Nathan Piper was In Like Flinn when he won the first-ever Heritage Futurity Open Championship, besting an 80-horse field with a score of 150.5 on In Like Flinn, owned by John and Nancy Tague. The win was good for $7,750 and a custom trophy saddle from Kyle Tack after intense competition at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas, Oct. 3-6.
Piper has had the son of Topsail Whiz out of a Chocolate Chic Olena daughter since he was purchased from Bob Loomis in the fall of his 2-year-old year. Piper showed In Like Flinn at the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic in late August and was pleased with his performance, although some penalties kept him out of a top finish. Overall, “Flinn” had worked so well at Tulsa that Piper was looking forward to showing him again.
“He’s so easy to run down and stop – the easiest futurity horse I’ve ever shown. He is so consistent for a 3-year-old and he’s like that at home, too. Every day he’s enjoyable to ride,” Piper commented.
Piper was quick to acknowledge the horse’s owners for their part. “John and Nancy had been involved in the hunter and jumper world and when they moved to Texas, decided to try something Western,” he explained. “They have been in the horse business, so they understand competition. I appreciate that they put the horse first when it comes to planning or decisions.”
There was a three-way tie for the Reserve Championship. The split was between Ruben Vandorp on Tinseltown Fly Guy, owned by Wagner & Vandorp, Todd Sommers on Chexolution, owned by Stephany Monteleone and Jared Leclair on This Cats Stressin, owned by Terry Ranch. Each earned $3,720 for their scores of 149.
Sommers and Leclair also each earned $3,114 for tying for the win of the Intermediate Open Futurity.
That wasn’t the end of Leclair’s income with This Cats Stressin. He collected another $2,002 for winning the Limited Open. The Limited Open Reserve Championship ended in a three-way tie at 147.5 between Garth Brown on The Great Legend, owned by Brian Brown, Greg Hall on Chics Main Attraction, owned by Mary Anne Hall and Jared Leclair on Tinsel Bicentenario, owned by Gilberto Leal. Each collected $1,084.
Jared got This Cats Stressin at the Cottonwood Springs Dispersal Sale last year and was excited about the son of WR This Cats Smart, even though he had only been in cutting training until then.
“He was behind, as far as reining, and had to catch up, but he is so good-minded that he’s been able to do that,” Leclair explained.
By Labor Day weekend, he was ready for his first show and his trainer was more than impressed with his performance at the Ariat Tulsa Reining. “He had some penalties, but we could tell we were close.”
At the Heritage Futurity, “He was really cool and quiet in the show pen and he’s a big circler and hard stopper.”
Next on the slate is the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity, Oct. 22-27 in Ardmore, Okla., followed by the National Reining Horse Association Futurity in Oklahoma City.
Mike Hancock’s win in the Heritage Futurity Non-Pro on Dun Lost My Gun took a some extra effort. It came after a run-off with Nicole Deary on See My Crome Shine and Brianna Sloan on Pryce Tag.
All three horses scored 143.5 to tie for the win, and Hancock assumed that they would stay tied. He was packing up and getting ready to leave and just rode back for the awards when he found there would be another run. He went back and got his bridle and rushed to get ready. Luckily, he said, the stallion is easy to prepare and easy to show. He upped his earlier score by three points, winning the Futurity and pocketing $5,012 along with a custom Kyle Tack saddle.
It was a great day for a new partnership with Dun Lost My Gun. Hancock bought him just about a month ago.
“Barbara Williams had seen him at the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic, where Gunny Mathison rode him to a fifth-place finish in the Developing Horse Futurity. I tried him there then got to ride him four times here so this was our first show together.”
Next will be the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City. Hancock added $2,383 to his earnings by also winning the Intermediate Non-Pro, and $1,037 for winning the Limited Non-Pro.
Deary and Sloan tied for the Intermediate Non-Pro Reserve, and Deary also took the Limited Open Reserve Championship.
With nearly 400 horses in attendance, the officials and staff of the Great Southwest Equestrian Center were more than pleased with the first-ever Heritage Futurity. General Manager Sean Brown noted, “We wanted to create a fall reining event to compliment the National Reining Classic that is held here in the spring. We appreciate everyone who attended and supported this inaugural show and look forward to it growing each year.”