• Dennis Moreland Tack

Rhein reigns as $15,000 Amateur champion

March 10th, 2017

$15,000 Amateur champion Rhein Standish on Countin On Stella. Hart Photography.

Rhein and Amanda Standish have had a good week at the NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals in Jackson, Miss. On Tuesday, Austin Shepard showed their mare Deluxe Checks, by Im Countin Checks, to win the $25,000 Novice finals with 228 points. On Wednesday, Deluxe Checks and Shepard won the Open go-round, and on Thursday, the duo came back to tie for the Open championship.

On Friday, Rhein Standish scored 219 points as champion of the $15,000 Amateur on Countin On Stella, by Im Countin Checks. Jodi Henderson, Rockwall, Tex., marked 216.5 points riding RL Velvet Revolver, by Cat Ichi, for reserve. John Martin, riding Ray Too Smart, by Dual Smart Rey; Keith McMahan, aboard Pale Face Jose, by CD Olena; and Chet Simoneaux, on My Paulena, by Dox Badger Man, split 3rd,4th, and 5th with 216 points.

Rhein Standish, LTE $26,913, earned his first buckle at the NCHA Eastern Nationals last year, as reserve champion of the $2,000 Limited Rider division riding Divas On Time LTE $158,175, who was shown by Amanda, as amateur reserve champion of the 2013 Breeders Invitational  5/6, as well as NCHA Eastern Nationals 2014 Non-Pro and 2016 $50,000 Amateur champion. The Standishes live in Baton Rouge, La., where they have also raised and shown champion Arabian horses.

Countin On Stella, the $15,000 Amateur winner, and Deluxe Checks, the Open and $25,000 Novice champion, are three-quarter sisters by Im Countin Checks out of daughters of Stella Starlight, the mare that Lach Perks won the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity on in 2000.

Deluxe Checks is a full sister to Im Countin Starz LTE $28,761 and Luck Xury LTE $25,862. Rhein showed Im Countin Starz, bred by Amanda, as 2016 Breeders Invitational 4-Year-Old Amateur reserve champion, and as a finalist in the 2017 Augusta Futurity 5/6 Amateur Unlimited and the Ike Hamilton Futurity 5/6 Amateur. Amanda won the 2015 Cotton Stakes Futurity Amateur championship with Luck Xury.

Rhein also qualified with Countin On Stella and Divas On Time for this Sunday’s $2,000 Limited Rider Finals.

Reserve champion Jodi Henderson.

Jodi Henderson also qualified for the $2,000 Limited Rider Finals with 6-year-old RL Velvet Revolver LTE $28,550. Henderson had NCHA earnings of $383 prior to her reserve championship ride on Friday.

RL Royal Replay is out of Royal Replay LTE $45,471, the 1996 NCHA Eastern Nationals $3,000 Novice and $5,000 Novice champion under Guy Woods, for EE Ranches. She is also a half-sister to A Track Runs Thru It LTE $108,312, by DJ Tracker, 2010 NCHA Eastern  Nationals Open champion with Brett Davis, as well as The Hot Seat LTE $65,710, by Little Dyno, 2004 MillionHeir Classic reserve champion with Guy Woods.

Henderson is also a money earner in NRCHA competition.

Shepard & Shepard: Eastern Nationals Open Co-Champs

March 9th, 2017

Sam Shepard on Twistful Thinking and Austin Shepard on Deluxe Checks,
shared the Open championship. Hart Photography.

Sam and Austin Shepard, riding Twistful Thinking and Deluxe Checks, respectively, tied with 224 points to claim co-champion titles in the 2017 NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals Open Finals. It was the first time a father and son team have tied in an NCHA event, and it gave Austin a record seven Eastern Nationals Open championships, as well as his second win during the 2017 event, where he placed first, second and third in the $25,000 Novice division showing Deluxe Checks, Paradox Cat, and Wendels Grace.

Plan Smart Ride Acat, with Josh Dozier, placed third with 222.5 points. The Finals finish was a close mirror to the Open go-round won by Deluxe Checks with 223 points, followed by Twistful Thinking with 222 points and Plan Smart Ride Acat with 221.5.

