He Bea Cat. Alan Gold photo

The 37-year difference between Tarin Rice and his great uncle, Ronnie Rice dissolved last night in the 2012 NCHA Futurity at Will Rogers Coliseum, Fort Worth, Tex. Tarin is the second youngest rider in the event’s 51-year history to win the championship; Ronnie, 60, is the oldest, and second only to Buster Welch in number of Futurity wins (3).

He Bea Cat and Tarin scored 222.5 points late in the first set of cattle to over-write Catbaloo’s early 221-point lead under Lloyd Cox. Tarin’s score was never threatened until Ronnie went to the herd as the next-to-last rider in the last set and rode out with 222.5 points.

“I think he was supposed to beat me,” said Tarin, who showed He Bea Cat for Jim Crawford, Lexington, Neb. “It was just unbelievable.”

“He’s so talented it’s not even right,” said Ronnie of Tarin. “I had to work my whole life to be able to get to do what he’s doing right now. He is just so talented.”

CR Tuff Hearted Cat
CR Tuff Hearted Cat.

CR Tuff Hearted Cat was bred and is owned by Center Ranch, Centerville, Tex., who owns and stands her sire, Woody Be Tuff. Ronnie Rice was reserve champion of the 2011 NCHA Futurity on Jewel Bars Cat, by High Brow Cat, also owned by Center Ranch.

“Last year, when I was reserve (with 225 points), was probably the greatest run I’ve ever had in this pen,” said Rice, who won the the 2001 NCHA Futurity on San Tule Freckles, where his son, Tag, was reserve champion on Mr Beamon; the 1998 NCHA Futurity on Dainty Playgirl; and was also reserve champion in 2005 with Peptocandy.

Boyd Rice, Tarin’s father, placed eighth yesterday on Botero for Wagonhoud Land and Livestock; it was the twelfth time he has qualified for the Futurity finals. Tarin showed in the NCHA Futurity finals for the first time in 2010, on Reyvorce; his brother, Tatum, 27, was a finalist in the 2011 NCHA Futurity aboard Austin Rey.

CR Tuff Hearted Cat and He Bea Cat each earned $201,971 for their dual wins. He Bea Cat also earned $15,053 in the John Deere Ltd. Open, where he tied for fourth, and CR Tuff Hearted Cat made another $2,574 as champion of the Senior (Rider) division.

Austin Shepard, winner of the 2007 NCHA Futurity on High Brow CD, showed his homebred stallion Bamacat to third place in the finals with 221.5 points.

Donas Suen Boon, champion of the Non-Pro Futurity with Paula Wood, wound up a top overall 2012 Futurity money earner, when Paula’s husband showed their homegrown mare to place seventh in the Open division. Donas Suen Boon, who competed in eight go-rounds, compared to the four go-rounds for Open-only mounts, earned a total of $83,015.

One Gone Cat, who earned $30,089 under Rowdy Larson in the Open Finals, also served double duty, carrying owner Jill Peacock as fourth-placed finalist in the Non-Pro Futurity, where she earned $41,553, for a Futurity total of $71,642.