True to form, High Brow Cat progeny dominated percentages in the 2015 NCHA World Championship Open Futurity field, with 58% of the 2012 foal crop entered.
“This percentage is a testament to the strength and maturity of High Brow Cat foals, as well as their trainability,” said owner Darren Blanton. “There is a natural sifting process as horses go through the rounds at the Futurity and the fact that 58 percent of his foal crop entered and 8.5 percent made it to the Finals is pretty remarkable.”
Blanton noted that the investment owners make in either breeding a mare or in purchasing a young horse is often significant.
“I remember Frank Merrill making a comment in a Western Horseman article a few years ago about how futurities are our way of gambling on the future, and it is a gamble,” said Blanton. “I’m happy that the gamble tends to pay off more often with High Brow Cat. What’s even more noteworthy is competitions like the NCHA Western Bloodstock Open Showdown have proven that High Brow Cat’s continue to be competitive as they grow older. Heck, even High Brow Cat at 27 is a testimony to the stamina of his genetics. He’s in great shape.”
High Brow Cat was the most represented sire in the Open Showdown, which has become a showcase for older cutting horses. This Cats Got Style, out of Moms Stylish Pepto by Peptoboonsmal, won the event, earning a paycheck of $75,000.
High Brow Cat percentages topped those of the next highest stallion and son, Smooth As Cat, with twice the percentage entering and 20 percent more than those of another son, Metallic Cat.
“I’ve said before it’s both an honor and a challenge when it’s High Brow Cat’s own sons bringing the breeding competition,” said Blanton, “but, to be honest, I think it’s just further proof of High Brow Cat’s influence on the sport.”
Blanton said that because breeding to High Brow Cat is only done through Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), mare owners should consider breeding to him earlier in the season.
“It’s actually very smart to do that,” he said. “The mare does not have to be in heat and can still be bred though other methods to other stallions later in the spring. Breeding early to High Brow Cat means those foals will be more mature physically and mentally, which is something they need to look for if they want to be competitive in the future.”