Alice Durkin on Million Dollarr Bill. Ted Petit Photography.

Million Dollarr Bill, shown by Alice Durkin for Anderson Cattle Company, Victoria, Tex., paid his dues with 222 points, the high score Saturday, July 27, on the first day of Open Derby go-round competition, in the Metallic Cat NCHA Summer Spectacular Cutting, in Fort Worth. Altogether, 97 horses performed on Saturday. In addition to Million Dollarr Bill, three other horses topped 220.

Bama Jelly, shown by Austin Shepard for Madalyn Colgrove, Boligee, Ala.; Stunner Cat, with T.J. Good for Darren Blanton, Dallas, Tex.; and Ten Blade, ridden for Beechfork Ranch, Weatherford, Tex., by Geoffrey Sheehan, all tied with 221 points. Seven horses earned 219 points, the next highest score.

Million Dollarr Bill LTE $10,338, bred by Stacy Smitherman DVM and sired by Wild Thing DNA, has earned money in two limited age events – as tenth-placed finalist in the 2019 Ike Hamilton Open Futurity with Adan Banuelos, and as seventh-placed finalist in The Non-Pro Open Limited with Alice Durkin. His dam, Million Dollar Babie, by Smooth As A Cat, is a three-quarter sister to Little Pepto Cat LTE $600,263, by High Brow Cat, out of Little Pepto Gal LTE $490,951, 2002 NCHA Open Horse of the Year.

Million Dollarr Bill’s rider, Alice Durkin, grew up with horses and cattle in the Australian Outback. The 2019 Non-Pro Open Limited marked her first official performance as an NCHA Open limited age event earner.

Bama Jelly LTE $138,962, bred by his owner, Madalyn Colgrove and sired by Bamacat, was an NCHA Futurity Open finalist (16th) with Austin Shepard and won two major Open events, the Arbuckle Mountain Futurity and the Augusta Futurity, since then. He also placed fourth in the NCHA Super Stakes, where he earned his biggest individual paycheck.

Shepard, a member of the NCHA Riders Hall of Fame and one of the sport’s all-time leading riders, is the earner of over $8 million. He also showed 2017 NCHA Futurity Open champion Dual Reyish LTE $366,024 earlier during the Metallic Cat NCHA Summer Spectacular to place in the NCHA Classic Challenge Open Finals.

Stunner Cat LTE $40,106, bred by JLC Performance Horses and sired by Metallic Cat, was an early 3-year-old money earner with T. J Good, as reserve champion of the Brazos Bash and as a top 10 finalist in the PCCHA Futurity and the Idaho Futurity. Earlier this year, Good, the NCHA Hall of Fame earner of $1,359,700, and Stunner Cat placed twelfth in the Pacific Coast Derby.

Ten Blade LTE $37,581, bred by Rhodes River Ranch and sired by High Brow Cat, was shown at three by Austin Shepard to place sixth in the Cotton Stakes, and by Geoffrey Sheehan to place fifth in the West Texas Futurity. This year, he has earned money with Sheehan as a finalist in the Arbuckle Mountain Futurity and the Cattlemen’s Derby.

Sheehan, the NCHA Hall of Fame earner of $1,322,418, showed Candi Cat LTE $90,725, owned by Beechfork Ranch and sired by High Brow Cat, last week to tie with the fifth highest score (221) in the NCHA Classic Challenge.