November 17, 2010
By Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
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J.D. Yates and Cartel Caliente
A celebrity is among us at the 2010 AQHA World Championship Show. His name is Cartel Caliente.
The unassuming bay gelding competing second in the draw in the senior heading preliminaries November 17 is one of only 48 horses that have earned the title of open supreme champion.
Cartel Caliente is called “Fletch” for his owners and breeders, AQHA Past President Walter Fletcher and his wife, Pat. By Corona Cartel and out of Sweet As Cash by Dash For Cash, Fletch won two races and earned $50,000 on the track before heading to the show ring.
In 2009, Fletch qualified for the AQHA World Championship Show in senior barrel racing and performance halter geldings. This year, he qualified in performance halter geldings and senior heading.
He showed November 17 with AQHA Professional Horseman J.D. Yates in senior heading, marking a 214.
For an open supreme championship, a horse must register a speed index of at least 90 in two races and must earn at least 40 points in the show ring in halter and performance classes. The exact requirements are in your AQHA Handbook of Rules and Regulations.Fletch hit at least a 90 speed index in six races. He has 15.5 points in halter, including two grand championships, 38 points in heading, three in heeling, 13 in barrel racing, three in hunter under saddle and a half-point in pole bending.
In AQHA’s history, only 47 horses before Fletch have achieved the distinction. The most recent was Mr Joe Im Kool in 2008.
If you see Walter and Pat, congratulate them on their horse. If you see Fletch, you might pat the 7-year-old on the neck. He’s done a good job.