Deluxe Checks LTE $129,279, by Im Countin Checks, is owned by Amanda and Rhein Standish, Baton Rouge, La.  Shown by Amanda, as well as by Shepard, the 6-year-old mare has been an open, non-pro and amateur finalist in 25 major events.

Austin Shepard is an all-time leading rider with more than $6.8 million in official NCHA earnings.

Twistful Thinking LTE $243,587, sired by One Time Pepto and owned by Austin and Stacy Shepard, was trained by Sam Shepard and shown by Austin’s son, Cade, to place second, when Cade had just turned 13, in the 2014 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Limited. Since the NCHA Futurity, Twistful Thinking has carried Cade for 11 non-pro and non-pro limited major championships and helped make him the youngest member ever inducted into the NCHA Hall of Fame (in 2016, when he was 15). Austin also recently showed Twistful Thinking to win the 2017 Ike Hamilton 5/6 Open Futurity.

Sam Shepard LTE $2,375,803, who won the 2011 NCHA Eastern Nationals Open on Playin With A Cat, was also a 2017 Eastern Nationals finalist riding Twistful Thinking’s 4-year-old half-brother, Twisted Metal, by Metallic Cat. Shepard, a former NCHA president, is a member of both the NCHA Members Hall of Fame and the Riders Hall of Fame.

Plan Smart Ride Acat LTE $67,046, an 8-year-old mare sired by Hydrive Cat and owned by Jay Vento, North Caldwell, N.J., was also a $25,000 Novice finalist this week, as well as a 2016 Eastern Nationals $15,000 Novice finalist and a 2014 $10,000 Novice finalist. Josh Dozier LTE $591,797 also won the 2013 Eastern Nationals Open championship with Big Bow Pepto.

Ichi Sangria and Guy Woods carry on winning tradition

March 8th, 2017

$5,000 Novice champion Ichi Sangria, ridden by Guy Woods. Hart Photography.

Ichi Sangria LTE $140,630, shown by Guy Woods for EE Ranches, Whitesboro, Tex., scored 226 points on Wednesday, in Jackson, Miss., to claim the NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals $5,000 Novice Finals. It was the 7-year-old Cat Ichi daughter’s fourth NCHA Eastern Nationals title and third consecutive $5,000 Novice win. She previously won the 2016 and 2015 $5,000 Novice divisions, as well as the 2016 $15,000 Novice, and placed fourth on Tuesday in the $25,000 Novice.

Louis The Cat, with Casey Crouch, scored 222 points for the $5,000 Novice reserve championship, while Bermuda Cat and Walt Erwin placed third with 219 points, in the 28-horse finals’ field.

Ichi Sangria, who began her career as a 2013 NCHA Futurity Open finalist, is a fourth generation EE Ranches-bred champion.  Her dam, Scratchin LTE $80,221, by Laker Doc, was shown by Woods to win the 2004 NCHA Eastern National Open championship. Scratchin’s dam, Lacy Jo Lena, was a 1994 NCHA Futurity Open finalist under Woods, and her dam, Play Satin Beauty, carried EE Ranches’ owner, Jo Ellard, to win the 1992 NCHA Eastern Nationals $20,000 Amateur.

Woods, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with earnings of more than $2.6 million, also showed the Play Satin Beauty gelding  Raked in Satin LTE $141,019, by Laker Doc, to win the 2001 and 2002 NCHA Eastern Nationals $3,000 Novice divisions, as well as the 2001 $10,000 Novice championship; and Raked In Satin’s half-sister, Little Satin Teddie LTE $93,510, by Smart Little Lena, to win the 1991 Eastern Nationals $10,000 Novice.

Ichis My Choice LTE $299,194, the 2016 NCHA Open Horse of the Year, was also bred by EE Ranches and sired by Cat Ichi, as was 2014 NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year Saguaro Ichi LTE $293,796. Cat Ichi LTE $238,691, sire of earners of $4.9 million, was bred by EE Ranches out of Laney Doc LTE $221,332, an NCHA all-time leading producer.

