Salvador Cabral and High Up Cat set the tone for the John Deere Division Open Limited Finals on Monday with a gritty 220-point opening run in the 12-horse field.
Cabral was immediately followed by Dean Domann on Cherrey, who took the lead with a 222-point performance.
Jesse Lennox and Sally Cats Hot, number 10 in the working order, threatened to upset Domann’s lead, but in the end drew 222 points, to tie for the championship.
Fons De Barbanson and Felix The Cat, and John Kirby with One Time Shorty tied with 219 points to split fourth and fifth.
Burke Sullivant and Need A Nurse Now scored 215.5 points to tie with Adan Banuelos and Magic With Moves and split sixth and seventh.
This was the second consecutive championship win for Lennox and Sally Cats Hot, who also claimed the 2013 Super Stakes Classic Open Ltd. for owner and breeder Rocking W Ranch.
“She’s just a great mare and I’m lucky to get to ride her,” said Lennox of the six-year-old Spots Hot daughter. “It’s that Rocking W horse power that Miss Alice (Walton) has been breeding for four or five generations that makes all the difference.”
Lennox also placed tenth last night on Walton-owned and bred Rose Rey, who he showed on Saturday night in the Classic Challenge Open Finals.
Boon San Spoon, whose dam is a full sister to the dam of Sally Cats Hot, afforded Lennox, 23, his first brush with success in Fort Worth, with 222 points and third place in the 2012 NCHA Futurity Open Ltd.
Lennox grew up in Ontario, Canada, where his parents are social workers and where he cleaned stalls for the opportunity to ride horses. Later, trainer Gerry Hansma took Lennox under his wing, and four years ago Lennox moved to Texas to apprentice with Tony Piggott and Gary Gonsalves, and eventually took up the reins with Rocking W Ranch.
The John Deere Classic Challenge co-championship win was Dean Dormann’s first in Fort Worth.
“This is the first time that I’ve done very good with her at a big show,” said Dormann of six-year-old Cherrey, sired by Dual Rey and owned by Rodney Wrinkle. Cherrey and Dormann also were finalists in the Classic Challenge Open Finals.
Domann, 38, trains for Wrinkle Cutting Horses, Gainseville, Tex., and purchased Cherrey last year from Burke Sullivant, who scored 215.5 points on Need A Nurse Now in last night’s finals.
“She has a pretty way of doing things and is real cowy,” said Domann of Cherrey, who is a half-sister, out of world champion Shesa Smarty Lena, to the dam of Metallic Cat.
Domann was reserve champion of the 2012 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Ltd on KTZ Rey Of Cash.