Highlights from the reining and cutting futurities.
By Tonya Ratliff-Garrison
First-time champions as well as long-awaited winners highlighted two of the industry’s biggest 3-year-old futurities this month.
It has been 20 years since his last, but on December 6, AQHA Professional Horseman Tim McQuay finally added a second National Reining Horse Association Futurity open championship to his resume.
Riding Carol Rose’s Shining N Sassy, Tim marked a 226.5 to win the NRHA Futurity open title.
“I had a feeling she might be the one,” he said. “When you go through the go-rounds, you get a feeling about what you’re riding and how much try and guts they have. She had it.”
Not only had it been 20 years since Tim had won the futurity, it’d been 23 years since a horse owned by Carol had won. That was Sparkles Rosezana, out of Carol’s legendary mare Diamond Sparkles.
But what made this win even more special was that “Sassy” is by Shining Spark, who has never had a futurity champion.
“This is ‘Shiner’s’ first, and he’s 19 years old,” she said. “You have no idea what this means to me. We’ve been close so many times, and this is so special.”
In the NRHA Futurity non-pro finals, Tim’s daughter, Mandy McCutcheon, won her fifth Futurity non-pro championship. This time, she was riding her brother-in-law Jim McCutcheon’s Smart Scat, marking a 219.5 to take the title.
“I feel like I’m blessed every time it happens,” she said. “I am happy Jimmy let me ride this horse. But I also want to thank my parents and my dad’s crew, because they are the ones who are behind me and help me.”
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On December 14, the 2008 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity came to a conclusion with Beau Galyean and Metallic Cat capturing the title. They marked a 222 in the finals, taking Beau to his first futurity championship.
“Just to be sitting here after winning is so surreal,” said the 28-year-old, whose father, Jody, and younger brother, Wesley, have each won futurity championships.
Metallic Cat is the fifth horse sired by High Brow Cat to win the NCHA Futurity and the third straight year a High Brow Cat has won the futurity.
Beau found the horse on the Internet while at the 2007 NCHA Futurity, and put up his truck as collateral to buy the 2005 red roan stallion. He later sold “Denver” to Alvin Fults.
“He’s a dream come true,” said Alvin’s wife, Becky, of Denver. “And it’s all because of the good Lord. He has blessed us in many, many ways.”
In the NCHA Futurity non-pro finals, Craig Crumpler finally earned his first championship, after trying for almost 30 years. He rode homebred Woodys Bad Boy to a 222 to earn the title.
“My dad has won it twice, and I always had hoped to win it,” Craig said. “This is just a dream come true.”
Woodys Bad Boy is by the Crumplers’ homebred stallion Nitas Wood and out of another Crumpler-bred mare, Nimble Jazzy Lee.
“This horse is family raised all the way,” Craig said.
But it was also the Crumpler family that helped Craig capture his first futurity championship. Craig’s younger brother, Don, trained the horse and Craig’s son, Josh, started him. The two, as well as another son, Dillon, were there to help Craig turnback during the finals, and wife Janet was there to warm-up the gelding for Craig.
“We’ve got three generations here in the arena tonight, and none of this could have been done without the help of my family,” Craig said.
In the NCHA Futurity amateur finals, 65-year-old Chuck Drummond on My Darlin Girl took the title, marking a 215.
“This was the fourth run I made on this mare,” Chuck said. “I lost a cow in the non-pro so didn’t make it back there. But I think by the time I got to the amateur finals, I wasn’t as nervous and got her shown better.”
It was Chuck’s last time to show as amateur because of his earnings. But that doesn’t bother him at all.
“I love horses and no matter what, I’m going to keep on cuttin’,” Chuck said. “You’ve got to have a good horse and you can’t go down there either without good help. I think I’ve got good help, and I know I had a good horse.”
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