Barwick & Cats Starlight take Mercuria finals
Carpenter & Hangem Cat win Amateur

Jeremy Barwick
Jeremy Barwick and Cats Starlight

Cats Starlight and Jeremy Barwick scored 225.5 points on Saturday night to win the Mecuria NCHA World Series Breeder’s Invitational Open Finals. Little Bow Peepto and Ed  Flynn were second with 225 points.

A late draw pared Barwick’s cattle options down considerably. It took some talking, but his helpers convinced him to take a chance on a slick red cow.

“It took all of them to talk me into that cow,” said Barwick. “She was a little scary and I wasn’t going to cut her. But luckily she was in a good spot and we got her cut right. And she was probably the winning cow in the run.

“This is a phenomenal horse. He’s got a big stop and a lot of expression. He’s a big horse and he moves hard, so he’ll get sore. You just have to manage him right. As long as he is  one hundred percent, he’ll give you two hundred percent.

Cats Starlight, an 8-year-old son of High Brow Cat, was trained by John Wold. Taylor Carbo, Plaquemine, LA, purchased him in the spring of 2010 from Sean Flynn and won the 2010 Summer Spectacular Senior Youth Finals with him. Barwick was aboard the gelding to win the 2011 Mercuria NCHA World Series Open Finals, and Carbo won the 2011 Senior Youth Finals, riding Cats Starlight, once again, last week.

Reserve champion Little Bow Peepto, placed third in the Classic Challenge Non-Pro finals last week under Alexa Stent, The Woodlands, TX.

Ryder Carpenter
Ryder Carpenter and Hangem Cat.

Ryder Carpenter, 17, claimed the NCHA Classic Challenge Rios of Mercedes Amateur with 224 points on Hangem Cat, by High Brow Cat; Isidro Sigala was reserve with 222 poins on Sofie Rey, by Dual Rey.

“We had  to do a lot to get past that 222,” said Carpenter, who followed Sigala in the first set. “So we went in there to go for it and cut three very hard cows.”

It was Jeremy Barwick, winner of the BI/Mercuria World Series, who purchased Hangem Cat for Carpenter from Jeremy Landry last November. The gelding is descended from Lynx Melody, a former NCHA Futurity champion and champion producer, owned by Carpenter’s late grandfather, Billy Cogdell.

Carpenter and Hangem Cat won the NCHA Super Stakes Classic Amateur finals last spring. The 6-year-old gelding has won more than $200,000 and was also an Open Classic Challenge finalist with Barwick at this show.

Reserve Champion Isidro Sigala, a Venezuelan who has been cutting two years, rode Sofie Rey, a mare he bought before the 2009 NCHA Futurity. Lee Francois was an Open Classic Challenge finalist on the Dual Rey daughter earlier in the show.