After a year’s worth of hauling horses to countless weekend shows, 12 new National Cutting Horse Association World Champions were crowned Saturday night following the fourth and final round of the Mercuria/NCHA World Championship Finals. The event was held in conjunction with the Borden Milk/NCHA World Championship Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas.
After the four-round work-off of the Open and Non Pro divisions, Bet Hesa Cat, ridden by Austin Shepard was named this year’s Open champion. 2012 Horse of the Year Don’t Look Twice, ridden by Phil Rapp for Waco Bend Ranch, took the Open Reserve Championship after winning three of the four go-rounds along with the fifth non-working go. Nampa, Idaho cutter Dan Hansen and his gelding Woody Be Lucky came out on top of the Non Pro division.
Dan Hansen and Woody Be Lucky earned more than $111,000 throughout the point year, placing them at the top of the Non Pro going into the finals. The pair won two rounds, was reserve in another, and by the end of the finals Dan Hansen’s earnings exceeded $134,000, breaking the NCHA record set in 2008. Hansen and Woody Be Lucky made quite a showing at several of Mercuria/NCHA’s World Series of Cutting stops in 2011. They won at the Houston Livestock Show, Idaho Futurity, and the El Rancho Futurity.
Bet Hesa Cat and Austin Shepard came into the finals with more than $78,000 from the point year, and a $40,000 spread between them and the next highest money earner, Dont Look Twice. By the end of the finals, Bet Hesa Cat racked up another $13,000 for a grand total of $91,821 along with an Open World Championship title. Bet Hesa Cat was also recognized as the champion stallion while the champion mare went to Don’t Look Twice who earned $29,000 for her four winning rounds and one reserve at the finals.
Bet Hesa Cat and Hansen were honored at a World Finals Party following their final round alongside their fellow top 15 finishers as well as the top 15 finishers from the other 10 NCHA-sanctioned classes. The following are the champions from each of those classes.
Junior Youth – Matthew Dedden, Burlington, Ky.
Senior Youth – Alexis Stephas, Chattanooga, Tenn.
$3,000 Novice – Zack and Blue, owned by Parri and Jerry Longworth, Cave Creek, Ariz., ridden by Al Dunning, Scottsdale, Ariz.
$10,000 Novice – Wood She B Tuff, owned by Laurie Gosney, Fort McDowell, Ariz., ridden by Mike Wood, Scottsdale, Ariz.
$15,000 Amateur – Rose Hayes, Santa Rosa, Calif.
$50,000 Amateur – Doogie Wilson, Las Vegas, N.M.
$2,000 Limit Rider – Cliff Mills, Rayville, La.
$5,000 Novice Horse Non Pro – Crossing Red River owned by Roger Booth ridden by David Booth, both of Acton, Calif.
$15,000 Novice Horse Non Pro – Tiana Rey owned by Dan and Karen Hansen
$35,000 Non Pro – John Claudon, Whitesboro, Texas
For a complete list of standings in each class, visit http://www.nchacutting.com/ag/shows/world_standings.php
The sport of cutting has roots in Western ranching traditions, where good horses were a necessity for everyday ranch work and cattle handling. The National Cutting Horse Association was formed in 1946 by a group of cowboys and ranchers, who wanted to promote cutting competition, standardize rules and preserve the cutting horses’ Western heritage.
Today, the Fort Worth-based NCHA represents more than 20,000 people and oversees more than 2,200 NCHA-approved shows with more than $42 million in total prize money awarded annually.
For more information about the NCHA and the sport of cutting, please call (817) 244-6188 or log on to http://www.nchacutting.com/
The Augusta Cutting Futurity is January 21-29, 2012 in Augusta, GA. More info can be found here: http://augustafuturity.com/