At the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, held Nov. 20-Dec. 13 in Fort Worth, Texas, 153 Futurity Limited Non-Pro competitors gave their all in the first go-round, hoping to advance to the finals and earn the championship.
Ryder Carpenter, of Silverton, Texas, and Smooth Miss Trona (Smooth As A Cat x MK Little Miss Trona x Little Trona), owned by Penny Cogdell Carpenter, remained near the top of the leaderboard during the first go-round and semifinals, but in the finals, the duo came out stronger than ever and marked a whopping 225.
“I like her big stops, and she’s really strong and just really smart about a cow,” Carpenter explained. “On the second cow, it kind of hit us really hard and then died in the middle and looked at us, and she just hit it right there and I was like ‘Man, she’s on tonight!’ I just wanted to finish strong because I thought I had a chance.”
The 3-point lead held to the end, and the duo took home the Futurity Limited Non-Pro Championship and a paycheck for $9,934, increasing Carpenter’s earnings to more than $250,000. Carpenter has garnered more than $65,000 this year alone, according to Equi-Stat.
“This is my first futurity win and this is a premiere event, so this means a lot to me,” Carpenter said. “I was reserve here a couple years ago in the Limited Non-Pro on a gelding that I raised, Eddie Montana, so it was fun to finally win.”
There was a three-way tie for the Reserve Championship. Cade Shepard aboard Twistful Thinking (One Time Pepto x Some Kinda Twister x Freckles Fancy Twist), Lance Cooper aboard Post Card From Paris (Light N Lena x Keena Pep x Dual Pep) and Sheridan Clark aboard The Big Short (Boon Too Suen x Coffee Cat 204 x High Brow Cat) all marked a 222, earning $9,032 each.
For complete coverage of the NCHA Futurity, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.