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Gathered by Glory Ann Kurtz
Dec. 8, 2018


Showing his versatility, Tommy Houston, current operator and manager of the Houston Ranch in Bluff Dale, Texas, , along with two other inductees, was recently inducted into the Tarleton State University Rodeo Hall of Fame. Most of the cutting horse world knew Houston as a cutting horse owner and rider.

According to a press release from Tarleton State University, on Nov. 3, during the Tarleton State University Rodeo Hall of Fame ninth annual steak dinner and auction, at the Twisted J in Stephenville, Texas, they inducted Houston, along with two other individuals: Bradley Harter, a saddle bronc rider and 10-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals rodeo and Kim Todd Hodge, a barrel racer, goat tyer, breakaway and team roper, who competed in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association, as well as high school rodeos and the NIRA. 

Houston accepted a rodeo scholarship at Texas Tech, but traveled with members of the Tarleton Rodeo team, including Tooter WaitesRandy MajorsCharles Bitters and Bobby Hungate. Taking honors such as the all-around hand at the West Texas State University rodeo in 1967 and twice winning the Texas Tech calf roping and the Tarleton Rodeo calf roping in 1967, he was no stranger to the winner’s circle. He went on to win the American Quarter Horse Association’s World Calf Roping Title in 1981.


The first major Western horse event to be over by today’s date is the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity held in Oklahoma City, Nov. 19-Dec. 1.  The 2018 NRHA Open Futurity paid out the second largest purse in the event’s history, with nearly $1.5 million awarded. Additionally, there was an 8 percent increase in horses entered (399) and a 14 percent increase in total entries (1,124).

The Open Champion of a 70-horse field across four levels, taking home a $142,500 for his owner and $7,500 for his nominator, Karl Hapcic, was A Vintage Smoke, sired by an NRHA Million-dollar Sire, A Sparkling Vintage, out of Lady Smoke Peppy, owned by Diane Mesmer and ridden by NRHA Million Dollar Rider Jason Vanlandingham. 

The Reserve title went to Isnt She Perfect ridden by Kole Price.  She is sired by NRHA Two-Million-Dollar sire Walla Walla Whiz out of Miss Silver Gun and is owned by Amy Meadows. The mare was nominated by Tamarack Ranch LLC. The owner’s share of the purse was $130,352 and the nominator’s share was $6,518.

The NRHA Non-Pro Futurity included historic numbers with entries being up 8 percent , hosting 629 entries compared to last year’s 582, and a record purse of $617,166.  Also, the purse for each level was at a record high.

The winning  Non-Pro title went to Tish Fappani following a three-way runoff for the Championship. Fappani was aboard Icecube, a red dun stallion by SG Frozen Enterprize and out of Taris Designer Genes, nominated by Andrea Fappani and owned by Andrea and Tish Fappani. 


Following a stellar Session I Day Sale on Wednesday, Dec. 5, Western Bloodstock continued its upswing in the Preferred Breeders I Evening Session with a $30,000 average and 82% completed sales.

High Brow CD, the 2007 NCHA Futurity Open champion and a leading sire of the earners of $8.6 million, was the high seller of the evening. The 14-year-old son of High Brow Cat, consigned by Grace Ranch, brought $401,000 from Robert S. Collins/Homeplace Horse & Cattle, Blackville, S.C.

Magic Metallic, an 8-year-old Metallic Cat daughter, with an embryo by Hottish, brought the second highest price of the evening. Consigned by Waco Bend Ranch, Ltd., the full sister to 2017 NCHA Open Horse of the Year and World Champion Stallion Metallic Rebel LTE $438,266 sold to Stella Swanson, Midland, Tex., for $370,000. On Monday, in the NCHA Futurity 2-Year-Old Sale, Swanson purchased the Metallic Cat son Tin Man for $500,000.

Money Talks Smart, a 16-year-old mare sired by Smart Mate and consigned by Beechfork Ranch, sold for $100,000 to Rocking P Ranch, Fort Worth, Tex., owner of leading sires Metallic Cat and Spots Hot. Money Talks Smart, dam of the earners of $557,103, sold with an embryo by Metallic Rebel and one by Purdy Boy Flash.


If you are at any of the above-mentioned high-dollar events for cowboys and cowgirls, you will surely see Bill Chambers, a published author of a variety of books that he sells at major horse events. Chambers, who grew up with Cerebral Palsy, a debilitating physical disease he was born with and that severely affects his body movements, as well as speaking – but not his mind and ability to write interesting books. 

Rather than simply accepting government assistance, Bill is the author of at least 10 books that he physically markets at major horse events. His latest is called Seven Hill Sides and was inspired by a song written his friend Walt Wilkins. I think it is his best! 

The 158-page easy-to-read book is about the life of a man, born in an Appalachian mining town, who escaped being a miner, becomes a famous baseball player and marries a beautiful woman. But he loses his only child before it is born. He eventually finds God and becomes a carrier of the gospel. The book takes place during real major events in American history and includes a list of interesting characters who experienced both life and death during those times and reveals what they learned along the way. 

If you haven’t seen Bill at one of the shows, you can order books at P.O. Box 1338, Boyd, Texas 76023. They make great Christmas presents!

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