Coming off an exciting John Deere Open victory at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes, Littlemak finished in the NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby John Deere Open tied with Mare E Hughes for another win in the division.
Ridden by Brazoria, Texas-based trainer Clay Cerny, Mare E Hughes (Thomas E Hughes x Short On Sass x Shorty Lena) marked a 222 from the fifth draw in the 12-horse finals. Following the run, Cerny was visibly out of breath, but he was quick to reward the Lake Gulch Cutting Horses-bred mare with a pat on the neck and walked from the arena with a smile.
“I’m very excited,” Cerney said. “She’s been a great horse all along.”
Jon Burgess and Littlemak (Starlights Gypsy x Justa Swinging Gal x Justa Swinging Peppy), bred by Joann Parker, of Millsap, Texas, came from the third-to-last draw determined to chase a repeat of their win in April. When the scoreboard showed another 222, they settled for the Co-Championship.
“I didn’t plan on the tie, but I sure wanted to try and do the best we could,” said Burgess, of Cleburne, Texas. “He’s just a good horse.”
Mare E Hughes took home a check for $4,437 to owners Don and Kathy Boone, of West Columbia, Texas, and Littlemak’s owner, Steve Anderson, enjoyed the same payday. Both horses also made it back to the Derby Open semifinals, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 5. Littlemak and Burgess drew third in the third bunch, and Mare E Hughes will compete from the final draw.
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