December 17, 2010
Do you know one of the great producers?
Can you name the mare who produced seven champion or reserve champions in either the open or non-pro at the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity, Derby, Super Stakes or World championships?
There are a lot of good ones out there to pick from: Royal Blue Boon, Jazzabelle Quixote, Lynx Melody – all great mares.
But if you come up with a sorrel mare born in 1954 named Chickasha Ann, then you get the gold star for knowing your cutting horse history.
Of course, you won’t be surprised that Buster Welch was tied in with one of the great cutting producers of all time. Buster established the Chickasha line of horses when he bought Chickasha Ann’s sire, Chickasha Mike, as an unbroken 6-year-old for $125 from rancher Homer Ingham.
“I noticed all those ‘Mike’ foals had lots of cow, and asked Homer if I could buy one,” Buster said in an article in the December 1992 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal. “He surprised me by saying, ‘I’ll sell you Mike for what I have in him.’ ”
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Less than a year later, Buster took Mike to the New Mexico State Fair and won the cutting and the western riding classes on the streak-faced stallion.
At the time, Buster partnered with Allen Cowden of Midland, Texas, to breed some mares in exchange for some of the foals. One of the Cowden mares, Maggie Cowden, foaled Chickasha Ann in 1954. Buster kept “Ann” from his partnership, but he never trained her to cut. Instead, he bred her to King Glo, and he took her first daughter, aptly named Chickasha Glo, to his second-straight Futurity title in 1963.
Later in 1963, Buster sold Chickasha Ann and her yearling colt by King Glo, Chickasha Dan, to Allen Hamilton, an optometrist from Big Spring, Texas. Allen wanted to learn how to cut, so Buster helped him learn on Chickasha Dan. Allen must have been a fast learner, because by 1965, he became the first amateur to win the NCHA Futurity. Then Allen turned to another Chickasha Ann daughter, Annie Glo, as his primary cutter and sold Chickasha Dan to Marvin and Casey Cantrell, who along with Jimmy Bush, rode Chickasha Dan to the 1968 NCHA world championship, making him the first horse to win the world title and the Futurity.
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While Chickasha Mike established a line of great champions, Chickasha Ann stood out. She produced 11 foals, with two NCHA Futurity champions and six Futurity finalists, along with the titles and the Derby and world championships.
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“They all had lots of grit and were pretty agile,” Buster said about the Chickasha Mike horses. “You think about it, that Chickasha Mike was sure a strong breeding horse.”
And Chickasha Ann might have been the best.
Chickasha Glo: 1963 NCHA Futurity.
Chickasha Dan: 1965 NCHA Futurity champion and 1968 NCHA World Champion.
Chickasha Gay: 1971 NCHA Futurity non-pro reserve champion.
Chickasha Anita: 1974 NCHA Futurity reserve non-pro champion and 1975 NCHA Derby reserve non-pro champion.
Chickasha Ann Doc: 1977 NCHA Futurity non-pro co-champion