Countdown to the 50th Futurity
Tag Rice and Chiquita Pistol launched their Triple Crown bid with a 225-point win in the 2002 NCHA Futurity. Rice, 28, had been reserve champion of the Futurity the year before when his father, Ronnie, won on San Tule Freckles.
Chiquita Pistol is a daughter of Smart Little Pistol and Miss Chiquita Tari. Owner Wallace “Tooter” Dorman of Oakwood, Texas, had intended to show the mare himself, but was sidelined by shoulder surgery.
“That mare is a fierce athlete,” Rice said. “Cattle are fast these days, but she can handle them. It doesn’t seem to matter what you put in front of her, she can handle it.”
Chiquita Pistol went on to become the first Triple Crown winner since Docs Okie Quixote in 1983. She won five major events as a 4-year-old and was named Horse of the Year. She was reunited with Tag Rice in 2011 at the Neiman Marcus NCHA Futurity Champions Cup.
We’ll look at the past NCHA Futurity champions each day through December 9. Read the full story in Cutting Horse Gold: 50 Years of the NCHA Futurity by Sally Harrison.