It’s hard to believe that the 2019 Seven Ranch NCHA World Finals has come to a close, but we have to say it was one of the best we have ever seen! Every class was well celebrated from the Open World Champion to the fifteenth-place competitor in the $2,000 Limited Rider. Several people went above and beyond to make sure that this was the case, and it was evident that everyone was grateful for their efforts. There is quite a lot of information to cover when talking about all of these fantastic World Champions, Reserve World Champions, and Show Champions, but really, we won’t even scratch the surface of the amazing stories that unfolded throughout the year. This is just one of the reasons why we love this sport as much as we do!
We will begin with the Open Class were Tarin Rice and CR Gotcha Covered (Dualin Boon x The Catattac), owned by Joel and Jayne Colgrove, dominated the year. Tarin and “Gotcha” as he is known to many, were a force to be reckoned with, always bringing their A-game to the table. They marked huge score after huge score, and Gotcha consistently wowing us with his athleticism. He makes it look easy at all times, and he and Tarin are a perfect match.
Tarin Rice and CR Gotcha Covered
Gotcha has been in Tarin and his wife Katie’s program from the middle of his two-year-old year until his last run on Saturday night. He had a tremendous aged event career, but Tarin and Katie knew that it could be possible to achieve something more on him. Katie was the first to mention the idea after Tarin’s brother Tatum had stirred up the thought of maybe trying to win the World Championship. Tarin had never even thought about it until Tatum pursued the 2018 Open World Championship aboard Hashtags. Once the thought was set in motion, Katie said, “If you want to try to do this, I think Gotcha might be the one to do it on!” The idea was a great one, but they knew that they were about to welcome the newest addition to their family, TC Rice, and winning the world takes a lot of dedication. They went into the year wanting to go for it, but if it turned out to be too much, then they would adjust their goals. Luckily, Gotcha came through in a big way, making all of the dreams they aspired to achieve possible. This World Championship adds him to the long list of Rice World Champions. This win also secured Gotcha as the 2019 World Champion Stallion!
The Open Reserve World Champion literally came out of nowhere! Kenny Platt and Moms Stylish Player (Lizzys Gotta Player x Moms Stylish Babe), owned by Robert Tregemba, began their World Finals experience just being happy to have made it, and finished the week not only as the Reserve World Champions but also, “Sprout” finished the year as World Champion Gelding! As if that wasn’t enough, their stellar runs allowed them also to claim the Show Champion’s title in the Open as well! They marked a 227 in round one, 230 in round two, 230 in round three, and finally a 220 in round four. This duo has always been a favorite of so many, but they reminded us why this past week. They are a match made in heaven!
Kenny Platt and Moms Stylish Player
World Champion Mare was Copperish (Metallic Cat x Stylish Play Lena), now owned by the Moore/Cox Partnership, ridden by Lloyd Cox. They also had a standout World Finals being very consistent as they have always been throughout their aged event career. They moved up through the ranks finishing second in the average as well, collecting over $16,000 in the World Finals alone! “Copper” has been a special horse for Lloyd and his whole team from the start and was his first horse to haul and make the World Finals on, and we wonder if we will be seeing him again in the standings in coming years after such a great experience on Copper!
Lloyd Cox and Copperish
In the Non-Pro, the field was just as tough as the Open most of the time, with Ali Good and Cat Atat Cat (High Brow Cat x Miss Stylish Pepto) finishing the year as the 2019 Non-Pro World Champions! They were just as dominant in the Non-Pro as Tarin and Gotcha in the Open, they always were in it to win it. Ali and “Charlie” have a special bond, even though Ali will be the first to tell you that Charlie is one that beats to his own drum! Most of the time, the best horses have the quirkiest personalities, and that is more than true with Charlie!
