Dual Action! Co-Champions in NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro
Author: Alex Taft
Everyone can agree that the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes is a marathon. There is more than a month of trials and errors, but it is all worth it when seeking that glory on finals day.
During the Non-Pro finals, 21 combinations left it all out in the “Big Pen,” in pursuit of the winning score, and two teams shined above the rest. Fans were expecting a lot from Chad Bushaw and his killer mare Bittersweet (Metallic Cat x Miss Sea Rey) after their impressive 2017 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro victory, and they did not disappoint.
Chad Bushaw & Bittersweet
The pair marked a big 222 from the first set to take a commanding lead over the others, but they say it’s not over until it’s over.
From the second spot in set number two, semifinals leader Megan Miller gave all she had on Carolena Reyn (Dual Smart Rey x Carolena Moon) to match Chad’s previous marks. That pair of 222s held up through the end as the highest scores, and Megan and Chad were happy to share the win.
Megan Miller & Carolena Reyn
Champions Interviews by CHTO:
Both teams collected a hefty $36,319 for their success in Fort Worth, which catapulted Bittersweet’s lifetime earnings to nearly $100,000. Carolena Reyn now boasts a record of $96,501.
Megan and Chad were both thrilled with the outcome of the finals, and they are both looking forward to what the future holds with them and their talented horses.
“I was pleased with my mare," Chad said of Bittersweet, who is owned by his Crown Ranch.“I was thankful to get through it and thankful to cut some good cows. I was just really happy with her effort. Being able to tie with Megan, who is one of my favorite people, and her husband [Matt Miller] is one of my favorite friends and trainers – so to tie with the great mare that she has, makes me feel really happy to be here.”
"I knew my mare was capable of marking a big score if I got my cows cut clean," Megan said of Carolena Reyn, who she owns with Matt. "The cows helped us, and she was great. I could not be happier. It is a great feeling in this arena to mark anything like that. It's such a hard feat to do this, and I am thankful to have a horse like that. Every time I get to go down there, especially at a final in Fort Worth, there is just nothing like it."
Beyond praising the performances of their stellar horses, both Megan and Chad were quick to credit their teams at the show and at home, agreeing none of the success would be possible without their steadfast support.
Third-place honors went to Whitney Hall and Lucky Nedd Pepper (Smart Little Lena x Royal Red Pepto) after they marked a solid 219.5 from the first draw in the second set. They garnered $30,798 for their performance.
Whitney Hall & Lucky Nedd Pepper
Congrats to all of the finalists from the NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro finals! It is always a long road to accomplish anything worthwhile, and everyone in the finals deserved their well-earned moment in the spotlight.