Ask any coach, teacher, or boss what makes the best athlete, student, or employee and it’s fair to say consistency is one of the top attributes.
Phillip Ralls agrees. Call Me Mitch, a 2011 bay roan stallion that’s been in Ralls’ program since the trainer bought him for owner Estelle Rotblat as a yearling, is extremely talented, jaw-droppingly pretty, but most of all, has a rock-solid consistency about him every time Ralls swings a leg over his back. He’s what every trainer dreams of.
A versatile son of Metallic Cat, being his top earning reined cowhorse offspring, and out of a $100,000 earning daughter of Docs Hickory, Miss Hickory Hill, Call Me Mitch has more than lived up to the phenomenal pedigree of his. His list of accomplishments includes being an AQHA ROM earner, 2014 NSHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion, 2017 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Two Rein Champion, 2018 Reserve Champion at the World’s Greatest Horseman, and 2018 Magnificent 7 All Around Stock Horse Champion, just to name a few. An undeniable show record is enough to prove what a top-notch horse and stallion he is, but “Mitch” has proven over time that his earnings are more than just that; they are the summation of trainability, a great mind, and unshakable consistency.
It’s that very trait of consistency that Ralls says separates the flashy stallion from the rest. “Show after show, through the futurities, derbies, and then into the bridle, he’s always been solid,” he shares, “You always know he’s 100% on your team, loves his job, and has a relaxed attitude about it.” And as impossible as it sounds, Ralls says he can’t recall the stallion ever having a bad show. “There may have been times when we’ve drawn bad cattle,” he adds, “…but every time you go through the gate on him, you know you have a chance to win.” A stellar individual in so many ways, Mitch is equally as spectacular in all three of the reined cow horse events and can mark big across the board, an area of consistency that’s rarely seen in horses today.
And in instances where the pressure is mounting, and some mays begin to crack, Mitch instead excels. Ralls says that he feels his strongest showing to date was his 2018 Reserve Championship finish at World’s Greatest Horseman. Although they didn’t come away with the win, competing neck-and-neck with champion Kelby Phillips and Hickory Holly Time, his trainer was far from disappointed. To show at that level and be so solid, Ralls says proved “just how special of a horse he is…he takes what you show him and adds his own little flare to it, and that really makes him special.” Similarly, at their recent win at the Magnificent 7, the stallion’s extra “wow factor” was apparent in all events. A fast-paced show like none other, the crowd comes to see an exciting spectacle of horses compete in four events, with limited prep time. For many, the warm-up conditions, or lack thereof, would be a deal-breaker, but for Ralls and Mitch, it proved to be no obstacle at all. Indicative of his good mind, honesty, and trainability, the trainer says he never once worried about how the stallion would handle it all. “I knew I could count on him, even in that situation…it was a fun show”, he says.
Impressive as a show horse, Mitch upholds the same high standard as a breeding stallion. His mind keeps him focused on both jobs even though he’s been hauled from the breeding barn to the show pen on consecutive days. Ralls says he’s never been phased by it and continues to act more like a gelding than a stallion. His first foal crop, now yearlings, was a small one, but certainly does not lack in looks, style, or disposition. 2018 has been the first year to open Mitch’s books to the public, and the interest in him as a sire has been huge, breeding over seventy mares,
Perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime kind of horse for Phillip Ralls, Call Me Mitch has proven to his trainer, judges, and spectators alike, that through consistency, he was simply made to be a show horse. Ralls describes him as “special”, and he’s certainly that. Registered as Call Me Mitch, it’s easy to see why one may just simply call him consistent; there are few greater compliments in the horse world than that!