• Western Bloodstock, Ltd

It was Reyning Cats in Mercuria El Rancho Open

September 15th, 2018

Reyning Cats, ridden by Russ Westfall. Ted Petit photo.

Reyning Cats, shown by Russ Westfall for Jerry and Suzanne Rava, took the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting El Rancho Open by storm with a 225-point win in the six-horse finals.  Hashtags, under Tatum Rice for Hashtags Ventures, scored 216 points for second, and Some Kinda Highbrow, owned by Michelle LeMaster and shown by Gavin Jordan, placed third with 208 points.

Reyning Cats, a 5-year-old daughter of Dual Rey, claimed her second-richest check ($12,780) with the El Rancho Mercuria win, while her Idaho Classic Open reserve championship tops her 2018 limited age event performances. In 2017, Reyning Cats and Westfall placed third in the El Rancho 4-Year-Old Open, and her seventh-place finish in the 2017 NCHA Derby Open ranks as her most lucrative ($20,635) performance.

Westfall, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with earnings of $3,129,451, won the 2011 NCHA El Rancho Mercuria Open on Lil Bit Reckless, by CD Royal, and won the 2016 El Rancho Futurity on Bobs Smart Badger, by Reys Dual Badger.

Hashtags, a 5-year-old stallion sired by Metallic Cat, is leading the race for the 2018 NCHA World Championship and is the top 2018 money earner of his crop. His earnings this week as El Rancho Classic Open champion and Mercuria reserve champion will increase his lifetime total to $434,686, making him Metallic Cat’s leading money earner.

Tatum Rice, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with $1,867,707, won last year’s El Rancho Mercuria Open championship on Eazee E, by High Brow Cat.

Bill Cowan on Billies Catty. Ted Petit photo.

Bill Cowan of Ardmore, Oklahoma, and homebred Billies Catty marked 226 to win the Non-Pro division of the El Rancho Mercuria. Suzanne Rodoni Silverberg placed second with a 222 on Whiskey Cat, while Elizabeth Quirk was third with a 216 on Cat Sheree.

Cowan, who is in the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame, was racking up his third Mercuria of the year with Billies Catty. They were co-champions with Elizabeth Quirk and Cat Sheree in the Mercurias at both the Pacific Coast Derby and The Mane Event, earlier this year.

Billies Catty is by Catty Hawk, which Cowan showed to win the Limited Non-Pro finals at the NCHA Futurity. The stallion is poised to break the $1 million mark for his NCHA earners, and has already surpassed that when his NRCHA earners are included.

Billies Catty is out of Little Bonnie Blue, by Mecom Blue, Limited Open reserve champ of the NCHA Futurity with Ryon Emerton, and and NCHA Derby Non-Pro finalist with Cowan.

In her aged event career, Billies Catty, now seven years old, won Non-Pro championships at Breeders Invitational and Arbuckle Mountain with Bill, and at the Waco Texas Derby with his wife, Michelle.

In second at El Rancho, Whiskey Cat is an 8-year-old gelding by High Brow Cat out of Jitters Brown. He was previously a Mercuria Open champion at last year’s Pacific Coast Derby, ridden by Russ Westfall.