Lauren Chartier Wins Third Eastern National Non-Pro Title


Lauren Chartier rode Cees Little Poo to the NCHA Eastern Nationals Non-Pro Championship


Competing in Jackson, Mississippi, was like coming home for Texas cutter Lauren Chartier, 28. Riding her dependable gelding Cees Little Poo, Chartier competed in front of cheering family and friends to win the Non-Pro Championship and $4,224 at the NCHA Eastern National Championships, presented by 6666 Ranch. The pair marked a 218.5 in the finals of the division that featured 76 entries.

Aubrey Pigg is no stranger to the winner’s circle at Jackson, and this time the Alabama cutter ride Royals Magnificat (High Brow Cat x CD Royalty x CD Olena) to a 217 for the Non-Pro Reserve Championship.

Originally from Mississippi, Lauren Chartier has competed at that event since she was 9 years old. This was her third Non-Pro Championship, having also won at the 2003 Eastern Nationals on Widows Freckles, and at the 2009 Eastern Nationals on Cees Little Poo. According to Chartier, she won multiple times in the $15,000 Novice/Non-Pro and $5,000 Novice/Non-Pro divisions, along with collecting several Reserve Championships.

This year’s Eastern Nationals was a great show for Chartier and her husband, Cullen. Cullen made the finals in multiple events and tied to win the $5,000 Novice class aboard Poundcake Deluxe.

“Cullen is a really good coach and we make a really good team,” Chartier said. “It’s been pretty special.”

Cees Little Poo (SR Instant Choice x Perry Poo x Perry San) is a 13-year-old gelding bred by Bar H Ranche. Chartier’s family bought the horse when he was 5, and the talented fellow has performed well during what has turned out to be a long, strong cutting career. Cees Little Poo, or “Ceasar” as he’s known, had $224,095 in earnings prior to this latest success. He carried Chartier to fourth-place finishes in the NCHA World Non-Pro standings in 2010 and 2011. In his early years, Cees Little Poo and various riders qualified for finals at several major limited-age events in the Open, Non-Pro and Amateur divisions.

“He’s just been amazing,” Chartier said, adding that Cees Little Poo has had a big impact on her and Cullen’s lives. “He bought our house. He a paid to re-do it. He paid for the barn. He’s just worth his weight in gold.”

When asked if there would ever be plans to sell Cees Little Poo, Chartier was quick to respond. “No!” she said. “He’s pretty much going to be a lifer with us.”

Chartier remarked that her gelding has certain pens he prefers – including the one at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Ohio and the one at the Eastern Nationals in Mississippi. Not only did they feel at home riding to the herd in Jackson, but Chartier and her gelding also walked to the herd with a clear objective in mind.

“I knew it was going to be fast before we went down there because they always pick fast cows for Caesar,” Chartier explained. “Fast cows are his favorite and I expect those every time. I never worry about it because he handles the pressure the best of any horse I’ve ever ridden before.”



$50,000 Amateur Win For Wendy Johnson


Wendy Johnson rode Lily Shea Rey to the $50,000 Amateur title at the NCHA Eastern Nationals.

For Wendy Johnson, Perrin, Texas, winning the $50,000 Amateur title at the NCHA Eastern National Championships was a dream come true. Not only was it her most prestigious win, to date, but it was also a major success for her special, homebred mare Lily Shea Rey. The two worked to a 217.5 to top the 74-entry division and take home $4,080.

Reserve in the $50,000 Amateur division was claimed by Gary Reichart, Frankton, Ind., riding Boons Playin (Mr Boonsmal To You x Aristocrats Playgirl x Smart Aristocrat). The pair marked a 215.5.

Wendy Johnson and her husband, Butch, raised Lily Shea Rey (Dual Rey x Lil Shea Lena x Playdox). The Johnsons purchased her dam as a 3-year-old. Wendy showed that mare to a number of nice finishes, including a seventh place in the Amateur at the 2004 NCHA Super Stakes. In 2005, the Johnsons decided to breed Lil Shea Lena to Dual Rey.

The resulting Lily Shea Rey, a 2006 mare, was trained by Cody Hall and finished by the Phil Hanson team. Hall showed Lily, as she’s called, to the Open semi-finals at the 2009 NCHA Futurity, while Hanson finished fourth on her in the Open Classic at the 2011 Brazos Bash. Coming into the Eastern Nationals, the mare had $61,841 on her earnings record.

“She’s pretty quirky,” Wendy said about Lily Shea Rey. “She has a lot of personality and is strong-minded. Her mother is very strong-minded, too.”

The seasoned mare has a month-old Metallic Cat filly on the ground, and plans are to breed her back to Metallic Cat this season. The Johnson’s have a three-quarters brother to Lily Shea Rey, a 5-year-old TR Dual Rey gelding, that Butch shows in the limited-age events.

The win in Jackson was Wendy’s biggest, and she was pleased with her pretty mare.

“When she was born she came walking into the stall to greet us within an hour, and it’s been that way ever since,” Wendy said about her relationship with Lily Shea Rey. “Even when she was at the trainer’s, we could call her and she’d come right to us.”

