Ken Smith, Jr. 1955 – 2019

February 5th, 2019

Ken Smith, Jr., 63, a past member of the NCHA Executive Committee, and a non-pro limited age event champion also ranked three times in the NCHA Top 10 World standings, passed away on Sunday, February 3.

Born in Charlotte, SC., Smith moved with his family to Hopkins, S.C. in 1966, where his father, Ken Smith, Sr., purchased his first Quarter Horse, and where at the age of 10, Ken Jr., began showing Quarter Horses, American Saddlebreds, and cutting horses. In the 1990s, Ken Jr. served as a member of the NCHA Executive Committee; Ken Sr., was elected president of AQHA in 1999, was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2006.

“When I was a teenager, there weren’t many other teenagers (cutting) in this part of the country,” said Smith in a 1996 interview. “Everybody likes to show with their peers. Plus, most of the cuttings then were out in the middle of a cow pasture somewhere; tough conditions and tough cows, in the mud or the rain.  Now most are in covered arenas and it makes it a lot nicer. When I was doing it before, it was pretty much a new thing out here.”

Smith began cutting in earnest in the late 1980s, when he showed the gelding Power Player, bred by Shorty Freeman and sired by Freckles Playboy. In 1989, Smith and Power Player placed second in the Non-Pro division of the Augusta Fall Futurity Classic and third in the Open. In 1990, Smith and Power Player earned $40,225 to place fifth in the NCHA Non-Pro World standings; in 1991, trainer David Stewart and Smith showed Power Player to place eighth in the Open World standings; and in 1991, Smith and the gelding placed tenth in the Non-Pro.

It was also in 1991 that Smith showed homegrown Haidas War Hero to place as reserve champion of the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Limited. In 1994, Smith and Haidas War Hero won the NCHA Non-Pro Challenge.

Ken Smith, Jr. is survived by his parents, Ken and Patsy; sons Logan and Taylor; sister Cameron (Marc) Vogt; and Joye (Joseph) Horne. After a private burial, there will be a gathering at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, February 9, at Red Gate, the family’s farm. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, Columbia, S.C., is assisting the family. Memories may be shared at

Hedlund doubles down in the Ike

February 3rd, 2019

Cody Hedlund

Cody Hedlund, Lipan, Tex., owned the Ike Hamilton Non-Pro Derby and Classic championships with 221 and 225-point wins, respectively, on Wood Ya Teles and Teles One Time. With money also earned as winner of the non-working Classic Non-Pro Gelding and Derby Non-Pro Novice divisions, Hedlund realized a total payout of $23,818.

Including the Ike Derby and Classic championships, Hedlund, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame earner of $901,565, has a record of 15 limited age event working wins. In addition to Wood Ya Teles $20,914, by Woody Be Tuff, and Teles One Time $60,843, by One Time Royalty, Hedlund’s limited age champs include Meteles Cat $433.565, by Metallic Cat, and Teles Bout this Cat $230,047, by WR This Cats Smart, who are all descendants of a 1998 daughter of Lenas Telesis, Teles Lies, who Cody’s father, Rock Hedlund trained and showed to earn $93,206.

“I was the last one to show his (Meteles Cat) mother before we retired her,” said Cody Hedlund. “I marked a 73 with a hot quit in the youth class at Paso and ended up with a second or third.”

Wood Ya Teles is out of Teles Bout This Cat, winner of the 2011 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro and half-sister to the Dual Smart Rey daughter Iggy Reyzalea $70,080. Iggy Reyzalea and Teles Bout this Cat placed with Hedlund, respectively, in the 2017 and 2010 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro finals.

Nadine Payne scored 219 points on Im Not Blu, by Once In A Blu Boon, to earn $9,269 and the Derby Non-Pro reserve championship, while Cade Shepard placed third and earned $7,120 with 218.5 points, aboard Lite Headed, by Light N Lena.

Madalyn Colgrove and Sweet Baby Marie, by High Brow CD, scored 222 points in the Classic Non-Pro for $6,906 and the reserve championship. Dustin Adams and Sly Pepto Girl, by One Time Pepto, marked 219 points for third place and $5,320.

For complete results from the Ike Hamilton Derby and Classic go to:

Legendary jockey Jerry Nicodemus remembered

January 31st, 2019

Jerry “Nic” Nicodemus, one of Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leading riders, died on January 30 at his residence in Ruidoso, NM. He was 73 years old.

Nicodemus won three All American Futurities, with Three Oh’s in 1968, Rocket Wrangler in 1970, and Ronas Ryon in 1986. He also won four Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in California, twice with Dash for Cash, (1976 and 1977), with Lady Juno in 1980, and Denim N Diamonds in 1981.

