The National Cutting Horse Association has selected four NCHA Hall of Fame Riders to represent the Association at the 2015 Markel AQHA Cowtown Showdown, presented by the City of Fort Worth, March 7 at 5 pm at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in celebration of the American Quarter Horse Association’s 75th Anniversary.
The NCHA will be joined by the National Reined Cow Horse Association and the National Reining Horse Association as each group celebrates the talents and versatility of the American Quarter Horse by showcasing the skills of their specific disciplines. Their performances will be judged by past AQHA Professional Horsemen and Horsewomen of the Year. Also joining this elite group of talented professionals will be horses and riders from six historic ranches, including Burnett Ranches, the King Ranch, Pitchfork Land & Cattle Co. and more, that have consecutively bred American Quarter Horses for the past 75 years. This group will compete in a class similar to AQHA Ranch Versatility by showcasing their skills in cow work, roping and ranch-type trail obstacles.
Adding to the excitement of this exclusive equine event, Grammy award winner Lyle Lovett will perform the National Anthem before he displays his own riding talents in the NRHA group.
Lloyd Cox is a member of the NCHA Rider Hall of Fame and NCHA’s No.3 leading money earner with more than $6.6 million to his name. He recently claimed the 2014 NCHA Open Futurity Reserve title on Smooth Talkin Style, owned by Gail Holmes. Cox also won the 2010 NCHA Futurity Open Championship aboard One Time Royalty. His mount for the Cowtown Showdown, RW Rockin, is a 2010 mare (Dual Rey x Boon San Kitty) that has more than $150,000 in lifetime earnings. RW Rockin was Reserve at the 2014 Breeders Invitational and fifth at the 2014 NCHA Super Stakes with trainer Cox. RW Rockin is owned by Monty Johnson of Weatherford, Texas.
Johnny Mitchell, originally from Australia, resides in Weatherford, Texas. Mitchell, also an NCHA Riders Hall of Fame inductee, has lifetime earnings of more than $3.3 million. In 2014, Mitchell piloted Junie Wood to win the NCHA Super Stakes with a 229. Junie Wood is a 2010 mare (Nitas Wood x Tuffs Junie) owned by the Slate River Ranch. The great mare also earned the 2013 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity Championshiop with Craig Crumpler. Last year, she was awarded the 2014 NCHA Open Horse of the Year honors after closing in on lifetime earnings of more than $260,000.
NCHA Riders Hall of Fame Member James Payne started his career in the reining industry, but soon changed to the cutting horse business. Payne’s lifetime earnings exceed $1.4 million, which includes his win at the 2014 NCHA Classic Challenge Open on Once In A Blu Boon. Payne now resides in Overbrook, Oklahoma. Once In A Blu Boon is a 2008 stallion (Peptoboonsmal x Autumn Boon) owned by Charlotte Farms of Rosston, Texas. Once In A Blu Boon has lifetime earnings of more than $318,000, and was bred by the legendary Bill Freeman.
Clay Johnson was the 2013 NCHA Open Futurity Champion aboard Dual Smart Kitty. Johnson’s lifetime earnings have reached more than $775,000 with numerous Open Championship titles under his belt. Dual Smart Kitty (Dual Smart Rey x Cats Peptolena) is owned by Rusty and Shelley Simpson from Nemo, Texas, and, at the age of 5, has already earned $314,000 under Clay Johnson. She was also a leading contender for the 2014 NCHA Horse of the Year Award after winning the Abilene Spectacular and making numerous other Open finals in 2014.
The NRHA will be represented by Lyle Lovett, Shawn Flarida, Dell Hendricks and Tim McQuay. Boyd Rice, Jake Teleford, Todd Crawford and Todd Bergen will represent the NRCHA.
The Cowtown Showdown Auction will offer unique AQHA 75th Anniversary commemorative items, including: a limited-edition AQHA 75th Anniversary sporting rifle by Cimarron Firearms Co., a custom made Double J Saddle signed by AQHA Hall of Fame Inductees, a custom AQHA 75th Anniversary buckle, an AQHA 75th Anniversary John Deere Gator and an all-expense-paid trip to the 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
General admission tickets can be purchased for $7.50 (kids under 12 free) by clicking HERE.