2017 Calgary Stampede Mercuria Champions
Author: Mark Michels
The 2017 Calgary Stampede once again hosted the very popular NCHA Mercuria World Series of Cutting and the large crowd were treated to some great cutting action. This year’s lineup included several of the current Top 15 Open & Non Pro NCHA World Finals contenders competing against some of the best local trainers and Non Pro’s for the large purses up for grabs.
The Non Pro Finals were first on the schedule and there were some really solid runs in contention for the win but in the end it was Shannon Lamb from Boerne, Texas who came away with the win scoring a 220.5 on Rue Du Ichi (Cat Ichi x Snicker Roo). Lamb and her eight year old gelding “Ichi” were the 9th team to work in the ten horse finals and wasted no time getting to work and showing the judges they were there to win.
Shannon Lamb scored a 220.5 on Ru Due Ichi for the win
Lamb had NCHA lifetime earnings of $92,700 and was ranked 15th in The 2017 Non Pro World Finals Standings coming into this event. With her win in Calgary that paid out a cool $9,646.67 she has now gone over the $100,000 mark and will definitely move up several placings in the Non Pro World Finals Standings. Her trainer Gaylon Wells had shown one of Lamb'ds other horses in the Open division but had some tough luck which prevented them from advancing to the finals.
Lamb was congratulated after the run by her trainer Gaylon Wells
There was just a half point difference between first and third with two teams scoring a 220 and the Reserve Champion was ultimately decided by adding the two scores from the qualifying round and finals to decide placings. After some quick math it was Kaila Stewart from Crossfield, Alberta who was awarded the Reserve Championship aboard Clays Little CD (CD Lights x Clays Little Hickory) taking home a check for $8,170.36. Winding up third was Amanda Smith from Wembly, Alberta on Hoo Doo Hughes (Thomas E Hughes x Acre Of Freckles).
Non Pro Mercuria Final scores:
See current NCHA Non Pro World Finals Standings based on results processed through 6/30/17:
The Open Mercuria Finals were next and as usual the stands were packed with eager Canadian fans ready to cheer on their favorites. There were just six horses that qualified for the final round competing for over $34,000 in total prizemoney.
Working next to last in the open finals, NCHA $4.4 Million dollar rider Clint Allen was the most experienced of the bunch and he drew on all that knowledge to navigate the tricky cows to put together another stellar run aboard QB Cat to earn a 225 point score from the judges that held up for the win and the $13,330 paycheck. The royally bred “QB” is a nine year old gelding sired by High Brow Cat and out of the great mare Quintan Blue and is owned by David & Stacie McDavid. This team was ranked 5th in the NCHA Open World Finals Standings and will now be moving up at least a couple spots.
This was Clint’s first time to compete at the Calgary Stampede and he told us that the cows were definitely the toughest part of this show but he was very thankful to his helpers that assisted with his picks and helped him locate the cows he wanted to cut. While in Calgary Clint said he got to stay with local trainer Dustin Gonnet and really enjoyed visiting with the locals and getting to see some of the local scenery, he said the local beer was pretty good too but wouldn’t get to do any celebrating after the finals since they were loading up and heading to the next cutting in Colorado.
Clint spoke to the crowd about his run after the awards
Reserve Champion was another Weatherford Texas Trainer and $1.4 million dollar NCHA Rider Tatum Rice who worked last in the finals and despite a numb first cow was still able to put together a 224 point run aboard Eazee E (High Brow Cat x Zee Dually) owned by his in laws, Kevin & Sydney Knight. The seven year old mare and Tatum were the top contenders coming into the finals after scoring a 227 in the qualifying round. "Zee" had earned $115,508 in NCHA lifetime earnings coming into this event and are currently ranked #2 in the NCHA Open World Finals Standings.
Tatum Rice and Eazee E scored a 224 to claim the Reserve Championship
While in Calgary Tatum and his crew stayed at the Silver Slate Arena in nearby Stavely and he too told us how accommodating the locals were and it was nice to get to enjoy some cooler temps. Tatum and his wife Kylie who also showed but narrowly missed the Non pro Finals got to watch some of the rodeo next door and cheer on Tatum’s Cousin Audy Reed who was competing in the Saddle Bronc at Calgary Stampede. Unfortunately the noise was a little loud for their 15 month old daughter Kennedy so they didn’t get to watch all of the action but they all really enjoyed the experience.
Tatum received his Reserve Champion awards after the finals
"Tater" and “Zee” added another $9,553 to their earnings while in Calgary and are now loaded up and also heading to Colorado for a series of shows before making their way back to Fort Worth for the NCHA Summer Spectacular.
Open Mercuria Finals Results:
Below are the NCHA Open World Finals Standings based on results processed through 6/30/17: