GSetnicka MGaines

El Rancho Futurity Champions Crowned

GSetnicka MGainesFuturity Open Champions Grant Setnicka (middle) and Matt Gaines, pictured with show producer Carol WardThe El Rancho Futurity and Foothill Fiesta brought elite cutting horses and their riders to Rancho Murieta, California, Sept. 6-14 for a chance at big checks. The event was spectator friendly and offered plenty of opportunities for cutters to enjoy their trip to Carol Ward’s facility.

The Futurity Open finals saw a tie for top honors when Metallic Flo and Smooth Cowstruck marked matching 220 scores. Each horse earned $12,750 for the Co-Championship.

Smooth Cowstruck, who drew second with Equi-Stat Elite $7 Million Rider Matt Gaines, of Weatherford, Texas, came into the finals with go-round scores of 215 and 215.5. The 3-year-old mare (Smooth As A Cat x Cowstruck x Smart Little Lena), owned and bred by Reata Cutting Horses LLC, of Weatherford, turned it up a notch in the finals to impress the judges.

The pressure was on for Metallic Flo at draw No. 9. Piloted by Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Grant Setnicka, of Grandview, Texas, the Metallic Cat mare rose to the occasion to tie with Gaines and Smooth Cowstruck. Metallic Flo is out of Zacks J Flo, a money-earning daughter of Mr Peponita Flo with nearly $30,000 to her credit.

Derby Open

Matt Gaines is a legend in the industry, and he proved why at El Rancho when he took home more than one victory. Before tying for the Futurity Open title, he rode Kitkat (Peptoboonsmal x Kittens x High Brow Cat) to a 222 in the 15-horse Derby Open finals, securing the win and a $9,000 paycheck for owners Gary and Shannon Barker, of Madill, Oklahoma.

Kitkat, bred by Frank and Bonnie Martin, of Las Vegas, is the seventh money-earner out of Kittens, according to Equi-Stat. She is a full sister to 2009 gelding Kittens N The King, who has amassed cutting earnings in excess of $80,000, and to 2009 mare Kitty Boon ($64,644).

The Derby Open Reserve title, along with a $7,500 paycheck, went to Classy CD Cat (High Brow Cat x Classical CD x CD Olena) and Adan Banuelos, of Granbury, Texas. Owned by breeders Bobby and Dottie Hill, of Glen Rose, Texas, the 4-year-old mare topped the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open in 2014.