Ranching Heritage Challenge at FWSSR

Horses from the Moncrief Ranch sweep working ranch horse open classes at the first Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge of 2015.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Boyd Rice and Royal Smart Fletch win for the second year in a row at the Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

Editor's Note: Download the full results from the Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge at the 2015 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

Kit and Charlie Moncrief-bred horses won the two open classes January 15 at the Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge at the Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo.

With Boyd Rice of Perryton, Texas, in the saddle, Mr Stylish Cat won the marquee open 4-year-old class and claimed the $2,055 purse.

“That horse is really good in the reining – well, he’s good at all of it, but he’s a little green in roping,” Boyd said. “He was perfect in the reining. The cow was a little wild. I didn’t get very close to it. The fence turns were a little bit away from the cow. It felt like (they were away) out there. It might not have looked like it. The roping went good. At least I didn’t miss.

“That little horse, he’s good every time.”

Ranching Heritage Challenges are limited to horses bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders. The riders perform a short reining pattern before a cow is turned into the arena. The horse and rider box the cow on the end of the arena, then turn it both ways down the long side of the fence before roping it.

In the reined work, Boyd and Mr Stylish Cat earned a 74.5 with a 73 in the cow work for a 221 total.

“(I’ve had him in training) since he turned 2,” Boyd said. “I showed him at the (National Reined Cow Horse Association) Snaffle Bit Futurity and he was third. We’re coming back here for the Celebration of Champions.”

It was the second year in a row for Boyd to win on a Moncrief horse. In 2014, he won the open 4-year-old class on Royal Smart Fletch, who has earned $31,850 in NRCHA competition in addition to his Ranching Heritage Challenge earnings.

In the first Ranching Heritage Challenge of 2015, Boyd returned with Royal Smart Fletch to capture the open 5/6-year-old title with a 228 total.

“That was a really good run,” Boyd said. “He reined as good as I can get one to rein. The cow was unbelievable down the fence, and I got lucky and caught. He’s just a good little horse. He stops good and is real fast-footed and he just does everything he’s supposed to do.”

Both horses will compete next in the NRCHA Celebration of Champions, Boyd said – after the AQHA cow horse classes at the Fort Worth Stock Show.

In the amateur working ranch horse class, it was a bittersweet win for Kim Lindsey of Dickens, Texas, on Judys Ten. The 2006 buckskin gelding bred by Bill and Dana Smith of Spur, Texas, originally belonged to Kim’s son, Zinn.

Zinn and “Reno” won the non-pro division of the inaugural Ranching Heritage Challenge in 2012, just five months before Zinn’s death in a car accident. Kim started riding Reno in his memory and has since won the AQHA world championship in Select working cow horse.

Kim was thinking about Zinn as she rode, but she was also concerned about Reno, who tore a tendon sheath in 2014.

“My husband Matt rehabbed him for me,” Kim said. “He handwalked (Reno) for me while I was in Lubbock working. We had to be careful bringing him back. That’s why I only entered him in ranch pleasure at the (2014) Select World.”

Reno is starting to feel good and be in shape to ride again, she said, and he demonstrated it with a 219 total for the $1,110 win in the amateur division.

“The cow – she was good on the end and then I thought she was really good down the fence,” Kim said. “My first turn, I thought was good. Second turn was OK. Then I went ahead and turned again. I got behind on that first circle, I felt like, and then I got up there and my second circle was real good.”

Amateurs have the option of roping or circling, and although Kim attended college on a rodeo scholarship, she prefers to circle in the Ranching Heritage Challenges.

“I should rope – and my husband gives me a hard time about it because I don’t – but when you’ve got the choice of circling or roping, it just seems like – especially when they add this much money – I think the smartest financial decision is to circle,” she said. “Trevor (Brazile) even misses once in a while.”

In the crowd favorite cowboy class, Garrett Cooper won for the WT Waggoner Estate Ranch on Electra Can Do, a mare he also showed in 2014 to no luck when he missed on his allowed two loops.

“I’ve been drilling (the roping) very hard,” he said. “It was the best run we’ve had. Thanks to Trace Cribbs, manager of (Waggoner Ranch) Whiteface (horse division), for letting me show her.”

“Electra” and Garrett scored a 223.5 and a check for $1,080.

“I’ve been riding her for about two years,” Garrett said. “She was started when I got to the Waggoner, and I rode her the end of her 2-year-old year and through her 3- and 4-year old year.”

Brooke Wharton of the Waggoner Ranch swept the amateur and Level 1 amateur classes on Do It Classy, a 2011 brown mare she calls “Keel.”

“The reining was great,” Brooke said. “I have more of a reining background, so I’m a lot more comfortable with that. I’m still learning the cow work and how to read a cow but in the reining, she was right with me everywhere, and it felt awesome.”

Brooke was excited after her first – and second – Ranching Heritage Challenge wins.

“It was fantastic. I loved it,” she said. “It was a really fun event.”


Open 4-Year-Old
Mr Stylish Cat
2011 sorrel stallion by Mr Playinstylish-Lil Sally Cat by High Brow Cat
Owner/breeders: Kit and Charlie Moncrief, Fort Worth, Texas
Rider: Boyd Rice
Ranching Heritage Challenge winnings: $2,055

Limited Open 4-Year-Old

Grays Last Light
2011 brown gelding by Little Til Light-DDS Last Catalyst by Right This Minnick
Owner/breeder: M-Heart Corp/Gray Ranch, Vinton, Louisiana
Rider: Shawn Holden

Open 5/6-Year-Old
Royal Smart Fletch
2010 sorrel stallion by Royal Fletch-Little Smart Ginger by Smart Little Lena
Owner/breeder: Kit and Charlie Moncrief, Fort Worth, Texas
Rider: Boyd Rice

Limited Open 5/6-Year-Old
Peppy San 8129
2009 red roan gelding by Peppy San Kai-Haythorn 812 by Snickelfritz Mickey
Owner/breeder: Howard Haythorn, Maxwell, Nebraska
Rider: Jack Louthan

*The amateur division prize money was provided by Larry Bell of AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder Kalpowar, Inc., in memory of Amy Bell.
Judys Ten
2006 buckskin gelding by Ten O Sea-Crows Judy by Black Chick Gold
Breeder: Bill and Dana Smith, Spur, Texas
Owner/rider: Kim Lindsey, Dickens, Texas

Limited Amateur
Royalrock HancockRAB
2010 gray gelding by PG Shogun-Driftin Gray Eddie by Hesa Eddie Hancock
Owner/breeder: Rob A. Brown, Stinnett, Texas
Rider: Myles Brown

Cowboy Class

Electra Can Do
2010 sorrel mare by Cat Man Do-Electra Bo Lassie by Mr Sorrel Bo
Owner/breeder: WT Waggoner Estate, Vernon, Texas
Rider: Garrett Cooper

Amateur and Level 1 Amateur Boxing

Do It Classy
2011 brown mare by Cat Man Do-High Class Senorita by Mr Solano Smoke
Owner/breeder: WT Waggoner Estate, Vernon, Texas
Rider: Brooke Wharton
$740 and $75