Playful Bamacat, ridden by Harris Shepard. Seth Petit photo.

It was a bittersweet win for Harris Shepard, Verbena, Ala., who scored 225 points to win $10,340 and the 2020 NCHA Futurity Open Limited championship, on Monday, November 30.  Harris was aboard the Bamacat son Playful Bamacat, a colt owned by his father, NCHA Hall of Fame Member and Open Rider Sam Shepard, who passed away on September 22, 2020.

Harris, the NCHA earner of $92,505, had shown Especially Thomas LTE $37,506, as a Non-Pro Futurity finalist in 2012, when he was 18. Earlier this year, he won the Cotton Stakes 5/6 Open Limited riding Countin Catillacs LTE $23,249, who he also showed as reserve champion of the Southern Futurity 5/6 Classic Open Limited.

Playful Bamacat, out of Playful Ricochet, by Smart Lil Richochet, was bred by Jerome Bradford, Hoschton, Ga. His dam earned over $84,000 in limited age event competition under Sam Shepard and produced 10 NCHA money earners, including Playful Highbrow CD LTE $55,623, winner of the NCHA Eastern Nationals Open championship with Walt Erwin. Playful Ricochet’s dam, A Genuine Playgun $60,616, was a full sister to Playguns Desire LTE $124,352, and half-sister to Desire Some Freckles LTE $188,990, who produced earners of over $1.5 million.

Speak Easie, ridden by Cass Tatum. Seth Petit photo.

Cass Tatum, Overbrook, Okla., the first rider in the field of 28 finalists and a Top 10 contender going into the Open Semi-Finals with a combined score of 440 (220 and 218), marked 223 points in the Limited Finals on Speak Easie, by Smooth Talkin Style, for the reserve championship and $9,427.

Tatum, a former assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Lloyd Cox and the NCHA earner of $97,055, made his first appearance as a Futurity finalist in the 2019 NCHA Futurity Open Limited on Stevia, who he also showed as a Futurity Open Semi-Finalist, as well as reserve champion of the 2020 Brazos Bash Open Limited.

Bred by Double Dove Ranch, Fort Worth, Tex., and owned by Holly Davidorf, Johnstown, Ohio, Speak Easie is a half-sister to the Kit Kat Sugar daughter Stevia LTE $51,661, shown by Cass Tatum as a 2019 NCHA Futurity Open Limited finalist. Speak Easie’s dam, SDP Miss Caba Rey, by Dual Rey, is a full sister to Twice As Reycy LTE $194,141, reserve champion of the 2003 NCHA Open Futurity with Lloyd Cox, and a half-sister to High Brow Cougar LTE $194,141, third-placed in the 2003 NCHA Open Futurity under Tim Denton.

Zeb Corvin, Canyon, Tex., scored 219 points to place third and earn $8,514 riding Metabra, by Metallic Cat, and also showed Megician, by Metallic Cat, to earn $2,509. Corvin, the NCHA earner of $280,270, was reserve champion and also placed third in the 2019 NCHA Futurity Open Limited showing Tin Man LTE $34,556 and Suenperstitious Cat LTE $19,669, respectively, for Stella Swanson, Midland, Tex.

Metabra Cat, owned by the Zeb Corvin and Stella Swanson Partnership, was bred by Fults Ranch, Amarillo, Tex., and is a full sister to 2017 NCHA Open Horse of the Year Metallic Rebel LTE $411,837, among NCHA earners of $1,674,584 out of Sweet Abra LTE $117,725,  by Abrakadabracre. Sixteen of Sweet Abra’s 18 NCHA money earners are sired by Metallic Cat, including nine who have earned $100,000 or more.