The NCHA Announces the Champions of the 2009 Summer Cutting Spectacular

The National Cutting Horse Association Announces the Champions of the 2009 Summer Cutting Spectacular.

The National Cutting Horse Association’s 21-day Summer Cutting Spectacular concluded August 2.

The event, that was presented by Great American Insurance, began July 13 and more than 1,700 participants sought after their share of the $2.1 million purse.

The show was broken between a Classic/Challenge competition for five and 6-year-old horses and a Derby for 4-year-old horses.

Seven of the 24 Derby Open finalists scored more than 220 points, but it was the duo of Third Cutting and Boyd Rice, Spearman, Texas, who claimed their second consecutive major NCHA Triple Crown event.

Third Cutting and Rice broke the Derby record with a 228.5-point win. But not before Dont Look Twice and Phil Rapp, Weatherford, Texas, tied the previous record of 228, shared by Chiquita Pistol (2003) and Miss N Cash (1987).

“We were trying to win,” said Rice, who drew ninth to work in the second set. “We wanted (the cows) to move fast and it worked. When I turned around for my third cow, it was right there on top. My horse was about out of air, but he’ll give you everything he’s got.”

NCHA Futurity champions Metallic Cat and Beau Galyean, Marietta, Okla., marked 225 points mid-way through the first set, a score that would have won the event in each of the past four years.

Then Dont Look Twice, owned by Louis and Corliss Baldwin, came loaded for cow under Phil Rapp, as the twelfth and last to work in the first set.

“It was one of the best runs I’ve had,” said Rapp, cutting’s all-time leading NCHA money earner with nearly $6.4 million. “I couldn’t ask that mare to do any better. She was fantastic.”

Between the runs of Don’t Look Twice and Third Cutting, two horses scored 220 points: Derby Semi-Finals winner Nurse Connie with Paul Hansma, Weatherford, Texas, and Boon Too Suen under Kobie Wood, Stephenville, Texas.

Desires Katrina and Darren Simpkins, Weatherford, Texas, wrapped up the 24-horse finals with a 222.5-point performance.

Third Cutting, a Boonlight Dancer son owned by Carl and Shawnea Smith, Jacksboro, Texas, was bred by Polo Ranch and purchased through the Polo Ranch Dispersal sale at three. The bay stallion has earned over $290,000.

Don’t Look Twice, by High Brow Cat, is fourth generation Rapp breeding, out of Tapt Twice, daughter of Phil’s great champion Tap O Lena. Open champion of both the Augusta Futurity and the Bonanza Derby, Don’t Look Twice has earned more than $190,000.

Derby Non-Pro

Billy Martin, Millsap, Texas, was the clear-cut winner of the NCHA Derby Non-Pro division with 221.5 points – 4.5 points above co-reserve champions Paula Wood, Stephenville, Texas, Megan Miller, Poolville, Texas, Kyle Manion, Aubrey, Texas, and Dustin Adams, Dublin, Texas, all tied with 217 points.

“I love that horse so much,” said Martin of his mount, Laredo Montana, which he bred by Light N Lena out of Little Memory Maker, horses that Martin also raised and showed.

“He just put it all together and was everywhere he needed to be,” Martin added. “He made it easy for me.”

Although Martin has earned more than $550,000 in NCHA competition and won other major events, this was his first win at a major event in Will Rogers Coliseum.

“I can’t think of a better place to win a cutting,” said Martin, whose first show in Fort Worth was the 1970 NCHA Futurity (won by Doc O’Lena), where he placed fourth in the Non-Pro division aboard Hollywood Socks.

Derby Amateur

Viki Williamson, a flight attendant for Delta Airlines from Argyle, Texas, won her first limited aged event championship with 216 points on Meradas Gotta Gun, by Cats Merada.

“I was trying to stay calm, but I had that first cow picked and wanted to get him out there,” said Williamson, who bred Meradas Gotta Gun out of her first cutting horse, Young Guns Katie.

Whitt Bell, Hickory Plains, Ark., and Mixmeastrawberrylena, claimed the reserve title with 214.5 points.

Junior Youth

Hunter Hightower, 13, Morgan Mill, Texas, claimed the Junior Youth Championship in addition to a $1,250 scholarship on board TRS Travelin Badger.

“I was kind of born into it,” said Hightower of his cutting background.

His father is trainer Faron Hightower, who rode 15-year-old TRS Travelin Badger in limited age events.

“My dad usually gives me something to work on (after each run). I don’t think perfection exists, so there’s always something to improve on.”

Alex Morris, Weatherford, Texas, rode J R Colord Rambo as reserve champion with 218 points.

Senior Youth

Kay Parker, Cleveland, Georgia, riding Sister CD made an outstanding 230 point run to claim the Senior Youth Championship in addition to a $2,500 scholarship.

“I remember the first time I worked him, I didn’t expect him to move that fast and with such big moves,” said 15-year-old Parker who has been showing for four years.

