be Tuff daughter Docs Fanci Cabernet, has won the NCHA Futurity three times – in 1998 aboard Dainty Playgirl; in 2001 on San Tule Freckles; and as co-champion with his nephew’s son Tarin in 2012, riding CR Tuff Hearted.

Hottish and Sigala Rey are the only first crop sires among the 2017 NCHA Futurity Finalists. Sigala Rey , also bred by Double Dove Ranch, is the sire of C Biscuit, who qualified with 219 points under Jason Clark for Christy Leeth, Weatherford, Tex. Sigala Rey is also half-brother to 2017 Open Futurity Finalist Bordeauxx, shown by Kenny Platt and owned by Jose Sigala, Weatherford, Tex.

High volume sales mark 2017 NCHA Futurity Sales

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

Session III high-seller Splittin Aces, photo by Jim Arnold

Mares and stallions were the order of the day for the Preferred Breeders Sale Session III, on Saturday, December 9, where 99 horses sold for $1,907,100, with an average of $19,264. The final sale of the six-day 2017 NCHA Futurity Sales, the NCHA Futurity Cutting Horse Sale on Sunday prior to the NCHA Futurity Open Finals, will cap an exceptional week that so far has exceeded the record for volume of sales.

Splittin Aces, a yearling stallion by High Brow Cat, topped the Preferred Breeders Sale Session III at $85,000. Consigned by Tiffany Manion and purchased by James and Debbie Glover, Claremore, Okla., Splittin Aces is a full brother to Cat Rey Lou LTE $119,065 and out of Farra Rey LTE $101,252, by Dual Rey.

Dual Peppy Kitty, consigned by Isbell Quarter Horses and purchased for $60,000 by Ty Smith, Edmond, Okla., was the day’s second-highest seller. The 2005 Dual Pep daughter, out of Smart Little Kitty, by Smart Little Lena, is a half-sister to High Brow Cat, the sport’s all-time leading sire. Her first three performers have earned $141,000 and she sold with two embryos by Smooth As A Cat and one with WR This Cats Smart.

Metallic Juice, a 2016 red roan filly by Metallic Cat and consigned by Monty Johnson sold for $55,000 to Ben Emison, agent. Her dam, Smart Kitty Rey RG LTE $78,688, is out of Smart Kitty RG LTE $211,383, reserve champion of the 2008 NCHA Open Futurity.

Yearling filly Quaintrelle, consigned by Jeff Oswood, agent for Fulton Quien Sabe Ranch, was purchased by Center Ranch Centerville, Tex., for $50,000. Sired by Dual Rey and out of Autumn Kitty LTE $80,331, whose siblings, out of leading producer Autumn Boon LTE $258,185, have earned $1,748,101.

Center Ranch also purchased Sweet Shorty Lena LTE $114,276, for $45,000 from Fults Ranch, Amarillo, Tex.  The 1996 daughter of Shorty Lena is a leading producer of earners of $1,084,135 and sold with an embryo by Metallic Cat.

The yearling stallions Peptos Katz Stylish and CR Tuffer N Rey each brought $40,000 from Steve Anderson, Victoria, Tex., and Duncan Steele-Park, Weatherford, Tex., respectively. Peptos Katz Stylish, by High Brow Cat, was consigned by Glenn and Debbie Drake and is out of Miss Stylish  Pepto LTE $224,930, which makes him a full brother to Cat Atat Cat LTE $78,202 and Miss Stylish Katz LTE $66,507. CR Tuffer N Rey, by Woody Be Tuff, was consigned by Center Ranch and is a half-brother to Hay Maker LTE $261,827, out of Calie Del Rey LTE $109,261, by Dual Rey.

The 2017 NCHA Futurity Sales continue through Sunday, December 10. For the online catalog and daily results:

Preferred Breeders Sale II: Another banner day

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

Awesome Autumn, high-seller at $200,000 in Preferred Breeders Session Sale II

Friday, December 8 was another banner day for NCHA Futurity Sales with total sales of $2,408,200, an average of $20,237 on 119 head, and 87 percent completed sales. Broodmares were especially in demand, as well as yearling fillies.

Awesome Autumn, a 2004 black mare by Smart Little Lena, was the day’s high seller at $200,000. Consigned by Glenn and Debbie Drake and purchased by Lone Oak Performance Horses, Las Vegas, Nev. Awesome Autumn sold with an embryo by Metallic Cat. Out of Autumn Boon LTE $258,000, a leading producer of earners of over $1.7 million, Awesome Autumn has produced earners of $395,637, including Shrimp Shack Shooter LTE $164,147, by Smooth As A Cat,  and Memorey LTE $77,820, by Dual Rey.

Lahaina Lena LTE $100,027, a 2007 daughter of Dual Rey, consigned by Waco Bend Ranch, brought $85,000 from Diamond LK Performance Horses, Dallas, Tex. The dam of Lahaina Cat LTE $27,519, Lahaina Lena is out of Tap O Lena LTE $502,145, the dam of Tapt Twice LTE $285,226 and granddam of NCHA Open Horse of the Year Don’t Look Twice LTE $843,096. Lahaina Lena sold bred to Metallic Cat.

Manytimes LTE $112,024, also consigned by Waco Bend Ranch, sold for $77,000 to Hashtag Ventures. Sired by One Time Pepto and out of Cats Twisted Whisker LTE $121,175, by High Brow Cat, 8-year-old Manytimes sold with an embryo by Stevie Rey Von.

Quivering Cat, a 2016 colt by High Brow Cat, was the day’s high-selling stallion at $77,000. Consigned by Charles Burger and purchased by Center Ranch, Centerville, Tex., Quivering Cat is out of TM Quiver LTE $151,544, a half-sister to leading sire Smooth As A Cat LTE $501,874.

Metallic Chereykee, by Metallic Cat, was the day’s high-selling yearling filly. Consigned by Joan Dee Haun, she went to Ten27/ Ranch, Denham Springs, La., for $60,000. Her dam, Sigourney Rey LTE $22,785, by Dual Rey, is a full sister to Rey To Play LTE $166,305, dam of Little Jackson Cat LTE $133,047, and half-sister to Playboys Molly Mac LTE $158,519, producer of seven NCHA money earners.

CR Tuff Lucinderella, sired by Woody Be Tuff and consigned by Center Ranch, went for $52,000 to JH Nail Ranch, Albany, Tex. The 2016 black filly is out of Cat Digs Lucinda, by High Brow Cat, a full sister to Lucindas Catolena LTE $176,086. CR Tuff Lucinderella’s second-dam, Lenas Lucinda LTE $161,760, is a leading producer with earners of $899,418.

Once Mor, a 2016 brown filly by Once In A Blu Boon, was consigned by Upton Carter Partners and sold for $50,000 to Curtis Weeks, Cotulla, Tex. Her dam Smart Cat Moria, by High Brow Cat, is a full sister to NCHA Futurity Open reserve champion Smart Kitty RG LTE $211,383, out of Smart Moria LTE $55,651, producer of earners of $669,251.