The NCHA Open Super Stakes had all the elements of a blockbuster. Peptos Stylish Miss and John Mitchell threw out the challenge with a gutsy 222-point performance as the third draw. The score held its number one rank until NCHA Futurity champion High Brow CD and Austin Shepard came cutting, seventh down in the second set, looking for their fourth consecutive major title and the second leg of the NCHA Triple Crown.

Their 227-point run had the crowd roaring. Then Playin N Fancy Smart and Kory Pounds tied into the herd, three slots after High Brow CD, and scored 227 points.

But the cutting wasn’t over until Miss Stylish Pepto and Bill Riddle, cutting dead last, wrung 223 points out of a well worn herd and claimed the resertve championship and $80,418. High Brow CD, by High Brow Cat, and Playin N Fancy Smart, by Smart Little Lena, each won $103,776 as co-champions of the 2008 NCHA Super Stakes, and split $39,200 from the Super Stallion Incentive Fund.

“I felt like my first two cows were really good and my third cow was a little bit gentle,” said Shepard, who rides High Brow CD for the stallion’s new owner, Chris and Staci Thibodeaux’s Grace Ranch, Jennings, LA. “I think if me or Kory, either one or the other, got a better third cow, the one with the better third cow would have won.

“But I’m happy it ended like it did. We both won. I like tying with my friends.”

Coincidentally, Miss Stylish Pepto, owned by Glenn and Debbie Drake, and Peptos Stylish Miss, owned by Slate River Ranch, are full siblings by Peptoboonsmal out of Stylish And Foxie, by Docs Stylish Oak.” Both Miss Stylish Pepto and Peptos Stylish Miss were bred to High Brow CD this spring. Slate River Ranch also owns Sarahs Super Cat, who split 14/15 under John Mitchell. All added, between Playin N Fancy Smart, Peptos Stylish Miss fourth place), and Sarahs Super Cat, Slate River Ranch won $190,184.

“It’s a testament to Slate River Ranch that they had three horses in the finals,” said Pounds. “I knew my mare was good, I knew I cut good cows. I wasn’t trying to beat Austin. I just wanted to go get my mare shown as best I could.”

Non-Pro co-champs Bushaw and Wood
Chad Bushaw, a Non-Pro go-round leader, grabbed the lead with 222 points on Cats Ruby, as the third rider in the first set.

His only threat came four-deep in the second set, where Paula Wood and Cash My Boon made their bid for another 222-point score. Only Jim Vangilder, the next-to-last rider, came close to Bushaw and Wood, with 218.5 points on Playin At The Mall.

“Good clean cuts make the biggest difference,” said Bushaw. “If you cut good cows, you’re supposed to dominate the situation.”

Bushaw, who spit 10/13 in the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity on Cats Ruby, purchased the mare through her trainer Sean Flynn, and sold the gelding Dual Ya Scoot, who would go on to become the NCHA Amatuer Futurity champion under Philip Layne and third-placed in the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity.

“I was scratching my head there for a while, wondering if I had made the right decision,” said Bushaw, referring to the sale of Dual Ya Scoot. “But I couldn’t be happier for Philip, and you like to sell good horses to good people and see them do well.”

Paula Wood made her move as fourth rider in the second set on Cash My Boon, by Duals Blue Boon, a the stallion raised by Paula and her husband, trainer Kobie Wood.

“The first two cows were exactly the order that we wanted to cut them in,” she said. “My horse is a run-go-stop type and those kind of cows fit him.

“He’s from everything that we’ve had and raised, from Cash Quixote Rio to Duals Blue Boon to Tari Chick Gay,” Woods added, referring to horses shown by Kobie. “It’s what we’ve dreamed of raising and we finally got it.”