Tatum Rice is walking in the boot steps of his famous cutting horse family members.
His father, Boyd Rice, won the open title at the National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes in 2009 aboard Third Cutting. His cousin Tag Rice won the NCHA’s Triple Crown in 2003 atop Chiquita Pistol.
On Saturday night, it was Tatum Rice’s turn. When the title was on the line at the Super Stakes, Rice, 31, who is from Weatherford, clinched it aboard a stallion named Hashtags after turning in a score of 220 at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
The victory earned the stallion’s owner, Jose Raul Garcia of Caracas, Venezuela, the $74,095 first-place prize.
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The Super Stakes is the middle jewel of the sport’s Triple Crown Series. The other two jewels are the December Futurity and the August Summer Spectacular. All three shows are in Fort Worth.
You never know when it’s going to be your night and when it’s not.
Tatum Rice after his first major title in Fort Worth
The Super Stakes title was Rice’s first win at a Triple Crown show.
“I was always hoping to and planning to [win a major title in Fort Worth],” Rice said. “But there are a lot of people who win a lot of stuff, but they never win anything here. You never know when it’s going to be your night and when it’s not.”
James Payne and Hot Revolver led the first bunch in Saturday’s open finals with a 219. During the second bunch, Tatum Rice and Hashtags, the second duo to compete in the group, took the lead with the 220.
Clay Johnson, the 2012 Super Stakes open division champion rider who was two slots after Rice, turned in a 219.5 on Melting Snow. Johnson finished as reserve champion and Payne came in third.
Rice praised Hashtags for his stellar performance.
“He’s just smart and quick and strong,” Rice said. ‘The cows were not that great and he was just very smart on them. He was not missing them. He just had a smart way about him that he’s had the past two years.”
In the non-pro division, Lindy Ashlock of Abilene and In Reyverse cliniched the title with a 222, 1.5 points ahead of reserve champion Brandon Westfall and Laguna Girl. Ashlock earned $39,982.
Mary Ann Rapp, a Weatherford cowgirl, finished third with a 219 aboard Molokai. She earned $32,358.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new arena that will host the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo starting in 2020 is scheduled at 11 a.m. Tuesday. The ceremony, called “Let the Dirt Fly,” is at the intersection of Harley Avenue and Gendy Street. The event is open to the public.
“Our new arena is going to set the standard for generations,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said. “It will host wonderful events and be a gathering place for our community. I hope our citizens join us on what will be a terrific day for all of us.”
College rodeo update
The Tarleton State men’s team will enter the school’s 52nd annual rodeo with the regional team title and a College National Finals Rodeo berth (June 11-17 in Casper, Wyo.) sewn up.
Tarleton is ranked No. 1 in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southwest Region title race with 4,212.33 points. Western Texas is No. 2 with 3,002.5. The Tarleton Rodeo, which is the 10th regional show of the 2016-17 regular season, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at Lone Star Arena in Stephenville.