The El Rancho Futurity and Foothill Fiesta show is in its last few days of competition, with big scores hitting the boards with each finals run. On Sept. 14, Brandon Dufurrena rode his mare Nievas to win the Classic/Challenge Non-Pro Championship.
Dufurrena, of Gainesville, Texas, was the first of five teams to ride into the herd in the finals. He and his homebred mare Nievas (Cats Merada x Smart Little Boogie x EG Southern Dancer), marked previous first- and second-go scores of 222 and 218, respectively. After marking a 223 in his finals run, Dufurrena watched in the stands as the other four teams competed. After the last buzzer sounded, the 223 stayed on top of the leaderboard, and the duo earned a victory check worth $7,000.
“We’ve been very, very blessed in our show career between the two of us,” Dufurrena said of himself and his mare. “I didn’t really have to ask a whole lot out of her for that run. She could have walked right back down there and done it again.”
The Reserve Championship went to Weatherford, Texas, rider Cody Hedlund and his mare Teles Bout This Cat (WR This Cats Smart x Teles Lies x Lenas Telesis). They marked a 218 in the finals to earn $5,500.
In the Derby Non-Pro finals, Tiffani Banuelos of Boerne, Texas, rode Cat Diesel to win the Derby Non-Pro Championship. They rode into the herd last of five teams, and laid down a run to mark a 219 for the title. Their win came with $5,700 in prize money. They also landed the Gelding Non-Pro Championship with their run, and earned an additional $435.
Derby Limited Non-Pro
The Derby Limited Non-Pro Championship went to Melissa Weis and Hip Hip Roo Rey. After marking a previous first-go score of 216.5, they came back in the finals to mark a 221 for the title. Their win came with a Champion’s check worth $1,700. It was a repeat moment for Weis, as she had won the Derby Limited Non-Pro at the 2012 El Rancho Futurity aboard This Cats Dazzlin.
The Reserve title went to Fort Lupton, Colo., rider Joel Schulz and Hickorys Sweet T. They marked a 216 in the finals for the Championship and earned $1,550 in prize money.
Futurity Unlimited Amateur
The Futurity Unlimited Amateur Championship went to Scott Gaddy of Clements, Calif., and One Time Traveler. The duo marked a winning 215, and earned $1,500. Gaddy also won the Derby Non-Pro Reserve Championship aboard High Brow Jackson after marking a 218 in the finals to earn $4,700.
Taking the Futurity Unlimited Amateur Reserve Championship with a 213 was Jo Ann Carolla and I Like It This Rey. Their win came with a check worth $1,350.
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