Written by Ted Stovin
CALGARY, Alberta – Showed by Keith Stewart (High River, AB) and owned by Ruth DeGama (Okotoks, AB), Shesa Hot LZ split the Round 1 win in the Open Futurity at the Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity presented by Wrangler.
‘LZ’ stands for Landing Zone for the horse that scored a 219 to earn $1,997.84 on Wednesday afternoon at the Agrium Western Event Centre at Stampede Park.
“The breeder of that horse was a Vietnam Vet, so that had a lot of meaning to him,” said Keith Stewart of the ‘LZ’. “He was a tail gunner in a chopper in Vietnam so he saw plenty of hot landing zones.”
“She’s a Bet Hesa Cat, out of a mare named Kuzma,” Stewart recalled of the parentage of Shesa Hot LZ. “Kuzma is a Peptoboonsmal out of a mare named Bueno Chex dually. She’s like royally bred top and bottom.”
Wednesday’s first go in both the Open Derby and Open Futurity saw 120 cuts unfold.
“The cattle have been really tough today,” Stewart said. “I think that had a lot to do with the weather changing. They were pretty hard reading and some were real sticky. Despite the challenging herd, Shesa Hot LZ worked well for Stewart in Round 1.
“That mare has been going really good this fall and I just wanted to show her clean and show her to her potential so we cut some good cows, we held them all in the middle of the pen and we were just tickled with her.”
Shesa Hot LZ was also up against another challenge on the first day of competition; her own health. “She was a little sick this morning,” Stewart said. “We were looking after that a little bit. She’s in town and this is kind of a big day but she came through.
“You don’t really know what’s triggering the way they are feeling but she just seemed a little bit off. The last few days in the practice pen she had been really good. I was confident in the horse as long as I could cut my cows clean.”
For those not familiar with the sport, more points are awarded for a clean cut from the herd rather than chasing the animal around.
“You’re rewarded for that,” Stewart said, going on to explain further in rodeo terms. “It’s like when you spur a saddle bronc out or a bareback, if you get a good spur out, generally you can start a good ride but if you get one missed out you’re coming from behind.
“If you can cut them right in the middle of the pen, then everything starts from a good spot.”
At three-years-old, Shesa Hot LZ is a product of the United States, now residing in Southern Alberta.
“I made a friend in (Nye) Montana, a nice fella named John Bostedt,” owner Ruth DeGama said. “He raised this horse. He’s been raising cutting horses for 40 years and looking for the perfect combination of sire and dam. He’s been trying to get it right for a lot of years and he’s been getting a little closer every trip.”
The journey of the horse becoming an Albertan almost didn’t happen.
“John was kind enough to sell this horse to me, but only because he knew who Keith was,” DeGama said. “He wasn’t selling that horse to me for any reason. He was selling that horse because he found out through the grapevine of rodeo and cowboy cutting people that Keith was a horseman and true friend of the horse.
“So he said he would sell me that horse as long as he knew that’s where she was going. But when we stepped her off that trailer about 18 months ago, she wasn’t even halter broke yet.”
Nerves set in at the start.
“We weren’t really sure what was going to happen there,” DeGama said. “I took a little deep breath, John handed us the lead shank and said: ‘Go show this horse and make me proud.’”
Wednesday is one of those first proud moments.
“Keith has done all of that,” DeGama said. “John did a nice job of finding good breeding and Keith did an amazing job of raising this little horse up and teaching her everything she knows from halter breaking her.
“She’s turned out to be a sweet little thing and we’re having fun,” DeGama concluded.
Official results from Day 1 of the 2017 Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity presented by Wrangler at the Agrium Western Event Centre on October 11th, 2017.
Open Futurity – First Go: (Horse/Rider – City, State/Owner – City, State/Score/Money Earned)
- Shesa Hot LZ/Keith Stewart – High River, AB/Ruth DeGama – Okotoks, AB/219/$1,997.84
- Yu Hottish/Travis Rempel- Fort Langley, BC/Dave & Barb Eccott- Princeton, BC/219/$1997.84
- Cats Special Pistol/Travis Rempel – Fort Langley, BC/Ron/FranBird/Kornfield – Claresholm, AB/218/$998.92
- Patty La Rey/Josh Sleeman – Yelm, WA/Roxy Kinnaman – Olympia, WA/217
- Drive A Cat/Deihl Hiner – Walla Walla, WA/Gene & Nicki Hiner – Walla Walla, WA/216.5
Open Derby – First Go: (Horse/Rider – City, State/Owner – City, State/Score/Money Earned)
- Chocolate Kat/Josh Sleeman – Rainer, WA/Josh & Jennifer Sleeman – Yelm, WA/218/$1,107.88
- Lois Lain/Travis Rempel – Fort Langley, BC/James Mann – Abbotsford, BC/218/$1,107.88
- PYT/Andrew Coates – Esparto, CA/Southern Cross Ranch Inc. – Esparto, CA/217.5/$553.94
- Downtown Calico – Brad Pederson – Lacombe, AB/Ron Mathison – Calgary, AB/217
- Ironman’s Cat – Dustin Gonnet – Cayley, AB/Hollingsworth Farms – Valleyview, AB/217
The Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity presented by Wrangler continues from October 12 to 15 at the Agrium Western Event Centre at Stampede Park.
Up on Thursday are the second go for the Open Futurity Round 1 of the Open Classic/Challenge and Round 1 of the Non-Pro Futurity.
Events run daily starting at 8 a.m. MST running until 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.