“He was a great friend to so many people within the racing industry and we are all shocked and saddened by his passing,” Ruidoso Downs president and general manager Jeff True said. “His accomplishments on the race track are legendary, and the humble way he approached his success will always be remembered. “

Nicodemus rode Dash For Cash in all but two of the stallion’s 25 starts. A life-size bronze memorializing the legendary duo and created by world renowned sculptor Jim Reno stands in front of the American Quarter Horse Association headquarters in Amarillo, Tex.

In 1978, Nicodemus was thrown and spent three days in a coma with a broken neck and back, as well as multiple broken ribs.  But he came back, tough as ever and rode for 15 more years, retiring near the top of his game, in 1993.

In 6,317 career starts, Nicodemus won 1,252 races and amassed lifetime earnings of $18,888,775. He was inducted into the Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame in 2004 and into the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2009.

Services and memorials are pending at this time.

Hot competition in Open Classic

January 29th, 2019

Lloyd Cox

Second Spot, by Spots Hot, won Monday’s Ike Hamilton Open Classic with 224 points under Lloyd Cox, while Cinca Im Hot, by Spots Hot, and Blackish, by Spots Hot’s son Hottish, tied for reserve with 221 points.

The win was worth $11,226 for 6-year-old Second Spot, who came into the Classic with career earnings of $336,532. Owned and bred by Barker Ranch Cutting Horses LLC, Madill, Okla., Second Spot won the 2016 NCHA Futurity Open championship with 229 points under Matt Gaines. Her dam, Reycy Moon LTE $209,363, by Cats Moonshine, is a three-quarter sister to Pedel To The Metall LTE $226,591.

Six-year-old Cinca Im Hot LTE $151,207, bred by Paul Dean and owned by Rocking P Ranch LLC, Fort Worth, Tex., is shown by Jesse Lennox, who rode her to win the 2017 Breeders Invitational Open championship. She is the only money earner out of the Dual Rey daughter Cinca De Maya LTE $106,341, a full sister to Lil Rattler LTE $338,873 and Button Down Supercat LTE $285,048. Cinca De Maya’s dam, Highbrow Supercat LTE $364,690, was the 2005 NCHA Futurity Open champion and is also an all-time leading producer of earners of over $1.2 million.

Five-year-old Blackish LTE $93,024, owned and bred by Julie Jarma, is shown by Lloyd Cox, who rode her to win last year’s Ike Hamilton Derby and the Cattlemen’s Derby. Julie Jarma showed Blackish’s dam, SS Blacks Lil Kitty LTE $185,839, by Blue Bayou Boon, to win the 2012 Brazos Bash Non-Pro Classic, as well as two NCHA World Series championships. SS Blacks Lil Kitty is half-sister to Rollz Royce $173,604, reserve champion of last year’s Ike Hamilton Derby and the NCHA Super Stakes, under Beau Galyean.

Crey Zee two-for-two

January 29th, 2019

Crey Zee, ridden by Tatum Rice. Hart Photography.

Crey Zee confirmed her impressive credentials on Monday night, with a 229 win under Tatum Rice, in the Ike Derby 4-Year-Old Open. The 2018 NCHA Futurity Open champion, sired by Dual Rey and owned and bred by Kevin and Sydney Knight, Weatherford, Tex., earned $21,976 for the win, increasing her current NCHA earnings to $205,037.

Metallics MVP, by Metallic Cat, scored 225 points under Austin Shepard to claim reserve and $18,753 for owner Billy Wolf, Whitesboro, Tex., who also owns the 2017 NCHA Futurity champion Dual Reyish LTE $356,551, also shown by Shepard.

Reycan In The Cash scored 223 points for third place and $15,530 under Lloyd Cox, for Pat and Lisa Taylor, Pilot Point, Tex. Sired by Dual Rey and bred by Cinder Lakes Ranch, Reycan In The Cash came into the Ike Derby with money earned under Cox as third-place finalist in the Abilene Spectacular Open and as reserve champion of the NCHA Futurity Open Limited under Greg Wright. On Monday morning, Cox also won the Ike Derby Classic and was co-reserve champion on Second Spot and Blackish, respectively.

CR Tuff Taboo, a Woody Be Tuff daughter, scored 221 points for fourth place and $12,308 with Boyd Rice. Bred by Center Ranch, the owner of Woody Be Tuff, CR Tuff Taboo LTE $125,326 also placed third in the NCHA Futurity under Rice.

Crey Zee is out of the High Brow Cat daughter Eazee E. Shown exclusively for the Knights by Tatum Rice, Eazee E earned $211,145 during her NCHA career; Crey Zee is her first performer. Eazee E’s dam, Zee Dualy LTE $201,899, by Dual Pep, has produced 14 NCHA earners of $1.2 million, including Smooth Asa Zee LTE $616,978, by Smooth As A Cat.

