John East and his 3-year-old Masters Moonshine didn’t hold anything back during the West Texas Futurity, which ran Aug. 8-16 in Amarillo, Texas. After topping the first go-round with a 212 and finishing second in the second go-round with a 214, the duo captured the Futurity Non-Pro Championship with a composite score of 426 in the pencil finals.
Their performance came with a check for $7,000 pushing East, of Linn, Texas, past the $100,000 mark in Equi-Stat. East has trained Masters Moonshine (Cats Moonshine x Smart Masterpiece x Smart Little Lena) by himself since Grant Setnicka helped East purchase the horse last summer.
“I get advice from a lot of people, but I don’t ever really want to leave him with a trainer,” East said of the horse, bred by Dottie Hill, of Glen Rose, Texas.
Finishing with a composite score of 419, Tammy Jones and Woody B A Ruby (Nitas Wood x Ruby Dee DNA x CD Olena) claimed the Reserve title to pick up a check worth $5,000 for owner The Over Forty Ranch, of Wichita Falls, Texas.
Mary Ann Rapp and Tuned Up To Drive brought their A-Game to Amarillo, scoring a 223 to win the Derby Non-Pro Championship for an $8,200 payday.
This win adds to the duo’s many accolades, including the 2014 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Non-Pro Reserve Championship, as well as the 2015 Cattlemen’s Derby Non-Pro Co-Championship. Rapp was excited to take home her first big win on her homebred mare, Tuned Up To Drive (Hydrive Cat x SDP Finely Tuned x Smart Little Lena).
“It’s a lot more rewarding when you’ve raised them and seen them since they were born,” Rapp, of Weatherford, Texas, said. “It’s much more rewarding when they are a part of your game plan from the beginning and it all works out.”
Trailing the champions by 4 points were Smooth Two Tapper and Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Kyle Manion, of Aubrey, Texas, with a 219. Manion added $7,200 to his earnings record with the Reserve run aboard the gelding (Smooth As A Cat x Hold On Loosely x Dual Pep), owned by Tommy Manion Inc., of Aubrey, Texas, and bred by John and Nancy McCoy, of Houston, Texas.
Manion picked up an additional $2,000 for his ninth-place finish with A Smooth Dually (Smooth As A Cat x Dually San Lena x Dual Pep), who was bred and is also owned by Tommy Manion Inc.
The Hedlund family, of Acampo, California, proved cutting is a family affair when Meteles Cat carried both father and son to championship titles during the eight-day West Texas Futurity.
After Meteles Cat and Rock Hedlund won the 5/6-Year-Old Open title, the stallion and Rock’s son, Cody Hedlund, captured the 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro Championship with a big 222 in the finals.
Hedlund, who owns Meteles Cat, picked up a check for $8,800, which adds to the $11,500 won in the Open with Rock, who bred the stallion (Metallic Cat x Teles Lies x Lenas Telesis).
“He’s such a smart horse, it doesn’t matter what either of us do,” Hedlund said. “We both ride him a little bit differently, but it doesn’t seem to affect him that much.”
This win comes on the heels of Hedlund’s win in the Western Bloodstock/NCHA Showdown In Cowtown Non-Pro last month, where the duo received a $35,000 check for their victory.
The Reserve title and a check for $7,700 went to Kylie Rice, who piloted Eazee E (High Brow Cat x Zee Dualy x Dual Pep) to a 219. The mare, bred by Frank and Belinda Vandersloot, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, is currently owned by Kevin and Sydney Knight, of Scottsdale, Arizona.