As the Southern Cutting Futurity came to a close on Saturday, Oct. 31, the amateurs took over the show pen at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson, Mississippi. Candy Abshire and Thata Rey started the group off when they topped the Derby Unlimited Amateur with a 214.
Coming off of two Reserve Championships at the Brazos Bash, Abshire was excited to secure the win on her and husband Greg’s 4-year-old gelding (Dual Rey x Cat Smarts x High Brow Cat). The performance paid $4,000, which combined with the $1,500 paycheck the duo received for finishing third in the Derby Amateur finals with a 216.
“He is the sweetest horse in the whole world,” Abshire said of Thata Rey. “We are just going to continue riding and having a good time”
Thata Rey, bred by Mahler & Meredith, of Olney, Texas, was a Non-Pro finalist in the 2014 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity with previous owner Chad Bushaw, of Crown Ranch LP. The gelding marked a 217 to tie for third, and has since accumulated lifetime earnings of more than $66,000, according to Equi-Stat. With his success at the Southern, his record now totals more than $70,000.
There was a three-way tie for the Derby Unlimited Amateur Reserve title between Eric Van Boekel, John Brengard and Buster Quirk. All three riders earned a check for $3,000.
Van Boekel, of Mount Elgin, Ontario, Canada, rode Peppys Cashin Checks (Im Countin Checks x Peppys Stylish Lena x Docs Stylish Oak). The gelding, bred by Bobby and Dottie Hill, of Glen Rose, Texas, also won the Derby Open at the Southern Futurity with Lee Francois, of Murchison, Texas.
Brengard, of Paragould, Arkansas, earned his Co-Reserve Championship riding SDP Hicapoo Cat (Hydrive Cat x Hicapoo x Doc’s Hickory), who was bred by Buffalo Ranch, of Fort Worth, Texas. The young cutter and the mare also finished as Reserve Champions in the Derby Amateur.
Desires Onetime Ruby carried Buster Quirk, of Denham Springs, Louisiana, to his share of the prize in the Derby Unlimited Amateur. The gelding (One Time Pepto x Desire Some Freckles x Freckles Playboy), bred by Rockin 5 Ranch LLC, of Fairhope, Alabama, now boasts more than $27,000 in lifetime earnings.
A late draw in the 10-horse Derby Amateur finals worked out well for Mike Schraeder, of Tomball, Texas, who topped the class with a 218.5. He piloted Bearcat Merada to the title, which paid $2,500.
Schraeder, who also made the finals of the Classic Unlimited Amateur with his gelding Time N Tequila (One Time Pepto x Nu She Wood x Zack T Wood), picked up another $1,019 for winning the Senior Championship in the Derby Amateur.
“I just followed what my trainer told me to do and cut the cows he said to cut,” Schraeder said of his strategy with trainer Craig Thompson. “I just try to stay calm and check out the cows and get the cow in the right position. He [Bearcat Merada] has been real good for us.”