Metallics MVP, an NCHA Futurity Open and Open Limited finalist under Hayden Upton, was bred by Cows & Horses Etc, and is out of My Lizzy Babe LTE $163,653, a full sister to Moms Stylish Player LTE $349,238, and out of Moms Stylish Babe, a leading producer of earners of $1.2 million.

Reycan In The Cash, out of Cancan Kitty, an unshown High Brow Cat daughter, is a full sister to Cancan Reyvolution LTE $176,682 and Kitty Can Dual $108,297, both shown as limited age event Non-Pro champions by Kelle Earnheart.

CR Tuff Taboo is the second money earner out of unshown Cats Boonolena, a full sister, by High Brow Cat out of  Peptolena Lucinda LTE $76,841, to 2013 NCHA Futurity Open champion Dual Smart Kitty LTE $316,251.

Willie J Rey won the day in Augusta Classic Open

January 20th, 2019

Walt Erwin

Five-year-old Willie J Rey, by Dual Rey, scored 220 points on Friday under Walt Erwin, for Charlie and Denise Seiz, to win the Augusta Futurity Classic Open championship. Tank Tallic, shown by Austin Shepard for Jan Newman, scored 217 points for reserve, while HR Cats Starlight, placed third with 215.5 points under Tarin Rice, for E.J. Huntley.

Willie J Rey LTE $55,324 won the 2017 Southern Futurity Open championship and was a 2017 West Texas Futurity Open and Non-Pro finalist. The Dual Rey gelding’s dam, Cat Black I LTE $208,229, carried Denise Seiz to win the 2013 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Amateur championship, as well as the reserve amateur championship of the 2013 Tunica Classic, and was also was shown by Randy Chartier, as an NCHA Open World Top 10 finalist in 2016 and 2017.

Willie J Rey is Cat Black I’s first NCHA money earner; his full brother, Unreysistable LTE $1,073, was a 2018 NRCHA Futurity Amateur finalist.

Walt Erwin, the NCHA earner of $573,093, also placed fourth and sixth in the 2019 Augusta Futurity Open Finals riding Olena Shes Metallic, 2018 Cotton Stakes Open Intermediate winner with Erwin, and Smooth Pepto Pistol, a 2018 NCHA Futurity Open Limited finalist under Erwin. Both horses are owned by Mark Senn.

Six-year-old Tank Tallic LTE $51,530, by Metallic Cat, won the 2017 Ike Hamilton Futurity Amateur championship with Joel Colgrove and earned money in open limited age events with Austin Shepard and Sean Flynn, as well as in non-pro divisions with Madalyn Colgrove. Owner Jan Newman showed the Metallic Cat gelding to place in the amateur unlimited division of the 2018 Southern Futurity Classic.

HR Cats Starlight LTE $200,413, by High Brow Cat, won the 2017 Brazos Bash Open under Tarin Rice and claimed the reserve championship of the Breeders Invitational the same year. Christina Huntley placed fourth on the gelding in the 2016 NCHA Futurity Amateur Finals and would go on to show him for wins in the 2017 West Texas 4-Year-Old Futurity Amateur and the 2018 Abilene Spectacular Classic Amateur. Christina’s father, E.J. Huntley, also rode HR Cats Starlight to win the 2017 Cattlemen’s Non-Pro Derby.

In addition to HR Cats Starlight, Rice also showed Ms Shuga Rey, by Kit Kat Sugar, and Smooth Lil Cowtown $120,657, the 2017 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro reserve champion with Brandon Westfall, as 2019 Augusta Classic Open finalists. Ms Shuga Rey is owned by Hyde McAlister and Smooth Lil Cowtown, by Smooth As A Cat, is owned by Crockett Sand and Gravel.

Tarin Rice also won the Open 40 with CR Gotcha Covered, sired by Dualin Boon and owned by Joel Colgrove. Rice showed Colgrove’s colt Lil Woody Cat and E.J. Huntley’s Double Flash Cat as finalists in the Augusta Futurity Open Finals, as well.

Augusta Classic Non-Pro Finals

Jody McGlothlin, Perrin, Tex., showed last year’s Augusta Futurity Classic Open champion, Somethingtobelievein LTE $205,242, to win this year’s Augusta Classic Non-Pro title with 222 points. Joe Howard Williamson, the NCHA Hall of Fame Non-Pro earner of $1,387,865, claimed reserve with 215 points aboard Hott Dawg LTE $20,686, while Jordan Vaughn, riding Juan In A Million, and Ali Good, on Sneakish, tied for third with 214 points. Good would return on Saturday to place as reserve champion aboard Sabrina Boon in the Augusta Futurity Non-Pro.

