Kelby Phillips & Hickory Holly Time Win NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Intermediate Open

KelbyPhillipsKelby Phillips and Hickory Holly TimeUp-and-coming professional horseman Kelby Phillips, of Ashland, Kan., claimed the biggest win of his young career when he piloted Garth and Amanda Gardiner’s stallion, Hickory Holly Time (One Time Pepto x Hickorys Holly Cee x Doc’s Hickory), to the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Cinch Intermediate Open Championship Thursday, Oct. 3, in Reno, Nev.

Phillips and the roan stallion scored a total 648 (214 herd/218.5 rein/215.5) for the win, which came with a check for $30,000, thanks to a sponsorship from NRCHA Corporate Partner, CINCH.

“This means a lot. This is probably my most favorite horse I have ever had. Ever since I’ve had him, he’s just kind of a pet, always wanting to nibble on you. He’s always been fun. It doesn’t ever seem like he has much of a bad day,” Phillips said. 

Phillips showed another Gardiner-owned horse in the Intermediate and Limited Open finals – Bed Head Cat (Wild Haired Cat x Isabellena x Quejanaisalena), and he qualified both Hickory Holly Time and Bed Head Cat for the Futurity Open finals on Saturday, Oct. 5.

Phillips has had tremendous success in the Limited Open at NRCHA Premier Events in 2013 aboard horses owned by the Gardiners. He won the NRCHA Stakes, Hackamore Classic and Derby Limited Open Championships, but this is his first time to qualify for the Open finals.

“These are the first two horses I’ve ever trained from the start to bring here, so it’s a pretty big deal to me,” he said. “To bring these two horses here, the first ones I’ve trained, it’s pretty unbelievable.”

Phillips thanked Don Murphy for coaching him before and during the Futurity, and also appreciated herd help from Brandon Buttars, Zane Davis, Faron Hightower, Boyd Rice and Robbie Boyce. He also particularly credited his wife, Abbie, for her help and patience, and was glad to have extra friends and family in his cheering section. His parents were in Reno for the finals, and some of Phillips’ close friends flew in from Texas with their 10-week-old twins. 

Although Philliips was thrilled to win the Cinch Intermediate Open title, he admitted the high point of his trip to Reno so far was watching his boss, Garth, score a 217 to win the cow work round in the Futurity Non-Pro preliminaries last week.

“This is really an exciting moment for me, but to see Garth win the fence work was probably the proudest I’ve been. We had his horse ready, and had him ready, and he came in and marked a 217 and won himself a gold buckle,” Phillips said, smiling.

The Futurity Intermediate Open Reserve Champion was Smooth A Roany (Smooth As A Cat x Boons Pepto Roany x Peptoboonsmal), shown by NRCHA Hall of Fame horseman Ted Robinson, of Oak View, Calif., for owners John and Nikki Jump. They scored a 645 (214 herd/218.5 rein/215.5 cow), winning $15,000.

Limited Open Champion

WinstonHansmaWinston Hansma and Bossy BrotherWinston Hansma, of Weatherford, Texas, removed his National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Open Championship buckle from his belt – and replaced it with his brand-new NRCHA Futurity Limited Open Championship buckle. Hansma piloted Bossy Brother (CD Lights x Diamonds Sparklette x Genuine Doc), a stallion bred by Carol Rose and owned by Hansma and Danny Motes, to a 650.5 composite score (218 herd/214.5 rein/218 cow), earning $5,403. 

It was the second time for Hansma, a veteran cutting horse professional, to show a Snaffle Bit Futurity horse. The first time was in 2010.

“I’ve been involved with pretty much every discipline except gaited horses at one time or another. I did a little cow horse in Canada before I started cutting. I’ve always appreciated the horsemanship skills involved in training reined cow horse. To me, they’re the true horsemen. There are some good horsemen in the cutting industry, but it doesn’t matter what lead youre on. We just train cutting horses. These guys are horsemen and I have a real appreciation for that term,” he said.

Bossy Brother is sired by Hansma and Motes’s stallion, CD Lights, and out of a full sister to Rose’s leading sire, Shining Spark. Although Hansma said he felt under-prepared to compete at the Snaffle Bit Futurity, Bossy Brother rose to the occasion with some big scores in the herd and fence work.

“I was really pleased with him. He was on his game today. He’s good on a cow,” Hansma said.

The Limited Open Reserve Champion was Hickory Holly Time, shown by Kelby Phillips for Garth and Amanda Gardiner. They collected a check for $3,929.

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