Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge

Rapid City enjoys big gains in its Ranching Heritage Challenge.

Ranch Horse Journal

Magic Lookin Cat won the 4-year-old working ranch horse class. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill

The Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge at Rapid City, South Dakota, saw big gains in entries in its second year, with a 60 percent jump from last year. Exhibitors enjoyed a beautiful early summer day, good cattle and rich purses. The event was supported by the South Dakota Quarter Horse Association.

It also was the very first host of the Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge’s new classes – barrel racing and team roping. These two optional classes were added to the Challenges this year, and there were more than a few horses that simply showed off their versatility by entering not only the working ranch horse and ranch riding classes, but also stepping over to the barrel and roping classes as well.

Wagonhound Land and Livestock of Douglas, Wyoming, was the big winner at the event, as Matt Kelly rode Wagonhound-breds to win both the open 4-year-old and 5-&6-year-old working ranch horse classes.

Open 4-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse
Riding the palomino WR This Cats Smart gelding Magic Lookin Cat, Kelly rode the horse to a solid reining run and big fence turns to win the class against a solid field of horses.

Magic Lookin Cat is the first foal out of Shiner Dear Magic, a daughter of Chics Magic Potion. The mare is a half-sister to Dual With A Shiner, an earner of more than $70,000 in various events, and her second dam is the famed Katie Starlight, an accomplished reined cow horse and producer of earners of more than $350,000.

Magic Lookin Cat already has National Reined Cow Horse Association earnings exceeding $4,200.

Versatility Ranch Horse world champion Take A Pick was second with Lanham Brown riding for his family’s R.A. Brown Ranch, and Kyle Trahern finished third aboard Wagonhound’s Shining Smart Cat.

Limited Open 4-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse
Michael St. Clair’s The Metallic Patron took the limited open 4-year-old working ranch horse class with Ethan Walker aboard.

The red roan stallion is a son of Metallic Cat out of the Shorty Lena mare Sweet Shorty Lena. He was bred by Alvin and Becky Fults.

Stetson Ostrander finished second with Boxo Heavens Josie, and Bartlett Ranch-bred Ima Special Payday was third with owner Dean Barent aboard.

5-&-6-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse
Matt Kelly took the other big class with his own horse, the WR This Cats Smart gelding Smart Approach.

The 5-year-old was bred by Wagonhound and is out of the Tanquery Gin mare Model Approach. He is her first foal, and has earned more than $3,800 in NRCHA competition.

Boxo Valentines Cat was second (she would win the limited), and the San Jon Ranch bred-and-owned Slipknott with Holly Gundlach was third.

Limited Open 5-&-6-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse
Ranching Heritage Breeder of the Year Box O Quarter Horses brought a tough group of horses to compete at the Challenge, and walked away with a number of big wins.

Among them was BOXO Valentines Cat, who last year won the open 4-year-old class. This year she stepped up in the limited open 5-&6-year old with breeder and owner Jecca Ostrander aboard, and was also second in the open division.

The buckskin is a daughter of Palo Duro Cat out of the Roan Ambrose mare Tracis Blue Roan. She has earned more than $10,000 in her competition career, competing in both NRCHA and Ranching Heritage Challenges.

Holly Gundlach was second aboard the San Jon Ranch bred-and-owned Big Bravo.

Cowboy Working Ranch Horse
Stetson Ostrander stepped aboard BOXO Heavens Angel to win the cowboy working ranch horse. The class is open to working ranch cowboys who are full-time employees of a working ranch.

The 8-year-old buckskin mare was bred and is owned by the ranch. She is by their senior stallion SNW Heavens King and out of the Happy’s Cardinal mare Angels Happy Cards.

BOXO Heavens Angel has previous earnings in the Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge.

Amateur Working Ranch Horse
Open Ranch Riding
The 4-year-old stallion Take A Pick in March picked up his first world champion title at the Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships, winning the cowboy division with Lanham Brown aboard. The stallion then spent breeding season working at his owner’s R.A. Brown Ranch before returning to his winning ways.

With Lanham still aboard, the son of Sixes Pick won the amateur working ranch horse and also the open ranch riding title at the Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge.

The stallion was bred by Burnett Ranches LLC of Ft. Worth, Texas. His sire is himself a VRH world champion, and his dam is the Playgun mare Sixes Playgun, who also produced reserve world champion and full brother Sixes Sixgun.

Take A Pick was purchased by the R.A. Brown Ranch as a yearling, and his training was delayed when he was involved in a vehicle wreck which killed the other horse in the trailer and injured him. He has fully recovered and is now competing. He also has earnings in NRCHA competition.

