Cullen Chartier and DMAC Spoonbill commanded an eleventh hour win with 221.5 points in Tuesday’s John Deere Open Limited Finals.
Dean Domann, who scored 220 points as the third entry from 20 finalists in the two-set finals, placed as reserve champion.
“I’m on cloud nine” right now,” said Chartier, following the win. “I knew I had a good horse, I just didn’t know he could do that.”
It was the first win in Fort Worth for Chartier, 26, whose richest previous win came in the 2012 Open Limited Southern Futurity.
“He’s honest and doesn’t ever step a foot out of place and that’s a testament to Paul,” said Chartier, who was catch-riding DMAC Spoonbill for Paul Hansma, one of the sport’s top ten all-time leading money earners with over $5.1 million.
DMAC Spoonbill, by Hes A Petospoonful, was purchased by Steve Dees in 2012 at the Marvine Ranch Reduction Sale. Following the sale, Dees put the horse with Hansma at Bar H Ranch in Weatherford, where Chartier is an assistant.
Dees placed seventh with the gelding in the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Ltd division; won the 2013 Abilene Spectacular Amateur UnLimited; was third in the Cattlemen’s Amatuer Derby; and placed in both amateur divisions of the Breeders Invitational.
Chartier also qualified DMAC Spoonbill for Wednesday’s Open Gelding Derby Finals, where Hansma will ride Hez All Cat, owned by Lori Maling, an Open Derby finalist for Hansma, as well, as is Overdrive, owned by Dub and Christy Leeth.
“I’ve always loved watching Paul show and loved watching his horses,” said Chartier. “He trains a real cowhorse and I always thought, if I could ever chose anybody to work for, it would be Paul. And last year it came true.
“It’s been great. We work really hard, but there are no bad days. I love it.”
Cullen’s brother, R.L. Chartier, showed Light N Lily as an Open Finalist in last week’s Classic Challenge for Kaitlyn Larsen, and qualified SDP Overdrive for Richard Hollingworth in the Derby Open Finals.
Reserve champion Dean Dorman and owner Rodney Wrinkle, Lebanon, Mo., purchased Cantebury Cat, by High Brow Cat, as a weanling.
“He was bred good and he looked the part,” said Domann, 38, who 10 days ago won the Summer Spectacular Open Classic Challenge Limited and was also an Open finalist aboard Cherrey, owned by Wrinkle Cutting Horses.
Domann, many times champion in fall futurities that precede the NCHA Futurity, won the 2012 NCHA Eastern National Championship $3,000 Novice with KTZ Rey Of Cash, who he also showed as reserve champion of the 2012 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Open Limited.