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Ranching Heritage Challenge

Shorty Gets Down tops Billings AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge.

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The weather and competition was brisk at the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge held at the NILE (Northern International Livestock Expo) in Billings, Montana, on October 15. 

This event was part of a larger livestock celebration, with equine events including an AQHA Veratility Ranch Horse show, as well as events like barrel racing, a sale, and a futurity. 

Local partners including Cowan Select Horses LLC; Galt Ranch Quarter Horses LLC; Wagonhound Land & Livestock; and Weaver Quarter Horses helped contribute, and a contestant’s breakfast was provided before the show, and was sponsored by Intermountain Equestrian Center (Barb Skelton and Paul Gatzmeier), Neuman Performance Horses (Scott and Amy Neuman) and Randall Quarter Horses (Ray and Marilyn Randall). 

$3,500-Added Open 4-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse

John Eric Branger rode Cowan Select Horses’ homebred Shorty Gets Down to win the open 4-year-old class, with a dominating 145.5 score that earned a check worth $2,370.

The bay gelding bred on the Havre, Montana, ranch is by the Nic It In The Bud stallion Nics Black Diamond and out of the Peppy Plays For Cash mare CR Peppys Shorty. 

CR Peppys Shorty is out of the good broodmare Shortys Starlight, whose foals have earned more than $1.2 million in National Cutting Horse Association competition, led by CR Shortys Royal Gal ($996,901). 

Shorty Gets Down has already earned more than $4,000 in National Reined Cow Horse Association competition. 

Finishing second and earning $1,580 was Markin This Cat (WR This Cats Smart-Shiney Miss Marker by Shining Spark) and Matt Kelly. The sorrel mare is bred and owned by AQHA Best Remuda winner Wagonhound Land & Livestock of Douglas, Wyoming. 

$1,500-Added Ltd Open 4-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse 

Winning the limited edition of the class was PR Shines Best Cat, who was ridden by owner Dean L. Barent of Worland, Wyoming. They earned $1,800. 

The red dun stallion is by the WR This Cats Smart stallion Shiner Smart Cat and out of the Mr Sun O Lena mare Raise The Best. He was bred by Mark and Debra Pieper of Hay Springs, Nebraska. 

$1,500-Added Open 5- & 6-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse

Last year’s 4-year-old winner at this event, Stylin N Smart returned a year later to take the 5- and 6-year-old class. 

The freshly gelded horse is now owned by his trainer Todd Fitch of Arbon, Idaho, and had the high score of the event with an eyebrow-raising 147. They earned a check worth $1,170. 

Stylin N Smart was bred by Kit and Charlie Moncrief and is by Mr Playinstylish and out of the Smart Little Lena mare Little Smart Ginger. In addition to more than $9,000 in competition earnings, he also was Top 10 at the Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show in the Level 2 Junior Working Cow Horse and was second at the Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals in the 4-year-old class.  

Finishing second in the class was the horse that defeated him at the Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals this summer – Shiner Dear Rey (Reys Dual Badger-Miss Shiner Dear by Shining Spark) and Matt Kelly. The palomino mare competes for breeder Wagonhound Land & Livestock and earned $780. 

$1,000-Added Ltd Open 5- & 6-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse
Alexa Jade Coniglione won the limited open edition of the class riding Lavonne Westland’s Ms Smooth N Sugar, earning $1,150.

The 6-year-old mare was bred by her owner, who is based in Brockway, Montana, and is by Peppys Smooth Cat and out of the Sons Doc O Lena mare Sugar Frost O Lena. 

$2,000-Added Cowboy Working Ranch Horse

Dawn Martin rode her family’s homebred JS Doc Full A Pep to win the cowboy class, earning $2,150.

JS Doc Full A Pep, bred by her parents James and Darlene Swenson of Beulah, North Dakota, is a 6-year-old buckskin mare by Docz Coy Bandit and out of the Peptos Golden Cowboy mare JS Peptos Full A Pep. 

$2,500-Added Amateur Working Ranch Horse
Level 1 Amateur Working Ranch Horse

Pavillion, Wyoming, cowgirl Lisa Robinett rode her own Extra Sweet Freckles to win the amateur working ranch horse class, and earn a solid $1,680 check. They also won the Level 1 edition of the class, earning an additional $90. 

Extra Sweet Freckles was bred by the Bond Ranch of Worden, Montana, and is by Mr Sun O Freckles and out of the Skeets Peppy mare Skeet Emotion. 

Dawn Martin and JS Doc Full A Pep were second, earning $1,120. They were also second in the Level 1 edition of the class, earning an extra $60. 

Youth Working Ranch Horse 

The 5-year-old Smokum Freckles won the youth working ranch horse with owner Jori Skaggs aboard. 

The gelding is another Bond Ranch-bred horse, and is by Mr Sun O Freckles and out of the Smokums Prize mare Miss Smokums Prize. Jori hails from Riverton, Wyoming. 

Brandy Drummond rode TS Drifting Whiskey (Paddys Shota Merada-PC Ziggy Drift by Lone Drifter) to finish second. They are from Belt, Montana, and the horse was bred by Una Crowley-Ford of Chinook, Montana. 

Level 1 Youth Working Ranch Horse

Taking the Level 1 edition of the youth working ranch horse was Sydnee Roady aboard Ima Special Payday. 

The bay gelding bred by AQHA Best Remuda-winning Bartlett Ranch is by Very Special Playgun and out of the Preferred Pay mare Pay Kelly N Silver. He is owned by Dean L. Barent of Worland, Wyoming.

Jori Skaggs and Smokum Freckles were second in the class. 

$1,000-Added Open Ranch Riding
Already a winner on the day, Stylin N Smart picked up another $648 for Todd Fitch after they won the open ranch riding with a solid 75.5. 

Second was Shiner Dear Rey and Matt Kelly, earning $432. 

$1,000-Added Amateur Ranch Riding 

Adding to her great weekend, Dawn Martin and JS Doc Full A Pep also won the amateur ranch riding. They added $636 for the win to their nearly-$4,000 in earnings for the show. 

Extra Sweet Freckles and Lisa Robinett were second, earning $424.

Youth Ranch Riding 

Kristin Bullard of Casper, Wyoming, rode her own Border Patroller to win the youth ranch riding. 

Border Patroller is a 2009 sorrel gelding by Red Spotted Pup and out of the Red Mark Blanton mare Red Chili Mark. He was bred by Carl Kent of San Jon Ranch at San Jon, New Mexico, and is owned and competed by Kristin Bullard of Casper, Wyoming. 

Smokum Freckles and Jori Skaggs were second. 

$500-Added Open Barrel Race 

The Ranching Heritage Challenge also offered a barrel racing class, and Just Sometime won with owner Kelly McDaniel aboard, earning $525. 

The 14-year-old bay mare is by Bar O Some Time and out of the Barjos Drifter mare Shes Just A Doc. She was bred by Gary De Cock of Hysham, Montana. 

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