Ranching Heritage Challenge

The NILE hosts a busy Ranching Heritage Challenge.

Ranch Horse Journal

Lookin Frosty and Tim Unzicker won the Open 4-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse. PHOTO: Ranch Horse Journal


The Northern International Livestock Exposition in Billings, Montana, hosted a Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge on October 19 as part of its smorgasboard of activities that included livestock competitions, a bustling trade show, and a horse sale. Also up for raffle during the event was the 2-year-old Ranching Heritage-bred filly Plastic Hancock, donated by Borderview Ranch of Brockway, Montana.

The filly is eligible to compete in a future Ranching Heritage Challenge, when she is old enough. In the meantime, horses filled the entries for the $15,000-added Challenge, which is only open to Ranching Heritage-bred horses.

Open 4-Year-Old WRH
Limited Open 4-Year-Old WRH

John Wolfe’s Lookin Frosty dominated the open 4-year-old class, under the guidance of Tim Unzicker, scoring a solid 148 and pulling in a first-place check worth $2,370 plus prizes. Already a money earner, this is Lookin Frosty’s biggest single check of his career to date.

The palomino was bred by Wagonhound Land & Livestock LLC, and is by WR This Cats Smart and out of the Sun Frost mare PC Sun Chikini. The Wolfes, who live in Roundup, Montana, bought the horse as a yearling, choosing him for his stout build and sweet personality.

James and Darlene Swenson’s homebred JS Peptos Red Cowboy (Peptos Golden Cowboy-Miss Lemmon Drop by Lemmon Ed) was second, earning $1,580 for the placing with Dawn Martin aboard. The Swensons are from Beulah, North Dakota.

Slipknott won the Limited Open, earning $1,140 for owner/breeders San Jon Ranch of San Jon, New Mexico, and exhibitor Holly Gundlach. The Diamond J Star daughter is out of the Texas Stray mare Cinnamon Knot.

DNS All Oak Heart (Millie N Docs Oak-All Dakota Heart by Jags Dakota Bar) was second. Ridden by Robby Moore for owner Gary De Cock of Hysham, Montana, earned $855.

Open 5&6-Year-Old WRH
Limited Open 5&6-Year-Old WRH

Robby Moore wheeled back in the Open 5- and 6-Year-Old class and won with his own Smoother Than His Pa (Peppys Smooth Cat-Ms Dualin Irish Doc by Dualin Gun), a gelding bred in Montana by Allen Munger. They earned $1,170 for the victory.

Boom N Blues (Spooks Bluestem-Maximum Boom by Boomernic) was second in the class, earning $780. The gelding is a homebred for Cowan Select Horses LLC of Havre, Montana, and was ridden by Eric Branger.

Josh Lilley of Strong City, Kansas, rode his own Bar B Twisted Taffy to win the Limited Open division, clearing a check worth $1,150.

His buckskin gelding was bred by past Best Remuda winner Bar B Ranch of Beaver, Oklahoma, and Josh owns the horse in partnership with Sam Lilley. The horse is by Bar B Red Kiowa and out of the Scott Will Win mare Ebonease Taffy.

Amateur WRH
Level 1 Amateur

Jecca Ostrander of Gordon, Nebraska, ran away with the Amateur Working Ranch Horse class, finishing first and second with her homebreds Boxo Heavens Blue and Boxo Valentines Cat. The former earned $1,550 for the win, with his stablemate earning $930 for second.

Boxo Heavens Blue is a gelding by SNW Heavens King out of the Masie’s Blue mare Snippy Blue Card. Boxo Valentines Cat is a buckskin mare by Palo Duro Cat out of the Roan Ambrose mare Tracis Blue Roan.

Kristy Schmidt of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, rode her homebred mare Beck With Senorita to win the Level 1 Amateur class, picking up $150. The mare was bred by Kristy and Megan Crago and is by Beckwith Playboy and out of the Mr Senor Fox mare Senorita Ann Fox.

Dawn Martin was second in the Level 1 with JS Uniquely Yours (Two D Driftwood-CB Sabre Mist by CB Doc Drifter), a dun gelding bred and owned by James and Darlene Swenson, and earned $90.

Cowboy Class
It was a good day for Slipknott and Holly Gundlach, as the two came back from their victory in the Limited Open to also win the Cowboy Class, with her stablemate, Gimmie A Gun, finishing second. Both horses are owned by San Jon Ranch. Slipknott earned $1,375 and Gimmie A Gun picked up $825.

Gimmie A Gun is a Bartlett Ranch-bred stallion by Playgun and out of the Smart Little Lena mare Gimme A Little Sugar.

Amateur Boxing
Level 1 Amateur Boxing
Kristy Schmidt and Beck With Senorita, who won the Level 1 amateur earlier in the day, took the amateur boxing class, earning $1,100.

JB Lockie of Le Center, Minnesota, was second in the amateur boxing, and won the Level 1 aboard Paddys Playin Smart (Smart Instant Choice-Starlight Smart Play by Smart Whittle Play), bred by Lavonne Westland of Brockway, Montana.

Youth Boxing
Level 1 Youth Boxing
Colton Martin won both the youth boxing and Level 1 youth boxing classes aboard JS Uniquely Yours, picking up $50. JS Uniquely Yours was second in the Level 1 amateur with Colton's mom, Dawn, earlier in the day.

Open Ranch Riding
Jecca Ostrander also won the open ranch riding, this win coming with the help of homebred Boxo Heavens Angel (SNW Heavens King-Angels Happy Cards by Happy’s Cardinal). They earned $372 plus prizes.

Gimmie A Gun and Holly Gundlach were second, earning $310.

Amateur Ranch Riding
Showing hard in the amateur ranch riding class, Jecca Ostrander took the blue ribbon with Boxo Heavens Blue; they earned $472. Ostrander rode Boxo Heavens Angel for second, to earn $354.

Youth Ranch Riding
Colter Martin also took the Youth Ranch Riding class, this time with JS Star N Valentines (Jana Red Hancock-MG Copper Wood by Ruanos C Wood), bred and owned by James and Darlene Swenson. 

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