Woods also qualified for Thursday’s Open Finals with Ichi Sangria and EE Ranches-bred and owned Miz Savanah, by Cat Ichi.

Reserve champion Louis The Cat, ridden by Casey Crouch.

Eight-year-old Louis The Cat $64,321, by High Brow Cat, is owned by Michael and Amy Delange, Fort Gratiot, Mich. Bred by John Harrah, out of Louella Again, by Dual Pep, he is full or half-brother to earners of $1.1 million, including full siblings Louellas Cat $302,483 and Cattalou $241,786.

Casey Crouch, LTE $893,227, won both the 2009 NCHA Eastern Nationals Open Finals and the $10,000 Novice Finals riding Captains Choice, and qualified Louis The Cat, as well as GS Zans Cat for Thursday’s Open Finals.

Bermuda Cat LTE $3,941, by WR This Cats Smart, was an Unlimited Amateur finalist and placed second in the Unlimited Amateur Senior with Dick Thompson at the 2016 Waco Texas Futurity. The 5-year-old gelding is owned by Bermuda Ranch, Collinsville, Tex.

Walt Erwin, LTE $457,953, won last year’s NCHA Eastern Nationals Open championship riding his own horse, Playful Highbrow CD, by High Brow CD.

Triple play for Austin Shepard

March 8th, 2017

Austin Shepard on $25K Novice champ Deluxe Checks. Hart Photography.

On Tuesday, March 7, in Jackson, Miss., Austin Shepard claimed an unparalled first, second and third, riding Deluxe Checks, Paradox Cat, and Wendels Grace, in the $25,000 Novice Finals of the 2017 NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals. Eastern Nationals veteran open winner Guy Woods placed fourth in the $25,000 Novice Finals with 219 points on Ichi Sangria.

Deluxe Checks LTE $135,809, who qualified for the finals on the bubble, with 215.5 points, took no prisoners with a 228-point performance midway through the second set of the 28-horse finals. Paradox Cat, who drew first to work in the first set, scored 222 points for reserve; and Wendels Grace, the last horse to work in the finals, scored 220.5 points for third.

Six-year-old Deluxe Checks, sired by Im Countin Checks and owned by Amanda and Rhein Standish, Baton Rouge, La., has been successful in open limited age events under Shepard, as well as with Amanda Standish in amateur and limited non-pro events.

Paradox Cat LTE $109,884 and Wendels Grace LTE $72,401 are owned by Blakley Colgrove, Boligee, Ala. Shepard won the go-round of the $25,000 Novice Finals with 224 points on Paradox Cat, a 6-year-old High Brow Cat gelding, who carried Blakley as Amateur champion of the 2014 NCHA Futurity and Shepard as Open champion of the 2015 Augusta Futurity.

Wendels Grace scored 219 points in the go-round to advance to the $25,000 Novice Finals. The 6-year-old mare, sired by High Brow CD, won the 2015 Ike Hamilton Futurity Amateur Unlimited championship with Blakley and also placed fifth with Shepard in the open division of the same event.

Ichi Sangria LTE $140,630, ridden by Guy Woods, was champion of the 2015 $5,000 Novice NCHA Eastern Nationals, as well as champion of the 2016 $5,000 Novice NCHA Eastern Nationals and the 2016 $15,000 Novice NCHA Eastern Nationals. The 7-year-old daughter of Cat Ichi is owned and was bred by EE Ranches, Whitesboro, Tex. Jo Ellard, owner of EE Ranches rode Play Satin Beauty, Ichi Sangria’s third dam, to win the $20,000 Amateur championship of the 1992 Eastern Nationals, and Woods showed Ichi Sangria’s dam, Scratchin, by Laker Doc, to win the 2004 NCHA Eastern Nationals Open championship.

In the $5,000 Novice go-round, Nick Pilcher marked 219.5 on LCS Silver Cat to lead a three-way tie for second between Louis The Cat, Mississippi Trick, and MK Rey Girl, all with 219s.

LCS Silver Cat is owned by Larry Cooper of Orleans, Indiana. The 4-year-old is by High Brow Cat out of Ms Silver Pitchfork. He has earned over $16,000, and was reserve champion of the recent Augusta Futurity.

