Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Coliseum has been ground zero for great cutting horses and riders over the past half century, but 17-year-old Lane Cooper may have one-upped them all in the Faith Mountain Ranch NYCHA Senior Scholarship Cutting Thursday at the NCHA Summer Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance.
Riding Holly Is Smooth, Cooper marked 233, which is believed to be an arena record for NCHA-produced events. That gave him a 7 1/2-point lead over reserve champion Regan Plendl.
Cooper, of Weatherford, Texas, has ridden Hall of Fame Horses Auspicious Cat and SL Jaybird in past Scholarship Cuttings. On Thursday, he was on board Holly Is Smooth, a Smooth As A Cat x Holly N Zack mare bred by Kyle Manion and owned by Rose Valley Ranch. Ten-year-old Holly Is Smooth has earned more than $224,000.
Cooper’s dad, Michael Cooper, is an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider with earnings of $2.5 million.
Reserve champion Regan Plendl of Kinglsey, Iowa, has already earned more than $100,000 in NCHA competition. She marked 225.5 on Joe Wes Davis’ C Spot Cut, and 8-year-old son of Spots Hot that Garrett Hampton rode to win the 2014 Senior Scholarship Cutting.