Sister CD, by CD Olena, owned by Skip and Elizabeth Queen, Weatherford, Texas, is the earner of more than $720,000.

“I’ve ridden that horse fifty times and I never marked a 229,” said Queen.

Harris Shepard, Summer Dale, Ala., rode Peponita Times Two, for a 223.5 point reserve championship.

Classic Challenge Open

With dual scores of 222 points, Al Poocino, ridden by Paul Hansma and Thomas E Hughes ridden by Austin Shepard claimed the Classic Challenge Open Championships.

Homegrown Al Poocino, by Dual Pep, gave Paul Hansma his first win in the Classic Challenge, although the Weatherford trainer has won the NCHA Derby twice – on Rockin By Choice in 2005, and on Al Poocino’s maternal granddam, Hicapoo, in 1994.

“He’s got a smooth style and a lot of sweep and reach,” added Hansma who drew last to work in the first set.

6-year-old Thomas E Hughes and Austin Shepard, Summerdale, Ala., took their shot for the championship as next-to-last to work in the last set.

“The only advantage that Paul and I had being that deep in those cattle was that a lot of cows that we thought were good (but weren’t) were already eliminated,” said Shepard, who bought Thomas E Hughes at four and sold him to Don and Kathy Boone of West Columbia, Texas, last fall.

The High Brow Cat son was trained by Shepard’s father, Sam, and has now earned over $265,000 under Sam, Austin and Stacy Shepard, as well as Kathy Boone, and original owner and breeder Kenny McLean, Point Clear, Ala.

“He’s been a really good horse,” said Shepard. “He’s smart and athletic, but the main thing is that he’s so honest and wants to help.”

Roger Wagner, Weatherford, Texas, rode Dualin At Noon for the 218-point reserve championship. The mare is owned by James Vangilder of Jackson, Mo.

Classic Challenge Non-Pro

Michelle Anderson, Victoria, Texas, set the mark with 218 points on Clifford Rey, as the first of 25 finalists in the Classic Challenge Non-Pro and came out a winner.

“I was very proud of him,” said Anderson. “I knew he had stopped well and done good, but I had no idea that score would win.”

Chad Bushaw and April Widman, both from Weatherford, Texas, were co-reserve champions with 214 points each.

Classic Challenge Amateur

Carly Chiarelli, 13, Basalt, Colo., became one of the youngest champions of a major NCHA event after winning the Classic Challenge Amateur title by marking a 219.5 on Lil Peppys Advantage.

“You never know what’s going to show up on the scoreboard,” said Chiarelli.

“My horse was really going over there and stopping his butt in the dirt and my helpers just kept me going.

Carly’s father, Eugene, bred Lil Peppys Advantage, and Tim Denton, Sterling, Utah, trained him and works with Carly, who also rode the gelding to win the $50,000 Amateur and the Junior Youth at the NCHA Western National Championships this year.

Contance Jaeggi on board Starcat Merada and Hardy Rogers riding Joys Indian Pep tied for reserve with scores of 218.

Jaeggi, 18, is here from her native Switzerland to attend TCU in the fall and to continue to cut.

“We don’t have much cutting at home,” said Jaeggi, who rides with trainer and current NCHA president Chubby Turner. “I’d like to cut more and step up to the next level.”

Rogers from Madill, Okla., currently studies civil engineering at Oklahoma University.

John Deere Derby Open

Clay Johnson, Lampasas, Texas, and Sigourney Rey scored 222 points to win the John Deere Division Open; Christian Johnsrud, Sloughhouse, Calif., and Sweet Lil Gem claimed reserve with 219.5 points.

“It was controlled and felt really good,” said Johnson, who showed the Dual Rey daughter for Joan Dee Haun, Ponca City, Okla.

Johnson, 30, who grew up in the Texas Panhandle, got his start in cutting at Strawn Valley Ranch with trainer Craig Thompson and later worked for Bubba Matlock.

He currently manages Bettina Mathis’s cutting operation in Lampasas, Texas.

John Deere Classic Challenge Open

Nurse Fletch and John Kirby, Brenham, Texas, scored a decisive 218-point win in the Classic Challenge John Deere Open division.

“I got a good draw and the cows we liked ended up being in good spots,” said Kirby, who rides the 6-year-old gelded son of Royal Fletch for Seth Wooten, Wilson, NC.

Wooten, CEO of a family-owned construction business, purchased Nurse Fletch at three from Center Ranch. Kirby also rode the gelding as champion of the 2007 Music City Futurity Open Lt, and Wooten has shown him as an amateur finalist in several events and is entered to ride him this week in the Classic Challenge Amateur division.

Cat A Tonic and Dick Gaines placed second with 213 points in the John Deere Division for Mane Chance LLC.

The National Cutting Horse Association has more than 21,000 members across the United States with a wide range of backgrounds. Each year more than 2,200 NCHA-approved events are held throughout the country with more than $43 million in prize money awarded.

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