Center Stage: Fiddle And Steel & Westfall Win Again at Will Rogers

Fiddle And Steel must really like Will Rogers Coliseum.

The red roan stallion and Brandon Westfall returned to the scene of their biggest triumph to win the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes 4-Year-Old Non-Pro. The winning 225.5-point run on Friday, April 16, in Fort Worth came just four months after they won the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro title in December 2020 with a crowd-rousing 227.

“We had a really deep draw in the finals but there were a few cows we really liked,” said Westfall, of Granbury, Texas. “The first cow started good so we built from there. ‘Fiddle’ felt good, really dialed in.”

The red roan stallion by Equi-Stat Elite $41 Million Sire Metallic Cat was bred, raised and trained by Westfall’s parents, Russ and Janet. The family also bred and showed “Fiddle’s” dam, Lil Bit Reckless, a daughter of CD Royal who has an Equi-Stat record of $230,923 in the cutting pen, and as a broodmare has foaled the earners of nearly $300,000. With more than $126,893 in earnings, Fiddle And Steel is her leading performer.

 “It’s really neat. I showed the mare when she was older, and I was little. My parents did well on her and she’s gone on to be a good broodmare,” Westfall said. 

“Fiddle is as smart as his mom and has been a little easier to train. She was a pretty good size, but he is so strong and so athletic that it’s easy for him. Sometimes, it can feel like we’re in a bind. I’ll think I over-sent him right there and that he is fixin’ to miss this cow, but he’s like ‘I got it.’

“He won’t miss it.’”

estfall plans on attending the Breeders Invitational in May and plans to stay home until the NCHA Summer Spectacular in July. The 20-year-old rider gave a shout out to his turnback help during the show, which included his dad, Clint Allen, Boyd Rice, Morgan Cromer, Casey Green and Tatum Rice. 

“Winning this has dang sure one of the accomplishments I hadn’t won yet so it feels good to win that too,” he said. “I also want to thank my parents first and foremost and my friends for always having my back.”

Erin Taormino & Hazardouz Material Win NRCHA Stallion Stakes

The show career of Hazardouz Material has been one of near-misses, but on Saturday, April 3, the stallion put it all together for trainer Erin Taormino in the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Stallion Stakes.

The son of Equi-Stat Elite $40 Million Sire Metallic Cat won the Open and a $43,786 first place paycheck while taking down the biggest event of his life. He and Taormino scored a 218.5 in the herd, 224 in the rein work and 224 down the fence for a 666.5 composite, edging out Reserve Champions Saddling At Sunrise (WR This Cats Smart x Sunshine Ingredient x Mr Sun O Lena)

“He couldn’t have been more on-point last night, I was so proud of him,” Taormino said. 

Bred by Taylor Carbo, the 5-year-old stallion owned by Linda Mars now has lifetime earnings of more than $92,000.  

“I’ve always known the talent was there but we [haven’t gotten it done.] At the [NRCHA Snaffle Bit] Futurity, the judges got him for a break of gait in the reining,” Taormino said. “The [NRCHA] Derby last year, he tripped down the fence. So, we’ve had a little bit of hard luck along the way. 

“Every show I’ve gotten more confidence on him and he’s one that I know, if I just let him do it, he’s going to do his job.”

Harardouz Material, known as “Skeeter,” is out of successful broodmare Scooters Daisy Dukes, a daughter of Dual Smart Rey who has now produced more than $370,000 in cutting and reined cow horses. She also is the mother of 2021 NRCHA Stallion Stakes Non-Pro Champion A Gritty Kitty (by Chiquita Cat), and two-time NRCHA Stallion Stakes Open Champion Scooters Kat.

“Skeeter’s a really easy, good horse to be around. Westley rides with me on him and he’s just a good guy. Good minded, gentle and very serious all the time,” Taormino said. “He has never ever let me down. He is always trying, he’s always been a really great horse.”

Not one to let Skeeter have the spotlight, Taormino’s 3-year-old son Westley became the adorable center of attention during Saturday night’s awards ceremony as he hustled across the sandy arena to sit in front of Taormino in the saddle. He grappled for the microphone with his mother was interviewed about her victory by Russell Dilday. 

“It’s a big honor to be able to compete and show against the quality of horses and riders that are out there. It’s no easy feat for anybody,” Taormino added humbly.