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THE SECRET’S OUT – HUSHH MONEY AND CHARTIER RIDE TO NCHA SUPER STAKES 4-YEAR-OLD OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

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When Hushh Money and Cullen Chartier marked a 226 from the fifth draw in the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) NRR Cat King Cole Super Stakes 4-Year-Old Open finals, held March 31, Chartier wasn’t sure what to expect. There were still 18 horses left to work, including the top three from the semifinals round — Nineteen 42, Baylenciaga and Kittennish. By the end, though, none could touch Hushh Money’s score, and the mare and Chartier were crowned the Champions.

“It was a lot of hours, hard work, sweat and tears — it was a long journey, but that’s why we do it, for that moment and that feeling,” Chartier said. “I’ve had a little trouble at a couple shows getting her shown, and I just wanted to be aggressive and drive up, really start my run with a bang.”

Chartier and the mare first cut a cow that immediately took hold of the horse. Throughout their time working it, he said Hushh Money never missed a beat.

After quitting that one, Chartier went searching for a red cow he had noticed while watching cattle, but a different one chipped itself off the edge of the herd. Knowing there was a lot on the line, Chartier figured he’d go with it and see what happened.

“She was really tough, and I worked her for a long time,” Chartier said of his second cow. “For a couple seconds, I didn’t think she was ever going to turn away, but she finally did. That’s when I went in and cut the red cow I wanted to cut second — I cut her third, drove way up there, and she was the perfect cow to finish on.”

As Hushh Money finished off her run, the crowd’s cheers and whistles got so loud that Chartier had to keep checking the timer to make sure he didn’t miss the buzzer. He thanked one of his herd holders, Clay Johnson, for helping to calm his nerves so he could be cool and collected throughout such an energetic run.

Chartier plans to keep showing Hushh Money (Reyzin The Cash x Foxy Merada x Boon Too Suen), who banked $77,408, to try and garner more earnings for her. The mare is living up to the expectations he’s had for her ever since Marcus Spencer started her as a 2-year-old and put her on a cow, Chartier himself took over later.

Chartier thanked Hushh Money’s owner/breeder, Kim Ezell, for her support; his help in the show pen — Johnson, Tatum Rice, R.L. Chartier and Randy Chartier; his crew at home; his girlfriend, Macall Banner; Ryann Packard, who prepared Hushh Money; and his family.

“My support group – all those people. Everybody that’s part of the program. Even if it’s not their horse, they’re in there supporting,” Chartier said. “I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at without any of them.”

Kittennish (Hottish x Show Biz Kitty x High Brow Cat), who was bred by Royce Stallcup, and Austin Shepard finished in Reserve with a 224.5. They collected $66,987 for owner Billy Wolf.

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