Numbers from the recent 2017 Lucas Oil/National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes are in, making it official that Metallic Cat is now that event’s highest earning sire. Sixty-nine of his foals won more than $831,500 across multiple divisions, which is the richest single-show payout in NCHA Super Stakes history. Metallic Cat foals finished Champion and Reserve Champion in the 4-Year-Old Super Stakes Open and topped the 5/6-Year-Old Classic Open, victories that helped their sire lay claim to nearly a third of the 2017 Super Stakes rich purse of $3.1 million.
Metallic Cat is following in the mighty horseshoes of his legendary father, High Brow Cat – the cutting industry’s all-time leading sire. High Brow Cat, who has $74 million in offspring earnings, topped the Super Stakes roster every year from 2004 through 2014 with the best being 2008 when his foals earned $716,688.
That trend changed in 2015 when Metallic Cat earned top billing as the Super Stakes’ leading sire with 43 offspring winning $553,926. In 2016, Metallic Cat was again the No. 1 Super Stakes stallion with 46 foals posting $413,422. Interestingly, in 2014 – the first year the Metallic Cat babies were old enough to show at the Super Stakes – 15 of them won $165,930, which placed their rookie sire fifth in a field of dozens of older, highly accomplished stallions.
All along, Metallic Cat has splintered records right and left. With just three full foal crops old enough for the show pen, the stallion’s lifetime offspring earnings teeter at the edge of $13 million, which is the fastest ascent in the history of the cutting horse industry. No stallion has earned this much, this quickly. Following the recent Lucas Oil/NCHA Super Stakes, according to figures provided by Robin Glenn, Metallic Cat’s lifetime sire money stands at $12,917,517. Also, in a field of dozens of excellent stallions, the relatively young 12-year-old stallion recently earned the prestigious titles of National Cutting Horse Association Sire of the Year and Equi-Stat Horse of the Year for the 2016 season.
Metallic Cat is owned by Alvin and Becky Fults of Amarillo, Texas.
“We’re just so humbled by his tremendous success,” Alvin said. “This has surpassed all of our expectations. We’re just very thankful to the mare owners who believed in ‘Denver’ [Metallic Cat’s barn name] and the trainers and owners who put so much work, time and faith into his foals.”
Taking a look at the 2017 Lucas Oil/NCHA Super Stakes, Metallic Cat’s leading offspring was Hashtags, a stallion ridden by Tatum Rice and owned by Jose Raul Garcia. Hashtags won the Stakes Open division and $74,104. This stallion is out of Dual Rey Tag, whose parents are the $31 million sire Dual Rey and Playin Tag – a mare with $235,000 in cutting earnings and winner of the 2004 NCHA Super Stakes.
Metallic Cat’s next 2017 Super Stakes superstar was Melting Snow, the mare who finished reserve in the Stakes Open for a $65,178 check. She was ridden by Clay Johnson and is owned by Buck Creek Quarter Horses. At the 2015 NCHA Futurity 2-Year-Old Sale, Buck Creek Quarter Horses placed the auction’s highest bid – paying $280,000 for Melting Snow, who is out of Dual Pep daughter Nurse Moss.
At this year’s Super Stakes, nearly half of the Stakes Open finalists – nine of 21 – were Metallic Cat foals. Together they won $382,420 and, inside of the top-10 finishers, Metallic Cat offspring finished first, second, fourth, tied for fifth and tied for seventh. They won money across the spectrum of the Open, Non-Pro and Amateur. In the Classic division for 5- and 6-year-old horses, Metallic Rebel – who was bred by the Fultses and is owned by Thomas Guinn, won the Open Championship with Beau Galyean riding. Metallic Rebel is out of Sweet Abra, an Abracabracre daughter owned by Alvin and Becky.
“I can tell you, it was an exciting Super Stakes!” Alvin said with a smile. “We’ve been blessed with this wonderful sire, and it’s been a dream come true watching foals show and succeed. Metallic Cat’s genes were built for winning, and it looks like those genetics are carrying on into the next generation.”
On the pedigree, High Brow Cat proved to be the perfect match with Chers Shadow, a Peptoboonsmal mare whose offspring have won $639,000. Alvin and Becky purchased Metallic Cat as a 3-year-old in 2008 from professional cutting horse trainer Beau Galyean. One year prior, Galyean ran across a listing for the 2-year-old Metallic Cat on an Internet horse sale site and then put up his truck as collateral to get a bank loan big enough to buy the red roan cutting-bred horse.
That risk paid off – and then paid some more. At the 2008 NCHA Futurity, Metallic Cat and Galyean won the Open division and $250,000 prize check. That was the first of many victories for the pair, and a few years later Metallic Cat retired with $637,711 in lifetime winnings. These days, Metallic Cat is at the heart of the Fults’ breeding program, one that features AQHA’s top sire and two top dams of 2016 (Metallic Cat was the top sire; Sweet Abra was AQHA Dam of the Year, and My Little Abra finished second).
From January through April 2017, Metallic Cat’s foals won just shy of $3 million at major limited-age cutting events. And the season is still young! The Breeders Invitational is on tap for May, and then the busy lineup features the NCHA Summer Spectacular, several lucrative limited-age events and, of course, the NCHA Futurity – which happens to be the cutting industry’s richest event. In fact, Metallic Cat son Stevie Rey Von won the 2015 NCHA Futurity and $200,000 with Ed Dufferena riding.
“When Denver won the NCHA Futurity back in 2008, we didn’t think it could get any better,” Fults said. “But we were wrong. Watching his son win five years later was even sweeter. We were like proud grandparents! Again, it was just more than Becky and I could have dreamed. I can tell you, we’re looking forward to seeing what happens this year!”
Metallic Cat is the contemporary sire to watch, both in and outside of the cutting horse industry. As records are set in cutting pens, Metallic Cat’s offspring are making inroads in other arenas – especially the reined cow horse. At the recent National Reined Cow Horse Association Stallion Stakes, Metalic Dual and Todd Bergen finished reserve in the Open division. Another finalist in that division – Cats Picasso ridden by 2017 World Greatest Horseman champion John Swales – set an all-time show record by marking a sizzling 228 points in the preliminary cow work round. Also in the preliminaries, Metalic Dual and Bergen finished third in the reining standings.
“We’re very excited about how the Metallic Cat foals are branching into the other disciplines,” Alvin said. “There’s a lot of promise in the reined cow horse, plus we’re looking forward to seeing some of his babies in the reining. We’d love for him to make his mark across the Western performance spectrum, that’s for sure. Metallic Cat is such a smart and talented horse, plus he’s got such an amazing mind. And we’re seeing all of those traits in his foals – on a variety of mares.”
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