Louis The Cat is an 8-year-old son of High Brow Cat out of Louella Again, owned by Michael and Amy Delange of Fort Gratiot, Michigan and ridden by Casey Crouch.

Mississippi Trick is a 7-year-old gelding by Mississippi Cat out of Babes Stylish Trick owned by Bailey Krebbs of Reeds Spring, Missouri and ridden by Josh Dozier.

MK Rey Girl is a 7-year-old daughter of Dual Rey out of Runnin Mate owned by Gale Force Cutting Horses of Conway, South Carolina and ridden by Kevin Walden.



Paradox Cat sets pace on first day of NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals

March 7th, 2017

$25,000 Novice go-round winner Paradox Cat, ridden by Austin Shepard.
Hart Photography.

Paradox Cat, shown by Austin Shepard, scored 224 points on Monday, to top 80 contenders in the $25,000 Novice  go-round of the 2016 NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals, in Jackson, Miss. Shady Lil CD, with Cullen Chartier, placed second with 221 points, while Peptos Paving Way, ridden by Brandon Walden, and That Kotn Pikn Pepto, under Gabe Reynolds, tied with 220. Altogether, 28 horses with 215.5 points and higher qualified for the finals, which will be held on Tuesday, March 7.

Austin Shepard

Trained by Austin Shepard LTE $6.8 million, 6-year-old gelding Paradox Cat LTE $109,884 has carried his young owner, Blakley Colgrove, Boligee, Ala., as 2014 NCHA Futurity Amateur champion and the 2015 NCHA Derby Amateur Unlimited champion. The High Brow Cat gelding also won the 2015 Augusta Open Futurity with Shepard, who has won a total of 12 Eastern Nationals titles, including six open championships: 2014 on Cat Sheree; 2010 on Playin At The Mall; 2006 on Smart Pisolero; 2005 on Widows Intentions; 2003 on Uno Dos Seventyseven; and 2002 on Widows Freckles.

Shepard also qualified for the $25,000 Novice Finals with 219 points on Wendels Grace, also owned by Blakley Colgrove, and with 215.5 points on Deluxe Checks, owned by Amanda and Rhein Standish.

Shady Lil CD, LTE $81,722, a 6-year-old daughter  of High Brow CD, came into the NCHA 6666 Eastern Nationals following the amateur championship win in the 2017 Arbuckle Mountain Classic, for owner Hilary Watson, Westwood, Kan.

Cullen Chartier LTE $460,203 placed fourth with Shady Lil CD in the 2017 Augusta Futurity 5/6 Finals and also won the 2015 and the 2016 NCHA Western Nationals Open championship on Once You Go Black, as well as the 2015 NCHA Eastern Nationals $5,000 Novice championship on Poundcake Deluxe.

Chartier also qualified for the $25,000 Novice Finals with 219 points on Cattalou, owned by William Morris II, Atlanta, Ga.

Eight-year-old Peptos Paving Rey LTE $59,017, by Hes A Peptospoonful, competed successfully with his owner Mark Senn, Augusta, Ga., in limited age events. The pair won eight titles in 2015, including the Cotton Stakes 5/6 Unlimited Amateur championship and the Cattlemen’s Derby 5/6 Gelding Unlimited Amateur championship.

That Kotn Pikn Pepto LTE $25,985 won the 2015 Southern Futurity Open Limited and placed seventh in the 2015 NCHA Super Stakes Open Limited. The 6-year-old One Time Pepto daughter is owned by Kenneth Warner, Clover, S.C. Her rider, Gabe Reynolds, won the 2013 NCHA Eastern Nationals $5,000 Novice championship on Reyn Storm and was a finalist in three divisions of the 2016 Eastern Nationals showing Seal Team 6 and Copencougarhagen. Reynolds also qualified for Tuesday’s $25,000 Novice Finals with 215.5 points on Cat Too Boon, owned by James and Debra Bramblett, Vine Grove, Ky.

Record win for Phil Rapp on Don’t Stopp Believin

March 4th, 2017

Phil Rapp on Dont Stopp Believin. Don Trout photo.

