Pippis Longstocking steps up with 219 points

November 26th, 2012
Bushaw and Dvorak

Chad Bushaw and Tom Dvorak.

It was a little nerve-wracking, the first day and with two horses in the same bunch,” said Tom Dvorak, who scored 219 points on Pippis Longstocking, as the first rider in the third set of cattle, and came back as the fourth rider to mark 217 points on Summer Stays Here at the 2012 NCHA Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas.

The 219-point score topped the day, while 217 tied two others to rank fourth.

“Getting her through this first round was big,” said Dvorak of Pippis Longstocking, owned by Chad and Amie Bushaw, Weatherford, Tex. “She has a lot of try and a big heart, but she’s a wild little mare and I didn’t know what to expect.

“But she locked down in there for me. I never really went fast with her. You could mark a good score on her basically at the trot, but I feel like there is a lot more horse there, if I cut more cow.”

Bushaw, a top non-pro competitor with $2.3 million in lifetime earnings, purchased the Dual Smart Rey daughter, bred by Strawn Valley Ranch, at the 2010 NCHA Futurity Sale and trained her himself.

Last year, Dvorak showed Bet On A Cat, also owned by the Bushaws’ Crown Ranch, to place in both the Open and Open Ltd. NCHA Futurity.

The 2011 Futurity was bittersweet for Dvorak, whose wife of 14 years, Cindy, succumbed to cancer the day before the finals.

“I didn’t think it could get any tougher, but its even tougher now, coming back and remembering all of it,” said Dvorak, who showed in last year’sĀ  finals to honor Cindy’s last request. “But I know she’s up there for sure watching over us.”

Dvorak showed Summer Stays Here for Jason and Becky Clark, who raised the High Stylish Oak daughter out of Mate Stays Here, a Smart Mate daughter that Jason showed to place sixth in theĀ  2006 NCHA Open Futurity.

“This is their personal horse,” notedĀ  Dvorak. “Jason trained her and she’s a good mare. They could have picked a lot of other people to show her, but we go way back and are kind of like family.”

Summer Stays Here’s dam, Mate Stays Here, is a full sister to Mates Little Cokette LTE $158,881, who Clark also trained, and showed to place as reserve champion in the 2005 NCHA Open Derby.

Lee and Holly Francois

Lee and Holly Francois.

Desire A Lil Pepto

There was a piece of history riding to the herd with Lee Francois and Desire A Lil Pepto yesterday, when they earned 218 points, the second highest score of the day.

Desire A Lil Pepto, by Sweet Lil Pepto, is a half-brother to Reys Desire, the Dual Rey daughter that Francois showed to earn $391,795 and win the 2010 NCHA Super Stakes.

“It feels like he has a lot of the same qualities as her,” said Francois. “But he’s been a little tough to train because sometimes he wants to do things his own way. So we compromise with each other.

“He wasn’t maybe as ready for the show as I thought he would be, but he showed good and I was happy with him.”

Desire A Lil Pepto, bred by Woody Bartlett out of Playguns Desire, is owned by Reagan Lancaster, Pilot Point, Tex.

Matt and Tara Gaines

Matt and Tara Gaines.

Mercedes Smoothe

Smooth As A Cat-sired Mercedes Smoothe and Smooth Mitch tied at 217.5 points, yesterday’s third-highest score. Smooth Mitch, owned by Clear Cut Partners, Temecula, Calif., was shown by John Mitchell, while Mercedes Smoothe was shown by her owner, Matt Gaines.

“I’ve never shown one of my own,” said Gaines, who ranks #1 among open riders with open earnings of $5.7 million. “Its hard when you’re a trainer for the public to show one of your own. But it just happened that I think the two I am showing were the best ones I had, and the other owners were understanding.”

Mercedes Smoothe and Matt’s wife, Tara, share a lot of history. Mercedes Smoothe’s granddam, Play A Masterpiece, was the first horse that Tara rode when she went to work for Lindy Burch, in 2000. Later, Tara took care of CDs Masterpiece, Mercedes Smoothe’s dam, when she worked for Dean Sanders. In 2009, she was able to purchase CDs Masterpiece, along with her two weanlings, one of which was Mercedes Smoothe.

“She’s a lot like her mom,” said Tara. “She’s got a big motor, but she’s very thoughtful when it comes to a cow. Her mother was ready really early. That’s why she went to the small futurities. And this mare has been solid and ready to do her job.

“They’re both cow horses and care about that cow. Its important to them.

“I had (Mercedes Smoothe) for sale at the beginning of this year. She was one of seven 3-year-olds I put up for sale. I decided I would keep the last two that were left and she was one of the last two.

“The bottom line is that this is a business. She is the only filly that I have out of her mother and I would hate to sell her. At this moment she’s still ours, but I don’t know if we’ll keep her.”