Casey Hicks and Probably A Metallic—a 6-year-old mare by Metallic Cat out of Probably A Gem by With All Probability—won the heading futurity in Ardmore, Oklahoma Oil Can Classic produced by the American Rope Horse Futurity Association with a score of 919.42 on four head, worth $11,004 for the title.
It marks another major win for offspring of the incomparable Metallic Cat, whose the number-two all-time producing sire across all disciplines in the Quarter Horse industry, having won over $60 million per QData’s stallion leaderboard (second only to his sire, High Brow Cat). Metallic Cat leads sires of all rope-horse events with $625,716 in offspring earnings.
“I got this mare about a year ago,” Hicks, of Talala, Oklahoma, said. “She’s always been my pick to be a real, big-time head horse. She’s super sweet to be around. But when you get on her, she’s a little spicy. Which, I have a few other Metallic Cats that are a little that way.”
Hicks and Probably A Metallic, riding for owner Jack Bogart, were third callback in a tight heading short round, but they drew a steer that he’d run earlier in the week and had a plan.
“I knew he was going to start sharp, and once we got out there past the flagger was going to be in the left lead stepping into me,” said Hicks. “I can split the horns a lot when they do that, but when I know they’re going to do it, I can step over and step up and get out of the way and let them play into my trap. That mare is good stepping left, and she wants to the strong to the horn and good on her left leg. I was able to push right up in front and get a good finish.”
Kaleb Driggers’ and Jake Cooper’s standout stallion Reys Of Pep finished second behind Hicks with a 918.97 worth $8,646, while Trevor Brazile and his already proven-winner Step N Small Town were third with a 918.59, worth $6,681.
Hicks had made his mark in the horse show world before the recent rope horse futurity explosion, so he’s made some shifts in his program to answer the call to step up to the new roping reality.
“For me, the weakness in my game is maybe not asking enough of those horses at home,” I feel like in the first round, my horses are lights out. Second round they’re pretty good, third round they’re starting to get fragile. By the short round, they’re thinking ‘We’ve already run a bunch.’ I’ve started running more steers on them at home. I may back it off and still run slow ones, but I’ll run 10 of them to get them to where they have to stand there and take it.”
Hicks has taken the time to ride with lights-out horseman like 2022 ARHFA World Champ Cade Rice, and he’s studied the horses winning to up his game every chance he gets.
“My job has gotten harder, and the horses have gotten better, and the competition has gotten tougher,” Hicks said. “I’ve had to step my game up. Headers have gotten faster. Heelers have gotten faster. Everyone is riding better horses. If we’re truly being honest, like at Ardmore the other day, there were 100 head horses entered, and there’s probably 10 or 12 that could truly win first all the time so we’re trying to play the odds. At the same time, I’ve got a great horse, and every trainer has a great horse—you just have to develop the great attributes in each horse and work on the weaknesses, and as a trainer, if you don’t have good horses, you won’t win no matter how good you think you are.”