DELTA FLYER wins '86
NCHA Open Super Stakes Championship

By Karl Little
 copyright, Cuttin Hoss Chatter, 1986, Cover Story & Photo (Article condensed for space reasons.)

"NCHA's major events always seem to find a way to establish new records and rewrite the history books.  Until recently, the most common source for these changes has been the ever increasing number of entries and the amount of the purse.  However, a variety of things have occurred through the years contributing to the historic facts surrounding a particular event.  

The 1983 NCHA Derby will be remembered as the final leg of NCHA's first Triple Crown Champion.  The 1985 Super Stakes will be remembered as the first NCHA major event awarding a Tri-championship.  And the 1986 NCHA Super Stakes will be remembered as the first NCHA major event won by a horse registered with the American Paint Horse Association.


BELOW:1986 NCHA Super Stakes Champion's Trophy being presented to Kenny Patterson, rider of 1986 open champion, Delta Flyer.  Included were NCHA Vice President Jim Milner; Kenny's father, L.M. "Pat" Patterson; NCHA President, Jim Reno; and Delta Flyer's owner, Floyd B. Moore of Huntsville, Texas.

       The 1986 NCHA Super Stakes started inconspicuously without any new records.  Held April 27 through May 3 in Fort Worth's Will Roger's Memorial Coliseum, this year's event had 351 total entries competing for a total purse of $1,552,759.  Surely nothing to be taken lightly, but neither figure represented a record for the Super Stakes.  With this in mind, someone should have sensed an out-of-the-ordinary happening during the event.  But when would it happen and what would it be?   A hint of the answer to this question came during the first day of the Open Super Stakes Trials, during the work of the eighty-fifth horse.

Delta Flyer, owned by Floyd B. Moore of Huntsville, Texas and ridden by Kenny Patterson, scored 220 points to take the lead and win the first go-round as the eight-fifth horse to work.  This same horse scored 199 points in the first go-round of the NCHA Futurity

 Therefore, his first work in the Super Stakes was very impressive, but it is not out of the ordinary for a young horse to improve with additional training and age.  Neither is having an exceptional pedigree with NCHA Hall Of Famer's on both sides.  Delta Flyer's sire, Peppy San Badger, was the 1978 NCHA Futurity Champion, 1979 Derby Champion and the 1980 Reserve World Champion.  His dam, Delta, was the 1983 NCHA Reserve World Champion and fifth place winner in 1977.  What was different about Delta Flyer was the fact that he was registered as a sorrel tobiano stallion with the APHA.  And his work in the first go-round demonstrated that he had the potential to become the first Paint to win an NCHA major event.

     Delta Flyer's second go-round work for 212 1/2 points was not as high as everyone might have expected after he blazed to the front in the first go-round.  However, a veteran rider like Kenny knew his mount had everything to lose and nothing to gain with a matching performance.  A lost cow or a hot-quit could cost him an almost assured trip to the Semi-Finals.  Why take the chance when you had won the first go-round by two and one-half points and had a ten point margin for advancing to the second go-round?

     With a 432 1/2 point total in the Trials, Delta Flyer advanced to the Semi-Finals in a tie for eighth place.  Once there, he scored 215 1/2 points to split eighth through eleventh places, earning him $570.  Not all that much money, but with 222 four year old cutting horses competing in the first go-round for a total purse of $999,399, not too bad.  But there was $661,489 still to be distributed in the finals.  And Delta Flyer was going to be there when the Final's checks were handed out.  

     By the time Delta Flyer worked as the sixteenth horse in the Finals, the lead for the Championship had changed hands four times.  After completing his two and one half minute work, Delta Flyer had taken a two point lead that could not be overtaken by any of the remaining Finalists.  Prior to the Super Stakes, Delta Flyer had been performing well at home but was having some problems on the road.  However, this was not true during the Super Stakes as Delta Flyer turned in his best work of the event for a 220 1/2 point total from the panel of judges.
  In addition to earning the 1986 NCHA Super Stakes Champion Trophy and Trophy Buckle from the National Cutting Horse Association; the Champion's trophy saddle from King Ranch, Inc. in Kingsville, Texas; the use of a custom cab dually for one year.
Delta Flyer also earned a large sum of money totaling $170,004--not to mention the prestige of becoming the first paint to ever win an NCHA major event.

In addition, Delta Flyer received a silver engraved headstall from Calvin Allen Saddlery; a hand-woven saddle blanket from Dennis Moreland Enterprises, and 18 X 24" framed bronze cutting horse and calf from Nellie's Metal Art of Wichita Falls, Texas, a video tape of the Finals from Equestrian Video Productions.

     As the sire of the 1986 NCHA Super Stakes Open Champion,  Peppy San Badger earned $35,775 for his owner, King Ranch, Inc. of Kingsville, Texas".

Advertisement from the 1986 Cuttin Hoss Chatter

MISS SILVER PISTOL in 1986 Super Stakes

  • Sharing the 1986 NCHA Super Stakes Reserve Championship honors were Especials Quixote and Miss Silver Pistol, with scores of 218 1/2 points in the Finals.  Miss Silver Pistol is a daughter of Doc's Hickory who won the NCHA Non-Professional Futurity title,
    owned by Wes Shahan of Texas, ridden by Tom Lyons.

    *Miss Silver Pistol later finished her cutting career as one of the top cutting mares of all time with NCHA Earnings exceeding a half a million dollars.  Fourth place in the 1986 Super Stakes was Playboy's Madera, by Freckles Playboy.