From the October 2017 Issue
Life changing.This is the only word fit to describe the impact that Meteles Cat has had on the Hedlund family over the past three years.
“That’s a pretty big word, but that’s what he’s done for my family and I,” Cody Hedlund said. “He’s the type of horse that you can take and go show him anywhere in the country, and you have a horse that can win it.”
Cody, who owns Meteles Cat, described his feelings towards the end of his prized horse’s aged-events career as bittersweet. And who wouldn’t? With over $400,000 in National Cutting Horse Association earnings, Meteles Cat has been a powerhouse in the cutting arena.
“It’s sad because you never know if you’ll be able to ride a horse like this again,” Cody said. “But every time we walk down there he’s giving us everything he’s got.”
Landy Hedlund reflects on the past four years with a sense of happiness and thankfulness for their bay roan stallion.
“He’s had a lot of runs in four years,” Landy said. “Not many horses can do what he has done, by being successful in open competition as well as the non pro. He’s clearly proved that to everybody.”
Even before his birth, Meteles Cat has played an integral role in the Hedlund’s lives. His great great grand-dam, Diamond Lena Bars, carried Rock to an AQHYA world championship in 1981. So, it’s no surprise that Meteles Cat was made for greatness.
And that greatness has been experienced by each family member, as they travel together as a team. Landy lopes Meteles Cat for Cody whenever he’s showing, and affectionately watches from the fenceline as her son pilots the cowy stallion.
“It’s like having your children succeed, both of them. Because I feel like he’s such a part of our family, especially with the history of generations that we’ve raised, and our hope to have a horse like this,” Landy said. “And so it just fills my heart when Cody and Rock both show this horse and they’ve both done so well. It’s indescribable.”
Yet, despite competing for (and winning) some of the most prestigious titles in the cow horse world, Cody keeps his composure by controlling his mental game.
“I feel like pressure is all mental. It’s just been a blessing really that he’s been able to stay this sound and we’ve been able to enjoy him this long,” Cody said. “The pressure is everything that we put on ourselves.”
With a horse of this caliber, there comes a time when the pressure can lay off and a stallion can be a stallion. Meteles Cat has definitely earned his time in the sun, but don’t count on a full retirement for this talented young gun.
“We are going to show him in some Mercurias next year and keep him out there until his babies are trainable, which will be in 2018,” Landy said. “Just keep him out there so nobody forgets about him and his talent.”
How could anybody forget about him?? Jumping from 22 breedings his first year at stud to over 130 in 2016, Meteles Cat is going to leave his mark on the cow horse world in the form of his offspring.
With such a laid-back and honest disposition, and impeccable conformation to boot, Meteles Cat will no doubt send some good luck down to his get.
“He’s just real easy going, there’s no real mystery about him. He’s just a really honest, willing horse that never gives up. He always tries,” Landy said. “He’s honest as the day is long.”
With this kind of horse, it can be difficult to close the chapter. But, the Hedlunds look forward to their next adventure with Meteles Cat.
“He’s a special animal and the 2016 AQHA World Show was a bit emotional because he’s done with the biggest part of his [showing] career,” Landy said. “It’s been just a blessing and a dream come true, for all three of us.”In 2017, Meteles Cat was inducted into the National Cutting Horse Association Horse Hall of Fame. With total lifetime earnings at $433,564.87, he is the winningest offspring of Metallic Cat.