Ali Good and Cat Atat Cat
This great gelding has been in the Riddle program from the beginning, having been trained by Ali’s grandad, Bill Riddle. When the opportunity came about to purchase Charlie, Ali’s dad Jim Good jumped on it! They have been another perfect match in the show pen and always a pleasure to watch. Ali has such confidence riding him, and even though she has had a ton of success in aged events as well as weekend classes this year, the weekend events have stolen her heart as she has really bonded with this special gelding! It was no doubt a hard year full of late nights and early mornings, but no huge goals are achieved without that kind of dedication. We often hear people say they wish they could have half of the confidence and work ethic as Ali does, and that is part of the reason she is our 2019 Non-Pro World Champion!
Blakley Colgrove and Cat Man Blue (High Brow Cat x Quintan Blue) finished the year as the Non-Pro Reserve World Champions after coming into the finals in the third-place position. The Colgrove's purchased “Bear” at last year’s Western Bloodstock Futurity Sale with hopes of him being the perfect addition for an accomplishment such as this one. The duo also finished as the Non-Pro Show Champions as well winning over $23,000 through the week! They marked a 222 in the first round, a 222 in the second round, a 223 in the third round and finally a 224 in the fourth round. They were pretty unbelievable to watch! Bear turned out to fit Blakley’s “go and get it” style of showing perfectly; he was always up for the challenge and wanting to please. From Sean Flynn training and showing him in aged events to now winning the world finals, he has shown everyone how amazing he truly is!
Blakley Colgrove and Cat Man Blue
In the $25,000 Novice Class, it was Tim Smith and Peptos Scootin Man (Smart Little Scoot x Peptos Little Gal), that claimed the Championship along with the title of $25,000 Novice Champion Gelding! Tim is one of NCHA’s All-Time Leading riders and a showman we all look up to. He has slowed down his showing and training in recent years but decided to take on this feat because he needed a little more to do. There is only so much golfing a man who was once so involved in the sport can do! He and his wife started the year with this goal in mind, and not only did he accomplish it, but he also surpassed the $6million dollar mark in lifetime earnings along the way. Tim is one of the all-time greats, and it was a pleasure to see him going down the road enjoying the sport like he did this year. Tim also finished second in the Senior Tour Challenge, earning a spot on the coveted Horizon Yacht trip that will take place soon after the Futurity!
Tim Smith and Peptos Scootin Man
Reserve World Champion in the $25,000 Novice was Tance Bryant riding Kual CD (High Brow CD x Kual Gun), owned by CJ Marcello. They finished the year with over $31,000 in earnings!
Tance Bryant and Kual CD • Photo by Seth Petit Photography
The Champion Stallion in the $25,000 Novice was Eight Mile (Metallic Cat x Cappacino and Pasta), owned by Nancy Burkes, ridden by JP Bell.
Eight Mile and JP Bell • Photo by Seth Petit Photography
$25,000 Novice Non-Pro
In the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro, it was Mary Bradford and DMAC Wise Guy (Hickorys Indian Pep x Wise Little Miss) that finished as the World Champion! Mary has had an amazing year with a great team behind her. Her husband Milt traveled many miles with her trying to accomplish this goal and made many memories in the process. She was part of the “Wood Hood” as we all know them throughout the year, having one of the best support groups that there is. Mike Wood is dedicated to his customers and their goals. Mary had many wonderful trips and like so many of us that have hauled, suggests for everyone to do it at least one time. She plans to continue showing this great gelding, which she finished the year marking a 228 to claim the championship in round two of the World Finals. That is one thing she is the proudest of after the long year; her horse is just as good if not better than when she began her journey! They finished the year winning over $50,000, an impressive feat in a Novice Class!
Mary Bradford & Dmac Wise Guy
Reserve World Champion in the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro was Susan Dunn riding Hal Raiser (Halreycious x Buckaroo Boon). The duo won over $34,000 this year!
Susan Dunn and Hal Raiser
The World Finals Show Champion in the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro was German Lugo and Too Hot To Copy (Metallic Cat x Playgerism). They marked a 221 in the first round, followed by an excellent 222.5 in the second round!
