Payne Marks 229 to Top Classic Open Finals!

Author: Lauren Middleton

Payne Marks 229 to Top Classic Open Finals!

It was exciting night at the 2018 Metallic Cat NCHA Summer Spectacular as some of the best horses and riders went head to head in the Classic Open Finals yesterday evening! We knew it would be a great finals as it always is with these five and six year old horses. They know the ropes and the riders trust them. They go for the gusto and when it pays off, it pays off big time!

James Payne and PG Heavily Armed (Playgun x Not Quite An Acre), owned by Brenda and Michael Armstrong, are known for this “going for the gusto” style controlling tough cows and looking perfect while doing so. Last night was no different, we got to see the handsome bay stallion hit his trademark stop time and time again! Likewise, James was going for the win finishing out the strong run by chipping his last cow with 27 seconds to go. It was certainly their night putting together a 229 to claim the Championship and $18,639!

James Payne and PG Heavily Armed

This little bay stallion has been a standout individual throughout his career thus far being both exceptionally talented and being a special piece of the game changing stallion, Playgun. He also is special for James and the entire Payne crew, he seems to just keep getting better. James has ridden so many greats including two past champions in Fort Worth, Once In A Blue Boon and Serena Dual, but we are thinking this one might be a pretty memorable one for years to come. It is wonderful to see the hard work James and his team put in pay off in such a perfect two and a half minutes!

James Payne and PG Heavily Armed

Celebrating After The Big Run

Reserve Champion was Matt Miller riding Metallic Smart Cat (Metallic Cat x Smart Jerri Lee), owned by Cynthia Villa, marking a 224 to collect $16,806. Matt not only made the finals aboard this gelding, but also on two other mares as well. It has been a year to remember for the Miller Team and it seems as though Matt has attributed some of his success to a wardrobe change that was hard to push upon him. Make sure when you pass Matt in the hallway you ask him about his hat! Putting all funny superstitions aside, there is something to be said about getting three horses into the finals against the toughest horses in the industry, Matt's program speaks for itself as one of the best in the sport.

Matt Miller and Metallic Smart Cat

Third Place was none other than Lloyd Cox riding past Futurity Champion Second Spot (Spots Hot x Reycy Moon), owned by Gary and Shannon Barker, marking a 222.5 receiving a $14,973 check!

Lloyd Cox and Second Spot

Congratulations to all of the Champions and Finalists from all of us here at Cutting Horse Central. Tune into CHC Live scoring to keep up with the show here in Fort Worth.

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