Amateur Working Ranch Horse Level 1
Veteran ranch horse Lees Doc O Sunrise showed up again at a Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge, this time taking the amateur Level 1 working ranch horse class. The 2005 stallion was ridden by his breeder and owner, Bryan Lee of North Platte, Nebraska. The Ranching Heritage stallion has duties working on the ranch and as a herd sire, in addition to his show career.

Lees Doc O Sunrise is by Docs Croton Lobo and out of the Sunrise Enterprise mare Watch This Sunrise. In March, they were champion in the amateur ranch riding at the inaugural Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals.

Limited Amateur Boxing
Leroys Sugarman carried owner Mica Olson of Bloomfield, Nebraska, to victory in the limited amateur boxing.

The 2008 gelded son of Dual Playin is out of the Some More Lena mare Kota More, and was bred by Richard Cauldfield of Springview, Nebraska.

Mica and Jamie Olson have owned the horse since 2010, and he is not only qualified for the senior ranch riding at the Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show, but also has more than $2,000 in earnings in NRCHA competition.

His dam, Kota More, is a full sister to cutting performer Lakota Lenas Badger, who has earnings of more than $3,000.

Limited Amateur Boxing Level 1
Amateur Barrel Racing
The black gelding Rocky Catalena proved his versatility during the Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge, as he won not only the limited amateur boxing Level 1 with breeder and owner Flynt Schack of Tolstoy, South Dakota, aboard, but later won the amateur barrel racing with Betty Schack aboard.

The 9-year-old black gelding is by Peptolena Boy and out of Little Miss Catalena by Catalena Boy.

Amateur Ranch Riding
One of the most successful horses in the history of the Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenges, The 9-year-old BOXO Heavens Blue continued his winning ways by capturing the amateur ranch riding title with his breeder and owner Jecca Ostrander aboard.

The pair represents the Ranching Heritage Breeder of the Year, Box O Quarter Horses, and ranch in Gordon, Nebraska.

BOXO Heavens Blue has finished in the Top 10 at the Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show and at the NRCHA’s Celebration of Champions, and has combined earnings exceeding $28,000.

He is by Box O’s senior sire SNW Heavens King and out of the Masie’s Blue mare Snippy Blue Card.

Youth Working Ranch Horse
Youth Ranch Riding
The busiest horse at the Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge was JS Uniquely Yours, who carried both youth rider Colter Martin, and his mother, Dawn, in working ranch horse, ranch riding and barrel racing classes.

He earned checks for both of them, and Colter won five classes, including the youth working ranch horse and youth ranch riding.

JS Uniquely Yours is a 10-year-old dun gelding by Two D Driftwood and out of the CB Doc Drifter mare CB Sabre Mist, bred and owned by Colter’s grandparents, James and Darlene Swenson of Beulah, North Dakota.

The gelding has earned more than $3,000 in the Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge program.

Open Team Roping
The very first winner of the very first team roping held at a Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge came in the form of the palomino gelding Pale Pardner.

Ridden by T.J. Watts for breeders and owner Dave and Ruth Bashor, the 9-year-old gelding picked up the winning check.

The gelding is by BH Pale Velvet and out of the mare Stormin Eliza by Freckles Elite. His breeder and owners are 40-year breeders who operate Bashor Ranch in Grover, Colorado.

Amateur Team Roping
Clete Schmidt of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, took the first amateur team roping title with his Blue Gun Poco. The gray stallion was bred by Ralph Crago and is by Sabre Blue Gun and out of the Plentyofit mare Plentyofit Poco.

Open Barrel Racing
Kicking off the first-ever barrel racing, Flit My Ways took the open class with Kyndra Taylor Elshere aboard.

The 2011 mare is by Flit Drift and out of the Mi Ways Trouble mare Mi Ways Jackie. She is bred and owned by Jim and Joni Hunts’ Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota.

Youth Barrel Racing
Emily Schack of Tolstoy, South Dakota, joined her family in gathering awards, as she won the youth barrel racing aboard Krissy Kat Hickory.

The 2005 bay mare is by El Rey Hickory and is out of HB Hickoryolena by Catalena Boy.

The mare is bred and owned by Flynt Schack, a 10-year breeder who owns Schack Ranch. She is a half sister to Peptolena Boy, a son of Peptoboonsmal with more than $6,700 in National Cutting Horse Association earnings and the sire to the Schack’s other winner, Rocky Catalena.

 Look for more information on this event in the Fall issue of the Ranch Horse Journal.