Superfly & Hayden Upton Lmtd. Open
Superfly and Hayden Upton scored 222 points on Wednesday to win the Lucas Oil NCHA Super Stakes Classic Limited Open. Five-year-old gelding Superfly LTE $21,901, by Smooth As A Cat, is owned by Brett and Shayle Johnson, Hico, Tex.
Six-year-old Wild Starz LTE $12,245, by Wilds My Thing, earned the reserve title with 216 points under Jose Cruz, for Nachos Quarter Horses LLC, Gainesville, Tex., while 5-year-old Creyzy Eights LTE $7,367, sired by Dual Rey and shown by Wes Ashlock, placed third with 215 points for John and Jana Thacker, Abilene, Tex.
Superfly is out of the Holidoc mare Lenas Horn LTE $72,390, who also produced Overdrive LTE $150,182 and Clearcut Cat LTE $103,408. He won the 2016 West Texas Futurity 4-Year-Old Open Limited with Upton, as well as the 2017 Cattlemen’s Derby 5/6 Limited Open, where Upton also earned reserve in the 4-Year-Old Limited Open aboard Doggin That Cow.
Upton grew up riding Australian Stock Horses in New South Wales, where he competed in camp drafting events. He moved to the U.S. in 2000 and after four years as an apprentice horse chiropractor in Northern California, he went into business for himself. In 2009, he acquired and trained Shez Cat Action, by High Brow Cat, and showed her successfully as a non-pro to win four championships and earn $41,965. Upton and his wife, Summa, now live in Weatherford, Tex.
Upton turned professional in 2011 and was reserve champion of the 2011 Pacific Coast Futurity Open on Cats Date. He also won the Limited Open on the WR This Cats Smart daughter, and claimed reserve with her in the West Texas Futurity Limited Open. It was Upton who initially trained High Brow Jackson LTE $245,346, who carried Monty Buntin as reserve champion of the 2012 NCHA Futurity Limited Open and Open Finalist, as well as the 2013 NCHA Super Stakes Limited Open champion.
“Hayden did most of the work on him,” said Buntin, who acquired High Brow Jackson two months before the NCHA Futurity. “Outstanding fundamentals. Hayden taught that horse to learn. He did a phenomenal job.”
Brett Johnson, who showed Superfly as reserve champion of the 2016 Cattlemen’s Derby Gelding Non-Pro division, also showed One More Time Darlin as a non-pro finalist in the 2013 NCHA Futurity and the 2014 NCHA Super Stakes.