It was a hard-fought finals performance in the Open competition of the Great American Insurance National Cutting Horse Association Summer Cutting Spectacular Classic Challenge July 20 at Will Rogers Coliseum, with two great mares Stylish Martini, owned by Dottie St. Clair Hill of Glen Rose, Texas, and Cat Mom Do, owned by Reata Ranch Cutting Horses of Los Olivos, Calif., grabbing the top spots.
Stylish Martini, ridden by Roger Wagner of Aledo, Texas, served notice she was a contender, yet again, posting a cumulative score of 439 coming into the finals in a tie with Darren Blanton’s Katz Flash ridden by Jason Clark. Just a scant point behind with a 438 was Cat Mom Do shown by Weatherford’s Matt Gaines. Stylish Martini had already thrown down the gauntlet this past spring during the NCHA Super Stakes when she won the same class with Wagner, earning $75,000.
The petite bay mare by Docs Stylish Oak and out of Miss Martini Play made short work of three cows in the finals in what seemed a choreographed performance as each turn to the herd brought roars of approval from the crowd. Her consistency paid off as the five judges awarded Stylish Martini a score of 226 to take the lead from CR Sun Rey, owned by Center Ranch of Centerville, Tex., and ridden by Boyd Rice in the first set scoring a 220.
The battle was not won easily, however, as Gaines and his charge, Cat Mom Do, entered the herd to fight for the top spot with the same electric moves and with a sense of clear determination, but it was not to be as the duo left with a score of 224 to take the reserve position.
Stylish Martini earned a total of $35,997 for the win bringing her career earnings to more than $360,00, while Cat Mom Do connections to home $31,834. Hosted by the governing body for the sport of cutting, the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) the Great American Insurance Summer Cutting Spectacular is the last of the NCHA Triple Crown series that offers more than $8 million in prize money throughout the series. Nearly 1,300 horses were entered in the $2 million Summer Cutting Spectacular, with 178 vying for more than $390,000 in the Classic Challenge.
A total of 14 divisions of competition are being held throughout the event in Fort Worth, including special John Deere Open Divisions, as well as Non Professional, Amateur, Unlimited Amateur and Youth. An estimated $500,000 will be offered in the Summer Spectacular Derby Open Division for four-year-olds making their final major debut after the 2012 NCHA Futurity and 2013 Super Stakes. Prizes provided to sweeten the pot include saddles from Sean Ryon, trophy belt buckles from Gist Silversmiths, boots from Rios of Mercedes, hats from Sombrero Hat Brands and much more.