Bayou Shorty: 1996 NCHA Super Stakes Champion

June 22nd, 2020

Super Stakes History Spotlight

Bayou Shorty, ridden by Gary Bellenfant.

When Gary Bellenfant won the 1995 NCHA Futurity on Peptoboonsmal, Bayou Shorty was recovering from abdominal surgery. An impacted section of the gelding’s colon had been removed three days before the start of the Futurity and he was out of action until just a few weeks before the 1996 NCHA Super Stakes.

Although he had to be scratched as an entry just days before the Futurity, Bayou Shorty was nevertheless on the radar as one to watch during the go-rounds of the Super Stakes. In the end, his 223-point final’s score topped the 222 marked by reserve champion High Brow Nurse and Lloyd Cox. Rounding up the top 1996 Super Stakes finalists were NCHA Futurity reserve champion Dually Lena and Winston Hansma, who placed third, while NCHA Futurity champion Peptoboonsmal, also ridden by Bellenfant, was fourth with 219.5 points.

Bred and owned by Mike and Nancy Young, Baird, Texas, and sired by Shorty Lena, Bayou Shorty was the first foal out of Peppy Star Rio, the Young’s first cutting horse. And it was Bellenfant who had shown Peppy Star Rio as champion of the 1989 NCHA Super Stakes and the NCHA Derby.

“It’s hard to believe it, his mother winning it and then him coming along,” said Nancy Young of Bayou Shorty.

“This horse reminds me a lot of his mother,” said Bellenfant, who drew to work Bayou Shorty ninth in the 22-horse Super Stakes finals. “The first cow tried every way in the world to get past him. I didn’t know how long he could sustain that pace and keep holding that cow. As it turned out, he could do it long enough. But I was real worried.

“He has a plenty big motor, just like his mother. He was always kind of a wild little booger, for a long time. But now he’s much more relaxed to be around now, probably from all the attention and everything that had to be done to him at home (following his surgery).”

Sired by Phantom Peppy and bred by Crawford Farms, Peppy Star Rio was the first embryo transfer foal to win a major cutting event. She retired from showing with earnings of $188,468, and as a broodmare produced six earners of $316,975, including DNA registered Bayou Shorty LTE $214,879.

By the time Bayou Shorty retired from limited age competition, he had been a finalist in 10 major events and had claimed an additional win, in the 1998 NCHA Super Stakes Classic, as well as a reserve championship, in the 1998 Bonanza Classic. Gary Bellenfant, the NCHA Open Hall of Fame earner of over $3.1 million, is one of only nine riders who have won the NCHA Open Futurity two or more times. He is also the most recent champion, having claimed the win, as well as the distinction of being the oldest rider to ever win cutting’s most prestigious event. Last December, at the age of 69, Bellenfant won the 2019 NCHA Open Futurity on the Metallic Cat son Metallic Rey Mink, owned and bred by Los Jaboncillos Ranch, Premont, Texas.

The NCHA Futurity Open Nine:

  • Buster Welch: 1962, Money’s Glo; 1963 Chickasha Glo; 1966, Rey Jay’s Pete; 1971, Dry Doc; 1977, Peppy San Badger
  • Bill Freeman: 1979, Docs Diablo; 1982, Smart Little Lena; 1988, Smart Little Senor
  • Ronnie Rice: 1988, Dainty Playgirl; 2001, San Tule Freckles; 2012, Cr Tuff Hearted Cat
  • Shorty Freeman: 1970, Doc O’Lena; 1975, Lenaette
  • Leon Harrel: 1974, Doc’s Yuba Lea; 1987, Smart Date
  • Joe Heim: 1981, Colonel Lil; 1983, Docs Okie Quixote
  • Kathy Daughn: 1985, The Gemnist; 2000, Royal Fletch
  • Craig Thompson: 2006, Oh Cay Felix; 2011 Oh Miss Caroline
  • Austin Shepard: 2007 High Brow CD; 2017, Dual Reyish