Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge

Magic Looking Cat (by, WR THIS CATS SAMRT)

Magic Lookin Cat (by, WR THIS CATS SMART) and Matt Kelly. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill

A Wyoming-bred closes down the year’s Challenges in Montana.

By Andrea Caudill | October 19, 2017 | Ranch Horse Journal

The Ranching Heritage program was created to promote American Quarter Horses bred by Ranching Heritage Breeders, and the versatile, sound and willing horses that are ranch-born and –raised. Ranching Heritage Breeders are those who have steadfastly continued to maintain the ranching tradition by raising American Quarter Horses for use in working cattle.

The Ranching Heritage program also increases the rewards for eligible horses competing in the show ring. Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges are open only to horses bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders, although anyone can own and show these horses. Ranching Heritage Challenges this year offered more than $90,000 in cash and prizes at six events held around the United States, and the final one was held October 18 at the N.I.L.E. in Billings, Montana.

Entries were up at the event, which featured great weather and great horses.

To find out if your horse is eligible to compete in Ranching Heritage Challenges, call 806-376-4811, or check the list of current Ranching Heritage Breeders.

Open 4-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse
Quality young horses demonstrated their skills in the open 4-year-old class, and it was ultimately a tour de force for Wagonhound Land & Livestock of Douglas, Wyoming, as its two entries finished one-two. Both horses were ridden by Matt Kelly.

Magic Lookin Cat was first, earning a 145 score and a check worth $1,820. Shining Smart Cat was second and earned $1,365.

Magic Lookin Cat is by the ranch’s WR This Cats Smart and out of the Chics Magic Potion mare Shiner Dear Magic. The palomino gelding, who is an active ranch horse at Wagonhound, also won the same class at the Rapid City Ranching Heritage Challenge.

Shining Smart Cat is also a palomino by WR This Cats Smart. She is out of the Shining Spark mare Miss Shiner Dear, and she also competed at Rapid City, finishing third in that class.

The Cowan Select-bred Diamond Lovin Lass was third, and earned $910. She is owned by Linn and Kevin Krieg of McAllister, Montana, and was shown by Mike Hoffman. The red roan mare is by Nics Black Diamond and out of the Boonlight Dancer mare Boonlights Lass.

5- and 6-Year-Old Open Working Ranch Horse

Playboy Cisco proved himself just as talented as he is beautiful in the 5- and 6-year-old working ranch horse class, topping the class and posting the highest cow score of the day with an eyebrow-raising 76. With rider Levi Grimes, the stallion earned $900 for the win. They would also top the open ranch riding later in the day.

The 5-year-old was bred and is owned by Jim and Joni Hunts’ Open Box Rafter Ranch at Faith, South Dakota. He is a son of the Freckles Playboy stallion Two Timin Freckles and out of the Sun Frost-bred mare Anne Cisco. He began showing this summer, and has earned a cumulative eight points in Versatility Ranch Horse, reining, ranch riding and cattle events.

Matt Kelly, who was first and second in the 4-year-old division, settled for second in this class aboard his own Smart Approach (WR This Cats Smart – Model Approach by Tanquery Gin). The Wagonhond Land & Livestock-bred earned $750.

Third was Holly Gundlach aboard her family’s stallion Gimmie A Gun (Playgun-Gimmie A Little Sugar by Smart Little Lena). Bred by AQHA Best Remuda winner Bartlett Ranch, San Jon Ranch acquired the gray stallion in 2014. They earned $600 for the run. Holly was also fourth in the class aboard the ranch’s homebred mare Slipknott (Diamond J Star-Cinnamon Knot by Texas Stray), earning an additional $450.

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