NCHA Hall of Fame Rider Phil Rapp, cutting’s all-time leading money earner, with more than $8.8 million, won the 2017 Houston NCHA Mercuria World Series Open Finals on Saturday, March 4, with 227 points on Dont Stopp Believin, by Dual Rey.

It was Rapp’s tenth win in a Mercuria Finals, a record number for the series. In addition, Dont Stopp Believin LTE $224,933 is out of Dont Look Twice, who won the Mercuria Finals eight times, a record number for an individual horse.

Dont Stopp Believin is the first Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting winner out of a Mercuria winner.

Six-year-old Don’t Stopp Believin is owned by Phil and Mary Ann Rapp, who bred Dont Look Twice LTE $824,546, cutting’s all-time leading mare, 2011 NCHA Open Horse of the Year, and 2012 NCHA Open World Champion. Phil won 26 major events aboard Don’t Look Twice, who represents three generations of breeding from Tapeppyoka Peppy, one of Phil’s first cutting horses.

Tapt Twice LTE $279,457, dam of Don’t Look Twice, is the producer of earners of $1.3 million, and Tap O Lena LTE $450,639, dam of Tapt Twice, won 15 major events with Phil, as well as the 1997 NCHA Non-Pro World Finals for Mary Ann.

Rapp also placed third with 223 points in the Houston NCHA Mercuria Open Finals riding 2013 NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year Reyzin LTE $407,602. The 8-year-old High Brow CD daughter was also bred by Phil and Mary Ann, who showed her, respectively, in open and non-pro limited age events. Reyzin is now owned by Gale Force Quarter Horses, Conway, S.C.

Suen You Will See LTE $146,570, shown by Steve Oehlhof, scored 224 points to claim the reserve championship of the Houston NCHA Mercuria Open Finals. Owned by Ken Sitton, Freeport, Tex., the 6-year-old daughter of Boon Too Suen, also scored 224 points to qualify for the finals with the winning go-round score.

Houston NCHA Mercuria Non-Pro Finals

Lauren Middletonon Sweet Reyvenge. Don Trout photo.

Lauren Middleton, Weatherford, Tex., scored 224 points on Sweet Reyvenge LTE $105,458 to win the Houston NCHA Mercuria Non-Pro Finals and her third Mercuria championship title. Middleton, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame honoree, previously won the 2010 and 2011 Quarter Horse Congress NCHA Mercuria Finals, is an eight-time champion at the NCHA Eastern National Championships, and has lifetime earnings of $583,458.

Sweet Reyvenge is a 9-year-old gelded son of Reys Dual Badger and half-brother to Felix The Cat LTE $109,893.

April Widman, Weatherford, Tex., secured the Non-Pro reserve championship with 222 points on Woodys Baby LTE $261,004. Widman was 2016 NCHA Non-Pro Reserve World Champion aboard Woodys Baby, an 8-year-old gelding sired by Nitas Wood, and has $455,884 in lifetime earnings.

Kelsey Conn, Hempstead, Tex., scored 219.5 points to place third in the Mercuria Finals on 10-year-old Boon Tooth LTE $169,782. Conn won this event in 2010 riding WSR Lano Badger Cat, but she and Boon Tooth, by Mr Boonsmal To You, have teamed up in 13 previous Mercuria World Series finals.  Conn has lifetime earnings of $487,367.

2017 Houston Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting

March 4th, 2017

Steve Oehlhof on Suen You Will See.

Suen You Will See LTE $139,986, shown by Steve Oehlhof, scored 224 points on Friday to top a go-round field of 40 horses and qualify for Saturday’s 12-horse Houston Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting Open Finals. Lil Rattler LTE $331,922, under Wesley Galyean, and Wood U N Me Baby LTE $112,533, with Matt Gaines, finished second and third with scores of 223 and 221, respectively.

Owned by Ken Sitton, Freeport, Tex., 6-year-old Suen You Will See, by Boon Too Suen, most recently an Augusta Futurity 5/6-Year-Old Open finalist with Oehlhof, was the 2016 Southern Futurity 5/6-Year-Old Open champion and West Texas 5/6-Year-Old Open reserve champion.

