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.”