When Sean Flynn made an attention-grabbing 2 1/2-minute run at the National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes aboard Buzzted, it was as if the Weatherford cowboy had picked up where he left off.
The last time Flynn competed at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum on the gelding Buzzted was in early August when the duo won the 2013 NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby open division title.
Flynn and Buzzted clinched the title after turning in a final-round score of 225. At the time, Buzzted was owned by Tim May of Saltillo, Miss.
But about a month after winning the third jewel of the sport’s Triple Crown Series, Buzzted was sold to the Denham, La.-based Ten/27 Ranch, which now owns the 5-year-old, second-year competitor. The gelding is under the supervision of trainer/rider Austin Shepard, who asked Flynn to ride Buzzted at the 2014 Super Stakes.
Flynn began riding Buzzted again a month ago to prepare for the Super Stakes, a 24-day, $2.9 million show that began Thursday and runs through April 15. While competing in the Super Stakes’ Classic/Challenge open division first round on Thursday, Flynn and Buzzted turned in an impressive prelim-round score of 218.5.
The first round concluded Friday night and the second round is scheduled for Saturday. Flynn and Buzzted easily advanced to the second round with the 218.5. While competing in Round 2, they will attempt to turn in a notable two-run aggregate score and move onto Monday’s semifinal round. The finals are scheduled for Friday.
Flynn said he was happy to be reunited with Buzzted.
“It’s like you never left the place,” Flynn said. “Obviously from training this horse and knowing him so well, there were no adjustments whatsoever. I’ve shown some horses for Austin before and got along really well. It all falls into place pretty quick.”
Flynn said Buzzted is very athletic and compelling to watch.
“He’s got a lot of eye appeal and he stops real pretty and hard,” Flynn said. “He’s quick with his front end and moves real good. He’s got a good look to him.”
Flynn said Buzzted performs well during tougher situations. When they made their first-round run on Thursday, the cattle were tougher and competitors had to work harder to earn a good score.
“The cattle have been pretty tough, and he’s a horse that handles all situations as well as you could hope any horse could,” Flynn said. “Those cows were pretty tricky and they get close to your horse, and they’re pretty fast. The order of the day was to be clean and accurate and not make any mistakes.”
Flynn, 46, is a native of Australia and learned to ride cutting horses competitively Down Under. He moved to the United States 14 years ago and has competed in limited aged events since 2000.
At this time two years ago Flynn won the Super Stakes Classic/Challenge open division title aboard a stallion named Cat Man Blue in Fort Worth. The Classic/Challenge is for 5-and 6–year-old horses who are second- and third-year competitors.
Fifteen months later, he won the Summer Spectacular Derby title aboard Buzzted. The Derby featured 4-year-old horses who are first-year competitors.
Flynn said Buzzted fares well at the bigger NCHA shows because he’s both intelligent and athletic.
“He’s fast and he’s real cow smart,” Flynn said. “He’s an impressive horse to watch and an impressive horse to ride.”