1986 Super Stakes: Delta Flyer scores two firsts

April 24th, 2020

Super Stakes History Spotlight

1986 Super Stakes: Delta Flyer scores two firsts


Delta Flyer, ridden by Kenny Patterson.

Delta Flyer, shown by Kenny Patterson, became the first registered American Paint Horse to win a major NCHA limited age event, when he scored 220.5 points to claim the 1986 NCHA Super Stakes championship and $170,004. Miss Silver Pistol, under Tom Lyons, and Especial Quixote, with John Tolbert, tied as reserve champions with 218.5 points, while Playboys Madera, winner of the second go-round with 220 points under Terry Riddle, placed fourth with 218.

Delta Flyer was also the first cutting horse purchased by Floyd Moore, a Hunstville, Texas, cattle auction owner. Moore had been supplying NCHA with cutting cattle for almost a decade before he took the plunge and asked for Patterson’s help in selecting a cutting prospect.

“Kenny told me that he had showed his mother and she was the best horse he ever rode.” said Moore of Delta Flyer. “So I bought him from Lynn Anderson. I think I gave eighty or eighty-five thousand for him, as a two-year-old stud.”

Grammy Award-winning country star Lynn Anderson bred Delta Flyer out of Delta, a 1963 bay tobiano mare she had received as a wedding present in 1978, from her second husband, Harold “Spook” Stream. Both Anderson and Stream were horse owners before their marriage. Stream later owned Taris Catalyst, the 1982 NCHA Futurity Open reserve champion, and bred Grays Starlight, an all-time Top 20 leading sire.

 Bred by W.S. McKowen, of Jackson, La., and owned by George Price, Kingston Springs, Tenn., Delta had been shown by Bobby Brown as 1973 NCHA Reserve World Champion and winner of the 1974 NCHA World Finals. She had also placed fifth in the 1977 NCHA World standings with Kenny Patterson.

“She was already trained and a finished cutting horse when I bought her,” said Price, who acquired Delta in 1972 from Wylie C. Barrow, a dentist from Baton Rouge, La. At the time, Barrow had been showing Delta successfully in regional open and non-pro competition. “Oh, man, she could just sweep the ground. Twelve hundred dollars was a lot of money back then, but Dr. Barrow said that’s what it would take to buy her, so I gave it.

“I made some money off of her and, if I’d any sense, I would have kept her. But I thought too much of Lynn Anderson and Spook and let them get away with her. They kept her for a while, until the newness wore off, and she’d had a colt or two. Then they sold her to a man in Texas.”

The “man in Texas” was Floyd Moore, who had purchased the Peppy San Badger son Delta Flyer from Anderson in 1984. “A year or two after I bought Delta Flyer, Kenny (Patterson) called me and said, Lynn wants to sell old Delta and she’s bred to Doc O’Lena,” Moore explained. That baby was Delta Olena, a stud I kept until he died, and that’s when I got started in the Paint business.”

From 13 lifetime crops, Delta Flyer sired 30 NCHA, NRHA and NRCHA earners of $123,529, in addition to numerous APHA champions and all-around money earners.

Today the 1986 NCHA Super Stakes also stands out because of three female finalists who would have a lasting effect on cutting beyond their Will Rogers performances:

Super Stakes reserve co-champion Miss Silver Pistol $500,876, a crowd favorite coming into the show, following her NCHA Futurity Non-Pro championship win under Wes Shahan, is the dam of Playgun LTE $168,408, a leading sire of the earners of nearly $9 million, including Playin Tag LTE $220,949, winner of the 2004 NCHA Super Stakes with Cara Barry and maternal granddam of Hashtags LTE $476,725, winner of the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes under Tatum Rice.

Miss Silver Pistol is also the dam of Smart Little Pistol, sire of earners of over $2.3 million, including Chiquita Pistol LTE $545,001, shown by Tag Rice. To date, Chiquita Pistol is one of only three horses, and the only mare, to win the NCHA Triple Crown.

 Laney Doc LTE $221,332, shown by Bill Riddle, would become, under the ownership of EE Ranches, a leading dam of money earners, currently ranked #7 among NCHA All-Time leading producers. Laney Doc’s son, Cat Ichi LTE $238,691, shown by Guy Woods, won the 2004 NCHA Derby and was reserve champion of the NCHA Super Stakes. Cat Ichi is also a leading sire with earners of over $6.4 million, including Ichis My Choice LTE $218,693, shown by Grant Setnicka as 2016 NCHA Open Horse of the Year, and Saguaro Ichi LTE $293,796, shown by Constance Jaeggi, also owner of Ichis My Choice, as 2014 NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year.

Playboys Madera LTE $409,761, shown by Terry Riddle, would produce Playboy McCrae LTE $263,723, a gelding bred by Kay Floyd and winner of the 1996 NCHA Futurity under Paul Hansma. In addition, Floyd would win the 1988 NCHA Non-Pro World Championship riding the Freckles Playboy daughter.