NCHA World Finals

Dont Look Twice clinches back-to-back National Cutting Horse Association open world championships.

By Tara Christiansen
The American Quarter Horse Journal
December 10, 2012

Dont Look Twice and Phil Rapp

Just one of her many wins, Dont Look Twice won the 2011 AQHA senior cutting world championship with breeder-trainer Phil Rapp. Most recently, the 7-year-old mare won the 2012 NCHA open world championship. (Journal photo)

In their final push of the year, the world’s leading cutting horses squared off December 8 in Fort Worth, Texas, for Round 4 of the Mercuria-National Cutting Horse Association World Finals.  

All year, cutting competitors and their mounts hauled far and wide, vying for their place in the 2012 NCHA World Finals. The top 15 horses, in the case of the open divisions, and the top 15 riders, for the non-pro divisions, were invited to Fort Worth for their chance at history. The World Finals was held during the biggest cutting shindig of the year, the NCHA Futurity, which continues through December 15.  

She Wins It Twice

As they entered the fray November 30 for Round 1, Dont Look Twice and her breeder-trainer, Phil Rapp of Weatherford, Texas, led the open standings with $77,314. Sitting in second place with $56,666 was Auspicious Cat and AQHA Professional Horseman Ed Dufurrena of Gainesville, Texas.

Dont Look Twice started off the week strong for owners Louis and Corliss Baldwin of Waco Bend Ranch in Graham, Texas. Posting a 229, the high score of Round 1, Dont Look Twice earned additional money in rounds 2 and 4, taking home $14,726 from Fort Worth. With $92,040 earned this year, the 7-year-old sorrel mare captured the NCHA open world championship for the second year in a row. Her win in Fort Worth is only the most recent of her feats; on November 12 in Oklahoma City, Dont Look Twice was crowned the 2012 AQHA senior cutting reserve world champion; she also won the 2011 senior and 2009 junior cutting world championships.

The sorrel mare hails from one of cutting’s royal dam lines; to say that winning is in Dont Look Twice’s blood is right on target. Dont Look Twice is by High Brow Cat and out of Tapt Twice by Dual Pep. Tapt Twice is out of Phil’s great mare Tap O Lena, a daughter of Phil’s AQHA youth cutting world champion Tapeppyoka Peppy.

Auspicious Cat and Ed Dufurrena did not disappoint either, taking home $12,432 earned in the world finals and the 2012 NCHA open reserve world title. By High Brow Cat and out of Lenas O Lady by Peppy San Bagder, the 7-year-old sorrel stallion was bred by LKC Ranch of Longmont, Colorado, and is now owned by Dos Cats Partners of Gainesville, Texas.

Proving that consistency wins the race, Cat A Rey and James Bradley Mitchells earned $16,657 in the NCHA open world finals and posted a combined score of 883 for all four rounds. Doing so clinched the show championship for the pair. Finishing in second was Dont Look Twice with a combined score of 882. Owned and bred by Painted Springs Farm of Nashville, Cat A Rey is a 6-year-old sorrel stallion (Dual Rey-Sheza Smart Cat by High Brow Cat).

Non-Pro Showdown    

A cliffhanger December 8 left spectators in the Watt Arena on the edge of their seats for the non-pro world championship.

Kaitlyn Larsen of Millsap, Texas, rode into Fort Worth sitting second in the world behind Mary Jo Milner of Southlake, Texas. With $76,800 in pre-world finals earnings, compared to Mary Jo’s $88,689, the world title wasn’t out Kaitlyn’s of reach. Mounted on Laredo Montana, a Round 4 win with a score of 227 gave Kaitlyn just the shot in the arm she needed, totaling her world finals earnings at $15,933.

A 7-year-old sorrel stallion by Light N Lena and out of Little Memory Maker by Peppy San Badger, Laredo Montana, aka "Tater," is bred and owned by Billy Martin also of Millsap.

The duo were fresh off a win in the Mercuria-NCHA World Series of Cutting non-pro finals at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio.

