It was photo finishes all the way round in the XTO Energy NCHA Super Stakes and Super Stakes Classic Noon-Pro finals on Firday night.
Co-champions Jennifer Foland and Mary Ann Rapp were separated by 17 other riders in the Super Stakes Non-Pro Finals draw, while co-champions Gail Hooper and Michelle Andeson drew up back-to-back as the second and third riders in the Super Stakes Classic Non-Pro.
Foland and Rapp earned 217-point scores; Hooper and Anderson each earned 218 points. Chad Bushaw had won the Semi-Finals on Thirsday with 219.5 points.
“I almost wondered if I should show her tonight,” said Jennifer Foland, who rode Shes Twice As Smooth, by Smooth As A Cat, to tie Mary Ann Rapp for the Super Stakes Non-Pro championship.
Shes Twice As Smooth and Foland had both come down with a bug between the go-rounds and finals. But Dr. Jeff Foland, DVM, was able to relieve Twice As Smooth’s symptoms, which in turn gave Foland a sense of relief.
“I was just ickled to have a nice solid run on her,” said Foland. “But she gave 100 percent.
“A friend texted me and said, “Not bad for a sick horse and a sick cowgirl.” said Foland, who purchased Shes Twice As Smooth from trainer Tatum Rice, who placed as reserve champion in the 2009 NCHA Futurity John Deere Division with the mare.
Foland showed the mare as reserve champion of the 2010 Bonanza Non-Pro, where Rice placed (12th) in the open division. Rice also rode Shes Twice As Smooth as a finalist in the Super Stakes Open division.
“Ironically, Boyd Rice, Tatum’s dad, tied Phil (Rapp) in the Open and Mary Ann and I tied in the Non-Pro,” said Foland.
While Foland was the first to the herd in the 20-horse finals, Rapp drew up eighteenth.
“We were late in the second set, but I thought it was a good draw,” said Rapp, who was riding ARC Catmando, by High Brow Cat, and who also showed Amanda Starlena in the Classic Non-Pro finals.
“I had two cows that I told my help that I wanted to cut. I cut the first one and it was good, then I had to fish for my second cut.
“I’d just made the turn and I spotted her on the back fence, so I backed up and got her and trotted her up the middle and cut her right in the middle of the pen and she was a great cow.
“She was everything I had hoped she would be and my horse was outstanding. I couldn’t be happier.”
Rapp’s husband Phil, who was co-champion of the Super Stakes Classic Open on Dont Look Twice, had trained ARC Catmando for Arcese Quarter Horses. After the colt was gelded, Arcese decided to sell him and Mary Ann purchased him in July 2009 and won the Brazos Bash Futurity on him two months later.
“We call him Deets,” said Rapp referring to a character from the book Lonesome Dove. “He’s a gentle giant and a sweetheart.”
Rapp also placed as a finalist in the Super Stakes Classic Non-Pro on Amanda Starlena, whose dam, Amanda Stargun, she showed to win the 2003 Classic. She was also reserve champion in the Non-Pro Gelding Stakes riding ARC Catmando.
Mary Ann Rapp drew first to work in the Classic, followed by Gail Hooper on Lena Rey Zack and Michelle Anderson riding Pantera Cat.
“The last cow we cut we questioned, because we had a couple in mind, but she presented herself and we went for it,” said Hooper, who had placed fourth with Lena Rey Zack in the Tunica Non-Pro Classic.
“My mare was really on it tonight. She’s matured through the months and she kind of peaked here.”
Hooper, who is from Decatur, AL, puchased Lena Rey Zack, by Dual Rey, last summer from Jim Vangilder. Roger Wagner trained the mare and Brad Mitchell conditions her for Hooper.
Michelle Anderson was a NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro finalist and Gelding Stakes finalist in 2009 riding Pantera Cat.
“He had a little injury that set him back for a while, but he’s a great horse,” said Anderson, who won the second go-round and placed third (second highest score of 216.5 points) on Baba Boon, by Peptoboonsmal.
Anderson purchased Pantera Cat, by High Brow Cat, from the mare’s breeder, Oxbow Ranch.
“He’s a great little horse,” said Anderson. “He gets real low and crouchy and he’s real gritty and has a lot of eye appeal.”
Anderson’s husband, Steve, won the Super Stakes Non-Pro Gelding Stakes championship on Thursday riding Scootin Dualquita.
Todd Quirk, Dehnam Springs, LA, won the NCHA Super Stakes Classic Limited Non-Pro with 221 points on NQH Tom Cat, who carried T.J. Good to win the Limited Open two weeks ago.
Kristen Galyean, Claremore, OK, was reserve champion of the Limited Non-Pro division with 219 points on Shady Boonlight, by Boonlight Dancer.