The Lucas Oil National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Classic Open finals, held Saturday, April 4, featured 26 horses in Fort Worth, Texas’ legendary Will Rogers Coliseum. Among the talented 5/6-year-old competitors, Junie Wood continued her streak when she marked a 226 for the win.
Junie Wood (Nitas Wood x Tuffs Junie x Tuff Lena), bred by Craig and Janet Crumpler, of Wichita Falls, Texas, pushed her lifetime earnings to more than $367,000 when she and trainer John Mitchell, of Weatherford, Texas, garnered $37,495 for their winning performance. The 2014 NCHA Open Horse of the Year, who won the NCHA Super Stakes Open last year, dominated the Classic Open finals, taking the title by a 4-point margin from the second draw in the second of two sets.
Mitchell, an Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Rider, and the 5-year-old mare, who is owned by Slate River Ranch, of Richmond, Virginia, have been riding a hot streak that began last year. The Super Stakes Classic Open title makes the duo’s fourth in a row after impressive showings at January’s Abilene Spectacular, February’s Bonanza Cutting and March’s The Cattlemen’s Derby & Classic.
The Classic Open Reserve Championship went to Adan Banuelos, of Granbury, Texas, and Quick To Dual (Dual Rey x Slick Quick Cat x High Brow Cat), bred by Lonnie and Barbara Allsup, of Clovis, New Mexico. The duo took home a $32,110 paycheck for owner Jayme Toledo De Resende, also of Granbury.
Classic John Deere Open
In the John Deere division of the Classic Open, limited riders get their time in the spotlight. The arena lit up even brighter than usual for this year’s event, held Friday, April 3, when a palomino stallion walked to the herd third in the 10-horse finals.
Gold From Home (WR This Cats Smart x Haidas Little Shorty x Haidas Little Pep), owned and bred by Hare Quarter Horses, of Malin, Oregon, carried Jon Burgess, of Cleburne, Texas, to a 221 for the Classic John Deere Open Championship. Their 3-point lead held through the event for a $5,171 payday.
Burgess, whose Equi-Stat record totals more than $600,000, and Gold From Home also qualified for Saturday’s Open finals. The duo marked a 195 after losing a cow at the buzzer; however, their tie for 21st was good for an additional $5,450 paycheck. Altogether, the $10,621 the 6-year-old stallion earned more than doubled his Equi-Stat record.
MK Rey Girl (Dual Rey x Runnin Mate x Smart Mate), bred by The Gene McKown Living Trust, of Norman, Oklahoma, took the Classic John Deere Open Reserve title with Kevin Walden, of Summerfield, North Carolina, after marking a 218 worth $4,493. The 5-year-old mare is owned by Gale Force Quarter Horses, of Conway, South Carolina.
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