The Idaho Futurity got off to an exciting start on Aug. 31 in Nampa with the Mercuria/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Series of Cutting finals. Both the Open and Non-Pro saw eight horse-and-rider duos vying for the championships at the Ford Idaho Horse Park, and both held tough competition.
Walking to the herd third in the Open finals was Orland, Calif., trainer Todd Bimat and Peptos Chic Olena, owned by Lauren McIntire, of Goleta, Calif. The duo had marked a score of 218.5 in the go-round the day before, but they stepped it up in the finals. They laid down a run to mark a 227, and walked away with the Mercuria Open Championship and $10,529 in prize money.
“To win one of these, it’s unbelievable,” said Bimat, who has been riding Peptos Chic Olena since the start of this year. “[Peptos Chic Olena] was just exceptional today.”
Bimat and 8-year-old Peptos Chic Olena (Sweet Lil Pepto x Chic Olenas Promise x Smart Chic Olena), bred by Bruce and Connie Clark, of Preston, Kan., will be showing at the next Mercuria event, set to take place Sept. 17-19 at the El Rancho Futurity in Rancho Murieta, Calif.
The Mercuria Open Reserve Championship went to Gainesville, Texas trainer Ed Dufurrena and Auspicious Cat (High Brow Cat x Lenas O Lady x Peppy San Badger), owned by Dos Cats Partners. The duo marked a 227 for the title and earned $8,322.
The Mercuria Non-Pro finals started off with a bang when Ashley Snider rode to the herd aboard Sly Chance first in the draw and marked an impressive score of 228. It was still anyone’s game at that point, but ultimately, their score stayed the one to beat, and Snider walked away with the Mercuria Non-Pro Championship and a check worth $10,087. She and her 7-year-old mount (That Sly Cat x Oaks Smart Chance x Doc’s Oak) had bested their first-go score of 225 by three points.
“I’m very excited,” Snider said. “Being first out, I just wanted to come and not force anything, but have as good of a run as I possibly could and let everybody else come chasing, I guess.”
With two kids, Snider said she hasn’t been able to haul quite as hard for a World title this year, but her goal, which was set at the beginning of the year, is to make the top 15.
The Mercuria Non-Pro Reserve title went to Rieta Dufurrena and Miss Ella Rey (Dual Rey x Huggs Olena x Smart Chic Olena), who marked a 225 to earn the title and $7,990. Her brother, Brandon, took third place with a 221 aboard his mare Nievas (Cats Merada x Smart Little Boogie x EG Southern Dancer) and walked away with $5,894.
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