Steve Oehlhof is an NCHA Hall of Fame rider with lifetime earnings of $1,416,506.

Lil Rattler LTE $331,922, shown by Wesley Galyean, has won or placed in 25 major NCHA open and/or non-pro finals. The 8-year-old Dual Rey daughter, out of 2005 NCHA Futurity champion Highbrow Supercat, was non-pro champion of the 2014 and the 2015 NCHA Super Stakes 5/6 Classic with her owner, Steven Feiner, Aspen, Colo.

Wesley Galyean, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider and lifetime earner of $3.5 million, won the 2004 NCHA Futurity on Spots Hot and the 2013 NCHA Super Stakes aboard Hes A Hot Cat.

Six-year-old Wood U N Me Baby LTE $112,533, shown by Matt Gaines and sired by Nitas Wood, is a full sister to Woodys Baby, a finalist in Saturday’s Mercuria NCHA World Series Non-Pro Finals with April Widman. Wood U N Me Baby is owned by Bobbie Kay Davis, Templeton, Calif.

Matt Gaines, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with lifetime earnings of $7.9 million, has six previous Mercuria NCHA World Series wins and most recently claimed the 2016 NCHA Futurity Open championship riding Second Spot.

Three of tonight’s open finalists also qualified for the Non-Pro Finals. Cool Cat Dual Rey LTE $167,354, will be shown in the Non-Pro by Marley Wood, Stephenville, Tex., and in the Open by Marley’s father, Kobie Wood; Twistful Thinking LTE $240,587, will be shown in the Non-Pro by Cade Shepard, Summerdale, Ala., and in the Open by Cade’s father, Austin Shepard; and Let Georgie Do It LTE $123,991, will be shown in the Non-Pro by John Rockey, Palmdale, Calif., and in the Open by Kody Porterfield.

Austin Shepard and Phil Rapp were the only rider’s to each qualify with two horses for the Open Finals. In addition to Twistful Thinking, Shepard also qualified Deluxe Checks LTE $129,279, owned by Amanda Standish, Baton Rouge, La. Rapp, with nine previous Mercuria wins, qualified with Reyzin $402,035, last year’s Mercuria NCHA World Finals champion, owned by Gale Force QHs, Conway, S.C., and with his own horse, Dont Stopp Believin LTE $213,931.

Non-Pro Finalists
Texas A&M student Marley Wood marked 222.5 points to top 42 contenders in the Non-Pro go-round, where seven riders earned scores of 220 or higher and 15 advanced to the Saturday’s Non-Pro Finals.

Marley Wood’s mount, Cool Cat Dual Rey LTE $167,354, reflects the horsepower of the final’s field, with earners of over $2.4 million, including Pepto Boom LTE $288,202, shown by Marley’s sister, Lane. Marley and Lane’s father, five-time NCHA world champion Kobie Wood, also qualified Cool Cat Dual Rey for Saturday’s Houston Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting Open Finals.

Cool Cat Dual Rey, by Dual Rey, was bred by Marley and Lane’s mother, Paula Wood, and is half-brother to Donas Suen Boon, who carried Paula to win the 2012 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro championship.

Lauren Middleton, Weatherford, Tex., placed second to Marley Wood in the go-round with 222 points on Sweet Reyvenge LTE $98,997.  An NCHA Hall of Fame Non-Pro Rider with lifetime earnings of $576,997, Middleton won the 2010 and 2011 Mercuria Congress NCHA World Series on Cees Little Poo.

April Widman, Weatherford, Tex., and Judy Rogers, Rockdale, Tex., tied for third with 221 points in the go-round. Widman rode the Nitas Wood gelding Woodys Baby LTE $255,163, who carried her to the 2016 NCHA World Non-Pro Reserve Championship, as well as reserve in last year’s West Texas Futurity Non-Pro NCHA Mercuria World Series.

Rogers and Spoonfulla Cat LTE $221,624, by Hes A Peptospoonful, claimed the reserve champion title in the 2016 Mercuria NCHA Non-Pro NCHA World Finals. Rogers is also a two-time NCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro Limited champion.