Sir Long Legs, owned by Lew Hall, Lakeland, Fla, and Austin Shepard pulled out all the stops for a rousing 229-point eleventh hour win, on Sunday, August 6, in the 2017 NCHA Open Derby Finals. Metallic Smart Cat, owned by Cynthia Villa, Chico, Calif., and ridden by Matt Miller, scored 224 points for the reserve championship. While Pharoah And James, with Clint Allen for David and Stacie McDavid, Forth Worth, Tex., and Hashtags, shown by Tatum Rice for Hashtags Ventures, Weatherford, Tex., tied with 223 points to split third and fourth places.
Altogether from a field of 21 finalists, a record eight horses scored 220.5 points or higher.
Shepard and Sir Long Legs, by Highbrow Cat, drew last in the two-set, 21-horse field, which had already seen seven horses score 220.5 points and higher. But Shepard, who had scored 218 points on Tap This early in the first set, took no prisoners. Sir Long Legs’ score of 229 points stands as a new record for the NCHA Derby Open Finals.
Sir Long Legs, reserve champion of the 2016 NCHA Futurity under Shepard, is the current leader among NCHA 4-year-old money earners with $255,544. Lew Hall purchased the colt as a yearling, from his breeder, Cannon Quarter Horses, for $90,000 at Western Bloodstock’s 2014 NCHA Futurity Sales. Sir Long Legs is out of Lil Lena Long Legs LTE $189,672, by Smart Little Lena, and a full brother to Cat Belue LTE $189,189, as well as half-brother to Two Time Dual LTE $123,189.
Austin Shepard is an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider and earner of $6.9 million.