Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge

Wagonhound horses dominate at Rapid City Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge

Ranch Horse Journal

Shiner Dear Rey and Matt Kelly. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill

Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder Wagonhound Land and Livestock of Douglas, Wyoming, enjoyed another big weekend at a Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge.

On May 26, the ranch, which is a producer of Red Angus cattle, saw its three horses finish first or second in their classes, including winning both of the open working ranch horse class aged divisions in the $15,000-added Challenge, held in Rapid City, South Dakota.

All three horses were ridden by Matt Kelly.

The 4-year-old winner was the palomino mare Shiner Dear Rey (Reys Dual Badger-Miss Shiner Dear by Shining Spark), who marked a solid 146 to earn a check worth $3,375.

The mare’s sire is the 2006 National Cutting Horse Association Horse of the Year and a sire of earners of more than $3.3 million.

Shiner Dear Rey is out of one of Wagonhound’s good broodmares, Miss Shiner Dear, a daughter of Shining Spark out of the great mare Katie Starlight. Katie Starlight is herself an earner of more than $126,000, and has produced the earners of more than $360,000. The 17-year-old Miss Shiner Dear has produced the earners of more than $170,000. Her daughter, Shiner Dear Magic, is the dam of Wagonhound’s successful gelding Magic Lookin Cat.

“I just cowboyed on her during her 3-year-old year, and showed her in the fall,” Kelly said of Shiner Dear Rey. “She has been really good in everything, but inconsistent while she was trying to figure it out. This is only the fourth time I’ve shown her, and the first time that everything really came together.”

Matt was also second with Wagonhound’s This Cats Not Blu (WR This Cats Smart-Flo N Blu Boon by Pretty Boy Boon). The bay roan mare was bred by Garth and Amanda Gardiner of Ashland, Kansas.

The Challenges are a showcase of Ranching Heritage-bred horses. Open only to these horses, the program this year will offer more than $90,000 in cash and prizes.

While these horses must be bred by a Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder, anyone can purchase and compete on the horses. To see if your horse is eligible, call Competition Coordinator Terrie Lovelady at 806-378-4341.

Limited 4-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse
Amateur Ranch Riding
Nebraska rancher Bryan Lee laughs when he says he knows what he’s going to get out of his good broodmare Watch This Sunrise: Colts. Of the mare’s 10 foals, all by Docs Croton Lobo, eight of them have been colts, but they have been good ones.

They are led by his gray stallion, Lees Doc O Sunrise, whom he has ridden to an amateur reserve world championship at the Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships and earned more than $16,000.

The North Platte, Nebraska-based rancher has another good one with her 2014 foal, a bay named Diamonds At Sunrise, whom he showed to win the limited 4-year-old working ranch horse class and earn $1,700 for the effort; they came back to also win the amateur ranch riding to earn another $530.

Bailey Gibbons was second in the class aboard Judges Chambers (Judgemental-Spark Plug Cat by Shining Spark). The gray gelding was bred by Debra Brown and Larry Licking, and is owned by Long Pines Land and Livestock of Buffalo, South Dakota.

5- and 6-Year Old Working Ranch Horse
Matt Kelly wheeled back in the 5- and 6-year-old working ranch horse class to take a victory with another big 146 score, this one aboard Shining Smart Cat, a half-sister to Shiner Dear Rey. Shining Smart Cat is by Wagonhound’s stallion WR This Cats Smart, a 17-year-old son of High Brow Cat who has sired the earners of more than $10 million across several disciplines.

Shining Smart Cat has already had success in Ranching Heritage Challenge and National Reined Cow Horse Association competition. With this win, she added another $1,200 to her earnings.

“She’s just a real solid horse,” Matt said of the mare, who is now confirmed in foal to Hickory Holly Time for a 2019 foal. “She’ll show at the (Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge) Finals and be done (showing).”

All of Wagonhound’s horses are using horses – working on the ranch in addition to competing in the arena.

“I can provide for these horses the practical reason for all this stuff, through the ranch work,” Matt said. “It adds confidence to the horse and a lot of expression. I calved on all of them this spring, and the two weeks before this show, we were branding three days a week. So every one of them got used for branding twice, then I’d give them the next day off, then I’d ride them in the arena a couple days. I’d just rotate through them like that. It was kind of out of necessity, but at the same time, it’s good for them to do that.

“That’s what I love about these Ranching Heritage shows and the people who show at these,” he continued. “I feel like I’m showing my ranch horses, not doing ranch work on my show horses. They’re show-quality horses, but they’re out here doing ranch work – and because they’re good enough, they get to go show.”

Stetson Ostrander of Gordon, Nebraska, was second aboard his family’s homebred Boxo Valentines Cat (Palo Duro Cat-Tracis Blue Roan by Roan Ambrose), picking up a check worth $800.

Limited 5- and 6-Year-Old Working Ranch Horse
Open Ranch Riding
While they were second in the open category of the 5- and 6-year-old working ranch horse class, Stetson and Boxo Valentines Cat won the limited division class with their 144 score, picking up an additional $480 check. Their total payout for the concurrent run was $1,280. The pair also won the open ranch riding and were fourth in the amateur ranch riding.

The 6-year-old buckskin mare has earned more than $17,000 in competition.

