A Trip to Texas

We just returned from the NCHA 50th anniversary edition of the Futurity.

It was a whirlwind trip, we had a lot to fit into three days, including. . .

. . . attending the Western Bloodstock Futurity Sales, including the yearling sales. . .

. . . and the seasoned cutting horse sale on Saturday.

You might remember this horse. The six-year-old Pepto Taz gelding, ridden by Randy Holman, which won the Classic Challenge at last year’s Canadian Supreme with an amazing 150 run, and returned this year to capture the championship again on the Saturday night with a 146.5. He sold at this sale for $54,000.

Everyone seemed to agree prices were up from last year. We have an interview with Katie Tims, editor of the Quarter Horse News, planned for the Jan/Feb issue of Western Horse Review. I know she’ll have some interesting insights into the trends of the new year.

Saturday morning was also the Stallion Avenue, always a barn aisle-packed event and a great way to start off the final day of the week. I apologize for the photo . . but I just couldn’t help including it. I’d love to meet the creative brain behind this artwork, hilarious!

Earlier in the trip, we headed out to Weatherford, Cutting Capital of the World. . .

. . . and visited with Ian Chisholm at his place. Ian and Peggy have a beautiful ranch, just up on a rise a bit, incredibly functional, with gorgeous views of the Texas hills. The horses at Ian’s always seem content and quiet to me.

On our way back to Fort Worth, we stopped at Oswood Stallion Station, and I visited with Blue’s dad, one of the highlights of the trip for me. There were some other stallions around – Dual Rey, One Time Pepto, One Time Royalty – but my adoration was reserved for this guy. I’m sure one day those others will sire a beautiful boy like Blue too.

Just to change it up, we rented a house on VBRO for this trip, which we shared with some friends. It was a different experience from staying in a hotel and allowed us to get together every evening to watch the National Finals Rodeo highlights on television.

We headed to the historic Fort Worth Stockyards for some shopping.

And dinner at Lonesome Dove, arguably the most amazing meal I’ve ever had in FW, and definitely worth the splurge. While Uncle Julio’s is the favorite Mexican feed for many cutters, we found Benito’s, an authentic Mexican restaurant just a few blocks from the Colliseum. Delicious queso flameado, and salsa!

And then, there was the cutting.

Incredible cutting.

I have to thank my friend, Karyn for taking these photos. I was being lazy about hauling my camera around so she stepped in and snapped some fine shots of the action.

What a finals.

Ten of the 25 Open finalist horses were sired by High Brow Cat. I’m not sure if that’s a record for number of horses by one sire in the finals, but it sure was impressive.

Other sires represented by offspring in the finals included:

Chula Dual

Dual Rey

Dual Smart Rey

Hes A Peptospoonful

Oh Cay Quixote

One Time Pepto (2 entries)

Peptoboonsmal

Smart Lil Scoot

Smart Little Lena

Smooth As A Cat (2 entries)

Sophisticated Catt

Spots Hot

TR Dual Rey

As it transpired, the top two high-scoring runs of the evening were High Brow Cat offspring. Ronnie Rice set a high bar with a score of 225 as the very first entry. He rode a High Brow Cat by named Jewels Bars Cat, out of a Lenas Jewel Bars mare named Sprats Dualin Jewel.

That score held until the very last run of the day. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought Ronnie Rice had the day. But, then Craig Thompson rode Oh Miss Caroline (High Brow Cat out of Oh Cay Shorty, by Shorty Lena) into the herd and changed everything.

Not that I’ve had the opportunity to witness that many NCHA Futurity finals, but this was a thrilling show. The competitiveness of this finals was palatable. Everyone has stepped up their game here in Texas.

And, that was the 2011 50th Anniversary NCHA Futurity, it’s all she wrote. And time to prepare for 2012. Many Canadians brought back horses, can’t wait to see them in the show pen next year.

I nearly forgot to mention, we also met Trigger.

When RFD-TV bought Roy Roger’s original stuffed Trigger for $266,000, back in the spring at the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum auction, I didn’t expect I’d run into him here. It was a cool display, fun photo op, and I’m glad Trigger is still getting out and thrilling modern day crowds.