The Southern Cutting Futurity, held Oct. 25-31 in Jackson, Mississippi, wrapped up its limited-age Open on Wednesday, Oct. 28, with the Futurity. Matt Gaines left his mark on the event when he topped the class with a one-two finish.
Gaines, of Weatherford, Texas, piloted Smooth Cowstruck to the Futurity Open Championship after marking a 218.5 from the 10th draw in the 11-horse finals. The Equi-Stat Elite $7 Million Rider also rode Found My Dream to a 216 from the first draw to finish as the Reserve Champion.
Smooth Cowstruck (Smooth As A Cat x Cowstruck x Smart Little Lena) earned a check for $10,000, which combined with her first-place finish in the Southern Cutting Futurity Stallion Incentive to total $13,483. The mare, who is owned by breeder Reata Cutting Horses LLC, of Weatherford, now boasts lifetime earnings of more than $30,000, thanks in part to her Futurity Open Co-Championship at the El Rancho Futurity in September.
Southern Cutting Futurity Open Reserve Champion Found My Dream earned a total of $11,090 for owners Gary and Shannon Barker, of Barker Ranch in Madill, Oklahoma. The homebred mare (Smooth As A Cat x Hoo Rey For Dreams x Dual Rey) also finished second in the stallion incentive, bringing her Equi-Stat record to $21,465.
Gaines, who unofficially clinched the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Open World Championship with Special Nu Baby in Jackson, also finished seventh in the Futurity Open riding Reata Cutting Horses’ Heavy Metal Girl (Metallic Cat x Cowstruck x Smart Little Lena). The duo garnered $2,300 for the performance.
Lee Francois, of Murchison, Texas, opened the show with a bang when he rode Peppys Cashin Checks to the Derby Open Championship in the event’s first finals. The duo earned a 224 from the judges in the 27-horse class.