Ray Baldwin
Ray Baldwin won the Non-Pro Classic Challenge on Dont Look Now. Copyright Hart Photography. All rights reserved.

Ray Baldwin and Dont Look Now, who drew third to work in the 18-horse field of the NCHA Classic Challenge Non-Pro Finals, on Tuesday, July 21, had plenty of steers from which to choose. So many – 90 head – the requisite “deep cut” was a bit daunting.

“We knew we had plenty of cows, but the herd was so big, I had to make sure I drove all the way up and didn’t get stuck in it,” said Baldwin. “It started getting a little rough, but when Phil (Rapp) said, ‘Come on, let’s get going,’ I snapped out of it and the run built from there.”

Baldwin’s score of 219 points held for the win. Cade Shepard, fifteenth to cut, marked 217.5 points on Some Kinda Highbrow to claim the reserve championship, and Sheridan Clark on Meradas Puddy Cat; Glade Knight on Junie wood; and Barney Mac Smith on One Red Mist tied with 217 points to split 3/5.

“There were so many good horses and riders, I was just hoping to be in the top three or four,” said Baldwin. “I can’t believe my score held up. It was a great feeling just to have a good run.”

Five-year-old Dont Look Now, by Dual Rey, was bred by Waco Bend Ranch, owned by Ray Baldwin’s parents, Louis and Corliss Baldwin of Fort Worth. Waco Bend also owns Dont Look Now’s famous dam, cutting’s all-time leading female money earner Dont Look Twice, shown by Phil Rapp to earn $804,000.

Rapp will be showing 4-year Dont Stopp Believin, earner of $98,081 and the full brother to Dont Look Now in the Derby Open first go-round later this week.

“He’s got a lot of reach to him and he’s strong and physical,” said Baldwin of Dont Look Now. “We gelded him the middle of last year, but probably should have done it sooner. His mind was in the way and he was really tough. It’s taken him a while to find his groove. The first two times I showed him this year we didn’t get along, but then we made the finals at the Cattlemen’s (Classic).

“He felt the best he’d ever felt in the first go-round here and I hoped it wasn’t a fluke. But he was even better in the second go-round, and even better tonight.”

This was Baldwin’s second championship win in Fort Worth. In 2013 he claimed the NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro title on Shesa Hollywoodcat, by High Brow Cat.

Dont Look Now, who had earnings of $16,175 coming into the Summer Spectacular, earned $15,897 for his win. Ray Baldwin has lifetime earnings of $552,000.

Cade Shepard shines with Some Kinda Highbrow
It was all in a day’s work for 13-year-old Cade Shepard, reserve champion of the Classic Challenge Non-Pro on 5-year-old Some Kinda Highbrow, trained and also shown in open competition by Cade’s dad, Austin Shepard.

“He’s probably the easiest horse I’ve shown and one of the best,” said Cade of the gelded son of High Brow CD. “He’s pretty much like riding a rocking chair. You just sit up there and kick him.”

Twistful Thinking, the mare who carried Cade to win the 2015 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro, and one of the horses he will show next week in the NCHA Derby Non-Pro division, has a style in stark contrast to to Some Kinda Highbrow, although the two horses are closely related on the bottom side of their pedigrees. Some Kinda Highbrow is out of Some Kinda Memories and Twistful Thinking is out Some Kinda Twister, who is out of Some Kinda Memories.

“She (Twistful Thinking) is a little bit quicker and more – go run, stop, catch the cow,” said Cade. “He’s more swoopy and low-headed.”

Since January 1, 2015, Cade has earned more than $115,000.

Cade Shepard
Cade Shepard was reserve champion on Some Kinda Highbrow. Copyright Hart Photography. All rights reserved