Super Stakes champion Moms Stylish Player and Kenny Platt marked 228 to win the NCHA Derby finals August 6 as the 2016 NCHA Summer Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance, reached a thrilling conclusion in Fort Worth, Texas.
The winner’s check for $64,327, including $25,000 sponsored by Circle Y Ranch, will take the gelding’s career earnings over $200,000. Platt and owner Robert Tregemba of Castle Rock, Colorado, have been enjoying a banner year in 2016, with wins in the Super Stakes and Derby, plus a Novice championship on Little Lenas Cat at the NCHA Western Nationals.
John Mitchell, who rode first in the finals and marked 223 on MK Cats Kitty, was the reserve champion of the NCHA Derby.
Platt, 28, rode seventh in the second set and took three cows that showed off his horse’s speed, power and tenacity.
“We had talked about my third cow before I went down there,” he said. “It was a real ugly cow and I was a little skeptical about it. Grant Setnicka really liked it and he said, ‘let’s just cut it right now.’ I cut it and it was . . . if there’s any better feeling in the world, I have not felt it yet. It was pretty unbelievable there at the end.”
The score on the board was 226, but it was flagged for review. Platt fretted for 20 minutes after the set while the judges verified that he had satisfied the deep cut rule on his first cow. When it was all over, he had 228 points, the same score he’d earned at the Super Stakes.
He described the wait for the review to be completed this way: “You know that feeling right before you throw up? It felt real similar to that.”
Platt gave all credit to his horse.
“I’ve never seen a horse that cared as much as he does,” he said. “At the (NCHA) Futurity, I didn’t really have him ready mentally. I had him trained and he would go through the motions, but mentally he wasn’t prepared, and it showed in the semi-finals when he ran off.
“It took me awhile to figure out how to build him up, to go and have the confidence about what he’s doing. Once I got in his head, it was like the better I told him he was, the better he’d go out there and be.”
Moms Stylish Player was bred by Drummond Land & Cattle Co. by Lizzys Gotta Player out of Moms Stylish Babe. The 4-year-old’s earnings this year have taken Moms Stylish Babe’s produce over the $1 million mark. Moms Stylish Babe’s dam, Playboys Mom, produced earners of $928,000. And her dam, Lenaette, won the 1975 NCHA Futurity with Shorty Freeman, and produced earners of $426,000. Lenaette’s dam, the 1966 mare Bar Socks Babe, was also a $400,000 producer.
“I really want this horse to last a long time, because he’s never going anywhere,” Platt said. “He’s real special to me and my family. I’m just going to go to the shows that aren’t going to spin him out and ruin him, and just try to keep him a really long time.
“You can really only do what these horses let you do. If you don’t have good horses, you can pretty much write off ever doing good.”
Reserve champion MK Cats Kitty is bred and owned by Glade Knight’s Slate River Ranch. The mare is by Spots Hot out of MK Cats Lil Kitty, a High Brow Cat mare that earned over $42,000. MK Cats Kitty was a Super Stakes finalist, and also made the finals at Arbuckle Mountain, Abilene, and the Bonanza. She’s earned more than $73,000 now.