German Lugo and Too Hot To Copy
Mike Wood and This Isa Third (Third Cutting), owned by Christine King, claimed the 2019 $5,000 Novice World Championship and also the World Finals Show Champion’s title. This was Mike’s sixth Show Championship in a row in the $5,000 Novice, which is pretty unbelievable but at the same time, expected from the excellent program that he and his husband Roper have put together! If you want to haul for a World Title, they are the people to go with. As previously mentioned, they are dedicated to the goals their customers set for themselves and their horses. They often meet with customers before the start of each year to see what they are all wanting to accomplish. Last year Christine and her husband wanted to look for another standout gelding, and they were right away on the hunt. They purchased “Lonesome” and the rest is history! We think there are more big things to come for this dynamic duo in the future! Lonesome was also named the $5,000 Novice World Champion Gelding after their almost $20,000 lead to finish the year.
Mike Wood and This Isa Third
Reserve World Champion in the $5,000 Novice was Monty Buntin riding PRF Smooth Cat Ruby, owned by Shelli Moreda, who was also named $5,000 Novice World Champion Mare! They finished the year with over $26,000 won and a 220 in the second round of the World Finals!
Monty Buntin and PRF Smooth Cat Ruby
$5,000 Novice Non-Pro
In the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro, it was Katherine Whitby and Dual Rider (Flo Rider x Bella Dual) who finished as this year’s World Champion! They won over $47,000 for the year, which happened to be the very first year that “Monster” has been shown! "Kat" trained him herself and took this class by storm. Her love for this gelding is always evident, and they have a special bond. Even in hard times she knew that she had to keep him, there was just something about him! "Kat" is actually a paramedic for her main job, which we all know if you have horses that is another job entirely. She saved up her benefit time over the course of two years and worked as many extra shifts as possible to be able to take on this journey. It has all been a dream come true for her, getting to show at so many new places along the way and now to get to compete in Fort Worth. It is one of the Cinderella stories that come to pass in the midst of hauling that make everything that much more amazing when looking back on the accomplishments through the year.
Katherine Whitby and Dual Rider
Reserve World Champion was Norman Clark and Lyricstosmoketo (Dual R Smokin x Explicit Lyrics), winning over $20,000 for the year!
Norman Clark and Lyricstosmoketo • Photo by Seth Petit Photography
Marylin Kittleman and Smooth Like Foxetta (Smooth As A Cat) finished as the World Finals Show Champion in the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro marking a 223 in the first round and a 220.5 in the second round!
Marilyn Kittelman and Smooth Like Foxetta
Next to mention is the $50,000 Amateur. Corrie Rousey started off the year with a big goal she wanted to reach. She and her mom Debbi set out in determination and never wavered! This mother/daughter duo had everything planned out as they went, from how much was added at each show, to comparing payouts and entry fees. As Corrie would say, Debbi is the ultimate show, mom! She videos all of the runs keeps track of the scores and just was the perfect supporter. Mom’s are often their kid’s biggest supporters, but Debbi took it ten steps further. Watching their year unfold, you could not help but root for them and their dedication. Corrie also rode three horses through the year, having to make changes as she went. She had a wonderful support group in this aspect too, with the Rapp family behind her. Corrie rode with Phil and Mary Ann Rapp growing up, and they are all like family! She had all of the cards stacked with her, and she made the very most of it! It is a case of hard work paying off in a big way!
Corrie Rousey and Swing Thru The Drive
Reserve World Champion in the $50,000 Amateur was David Harp, winning over $37,000 for the year. He also rode a number of horses to accomplish this goal and was fortunate enough also to have quite the support group, including his wife Carol Ward, who is heavily involved in the sport as well!
Mia Webster and her trusty gelding What About Blue (High Brow CD x Swingin Star Pepto) were named the 2019 World Finals Show Champions in the $50,000 Amateur marking a 224 in the first round, followed by another 224 in the second round!
Mia Webster and What About Blue
The $35,000 Non-Pro race was one of the closest for the year. It came down to the finals in determining who would walk away with the World Championship! In the end, it was Gavin Clarke who finished as the Champion. He rode Rubys CD Legacy (CD Lights), who ended up carrying him to a World Finals Show Championship title as well, marking a 223 in the first round followed by a 219 in the second round! Gavin was so grateful for the opportunity to show this wonderful mare, and for the entire year, he had. One of his favorite memories was marking a 76 aboard this same mare at the El Rancho Futurity. This show is known for being one to mark off of your bucket list but then to have success at it as well; it is sure to be set apart as a wonderful memory!
