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Russ Westfall and Just Rebelling Champions at Super Stakes Open Classic

DATE POSTED:April 1, 2024

Russ Westfall and Just Rebelling entered the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Open Classic/Challenge finals feeling confident. The pair marked a 220 in the semi finals to sit third in that round. They had marked a 220 in the first round as well, and a 218.5 in the second, but none of that mattered heading into the clean-slate finals on March 29.

“He’s smart about a cow and probably the less I do, the better,” Westfall said about his mount. “Like this morning I worked one cow, five turns, and he was outstanding and I left him alone.”

With only one day between the semi finals and final round it didn’t leave much time for training. Like most 5 and 6-year-old horses in the cutting industry, Just Rebelling (Metallic Rebel x Justasassycat x High Brow Cat) knows his job well.

“I felt like if I did my job he was going to be there for me,” Westfall said.

Westfall must’ve done his job just right, and same with his herd help, because the son of EquiStat Elite $8 Million Sire Metallic Rebel and maternal grandson of EquiStat Elite $94 Million Sire High Brow Cat marked a 229 in the finals. Even with the final draw of the Classic/Challenge finals, Westfall knew the horse had what it takes.

“As long as I keep him loving his job, he’ll give you his all like he did tonight,” Westfall said.

The pair took home $31,352 for owners Jerry and Suzanne Rava of Paso Robles, California. Westfall was proud to give the dedicated owners a win their horse deserved.

“It’s pretty cool, especially for those people because I’ve rode horses for them for 30 years,” he said. “I love that horse, and I’ve had some success but not at this level, and I always felt like he was a special special horse, so to do that tonight I feel like I did that horse justice.”

Russ Westfall waved to the crowd and gave Just Rebelling an extra pat after seeing their 229 on the scoreboard. * Photo by Amy Olson

The EquiStat Elite $4 Million Rider was not about to claim all of the glory though.

“I’d like to thank all my help, my wife (Janet Westfall) for busting her butt for everything, and my friends,” Westfall barely finished his sentence before EquiStat Elite $10 Million Rider Austin Shepard came over to congratulate him on the win.

The Westfalls won’t get too much rest, Janet is competing in the Non Pro divisions at the Super Stakes. But, Just Rebelling will get a little break before he shows again at the Breeders Invitational in Tulsa, Oklahoma in May.

Reserve Champion

EquiStat Elite $4 Million Rider Micheal Cooper rode Boomer Cat to the Super Stakes Open Classic/Challenge Reserve Championship with a score of 222. The score held up from the second draw, until the last, when Westfall marked the winning run.

Boomer Cat, by Metallic Boom and out of Nurses Kitty (by WR This Cats Smart) will add $27,463 to his lifetime earnings for owner EJ Huntley, his biggest single win to date.

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