At the Congress, she told the Journal, "I was in a really bad accident with my fiancé, (Reagon Walker), over a year ago, and (Tater) was in the trailer with us, and I lost my fiancé. Tater and I survived, and we've gone on and somehow been able to be very successful with Reagon on my shoulder."

Reagon Walker was the son of Byron and Mary Walker of Ennis, Texas. An avid barrel racer, Mary's gelding Perculatin, aka "Latte," won the 2012 AQHA-Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association barrel racing horse of the year title. Mary and Latte won the first three rounds of barrel racing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and the duo are currently sitting second in the world. While the loss of Reagon makes life tough to bear, both Kaitlyn and Mary say that Reagon never feels too far away when they're in the saddle.

"I ride for him," Kaitlyn said. "I ride in his name and his honor and so things like this definitely – not only is it exciting, but emotional, too, because I miss him every day and I get emotional before and after my runs, because I know he's with me. And I want to win for him."

Kaitlyn wasn’t about to just ride off with the non-pro world title, though. Another Dufurrena – this time Ed’s son, Brandon – knuckled down all four rounds, taking home checks totaling $25,347 aboard Nievas. Marking a score of 222 wasn’t enough to beat Kaitlyn’s 227 to win Round 4, but it was enough to take the non-pro world championship. In the end, Brandon’s $93,691 earned this year edged out Kaitlyn’s $92,732.

By Cats Merada and out of Smart Little Boogie by EG Southern Dancer, Nievas is a 5-year-old sorrel mare. Nievas was bred by Ed, but now boasts Brandon as her owner.

The non-pro world finals top money earner was Dan Hansen aboard Woody Be Lucky with $26,554; their four go-round scores totaled 901, which earned them the non-pro show championship. Brandon and Nievas finished second with an 896 composite. A 12-year-old sorrel gelding, Woody Be Lucky (Nitas Wood-Playboys Ladyluck by Freckles Playboy) was bred by Craig Crumpler of Wichita Falls, Texas; the gelding is now owned by Dan and Karen Hansen of Nampa, Idaho.

AQHA Professional Horseman Ed Dufurrena teaches you how to give your cutting horse a comfort zone on a cow in the December Journal. For more training tips like Ed’s, subscribe to the Journal, and from now until December 31, 2012, you can enjoy two Journal subscriptions for the price of one. Learn more at www.aqha.com/journal2for1.

2012 NCHA Champions

  • Open world finals: Cat A Rey, ridden by Brad Mitchell for Painted Spring Farms
  • Open world champion: Dont Look Twice, ridden by Phil Rapp for Louis and Corliss Baldwin
  • Non-pro world finals: Dan Hansen riding Woody Be Lucky
  • Non-pro world champion: Brandon Dufurrena riding Nievas
  • $10,000 novice world finals: A Little Bossy, ridden by R.L. Chartier for Wrigley Ranches
  • $10,000 novice world champion: Fairlea Daro Lena, ridden by Gavin Jordan for Fairlea Ranch
  • $3,000 novice world finals and world champion: Sway Cat, ridden by Gavin Jordan for Melissa Corcoran
  • $15,000 novice non-pro world finals and world champion: Aubrey Pigg riding Royals Magnificat 
  • $5,000 novice non-pro world finals: Kate Banuelos riding Jaebars Angel
  • $5,000 novice non-pro world champion: Clint Pace riding Scat Daddy
  • $35,000 non-pro world finals: Lane Wood riding Pepto Boom
  • $35,000 non-pro world champion: Sheryl Courson riding Budhas Warrior
  • $50,000 amateur world finals and world champion: Bridey Greeson riding A Copper Spoonful
  • $15,000 amateur world finals: Alexa Dahl riding Rita Wood
  • $15,000 amateur world champion: Chrissy Madgwick riding Spinnies Star O Lena
  • $2,000 limited rider world finals and world champion: Trent Smith riding Play Stocks