John Mitchell & Junie Wood Top Brazos Bash Derby Open

JMithcellJohn MitchellTwo finals were held at the Brazos Bash on Sept. 29 in Weatherford, Texas. Both held tough competition and both turned out to be close races. In the Derby Open finals, Slate River Ranch’s Junie Wood and John Mitchell took the top honors with a crowd-pleasing run.

The Weatherford trainer and the 4-year-old mare (Nitas Wood x Tuffs Junie x Tuff Lena) had marked previous first and second go-round scores of 217.5 and 220, respectively, to land in the No. 2 spot moving into the finals with a composite score of 437.5. They drew last in the two-set finals, but they rode to the herd with determination, and walked out of the show pen with a score of 225.5 to win the Derby Open Championship and a paycheck worth $20,000.

Junie Wood, who was bred by Craig Crumpler and his wife, Janet, of Wichita Falls, Texas, landed her first major win with Crumpler aboard at the 2013 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, where she took home the Futurity Non-Pro title and added her first check to Equi-Stat in the amount of $56,825. After being purchased by Slate River Ranch, she won this year’s NCHA Super Stakes Open Championship with Mitchell in the saddle, and took the Reserve title at the NCHA Summer Spectacular.

The Derby Open Reserve Championship went to Spoonful Of Stella (Hes A Peptospoonful x Stella Starlight x Grays Starlight), owned by Wrigley Ranches LLC, and bred by Lachlan and Jan Perks, of Rockford, Ill., and Weatherford trainer Jason Clark. The duo marked a score of 224 to take the title and earned $17,500.

Classic Open

OnceInABluBoon JPayne NPayneOnce In A Blu Boon with James & Nadine PayneOnce In A Blu Boon has become a common name in the cutting world, and during the Classic Open finals, he made it clear why. The 6-year-old stallion and Overbrook, Okla., trainer James Payne saved the best for last as they rode to the herd last in the 19-team, two set finals. Single points separated the lead and second place spots up until then, and after Once In A Blu Boon and Payne’s performance, they took the Championship with a one-point lead after marking a score of 226.

The Classic Open Championship came with a check for $20,000, which added to Once In A Blu Boon’s previous Equi-Stat record of more than $268,400. The stallion (Peptoboonsmal x Autumn Boon x Dual Pep) is owned by Charlotte Farms Inc., of Rosston, Texas, and was bred by Bill Freeman Inc., also of Rosston.

Clark earned his second Reserve Championship of the night aboard Dallas, Texas, resident Darren Blanton’s Short N Smooth (Smooth As A Cat x Playin Shorty x Playin Stylish), who was bred by Eddie Shelton, of Union Hall, Va. A score of 225 earned Clark and the gelding a check worth $17,500.

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