Lloyd Cox on Hottish. Alan Gold photo.

Hottish, a rapidy rising star among young cutting horse sires, was humanely euthanized on February 7, at the Springtown, Texas ranch of his owners, Dustin and Deena Adams.

At the time of his death, Hottish ranked fourth only to Metallic Cat, Dual Rey, and High Brow Cat, among 2020’s leading sires. His three lifetime performing crops had also produced earners of over $3.3 million, for an average of $31,709, including 2017 NCHA Futurity Open champion Dual Reyish LTE $383,364 and 2018 NCHA Open Horse of the Year and Super Stakes champion Cool N Hot LTE $358,835.

An NCHA Futurity Open finalist under Lloyd Cox, Hottish became a leading money earner at four, when he won the Breeders Invitational, the NCHA Derby, and the South Point Derby with Cox, as well as the NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes with Dustin Adams. He was retired from the show arena in 2014, following his NCHA Classic Challenge 5/6 Non-Pro win with Adams, and with career earnings of $286,109.

Bred by Double Dove Ranch and sired by Spots Hot, Hottish was out of Stylish Play Lena, cutting’s #2 all-time leading dam of the earners of over $2 million. “We bought him from Gail Holmes as a yearling and Deena picked him out,” said Adams, who sent Hottish to Lloyd Cox as an early 3-year-old. “Lloyd had always showed up to help me inside and out of the arena. I knew he was good with studs and rode the mother and knew the family, and it was a good fit.”

Adams did not plan to ride Hottish in the Super Stakes, but when Cox had some tough luck in the Open second go-round, Adams purchased a slot in the Non-Pro. It was his first time to show Hottish and he scored 227 points to win the Non-Pro championship. Three months later, Cox and Hottish won the NCHA Derby with 228 points.

“He is so strong physically that he’s hard to ride,” said Adams, following his Super Stakes win. “For me it was just a matter of staying in the middle of him because his legs were going everywhere. It’s hard to sit in the middle of them, when they’re like that.”

Cox, who today is cutting’s all-time leading money earner, with over $9.3 million, was also impressed by Hottish’s physical prowess.  “He gets really deep in the ground and sometimes you think he’s not going to be able to handle it, but the harder he stops, the better he gets. It’s not a worry, no matter how hard he stops.”

In 2003, when Cox won the NCHA Classic Challenge riding Stylish Play Lena for Gail Holmes, it was just his second win in Will Rogers Coliseum. He had won the 1999 NCHA Derby on Smart Lookin Hi Brow, and before that was reserve champion of the 2003 NCHA Super Stakes on TR Dual Rey LTE $291,111 and of the 1996 NCHA Futurity on Royal Serena Belle LTE $124,146.

“She’s just one of those kind,” said Cox, after his Classic Challenge win on Stylish Play Lena. “It’s her attitude and ability combined. She’s physically gifted, but she’s not hard to ride because she’s so smooth. And her intelligence is something to be admired.  You don’t get those very often.”

Like his dam, Hottish was “just one of those kind,” and his legacy is assured for generations.