Agusta Keetch was second in the limited working ranch horse class aboard Long Pines Land and Livestock’s Rey Cool Cat (Smooth Talking Cat-Smart Miss Dual Rey by Dual Rey).

Stetson and “Savannah” earned $412.50 for their win in the open ranch riding, in which they topped a field of 15. Stetson was second in the open ranch riding with Boxo Heavens Blue, pulling in an additional $343.75.

Cowboy
Capturing the cowboy class in style, Gary Watt and Four Lace earned a solid check worth $2,100.

The 4-year-old buckskin mare comes from the breeding program of Zoetis AQHA Best Remuda winner Haythorn Land and Cattle Co. of Arthur, Nebraska. Gary acquired the mare as a yearling.

She is by the Haidas Little Pep stallion Busy Haidin and out of the classic Haythorn-bred mare Four Roan Lace, a daughter of Figure Four Fritz out of a Eddie Eighty mare.

Gary and his family are Ranching Heritage Breeders raising cattle, horses and wheat near Sidney, Nebraska. Gary was the AQHA high-point winner in Cowboy Versatility Ranch Horse last year aboard the family’s homebred stallion Preferred Pepto.

Amateur Working Ranch Horse
Amateur Barrel Racing
Ranch horse events are built upon quality and versatility, and a shining example of these traits were on display at the Rapid City Challenge, when Boxo Heavens Blue won both the amateur working ranch horse class and the amateur barrel racing,

Boxo Heavens Blue is the all-time leading Ranching Heritage Challenge earner, with more than $22,000 in the program alone. He has also earned more than $30,000 in additional competition.

With Stetson Ostrander aboard, the willing gelding called “Burnt” added another $1,150 for winning the amateur cow class and another $550 for the barrel racing win during the South Dakota Challenge. He was also second in the amateur ranch riding to earn another $397.50.

Bred and owned by Stetson’s mother, Jecca Ostrander, Boxo Heavens Blue is by SNW Heavens King and out of the Masie’s Blue mare Snippy Blue Card.

Level 1 Amateur Working Ranch Horse
Extra Sweet Freckles posted a solid payday in the Level 1 amateur working ranch horse class for owner and exhibitor Lisa Robinett of Pavillion, Wyoming, earning $600.

The 6-year-old bay mare is by Mr Sun O Freckles and out of the Skeets Peppy mare Skeet Emotion. Lisa acquired the mare bred by Bond Ranch of Worden, Montana, in 2015.

They also have NRCHA earnings.

Limited Amateur Working Ranch Horse
Level 1 Limited Amateur Working Ranch Horse
Limited Youth Working Ranch Horse
Level 1 Limited Youth Working Ranch Horse
Youth Ranch Riding
The sorrel gelding Leroys Sugarman was steady and true all afternoon, sweeping five classes under two riders.

The 10-year-old gelding is owned by Jamie and Mica Olson and was bred by Richard Caulfield of Springview, Nebraska.

Mica rode the horse to win both the limited amateur working ranch horse, which earned them $650, and also the Level 1 division of the class worth an additional $50. They were also third in the amateur ranch riding, which netted them $285.

Then in the limited youth working ranch horse and Level 1 division of that class, the gelding carried Tatum Olson to victory with a solid 139.5 score to pick up $50 in concurrent earnings, before they came back and also won the youth ranch riding.

The Olsons hail from Bloomfield, Nebraska. Their horse is by Dual Playin and out of the Some More Lena mare Kota More. He has more than $3,800 in competition earnings.

Open Team Roping
Another example of versatility was Judges Chambers, who got second in the limited 4-year-old working ranch horse class with Bailey Gibbons aboard, then came back later in the afternoon to win the open team roping with Justin Lawrence in the saddle. They earned $1,300 for their victory in the team roping class.

The gray gelding is by the Dash For Cash-bred stallion Judgemental and out of the Shining Spark/Taris Catalyst-bred mare Spark Plug Cat. He was bred by Debra Brown and Larry Licking, and is owned by Long Pines Land and Livestock of Buffalo, South Dakota.

Amateur Team Roping
The 9-year-old buckskin stallion Rambling Fever carried Clinton Dikoff to win the amateur team roping, earning $550 for the effort.

The Dikoff family are Ranching Heritage Breeders based in Hermosa, South Dakota. Their stallion is a son of Playboys Buck Fever and out of the Smart Little Pepinic mare Little Sis Nic. He was bred by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Miller of Big Piney, Wyoming.

Open Barrel Racing
Sarah Moreland rode her own DL Frenchman King to win the open barrel racing, earning $650.

Sarah co-owns the horse with Jerry Mayer. They acquired the 5-year-old from his breeders, Denny and Doris Lauing of Sturgis, South Dakota. The sorrel gelding is by Colonel Frenchman and out of the Comos Cottoneye mare Comos King Playgirl.

Youth Barrel Racing 
Closing out the day’s activities in style, Mary-Katherine Schlichte rode Colonel Katy Freckle to win the youth barrel racing. The pair call Rapid City home.

The 4-year-old sorrel mare was bred by Jim and Joni Hunt’s Open Box Rafter Ranch at Faith, South Dakota. She is by Two Timin Freckles and out of the Coyote Colonel mare Colonel Miss Redwood.

Subscribe to the Ranch Horse Journal today. AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter and visit www.aqha.com/news.