The El Rancho Futurity & Foothill Fiesta is off to a great start in Rancho Murieta, Cali. The first set of finals took place Sept. 10, and Equi-Stat Elite $5 Million Cutting Rider Tim Smith of Temecula, Calif., took the top spot in the Classic/Challenge Open finals aboard Ms Crystal Highbrow.
Smith has had quite a history of winning at El Rancho, and has won at least one Open Championship every year since the show began. This time it was Norco, Calif., owner Julie Whipple’s Ms Crystal Highbrow who helped add another Open title to Smith’s impressive El Rancho record.
The duo started out strong by marking a 219 and 218 in the first and second goes, respectively. Smith rode the 2007 mare (High Brow Cat x PCR Ms Ginger x Playboys Badge), bred by Frank and Bonnie Martin of Las Vegas, Nev., to mark a finals score of 224 for the Championship. The victory came with $10,500 in prize money, which added to Ms Crystal Highbrow’s previous Equi-Stat earnings of $34,503.
Grandview, Texas, trainer Grant Setnicka and Cat Belue took the Reserve Championship. Setnicka rode the 2008 stallion to mark a 221 and earned $9,000. Cat Belue (High Brow Cat x Lil Lena Long Legs x Smart Little Lena) is owned by Chatsworth, Ga., resident Charles Burger, and was bred by Phil and Mary Ann Rapp of Weatherford, Texas.
Derby Open Finals
In the Derby Open finals, 11 competitors battled it out in the show pen for the Championship. Morgan Cromer of Santa Maria, Calif., rode Daintys Kual Kitty, owned by Clarke Butte Ranch of Bend, Ore., to win the title with a 224.
The victory came with a check worth $12,000. The prize money increased Daintys Kual Kitty’s Equi-Stat record to more than $30,000. The 2009 mare (Dual Smart Rey x Kats Dainty Gal x High Brow Cat), was bred by Austin Kenyon of Park Hill, Okla.
The Reserve Championship went to Todd Bimat of Orland, Calif., and Joes Last Cat (High Brow Cat x Royally Smart Fancy x Smart Little Lena), owned by Jerry Erwin of Bush Prairie, Wash., and bred by Jack Waggoner of Bridgeport, Texas. The duo marked a 221 for the title and earned $9,000.
The El Rancho Futurity continues through Sept. 16.