Full Stopp at the World Finals
Dont Stopp Believin, ridden by Phil Rapp. Hart Photography.
Friday, November 23
Phil Rapp and Dont Stopp Believin, marked 228 to win the first round of the Mercuria NCHA World Finals in Fort Worth’s Watt Arena Friday evening. James Payne on PG Heavily armed marked 227.5 as the last horse in the set for second.
The show has four working rounds plus a pencil finals, with the World Finals champion determined by total money won at the show. The year-end World Championship is based on World Finals money, plus money earned during the regular point year.
Dont Stopp Believin is a 7-year-old stallion bred by Waco Bend Ranch by Dual Rey out of Dont Look Twice, the mare that Rapp rode to be 2011 NCHA Horse of the Year, 2012 NCHA World Champion, and the richest mare in NCHA history with earnings of $824,546.
He came into the show ranked third in the World Standings with point-year earnings of $61,661.
Dont Stopp Believin is one of three horses that are competing in both the Open and the Non-Pro finals. All-time leading Non-Pro money earner Mary Ann Rapp is riding Dont Stopp Believin. Gavin Jordan is riding Michelle LeMaster’s Some Kinda Highbrow. Casey Crouch is riding Louis The Cat, which Tyler Delange is showing in the Non-Pro.
PG Heavily Armed, ridden by James Payne for Michael and Brenda Armstrong, marked 227.5 to move from 15th to 10th in the year-end race. PG Heavily Armed is by Playgun out of 1997 NCHA Horse of the Year Not Quite An Acre. Payne has previously won the NCHA Classic Challenge and the Brazos Bash Classic on him, earning more than $240,000.
Hashtags has an unbeatable lead for the Open World Championship, with $112,993 during the regular point year, plus his first round earnings of $3,621.
Tatum Rice rides the stallion for Hashtag Ventures. The horse was bred by Jim Haworth by Metallic Cat out of Dual Rey Tag, a daughter of NCHA Super Stakes champion Playin Tag. Haworth sold Hashtags for $81,000 at the 2014 Western Bloodstock NCHA Futurity Sales. The horse has already earned more than $450,000.