It’s rodeo time in Houston and that means the second stop for the 2014 Mercuria World Series of Cutting Tour. The Open and Non-Pro draws are posted and are proof that this is one cutting you won’t want to miss.
The 2014 Houston Mercuria Champions, as well as the 2014 Mercuria World Finals Show Champions, Boyd Rice and CR Sun Reys, are entered. The mare, who is owned by Center Ranch and is by Dual Rey and out of Play Peek A Boon, has been a crowd favorite since Rice showed the mare at the 2011 NCHA World Championship Futurity. They posted an all-time record during the World Finals when they earned a cumulative 934 points through four go-rounds in Fort Worth and tied the all-time high score with a 233. The now 7-year-old mare has earned more than $275,000 with Rice, the 2014 National Reined Cow Horse Association’s World Greatest Horseman and NCHA Hall of Fame Rider.
Other top contenders on Houston’s roster include the recent San Antonio Mercuria Champions: Matt Gaines and Special Nu Baby, who wowed the audience with a 230-point run as the last horse in the Open finals a few weeks ago, which brought the mare’s earnings past the $350,000 mark. Also on the list are: 2012 NCHA Open Futurity Co-Champions, Ronnie Rice and CR Tuff Hearted Cat; 2014 & 2013 NCHA Open World Champions Chubby Turner and One Time Choice; NCHA World Champion and National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Inductee Lindy Burch with her great mare, Louellas Cat, and World Champion Stallion, Auspicious Cat, with rider Ed Dufurrena. Cutting’s all-time leading money earner Phil Rapp is also headed to Houston with Reyzin, a horse he and his wife, Mary Ann, have ridden to more than $275,000.
In the Non-Pro, numerous top 15 qualifiers are back on track for 2015, including World Champion Mary Jo Milner and Smooth Asa Zee. The San Antonion Non-Pro Champion Dan Hansen is also headed to Houston with Woody Be Lucky, aka “Freak”, a 15-year-old gelding that ranks as one of the top 10 money-earning cutting horses of all time with close to $700,000 in winnings.
Additionally, one of the great aspects of the Mercuria World Series is for local cutters to have their chance to compete against the world’s best for fame, fortune – and cash. Houston will highlight a host of local cutters who will give the haulers a run for their money.
The first go of the Mercuria Open & Non-Pro will be Friday morning at 8 a.m. The finals will begin Saturday, Feb. 28, upon completion of the preceding NCHA class.
Rodeo Houston has an exciting line-up of activities that cutters can enjoy while in town, including concerts, parades and the World Famous Bar-B-Que cook-offs. Visit www.rodeohouston.com for more info.