PG Heavily Armed and James Payne. Dawn Baxstrom photos.

PG Heavily Armed, ridden by James Payne for Michael and Brenda Armstrong of Marietta, Oklahoma, marked 226 to win the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting at the West Texas Futurity in Amarillo Saturday evening, August 18. Hashtags, who is leading in the World Championship standings, marked 224.5 for second. Mistresssis and Dont Stopp Believin shared third place with 222 points.

PG Heavily Armed was bred by Dick and Brenda Pieper by Playgun out of Not Quite An Acre, by Bob Acre Doc. Not Quite An Acre, the 1997 NCHA Horse of the Year with trainer Curly Tully, won the NCHA Classic Challenge that year, and earned more than $153,000.

Last month, PG Heavily Armed gave James Payne a record three NCHA Classic Challenge championships. Payne, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider, had previously won the Classic Challenge with Sarenadaul in 2012 and Once In A Blu Boon in 2012.

Payne has also the West Texas Futurity three times, beginning with PG Serenade in 2011, and continuing with Dmac Spicy Spoon in 2014 through last week, with Kathleen Moore’s Stylish Hailee.

PG Heavily Armed $10,800 Mercuria paycheck will take his career earnings over $194,000.

Tatum Rice showed Hashtags in second place for Hashtag Ventures of Weatherford, Texas. The 5-year-old stallion by Metallic Cat out of Dual Rey Tag, won all three weekend show events during the West Texas Futurity, and now has earnings of more than $400,000.


Steve Anderson on Littlemak. Dawn Baxstrom photo.

In the Non-Pro division, Steve Anderson of Victoria, Texas, and Littlemak earned their first Mercuria win, marking 222 as the first contestants in the seven-horse finals. Ali Good and Cat Atat Cat marked 217 for second place.

Anderson, who is in the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame, had teamed up with Littlemak to win both the NCHA Super Stakes Classic and the NCHA Classic Challenge this year. Anderson is no stranger to success in Amarillo, having won the West Texas Classic in 2006 with PG Maxine and the West Texas Derby in 2010 with Jojo Boon.

Littlemak was bred by Joann Parker by Starlights Gypsy out of Justa Swinging Gal, by Justa Swinging Peppy. Littlemak’s winning check for $11,241 will take him past his full brother, PKR Big Mac, as the leading earner for both their sire and dam, with lifetime earnings of more than $185,000.

In second place, Ali Good of Ringling, Oklahoma and Cat Atat Cat added to a string of accomplishments this year which includes wins in the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro and Senior Youth at the NCHA Eastern Nationals, the Non-Pro at the NCHA Western Nationals, and the $35,000 Non-Pro at The Non-Pro & The Open Cutting.

Cat Atat Cat was bred by Glenn and Debbie Drake by High Brow Cat out of Miss Stylish Pepto, a $216,000 earner by Peptoboonsmal. Cat Atat Cat has now earned more than $115,000.