Going Out with a Bang

VonAhn Adds One More Title to 2023 Win List with Flash The Smart Cat in Gold Buckle Heeling Maturity
The win gives Flash The Smart Cat $94,890 in lifetime earnings before he sets foot in a ProRodeo arena in 2024.
Flash The Smart Cat Kollin VonAhn Gold Buckle Maturity Heeling
Flash The Smart Cat and Kollin VonAhn talk to Cowboy Channel's Katy Lucas after their Gold Buckle Maturity Heeling win. | Elite Equine Promotions

Two-time World Champion Heeler Kollin VonAhn picked up $34,500 for the Gold Buckle 6-&-Under Heeling Maturity Win Dec. 30 on his 6-year-old gelding Flash The Smart Cat at the first-ever event in Belton, Texas.

VonAhn and the son of High Brow Cat out of the Smart Little Lena daughter Smart Ann marked an event-high 908.71 on four head, getting the win by almost 7 points over second-place Billie Jack Saebens and DF Bet Hesa Legend.

“He placed in Fort Worth his 4- and 5-year-old years, and he’s just a good horse,” VonAhn said. “I’ve jackpotted on him, and I’m going to take him with me to Andrews. I’ve used him quite a bit. Everything I have, I’ll sell, but I have not planned on selling him. I bought him to have nice horses, and he’s kept up with me.”

Flash The Smart Cat has kept up to the tune of $60,390 in QData earnings before the Gold Buckle Futurity, putting him just shy of the $100,000 LTE mark before the end of his 6-year-old year.

Gold Buckle Futurities Maturity Champion Flash The Smart Cat Pedigree

The horse fit the bill for VonAhn after flunking out of one of the industry’s leading cow horse programs, and VonAhn is glad for it.

“I have a couple crossed like him, and I really like the High Brow Cats myself,” VonAhn said. “You hvave to find ones built uphill, and he’s a real pretty horse, so that’s why I bought him as a 3-year-old. I got him from (Overbrook, Oklahoma’s) Nick Travaglia, but it was TJ Good who set the deal up for me. He was started as a cow horse by Chris and Sarah Dawson, but to be honest, I can see why that wasn’t going to work for him. He couldn’t just drag it, and he didn’t really want to. But TJ called and said, ‘If you’re looking for a heel horse, I don’t see why he wouldn’t make it.'”

VonAhn had the help of his new ProRodeo header Andrew Ward on the front side at the Gold Buckle, and the duo plans to add Flash The Smart Cat to the rig when they start at the winter rodeos and Open jackpots.

Gold Buckle Futurities Maturity Heeling Results

Gold Buckle FuturitiesMaturity Heeling
Belton, TXSaturday, December 30, 2023
1st GoTimePayout
1NU ONE TIME BLUESJoseph Harrison225.33$1,000.00
2nd Go
1FLASH THE SMART CATKollin Vonahn228.28$1,000.00
3rd Go
1FLASH THE SMART CATKollin Vonahn228.71$1,000.00
Short Go
1RACK CITYKollin Vonahn226.76$1,000.00
1FLASH THE SMART CATKollin Vonahn908.71$8,500.00
2DF BET HESA LEGENDBillie Jack Saebens902.93$7,000.00
3SMOKE N DUALSJoseph Harrison898.74$5,500.00
4THE KING N DIAMONDSCade Rice897.80$4,000.00
5SEVENS STAR GLOCade Rice897.04$2,850.00
6DF AMERICANSTARLIGHTBillie Jack Saebens892.59$1,750.00
Gold Buckle Futurity IncentivePayoutPayout (each)
1FLASH THE SMART CATKollin Vonahn908.71$24,000.00$12,000.00
2DF BET HESA LEGENDBillie Jack Saebens901.93$14,000.00$7,000.00
3RACK CITYKollin Vonahn892.03$10,000.00$5,000.00
Gold Buckle Futurity LimitedPayout
1RELENTLESS GLORYMiles Baker664.35$1,500.00
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