Jason McClure and Tama Boon Earn Augusta Champion Challenge Non-Pro Title

tamaboonTama Boon and Jason McClure • photo by Stacy PigottJason McClure and Tama Boon, the only horse his wife won’t let him sell, showed one of the reasons while topping Thursday’s Augusta Futurity Champions Challenge Non-Pro with a 219 to earn $5,600.

Moments after that winning effort, the 8-year-old gelding showcased another reason he’s probably earned himself a permanent home. He gently walked around the warm-up pen with Jason’s wife, Hali, and the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, Micalynn, sharing the ride.

Jason won a Classic Non-Pro Championship and Hali finished as the Classic Amateur Reserve Champion at last year’s show in Augusta, Ga., sharing the horse Freckles Meow.

The couple lives in Hayesville, N.C., and Jason has made a living buying, training and riding his own cutting horses the past several years. He credits his father for getting him started in the sport. The 28-year-old has already trained and ridden several good cutting horses, but Tama Boon, who has earned close to $100,000, clearly ranks as a favorite.

“I got him as a yearling, and I raised him and trained him,” McClure said. He and his wife own 18 horses in various stages of training, and nearly all are for sale. “We sell them when they turn 6. I might get divorced if I sold that one,” he added. The couple calls Tama Boon “Clint,” in honor of tough-guy actor Clint Eastwood, because he’s so durable, McClure said.

Patrick Collins, of Lincoln, Ill., placed second and third in the Champions Challenge Non-Pro with 216 and 213.5 scores to earn $7,000 with his 2007 and 2008 homebred full sisters Oh Miss Peacock and Oh Miss Caroline. Both are sired by High Brow Cat and out of Oh Cay Shorty, a Shorty Lena mare owned by Collins and his wife, Laura.

The Augusta Futurity continues through Saturday.