The mare was friendly. But she had a fast and powerful side when it came to working a cow, and for a while that proved to be a little too challenging for Wendy.

“I didn’t start riding her until she was 6,” Wendy said. “Once I realized I had to sit real still on her and sit back – you can’t lean forward on her – we did fine together. She just does her magic out there.”

Wendy expressed thanks to those who helped her all week at the Eastern Nationals: Ben Roberson, Casey Crouch, Brent McGlothlin, Bill Pierce, and her husband, Butch.

Bowman Takes Command in the $5,000 Novice/Non-Pro

Page Bowman rode Athena Mad Man to a 221 for the $5K Nov/Non-Pro win.

Page Bowman rode Athena Mad Man to a 221 for the $5K Nov/Non-Pro win.


Page Bowman, 17, and Athena Mad Man marked a “lucky” score to win the $5,000 Novice/Non-Pro finals at the Eastern National Championships, presented by 6666 Ranch. The pair finished with a 221 to win the 83-entry division and take home $4,765. Earlier this week, in Jackson, Miss., Bowman tied for Reserve in the $15,000 Novice/Non-Pro class riding Roamin Cat.

The first time they showed together, Bowman and the talented Athena Mad Man marked a 221 in the first round of the Rios of Mercedes Amateur division at the 2012 NCHA Futurity.

That’s our lucky number,” Bowman said with a smile. “I’ve done really well on him and his earnings are from my showing. He’s just been a really good boy.”

This latest win kicked the horse’s earnings over the $80,000 mark. Athena Mad Man belongs to Bowman’s parents, Mike and Libby. The Bowman family purchased the horse as a 3-year-old. According to Bowman, at that point, the gelding still had quite a bit of growing to do.

“He was just a tiny, little guy,” she said. “Now, he’s like a huge tank – he’s just gigantic. But he’s so athletic and is so smart about a cow. He can run and stop a cow. You feel like you might be ready to lose a cow, but then he zips right back over with her.”

Athena Mad Man (Athena Puddy Cat x Puppy Breath x Smart N Slick) has the right kind of pedigree. His sire, the late Athena Puddy Cat, won $283,000 during his career. His foals have earned close to a million dollars. His dam, Puppy Breath, has two performing offspring.

Athena Mad Man and Bowman have made the finals at several limited-age events, including the NCHA Super Stakes and NCHA Summer Spectacular. In 2014, they won the Non-Pro Classic and Amateur Classic divisions at the Augusta Futurity. Those accomplishments helped push Bowman out of the Amateur division. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Bowman won the Non-Pro Derby at last year’s NCHA Summer Spectacular on Big Daddys CD, a horse by High Brow CD and out of Snazzy Easter Bunny.

“Being able to prove myself in the Non-Pro was really special,” Bowman said. “Having a Non-Pro win under my belt helped because I was out of the Amateur this year. It gave me confidence.”

Bowman, Simpsonville, Ky., has been riding and showing cutting horses for as long as she can remember. This is her second Eastern Nationals Champion title. She won the 2010 Junior Youth aboard Snazzy Easter Bunny. The Eastern Nationals, she said, is one of her favorite shows.

“It’s a great atmosphere and everyone has fun,” Bowman said. “For the weekend cutters, it’s a big show, the ground is great and the cows are good. It’s just a nice experience.”

Reserve in the $5,000 Novice/Non-Pro class was claimed by Alexis Stephas, Chattanooga, Tenn., riding Once You Go Black (Hydrive Cat x RG Sugar Lena x Poco San Lena). They marked a 218. The day before, the pair finished first in the $15,000 Novice/Non-Pro.



Stephas Earns $15,000 Novice/Non-Pro Title in Jackson

$15,000 Novice/Non-Pro


Alexis Stephas and Once You Go Black, $15,000 Novice/Non-Pro Champions.

Alexis Stephas rode fourth out in the first set of the $15,000 Novice/Non-Pro finals at the NCHA Eastern Nationals, presented by 6666 Ranch, on Wed., March 17, aboard her horse Once You go Black to secure the Championship with a 219-point run.

The 6-year-old horse, better known as “Zorro,” was one of two mounts Stephas brought back to the 28-horse field. She also finished in the top 10 of the finals on Peeka Spice Cat.

“It’s been a really good week,” Stephas said of her time in Jackson, which she stamped as one of her favorite shows. “It’s always a fun show. I love it here. It’s a big show for all the weekenders. It’s like a big family get together.’

Last year, Stephas and the appropriately named black stud made the $15,000 Novice/Non-Pro finals as well, but had some tough luck. This year, Stephas was glad to not only win, but also to stay vertical.

“He fell on me last year during our run. So I told my help that I really didn’t want to crash and burn again. I wanted to stay on all four feet. So we managed to do that,” she said with a laugh.

Stephas bought Once You Go Black two years ago when he was named RA Black Cat. The horse was shown by Ed Dufurrena and it was on the Dufurrena family’s recommendation that Stephas initially tried the horse. To date, the horse has earned just over $70,000.