Six-year-old Somethingtobelievein, by Hydrive Cat, won the 2018 Augusta Classic Open with 224 points under Jody’s husband, Brett McGlothlin, who also showed Somethingtobelievein in the 2019 Augusta Classic Finals, and placed second to earn $7,000 with her in the any-age Augusta Futurity 40 Open. In addition, McGlothlin also placed third in the Augusta Futurity 40 Open riding Cattalou, owned by W.S. “Billy” Morris III.

Jody McGlothlin, the NCHA earner of $206,336, won the 2016 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Limited with Somethingtobelievein and went on to win the Cotton Stakes, the Southern Futurity and the Brazos Bash non-pro limited championships in 2017. On Saturday, McGlothlin also placed in the Augusta Futurity Non-Pro aboard Redhead From Denver, a Metallic Cat daughter, shown by Brett as an Open finalist, as well.

Joe Howard Williamson, Wichita Falls, Tex., has won the NCHA Non-Pro World Championship standings four times and finished as a Top 10 finalist 20 times since 1996. Williamson purchased Hott Dawg, a 5-year-old gelded son of Hottish, from Jordan Vaughn, Forsyth, Ga., less than two weeks before the 2019 Augusta Classic.

Vaughn’s mount, 6-year-old Juan In A Million LTE $40,975, by Spots Hot, carried Vaughn, the NCHA earner of $224,114, as a finalist in the 2017 Augusta Futurity Non-Pro finals, as well as to the championships of the 2018 Southern Futurity Classic Unlimited Amateur and the 2018 AQHA Congress 5/6 Non-Pro Finals.

Ali Good, Ringling, Okla., the NCHA earner of $148,391, first showed Sneakish, by Hottish, as the 2017 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Limited champion. The pair also earned money as non-pro finalists in the 2018 West Texas 4-Year-Old Futurity and the 2018 AQHA Congress Futurity, as well as in the non-pro limited finals divisions of the NCHA Derby and the Cotton Stakes.

Good, also showed Cat Atat Cat, by High Brow Cat, to win non-pro championships of the 2018 NCHA Western Nationals and the 2018 NCHA Eastern Nationals $25,000 Non-Pro. In addition, Good and Cat Atat Cat placed second in the 2018 NCHA World Non-Pro Finals and seventh in the Non-Pro World standings.

Bama Jelly and Shepard roll in Augusta Futurity

January 20th, 2019

Austin Shepard

It was a Shepard trifecta on Saturday, when Austin Shepard secured a record fifth Augusta title with his 225-point win on Bama Jelly, by Bama Cat, in the Augusta Futurity. Sam Shepard, Austin’s father, claimed the reserve championship on Barney Ross with 219 points, while Austin placed third with 216.5 on Hammer Hughes and also eighth in the 15-horse finals on Bayou Creedence Cat.

Barney Ross, sired by Bama Cat and owned by Austin and Stacy Shepard, was an NCHA Futurity Non-Pro finalist with Sam’s grandson, Cade Shepard, who won the 2019 Augusta Futurity Non-Pro championship on Lite Headed and tied for fourth on Southern Styles, both also owned by Austin and Stacy.

Austin Shepard’s first Augusta Futurity win came in 2008 aboard High Brow CD. In 2014, he initiated a three-year run with a win aboard CD Kual Gun, followed by wins in 2015 and 2016, on Paradox Cat and High Brow Clay 012, respectively.

Bama Jelly LTE $38,604, by Bama Cat, and Hammer Hughes LTE $29,248, by Thomas E Hughes, are both owned by Joel Colgrove, Boligee, Ala., whose granddaughter, Madalyn Colgrove, bred Bama Jelly. Joel Colgrove showed Riding In Style as a finalist in the 2019 Augusta Futurity Non-Pro, where Madalyn was also a finalist riding Hammer Hughes, as well as Neat Lil High Brow.  Bama Jelly, sixteenth in the 2018 NCHA Futurity under Shepard, is the second money earner out of the Nitas Wood daughter Wood She Be Neat. Hammer Hughes also placed in the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Finals and earned first in the Non-Pro Gelding division with Madalyn Colgrove.

Augusta Futurity Non-Pro Finals
Cade Shepard scored 217 points on Lite Headed LTE $10,017, by Light N Lena, to win the 2019 Augusta Futurity Non-Pro championship. Ali Good, who tied for third in the 2019 Augusta Classic Non-Pro Finals, claimed the Augusta Futurity Non-Pro reserve with 216.5 points on Sabrina Boon LTE $16,673, by Boon A Little, while Sasha Thompson placed third with 211 on CD Super Freak, by High Brow CD.

Winner of the 2018 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro aboard Chexy Louellla, 18-year-old Cade Shepard became the youngest rider to win the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro championship and both the NCHA Super Stakes and Derby Non-Pro titles, which he had claimed in 2015 aboard Twistful Thinking. A member of the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame, Shepard is the NCHA earner of $765,068.