Higher scores, the type that fans want to witness during a closing performance at a Triple Crown show, were sparse during the National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes 4-year-old open division final.
Only two horses turned in scores in the 220s. The others trudged.
But the winning score was one that commanded respect. Former world champion Kobie Wood of Stephenville and a stallion named Cool N Hot clinched the title with a 227 as the Super Stakes concluded its 25-day run Sunday night at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
After holding three cows at bay during a textbook run near the end of the first bunch of cattle that were worked during the finale, Wood praised Cool N Hot for his athleticism.
“He’s kind of like LeBron James—he can do just about anything,” said Wood as he compared Cool N Hot to the NBA superstar. s
Wood said Cool N Hot is very versatile, especially for a first-year competitor.
“He can go slow, or he can go fast or he can go hard,” Wood said. “He’s mature to be a rock solid horse. That’s hard to get across on a 4-year-old.”
Cool N Hot is owned by Wood’s wife, Paula, who also is a former world champion rider. After clinching the title, the Wood family, which raised Cool N Hot, pocketed $69,076.
Kobie Wood and Cool N Hot clinched the title convincingly with the 227. Fort Worth rider Beau Galyean and a stallion named Rollz Royce finished as the reserve champion with a 222.5.
In the non-pro finals, two Parker County competitors tied for first with 222s. They were Chad Bushaw of Weatherford aboard Bittersweet and Megan Miller of Poolville who rode Carolena Reyn.
The Super Stakes 4-year-old open division was the middle jewel of the NCHA’s 2017-2018 Triple Crown Series. The other two jewels are the December Futurity and the August Summer Spectacular. All three jewels are in Fort Worth.
During Wood’s explosive 2 ½-minute final round run, the veteran rider spent most of the allotted time working the first two cows.
“I haven’t cut any cows that were any better in this pen,” Wood said of Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. “They had enough stop, look, ability, honor and drive to where I could get where I needed to be to pull off a run like that.”
College rodeo update
On the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association circuit, Tarleton State’s men’s team clinched the Southwest Region men’s 2017-2018 team title after competing in the TSU Rodeo last weekend in Stephenville.
The top two teams in each region within the NIRA advance to the June 10-16 College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. Odessa College finished second in the men’s team title race in the Southwest Region, which is a college rodeo super conference.
In the region’s women’s team title race, Tech Tech finished No. 1 and South Plains came in No. 2.
Weatherford College’s Johnny Emmons received the region’s Coach of the Year award.
The Tarleton Rodeo was the last of 10 regional regular season shows of the 2017-2018 regular season.