The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA)/Western Bloodstock Showdown In Cowtown slot cutting kicked off this week at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas, and has already drawn masses of spectators and competitors. Tonight, Gary Barker made his mark on the event after topping the Unlimited Amateur finals on his 6-year-old mare Flash About with a 220.
The victory came with a hefty paycheck of $20,000, which was especially noteworthy for the mare (Purdy Boy Flash x Play Miss x Playgun), as it pushed her previous $194,030 lifetime earnings past the $200,000 milestone.
Barker, of Madill, Oklahoma, drew fourth in the 17-horse finals, just after eventual Reserve Champions Jaylee Hall and High Brow CD Deuce (High Brow CD x WJ Pretty In Pink x Peptoboonsmal), who marked a 218.
Barker’s wife, Shannon Barker, was originally supposed to ride the mare in the division, but because Barker is competing in the NCHA Futurity, she suggested he ride Flash About in the Unlimited Amateur. The change of plans paid off for Barker in a big way, earning him his first win in the prestigious Will Rogers Coliseum.
Barker has spent the past two decades in the cutting ring, posting his first check to Equi-Stat in 1985. With the win in the finals, Barker now boasts lifetime earnings of $442,704. He credits his success at the event to the Flash About‘s simplicity, saying, “You just have to cut clean and let the horse do the job.”
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