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Hashtags captures world title

By Brett Hoffman | Published Wednesday, December 5, 2018
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Hashtags, a blue roan stallion, became a big hit last year on the National Cutting Horse Association’s aged event circuit, which features horses ages three through six.

Hashtags grabbed attention when he and rider Tatum Rice, who lives in Weatherford, won the NCHA Super Stakes open division title in April 2017.

This year, Hashtags has won big on another important NCHA circuit. The stallion was crowned as the NCHA’s 2018 open division world champion horse on Saturday at Fort Worth’s W.R. Watt Arena after competing in the NCHA World Finals.

Rice and Hashtags clinched the world title after earning $134,960 throughout 2018. Hashtags earned $21,967 after competing in four World Finals performances. Dont Stopp Believin and rider Phil Rapp of Weatherford finished second in the open division world race with $81,214 after earning $19,553 at the World Finals.

In the non-pro division, Elizabeth Quirk, who rode a horse named Cat Sheree during the finals, clinched the world title after earning $100,551 throughout 2018.

Hashtags competed in the open division, which mostly is comprised of pro riders. Rice said Hashtags consistently wins because he’s athletic and determined.

“He’s just so strong and so cowy and tries so hard every single time,” Rice said. “He’s got a lot of endurance and he’s extremely athletic.”

The World Finals was held in conjunction with the NCHA Futurity, which is the sport’s most prestigious show, at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. The aged event features the sport’s most promising 3-year-old horses.

Rice also is faring well at the Futurity. He and a filly named Crey Zee advanced to Saturday’s open division semifinal with a two-ride score of 439.0. It was the second highest aggregate score from the first two rounds.

A field of 65 horses with two-ride scores of at least 432.5 advanced to the semifinal.

A stallion named Fracker Brown, which was ridden by Christian Johnsrud, advanced to the semifinal with a two-ride score of 440, which was the highest aggregate score of all semifinal qualifiers.

During both the open semifinal and the Sunday’s final, no previous scores will count.

NATIONAL FINALS SCHEDULED

The 60th annual National Finals Rodeo begins Thursday and runs through Dec. 15, at Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center. The $10 million Wrangler NFR will help determine the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association 2018 world champions. Defending world all-around champion Tuf Cooper, of Decatur, is ranked No.1 in the 2018 world all-around title race with $239,857. Brazile, a 23-time world champion from Decatur, is second with $234,154. Both Cooper and Brazile have qualified for the WNFR in tie-down roping.

PBR’S MARCHI

On the PBR circuit, 2008 world champion Guilherme Marchi, a Brazilian who lives in the Decatur area, is retiring after winning the 2018 PBR Brazil Monster Energy Tour event in Goiania, Brazil, Saturday night, according to pbr.com. The 36-year-old cowboy stayed on all three bulls he faced in Goiania and turned in a commendable score of 87 during the final round.

Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has reported on rodeos and horse shows for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than three decades.

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