Gavin Clarke and Ruby CD Legacy
Reserve World Champion in the $35,000 Non-Pro was James Figiel. He won over $17,000 for the year and rode Hesa Rubypepto (Hesa Peptospoonful) in the World Finals, as said before; this race was a close one with both competitors very deserving of the win.
James Figiel and Hesa Rubypepto photo by Seth Petit Photography
Next to go was the closest race of the year, the $15,000 Amateur. In the end, it was Raven Benjamin riding Metallic Sweetgirl RG (Metallic Cat) who took home the World Championship, winning over $11,000 for the year! Raven also finished the year in the top 15 of the $2,000 Limited Rider competing in both classes to try to win Rookie of the Year in weekend events. Raven just began her journey in the cutting world not long ago, having ridden in Reining Cowhorse events before she caught the cutting bug. She was interested in the herdwork portion of the cowhorse competition and wanted to learn more about it. She ended up searching for a trainer to be able to practice with before taking the leap to purchase her own horse. There were moments of doubt leading up to practicing for the first time but Hall of Fame rider, Leon Harrel, made her feel right at home. It was the same as it is for so many, she was hooked, and being a competitor she went on to try to get better. The year was full of ups and downs, with many evenings resulting in a glass of wine to celebrate or a glass of wine to help cheer she and her fellow cutters up in defeat. She knew that no matter what there was fun to be had after every day! So much of this sport is centered around the people and the relationships that you make along the way. Raven certainly had a year to remember and is looking forward to achieving more goals she is setting out for next year.
Raven Benjamin and Metallic Sweetgirl RG
Reserve World Champion in the $15,000 Amateur was Erin Sullivan, who won over $10,000 for the year. This was her first full year showing, and she was also a World Finalist in the $2,000 Limited Rider!
Erin Sullivan and Crafty With Cows
The $15,000 Amateur World Finals Show Champion was Benjamin James riding Lightsaber Dual, marking a 215.5 in the first round, followed by a 222 in the second round!
Benjamin James and Lightsaber Dual
$2,000 Limited Rider
The $2,000 Limited Rider World Championship race was one to take note of in that it was 11-year-old Aden Bernhagen finished as our Champion being the youngest World Champion ever outside of the Youth class. He is also another rider in Casey Crouch’s great program centered on weekend cutting. It is obvious that from year to year they have a lot of fun while also accomplishing their goals. He showed Dr Cuzin, who was originally trained by legendary Ronnie Rice, and that we have seen in a number of world finals to date. The trusty gelding has made many dreams come true and he came through again for Aden! There is much ahead for this young cutter and we imagine that we will be seeing him many times over in the winner's circle!
Aden Bernhagen and Dr Cuzin photo by Video West
Reserve Champion was Meredith Simister riding her mare Sweet Dreamin. This was Meredith’s first year to show and also her horse’s first year to show! This kind of situation rarely results with such positive results, but this duo just clicks! They are one of the nearly 30 world finalists we saw this year from the Cascade Cow Cutter’s Affiliate, which is heavily made up of Canadian competitors! It was fun to see so many new faces in Fort Worth this year.
Meredith Simister and Sweet Dreamin • Photo by Seth Petit Photography
The World Finals Show Champion in the $2,000 Limited Rider was Sharon Wilson marking a 217.5 in the first round, followed by a 214 in the second-round riding Cougars January Jonz.
Cougars January Jonz - photo by Seth Petit Photography
It was amazing to see how alive and well weekend cutting is and all of the new cutters coming into our great industry! We often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the aged events, sales, etc… We are always thinking about the “Big Things” but seeing the fun brought in by these weekend cutters, we realize that those are the “Big Things”. They are the foundation of our sport and remind us why we love it so much! Congratulations to all of the World Champions, Reserve World Champions, World Finalists, and Show Champions from all of us here at Cutting Horse Central!