March 22, 2010
At the 1998 NCHA World Finals, Lindy Burch and Bet Yer Blue Boons marked a record score that still stands today.
By Honi Roberts in The American Quarter Horse Journal
This is the last of a two-part story. Need to review Part 1?
Lindy Burch and her mare, Bet Yer Blue Boons, were on their way, and Houston was their favorite destination.
“In Houston, the stands are always full, and when the crowd is on its feet, cheering, it’s deafening,” she said, “and a lot of fun!”
At the 1998 National Cutting Horse Association World Finals, Lindy watched from the stands as the cattle were moved into the arena. They were traditionally brought in two hours early to pre-settle, which gave everyone time to make notes on the herd. Lindy’s draw was about eighth, so she had time to sit in the stands and watch the first to cut with her turnback team, Phil Rapp and Craig Morris.
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“It’s definitely a team effort, and I had great help that night,” she said. “We picked the cows we wanted and unbelievably, nobody cut them. It was just one of those deals when everything works.”
Then, it was time for Lindy and “Bet” to get to work.
“The first two cows were busy, with lots of action,” she recalled. “When we quit the second cow, I felt like we had it won at that point. Then the third cow – a gray – was strong, but Bet was really strong, too. And she was smooth, like butter.
“I knew we had a high score, but when I looked up and saw the mark – 233 – I was ecstatic,” Lindy remembered. “Phil hugged me and said it was the best he’d ever seen. If there was anyone happier than I was, it was Phil Rapp! You don’t win alone. I get teary-eyed when I’m turning back for someone’s great ride. It’s always a team effort.”
The score was an all-time NCHA record, and it stands today. In addition to the win that night, Lindy and Bet Yer Blue Boons also won the other three nights, and the NCHA World Finals that year. In 2000, they won both the finals and the NCHA World Championship. The latter is especially sweet, as Lindy is the only woman in the history of the sport to take home the open world championship trophy.
Before they were done, Lindy and her mare would also mark a 231, the second highest all-time NCHA score (in a three-way tie). Bet retired in 2001 with more than $330,000 in earnings.
“Like other great horses, Bet always rose to the occasion,” Lindy said. “She loved to compete. The lights. The crowd. The tension in the air. She’d pick up on it and just seemed to say, ‘Lets go!’
“Bet was as sharp at 11 years when I retired her as she was at 6,” Lindy stated. “And she’s in wonderful shape today, probably for the same reason that she had such longevity in the show pen: I never worked her! I never had practice runs on her. She knew her job – period. There was no point in schooling.”
Retirement at Oxbow Ranch has been good to the supertalented mare. She’s in excellent health, and in 2010, she will debut as a Breyer horse model. Her five performing foals produced through embryo transfer have earned nearly $300,000 thus far.
“Austin Shepard has a 3-year-old out of Bet by High Brow Cat that is so spectacular,” Lindy said. “And I have a 4-year-old full sister called Bet Shes A Cat that I’ll show next year.”
When Bet Yer Blue Boons was inducted into the NCHA Hall of Fame, she was honored at the Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas. Lindy ponied the mare into the Will Rogers Coliseum from the mare’s daughter Bet Yer Boons, a competitor at the event.
“Bet stepped into the arena and started to strut!” Lindy recalled. “She is just so fabulous. She remembered – she felt the excitement. She still told me, ‘Lets go!’”
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