NCHA Futurity Open

Classy CD Cat and Phil Hanson capture the win for owner-breeder Dottie Hill in the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity open division.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Phil Hanson rides Classy CD Cat to the win at the 2014 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity in the open division for owner and breeder Dottie Hill of Glen Rose, Texas.. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) For more photos from Phil's ride, scroll to the slideshow below.

The cattle were sticky at the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity open finals.

Phil Hanson had just the horse to get them unstuck. On December 13, he rode Classy CD Cat into the herd in the second set, hoping for a clean cut.

“I think both herds were pretty darn tough,” he said. “They were hard to read. Everyone was thinking they were cutting the best cow, but some of (the cattle) were good and some weren’t. You just couldn’t really get a good feel on them. They’d surprise you. (The three I cut) just fit. I can’t tell you those were the best cows in the pen. The whole thing just fit together. I just thank the Lord. It all just fell into place.”

Classy CD Cat is a 2011 sorrel mare by High Brow Cat and out of Classical CD by CD Olena. She is owned by her breeder, Dottie St. Clair Hill of Glen Rose, Texas.

“The mare was phenomenal,” Phil said. “We had three (cattle) we wanted to cut and a couple of options, and they placed themselves in the right spot.”

The crowd was relatively quiet throughout the night, but each time Classy CD Cat swept across the pen to stop her cow, the cheers grew louder until Phil couldn’t hear down in the pen in Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Coliseum. He kept cutting, and when he finally realized his two and a half minutes were up, he threw his fist in the air. His score of 228 took the lead and held it through the rest of the set.

“I kept waiting to hear the buzzer,” Phil said. “On the third cow, I kept thinking, ‘OK, I don’t hear anything. Buzzer’s not ringing.’”

Phil has had Classy CD Cat in training since she was a 2-year-old. His assistant, Austin Keys, started the mare.

“We had her full brother the year before,” Phil said. “He was good, but she was so much better.”

Classy CD Cat’s dam, Classical CD is a 1997 mare with $221,413 in NCHA earnings. Classy CD Cat will eventually replace her mother in the broodmare band, Phil said.