“I told them if I got him he needed a cool name since he was a black stud. We came up with Once You Go Black and everyone knows the rest of it,” she said with a laugh.

Stephas, soon to turn 23, is from Chattenooga, Tenn., and started cutting at the age of 10. She started hauling on her own at 16 because she said her parents aren’t “horse people.” She has since earned more than $400,000 in NCHA earnings. In learning to keep her horses tuned up, she has spent a lot of time riding with Walt Erwin. She said he, along with several others, have helped her tremendously. She also relies on the help of Cullen Chartier, who has had this horse in training for the past six months. According to Stephas, he’s a small horse with big moves.

“He’s only 13 hands,” she said. “It doesn’t take very much and it feels like he’s on his belly, and he snakes around. He’s fun to show. I feel like I’m on a pony.”

Stephas expressed gratitude to Erwin, Chartier, Randy Chartier and Steven Oelholf for helping her in Jackson, where she picked up $5,603 for her win in the $15,000 Novice/Non-Pro.

While she primarily competes at weekend shows, Stephas said she will focus this year on showing “Zorro” in aged events since this is his last year to compete. Then, she said, it’s possible he will be one of her weekend warriors.

“I’m a horse hoarder, so I’m sure I’ll fine something for him to do,” she laughed.

Page Bowman, Simpsonville, Ky., rode Roamin Cat to a 215.5 to claim the $15,000 Novice/Non-Pro Reserve Championship in Jackson and $4,468.

$35,000 Non-Pro Crowns Dual Champions

$35,000 Non-Pro Co-Champion Colt Moore


Colt Moore guided Highwood Dancer to a 216 to tie for the $35,000 Non-Pro Championship.

When Colt Moore, 14, walked to the herd on Monday, Feb. 16, during the $35,000 Non-Pro finals, he had an agenda and it was one that ran much deeper than the other 28 horses that competed in that class that day. He was competing just three weeks after his mother, Sheri Moore, passed away of a heart complication. He told his mom he would win Jackson, and he did.

Moore cut 10th in the second set aboard Highwood Dancer, a mare that his mom used to get ready at shows. Moore’s first cow helped him show off the mare’s dynamic moves, while the second helped steady the run. It was the third cow however that got a little testy and it was then that Moore said he felt like his mom was there helping him.

“That last cut I thought I was going to lose that cow and I didn’t,” he said. “It’s pretty cool. I promised her that I’d win it for her and I did it. I didn’t think I would. I was kind of cursed in this pen until last night.”

Moore expressed his gratitude not only to his helpers at the show, but also the industry as a whole that has stood behind their family during this difficult time.

“I want to thank my dad, Casey Moore, my grandfather, Gary Moore, Billy Kidd, Ted Sokol and my brother who loped my horse… and my mom, too.” he said.

Prior to the $35,000 finals, the Moore family was presented with a $5,000 check from the Southern Futurity.“It was pretty cool,” said Colt Moore. “It shows you how big the cutting horse family is.”

Moore also made the Junior Youth finals on another horse and his dad made the $15,000 Novice finals on Highwood Dancer last week in Jackson.

$35,000 Non-Pro Co-Champion Sandra Patton


Sandra Patton rode Magic Abbie to a 216 in the $35,000 Non-Pro for the co-Championship.

Sandra Patton made the haul to Jackson from Ohio for the Eastern Nationals and after claiming two titles, it’s been a trip well worth it. She rode her pretty dun mare, Magic Abbie, to a 216 in the $35,000 Non-Pro finals on Monday, March 16, to tie for the Championship title after cutting second to last in the first bunch. The day before, Patton and the horse tied for Reserve honors in the $2,000 Limited Rider finals as well.

This is the second year in a row that the Patton family has made the haul to Jackson for the event with her trainer Gabe Reynolds.

“I came last year and it was the biggest show I’d ever showed at,” she said. “We had a great time. It’s fabulous. They serve you lunch every day, everyone is so nice, and it has good money added. Everyone has just really enjoyed it.”

The $35,000 Non-Pro finals was the fourth trip to the herd in Jackson this week for the pair. As Patton explained, the run didn’t start off as anything spectacular, but she finished strong on her third cow with 27 seconds of solid working time.

Patton bought Magic Abbie from the NCHA Futurity Sale as a 6-year-old. The now 10-year-old mare was previously owned by Mark Stucks and trained by Carlos Banuelos. She has earned approximately $90,000 since her debut at the Futurity with Banuelos. Patton, who has two children, Tori, 3, and Ben, 2, eased up on her showing schedule when her kids were younger. She then connected with trainer Gabe Reynolds who got the mare legged up and back on the show scene.

“She knows her job, and she loves her job,” Patton said of the horse. “She’s made me a better rider because I do have to ride her a bit. She’s super quiet and calm. We laugh at the barn that she’s on the NASCAR circuit because she just likes to get moving. She has a big motor, and is just a good girl. She’s fun to be around.”

Patton will also show Magic Abbie in the $50,000 Amateur on Thurs, March 19.