In the realm of halter competition, sweeping world championship titles across three divisions—Open, Amateur and Youth—spread out between two shows that are four months apart is next to impossible. But with the right horse and the right team of owners, trainers and supporters, big dreams become achievable with hard work and a little luck.
Red Hot N Stylish came into the 2016 APHA World Championship Show was a bit of notoriety—there was no escaping the limelight for Joyce Cassata’s 2014 bay overo mare, especially after winning Youth, Amateur and Open world championships in 2015. That feat secured the Scarlet Print Award for “Jade,” ending a 10-year drought for presentation of the elusive prize. Jade had already won a 2016 Youth world championship with Phillip Groeb, so when Bob Cassata led the mare to victory in Amateur 2-Year-Old Mares, people really sat up and took notice of the defending champion.
Jade didn’t disappoint in the Open 2-Year-Old Mares class; shown by Tim Finkenbinder, the mare found her way to the top of the judges’ cards, netting four firsts and one second en route to the world championship title.
“She’s the epitome of what we want nowadays: she’s got balance, structure and is pretty and great legged, and she’s great colored on top of it,” Tim said. “She’s just a show horse.”
With that win, Jade became only the second horse to ever win back-to-back Scarlet Print Award titles; interestingly, the first horse to do so—One Cool Hint, who won the Scarlet Print in 2001, 2002 and 2003—was also owned by the Cassatas’ Double C Acres, in Morganton, North Carolina. Sired by Hes Stylin and out of Redhot Clusified LL, Jade was bred by Boncita Ranch Inc. of Aubrey, Texas, and trained by Kelley Diegnan-Stone and Jennifer Sovocool of Diamond 2M Show Horses in Sanger, Texas.
“People need to realize it’s really, really hard,” Bob said. “She’s a great mare. Kelley Stone has done us a really great job and we’ve done a lot of winning. God has blessed us big time. We’re just tickled to death.”
The Scarlet Print Award is presented in honor of Scarlet Print, a 1991 overo mare who earned 10 world championships in only four years. She was owned by Michelle Engle of Bakersfield, California, who established the award after the mare retired from the show ring in 1995.
But Jade’s done more than add to the Cassatas’ trophy buckle collection and prove the challenging Scarlet Print Award is indeed achievable; it’s because of the bay mare and the extended Diamond 2M family that Joyce is once again enjoying the horse show atmosphere.
“Kelley found her for me. She called and said, ‘You’ve got to have this horse.’ Sight unseen, we bought the horse. It was a bonus that she had a ‘J’ on her side—that sealed the deal,” Joyce said. “I had gotten a little bored for a while, but now they’ve got me going again. Kelley brought me back in … in a big way! My heart just beats out of my body when I watch Jade show. In my opinion, she’s the cats meow.”
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.