FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — APR. 23, 2013 – The 2013 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes and Super Stakes Classic, presented by XTO Energy, an Exxon Mobil Subsidiary, wrapped up April 20 as another multi-million dollar event for the sport of cutting, offering more than $3.3 million in cash and prizes to more than 2,000 entries from across the United States.
The Super Stakes competition focus on highlighting the breeders of top cutting horses who subscribe stallions to the event in order to bring attention to their progeny.
Earning the top paycheck of $100,000 in the Super Stakes Open Finals for four-year-olds was Hes A Hot Cat, owned by breeder Don Gilbert of Coushatta, La., and ridden by trainer Wesley Galyean of Claremore, Okla. Galyean, an NCHA Hall of Fame rider with more than $2 million in earnings, had three horses in the Finals and was first in the herd with Hes A Hot Cat, a son of Spots Hot, scoring a 219; a score that held throughout the remainder of the competition.
“It does put some pressure on you to have that many horses in a Finals,” said Galyean, “but you just put that ride behind you and focus on the next one. This horse (Hes A Hot Cat) just really gave it his all. We just started riding him again in January because he got injured before the (2012) Futurity and he’s come back really well.”
A total of 305 horses competed in the open competition for a total purse of $921,781 in the division and a total purse of $2,062,379 in the Super Stakes.
Australian native Roger Wagner made his way to the winner’s circle with the mare Stylish Martini to receive the winning paycheck of $52,833 in the Super Stakes Class Open Finals for five- and six-year-old horses. Riding for owner Dottie St. Clair Hill of Glen Rose, Texas, the mare by Docs Stylish Oak and out of Miss Martini Play, a daughter of Freckles Playboy, Wagner scored an event high of 225.5 aboard the spry bay whose moves in the arena proved worthy of her $700,000 price tag paid last fall at the Marvine Ranch reduction sale.
“She is so quick in the turn and is always right there with the cow comes around, she is pretty amazing and gets better and better,” he said. “It’s unreal when you have two good cows like that and can find a third, it’s great.”
A total of 198 horses were in the line up for the Super Stakes Classic Open for a $440,149 purse of the total $989,128 offered in the Super Stakes Classic. In addition to cash, more than $250,000 in prizes were awarded including, Sean Ryon saddles, Dennis Moreland bridles, Gist trophy belt buckles and others prizes.
Super Stakes Classic Results
Canadian rider Jesse Lennox notched the first win at the Super Stakes ever for owner Alice Walton and Walton’s Rocking W Ranch of Millsap, Texas, when he took Sally Cats Hot in for the win in the John Deere Open Finals of the Classic. Scoring a 224, the mare by Spots Hot and out of a Walton’s own RW Sally Cat, earned a total of $6,631. The pair defeated a field of 45 competing for a purse of $32,535.
In the Limited Non Pro, Taylor Carbo of Plaquemine, La., rode High Brow Cat daughter Moms Stilish Cat to a score of 222.5 to earn $6,770, along with a Gist Silversmith trophy buckle and the coveted NCHA trophy. A total purse of $88,290 was offered to the field of 67 entries.
Denis Seiz of Cedartown, Ga., overcame 146 other entries in the Classic’s Amateur division with her horse Cat Black I, by Smooth As A Cat and out of Smart Little Gal. Scoring a 215, Seiz earned $4,778 of the total $82,369.
Weatherford, Texas teenager Jaylee Hall showed her competitive maturity during the Unlimited Amateur division when she rode he r gray American Quarter Horse, Mae C Grey, to the win for $3,843. The 15-year-old held off a field of 52 other horses to score a 219.5 and take her share of the $65,330 purse.
In the Classic’s Non Pro division, another Millsap, Texas, woman rode to the top when Kaitlyn Larsen scored a 222 on her American Quarter Horse, Light N Lilly, sired by Light N Lena and out of Meradas Oh Cay. She nabbed a check for $18,991 from the purse of $299,535 and the field of 146 entries.
Super Stakes Results
In the Amateur division of the Super Stakes, Gary Rosenbach, owner of Rose Valley Ranch in Weatherford, rode his four-year-old mare Scooters Daisy Dukes to the win with a score of 220.5. The daughter of Dual Smart Rey charged past 109 other entries in the class win $5,173 of the total $73,294 purse.
The Unlimited Amateur division went to Nowata, Okla., rancher Bill Helm riding Boons Playin, a son of Mr Boomsmal To You. The gelding scored a 217 to take home the top prize of $4,351 of the $60,668 purse for Helm, who also won the Senior title and an additional $4,138.
The John Deere Open of the Super Stakes went to 21-year-old Californian Monty Buntin, who took High Brown Jackson to the top of the leader board for owner Scott Gaddy of Clements, Calif. Scoring a 222, the son of High Brow Cat defeated 102 others in the class to earn a paycheck worth $11,350 of the $83,810 purse.
Playin Fancy Lights and Smooth Mitch battled it out to determine who the top gelding would be in open competition, with the answer bring a draw. Both horses earned $11,375 of the total $84,768 purse. Playin Fancy Lights by CD Lights is owned by Slate River Ranch of Richmond, Va., and Smooth Mitch by Smooth As A Cat is owned by Clear Cut Partners LLC of Temecula, Calif.
The Non Pro Gelding title would go to a thrilled Nelson Knight of Weatherford, who rode Platinum Boon to a score of 222. The son of Mr Boonsmal To You, owned by Knight’s father, Glade, earned $3,399 of the total $53,993 purse.
Havey Riddle showed she was a mean competitor aboard her mare, Mean Girl, sired by Cat Ichi, in the Super Stakes Limited Non Pro division. Riddle, of Roanoke, Texas. made the win an early wedding present scoring a 220 to earn a paycheck for $10,126 over a field of 46 and from a purse $117,462.
In the Non Pro, Ray Baldwin of Fort Worth captured his first win ever in the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum with a score of 216.6 riding a daughter of High Brow Cat, Shesa Hollywood Cat. Baldwin took home a check for $28,355 defeating 198 other horses competing for a total purse of $584,932.
The Triple Crown will continue in July with the 2013 Great American Insurance Summer Cutting Spectacular with an expected purse of $3.5 million in cash and prizes. For more information, go to www.nchacutting.com.
A cutting horse is an athletic and willing animal possessing an innate "cow sense" and ability to respond quickly and turn sharply that is trained to keep a cow from returning to the herd. The horses involved are typically American Quarter Horses, although many other stock horse breeds are also used.
In the event, the horse and rider select and separate a cow out of a small group. As the cow tries to return to its herd, the rider loosens the reins ("puts his hand down" in the parlance) and leaves it entirely to the horse to keep the cow separated, a job the best horses do with relish, savvy, and style. A contestant has 2 ½ minutes to show the horse; typically three cows are cut during a run, although working only two cows is acceptable. A judge awards points to the cutter based on a scale that ranges from 60 to 80, with 70 being considered average.