In the world of thoroughbred horse racing, the Triple Crown Series is completed within a five-week span.
It begins with the Kentucky Derby. Fourteen days later, there's the Preakness Stakes. Then, the Belmont Stakes comes after 21 days.
But in the National Cutting Horse Association, there's a seven-month gap between the sport's first and third jewels. The Futurity, which is the first jewel, is in December. The Super Stakes runs in April and the Summer Spectacular Derby campaign is in July. All three competitions are in Fort Worth, and the show that features jewel No. 3 begins at 8 a.m. today at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
The 2011 Summer Spectacular kicks off with the 5- and 6-year-old open division first round. It concludes on July 30 with the 4-year-old open finals, which is the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
A stallion named One Time Royalty and rider Lloyd Cox won the $250,000 December Futurity. A mare named Olenasfeatherdually and Darren Simpkins finished No. 1 at the $100,000 April Super Stakes.
Like the Futurity and the Super Stakes, the Summer Spectacular will feature non-pro and amateur competition. But one factor that sets the show apart is organizers also feature a youth competition for riders ages 18 and under. The preliminaries are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at the W.R. Watt Arena. The finals begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
For more information, call 817-244-6188 or visit www.nchacutting.com.
An unforgettable week
Last week was very memorable for veteran team roper Martin Lucero.
It began on July 5, when his wife, Jodee, gave birth to their second daughter, Marlee Grae, at a Fort Worth hospital. It ended on Saturday when he and his team roping partner, Luke Brown, won the $3,678 team roping title at the Dinosaur Roundup in Vernal, Utah, according to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
The win helped Lucero, a Stephenville cowboy, move up one place to 13th in the weekly posted PRCA heeling world standings with regular season earnings of $34,857. Brown, who also lives in Stephenville, is ranked 13th in the heading title race with $34,857.
Last year, Brown and Lucero won the average at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, meaning they finished with the best aggregate time after making 10 runs.
A great honor
Longtime trick rider/roper J.W. Stoker of Weatherford will be inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy on Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Other members of the 2011 class are the Deadwood (S.D.) Days of '76 rodeo committee, the late three-time world champion cowboy Burel Mulkey, two-time world champion bareback rider Lan LaJeunesse, PRCA board chairman and longtime San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo chief executive officer Keith Martin and the late three-time PRCA Bucking Horse of the Year War Paint.