Jason Reed clinches world championship
A National Cutting Horse Association world championship is coming home to South Dakota. Jason Reed, fourth-generation owner of the Reed Ranch on Brushie Creek near Faith, South Dakota, won the 2017 $50,000 Amateur class at the NCHA World Finals in Ft. Worth, Texas, aboard a new mount, Chita Cats Merada.
The NCHA World Finals Show was limited to the 15 top money-earners in each of the 12 classes through the 2017 season. During the regular season Reed showed approximately 185 times, earning money in 103 of those shows. Earnings of a little more than $65,000 gave him a comfortable lead going into the finals.
At finals, Reed placed second with a score of 218 the first day, and ninth with a score of 209 the second day. This garnered him the world champion title for the 2017 year and a third-place title for the world show.
At the beginning of this year Reed decided to set his sights on the NCHA championship in the $50,000 amateur class, which is limited to riders who have yet to earn a cumulative $50,000 in their lifetime. A big win in The Mane Event at South Point in Las Vegas in March and a first-place at June’s non-pro plus at the open in Oklahoma City set the stage for the new team to be competitive in the run for world title.
“In 2016 I had been showing a six-year-old gelding named Cat Pep. He is by Cats Merada and out of a Pepto Boonsmal mare,” Reed said. “I began the 2017 year by showing him in the southern Texas circuit. In April, I sold Cat Pep to a couple from North Dakota who now show him in the upper midwest.”
Reed made the transition to Chita Cats Merada, a nine-year-old mare with a little more than $20,000 in earnings at the beginning of 2017.
“A cutting horse trainer originally from Australia, Greg Jolly, encouraged me to purchase Chita Cats Merada to continue my quest for the $50AM Championship,” Reed said. “She had been ridden and trained by Kobie Wood and then been shown in limited age as a four- and five-year-old where her NCHA earnings were $20,222. Then she had been turned out for more than two years. Greg Jolly brought her back and tuned her up for me to show. With his help the mare continued to improve throughout the show circuit.”
Chita has not only earned enough to bump Reed out of the $50,000 amateur class, but also a stellar reputation.
“While hauling this mare throughout the country, she stayed calm, gentle and in excellent show condition. She is very easy to be around, and a fun mare to show,” Reed said. “We have accumulated earnings for her in excess of $89,000.00 dollars.”
“Jason bought this mare part way into the year, and they connected very well,” Jason’s wife Susie Reed said. “With Jason hauling her by himself, feeding her, being the one caring for her, they really bonded. She knickered when she heard his footsteps. I think that really helps with the communication. When they went into the showpen, she’d give him all she had.”
Cutting horses have been a pinnacle during Reed’s lifetime of ranching. The Reed Ranch is located 17 miles southwest of Faith and began as a post office and road house for the early freighting business. The post office was established at Brushie, South Dakota, in 1896 and operated until 1910.
J. B. Reed, Jason’s great-grandfather ran the post office and developed the small frontier town. Jason’s grandfather, Jim Reed operated a horse ranch breeding remount horses for the U.S. Calvary and later produced horses for a growing nation. In 1986, Jason purchased the base for his ranch from his parents, Jim and Peggy Reed. It has developed into a sizable working ranch producing feeder cattle and replacement heifers. The mare band is also an important part of the ranch today. Jason’s daughter and son-in-law began operating on the ranch in 2015 and currently manage the operation.
Reed began competing in the NCHA cuttings seven years ago. He started on a ranch-raised cutting horse and moved up through the beginner classes. Five years ago he started riding limited-age horses with Tracy Barton, a professional cutting-horse trainer from Pierre, South Dakota. Jason has competed twice at the national level at the Fort Worth Futurity making it to the semi-finals both times. Last year he placed fifth in the cutting division at the American Quarter Horse Association World Show and took grand champion at the American Paint Horse Association World Finals.
“Traveling from Queen Creek, Arizona, to Batesville, Mississippi, and from Pierre, South Dakota, to Gonzales, Texas, not only brought enough winnings to become a world champion, but it also provided an excellent opportunity to see more of our wonderful country and meet so many great people,” Reed said. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who had any part in helping to make this endeavor a reality.”
Jason received the world champion title at the NCHA awards banquet Dec. 2; he received a gold world champion buckle, a NCHA bronze trophy, a Roohide cutting saddle, a pair of Rio of Mercedes boots, use of a Platinum 3 horse trailer for a year, a Dennis Moreland bridle, and many other promotional awards.
Jason is unsure of Chita’s future for now, but knows she is destined—and talented enough—to continue showing, whether with him or someone else.
“I’m not real positive what we’re going to do, but a mare of her talent, she could be shown for several more years,” he said. “Ideally I’ll sell the mare to someone who can show her, and I can keep two embryos a year for the next three years. She’s good enough she needs to be showed. I’d like to do both if I can.”