The El Rancho Futurity, held in Rancho Murieta, Calif., finished the Futurity Open finals Sept. 13. Out of the 15-horse finals, it was False Bravado who carried Sandy Bonelli to win the Championship with a 225. Bonelli, of Petaluma, Calif., rode into the finals aboard 3-year-old gelding False Bravado, whom she’d sold to her good friend Jim Milne of Woodside, Calif., about a month before. After first and second go scores of 213.5 and 219, respectively, the duo held promise for even higher scores. With a large crowd cheering them on, they finished their night strong with a 225 and earned a Championship check worth $15,000.
“It felt great. I hadn’t won anything in a while, so it felt really good,” Bonelli said after her winning ride. Bonelli also rode her own young mare Sheza Smart Rider in the finals and marked a 213 to earn an additional $4,700.
The Futurity Open Reserve Championship went to Sally Cats Meow, owned by the Carbondale, Colo., Iron Rose Ranch, and trainer Gary Gonsalves. The duo marked a 222 for the title and earned a check for $12,000. They also recieved the Jerry Ward Open Incentive Award, which came with a check for $2,500.
The Gelding Open Championship went to recent South Point Futurity Open Champions, Im Licken Checks and Brent Erickson of Wilton, Calif. The duo marked a 221.5 to win the Gelding Open, earning $540. They also finished third in the Futurity Open finals to earn an additional $9,000 in prize money. Im Licken Checks is owned and bred by Frank and Bonnie Martin of Las Vegas, Nev.
Best Rippen Rey and Los Olivos, Calif., trainer Russ Westfall took the Gelding Open Reserve with a 214. They also placed in the finals to earn a total $5,650.
The El Rancho Futurity continues through Sept. 16, with the Mercuria/NCHA World Series competition to take place Sept. 14.