CR Tuff Lucy Commands Attention in Abilene

TRiceTarin RiceWhile some competitors might still be recovering from the 2014 show season, the competition never rests and 2015 is in full swing. During the Abilene Spectacular, held Jan. 3-11 at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene, Texas, cutters are already celebrating their first victories of the season.

Tarin Rice and CR Tuff Lucy (Woody Be Tuff x Lucindas Catolena x High Brow Cat) placed fourth in the Open at the 2014 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity, but they took Abilene by storm. In the first go-round of the 4-Year-Old Open, the duo marked a 216, which secured them a spot in the second go-round, where they remained consistent with a 216.5. Their composite score of 432.5 was enough to move them into the finals.

Entering the finals as draw 19 out of 32, they had to mark a score that would hold, and that’s just what they did. Rice and CR Tuff Lucy, owned and bred by Center Ranch, of Centerville, Texas, scored a whopping 225, which gave them a 7-point lead on their competitors and earned the 4-Year-Old Open Championship.

5/6-Year-Old Open

JMitchellJohn MitchellThere were 15 horse-and-rider teams competing in the 5/6-Year-Old Open finals and it was clear that earning the title would not come easily. Lloyd Cox and RW Rockin entered the finals as the second draw and marked a 220. Their score was the one to beat until John Mitchell and Junie Wood walked to the herd.

The 2014 NCHA Horse of the Year, Junie Wood (Nitas Wood x Tuffs Junie x Tuff Lena) proved once again why she is a champion. As draw 10 in the first go-round of the 61-entry class, Mitchell piloted Junie Wood to a 216.5 to advance. In the second go-round, the duo drew near the bottom of the last set to work and marked a 220 to bring their composite score to a 436.5, which secured them a spot in the finals.

In the finals, the duo stepped it up and marked a 220.5, earning them the 5/6-Year-Old Open Championship and a $16,000 check for owner Slate River Ranch, of Weatherford, Texas.

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