National Cutting Horse Association Crowns 12 Champions

It was a show with big money, top horses, and high scores. The National Cutting Horse Association's 2011 Summer Cutting Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance wrapped up itsIt was a show with big money, top horses, and high scores. The National Cutting Horse Association's 2011 Summer Cutting Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance wrapped up its

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It was a show with big money, top horses, and high scores. The National Cutting Horse Association's 2011 Summer Cutting Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance wrapped up its 18-day run on July 30 at Will Rogers Memorial Center.

The Summer Cutting Spectacular includes a derby for 4-year-old horses and a classic challenge for 5- and 6-year-olds. This was the final leg of the Triple Crown of Cutting, which began with the 2010 Futurity in December.

It was truly "ladies first" in the finals on Saturday as two mares showed up the boys for champion and reserve. Roger Wagner, Aledo, Texas, marked 224.5 points on Marvine Ranch's Stylish Martini for the Summer Cutting Spectacular Derby Championship. The mare is out of Doc Stylish Oak.

"That mare really felt dialed in," said Wagner. "She had one miss that worried me a little bit, but she got back in and held on good and waited in that stop and thought about that turn."

The duo has placed in the top 10 of each of the Triple Crown series finals. It was Wagner's first derby win, although he won the 2007 Classic Challenge on Quintan Blue.

RPL Ich This, by Cat Ichi, took the reserve with 221 points under Tim Smith, Temecula, Calif., for owner Bobbie Atkinson, Henderson, Texas.

"I knew she was really good, and we cut her some good cows and she handled it really well," said Smith who catch rode for Phil Rapp, cutting's all-time leading money earner.

RPL Ich This also won the PCCHA Futurity and the Music City Futurity under Rapp and has earned more than $115,000 to date.

Derby Non Pro

Kelle Earnheart, Weatherford, Texas, and Cancan Reyvolution marked a personal best in Will Rogers Coliseum, a 225, for the Non Pro win. This is the 4-year-old gelding's fourth major Non Pro win.

"The cattle stayed in the middle of the pen and they were perfect," said Earnheart. "And my horse crawled around a little bit and was great."

Earnheart won the 2009 Non Pro NCHA Futurity, and was just a half-point away from the Derby Non Pro record score set by Bucki James in 2002.

Holly Francois, Murchison, Texas, came in reserve with 219 points on Dualsadie, by Dual Pep.

"I remember getting down there and I was able to find my cows so easily, and it seemed like everything just flowed so easily," Francois said.

Francois' husband, Lee, and daughter, Sidney, also had their fair share of the spotlight at the Summer Show. Lee was a finalist with Sofie Rey and Reys Desire in the Open Classic and Sidney was a finalist in the Junior Youth class.

Derby Amateur

In their third championship of the year, Deb Herold, West Point, Iowa, and Wiley Cat marked a 221 in the Rios of Mercedes Amateur.

"Every cow that we wanted, we got," said Herold. "They were in good spots and were easy to bring out."

Under trainer Dirk Blakesly, Wiley Cat was also an NCHA Futurity finalist and reserve champion at the Abilene Spectacular, and Herold and the stallion won the Tunica Futurity and Arbuckle Mountain four-year-old together this year.

Kylie Knight, Fort Worth, Texas, marked 219 points on Sunlight N San. It was Knight's first limited age show with the Light N Lena daughter.

Classic Open

Indian Rick and Jason Clark, Weatherford, Texas, defeated the odds after drawing up first and in the first set. The pair scored 223 points for the Classic Open championship.

"Jason did what you're supposed to do when you're first with a group of horses like this," said reserve champion Phil Hanson, Weatherford, Texas. "He put a run down, and the rest of us had to come after him. And we came as strong as we could."

Clark showed Indian Rick at the Futurity, but unfortunately encountered a rogue cow in the first go-round. They then qualified for the Augusta Futurity finals, where Indian Rick injured a suspensory ligament and had to be laid off. Since then he also showed in the finals of the Super Stakes Classic.

Hanson and his mount, Pounce, marked a 222 for the reserve. They also took the reserve in the Derby Open last year with 223 points.

Classic Non-Pro

A half-point separated Kyle Manion from Kaitlyn Larsen in the Classic Non-Pro, and in the end, Manion came out on top with 221.5 points on his gelding A Smooth Criminal.

"I couldn't have asked him to have been better," said Manion. "The cows were quick, and he was quick. And yet he has the ability to slow down and wait on a cow, and then pick it right back up and be really smart."

Manion from Aubrey, Texas, and A Smooth Criminal also placed third in the Non-Pro Classic at the Super Stakes in April. It was the gelding's first show of 2011 following surgery for colic in 2010.

Classic Amateur

17-year-old Ryder Carpenter, Silverton, Texas, and Hangem Cat put up 224 points for the Rios of Mercedes Classic Amateur title. Carpenter followed reserve champion Isidro Sigala and Sofie Rey in the working order.

"We had to do a lot to get past that 222," said Carpenter. "So we went in there to go for it and cut three very hard cows."

Sigala, a Venezuela native, has been cutting for two years and his mare Sofie Rey was an Open Classic finalist earlier in the show with trainer Lee Francois.

Derby John Deere Open

Tate Bennett, Hereford, Texas, put up 225 points aboard Reyn Maker, by Dual Rey. It was the pair's second Fort Worth title as they also won the John Deere Open at the NCHA Super Stakes in April.

"He's always been good, but he's getting stronger," said Bennett. "He comes through for me every time."

Reyn Maker is Bennett's first horse that he trained to show himself, although he conditions 2-year-olds for the NCHA Futurity sale. He purchased the gelding for $5,400 at the NCHA Summer Spectacular Sale.

Chris Johnsrud, Weatherford, Texas, came in second to Bennett with 219 points on Smart Uni Brow. Johnsrud had two mounts in the finals and also placed sixth with Desires Blue Trinity.

"She's super cowy and quick," said Johnsrud, who shows the mare for her breeder Angel Pinuelas, Scottsdale, Ariz. "She's a little mare, but there isn't anything she can't do because of her size. I got her in January and this is only the second event that I've shown her. I'm pretty excited about her."

Classic Non-Pro Limited

Collbran Larsen, Gruver, Texas, and DS Mrs Wilsonfreckle put up a strong run as the first out in the first set of cattle for a 222 point lead that stuck throughout the duration of the 25-horse finals.

"I went in there and cut as clean as I possibly could," said Larsen, whose win was a welcome 17th birthday present. "Before I went in, I knew she was ready."

Larsen's father, Dana, trained the mare. Collbran prepped for his run by watching videos of Lee Francois and Jason Clark who had recently won classes from the number one draw.

Page Bowman, Simpsonville, Ky., scored 215.5 points for the reserve title on Scoot Over Here, by Smart Lil Scoot.

Open Gelding

Tarin Rice, Spearman, Texas, and Lenas Star War marked a 223.5 to come out on top of the Open Gelding division. It was the first Open win for the 22-year-old Rice who also trained Lenas Star War.

"He can trap a cow, and he's a pretty mover," said Rice. "He travels real low, and if a cow ever looks at him, he gets even lower and has a really pretty look."

Rice has worked for his father, Boyd Rice, who has more than $3 million in lifetime NCHA earnings. Lenas Star War is owned by Brenda Michael, Amarillo, Texas.

Woodys Wildest Cat and Clint Allen, Weatherford, Texas, made a bar-setting 222 point run early in the finals that would hold for a reserve championship. The gelding was also reserve champion of both the 2011 Abilene Spectacular Open under Allen and the Amateur division at Abilene with owner Rick Ford, Valley View, Texas.

All finalists in the NCHA Derby Open gelding also qualified for the Open Semi-Finals.