As the fall limited-age event season winds down, horses in Jackson, Mississippi, at the Southern Cutting Futurity are making their final efforts to add money to their 2016 records. In the Oct. 25 Derby Open finals, Kual Lil Wendy and Austin Shepard proved worthy of the lion’s share of the purse.
Shepard, an Equi-Stat Elite $6 Million Rider based in Summerdale, Alabama, piloted Kual Lil Wendy (High Brow CD x Kual Gun x Playgun) to a 221.5 to secure the Derby Open Championship, worth a $14,000 payday.
“I just wanted to do as good as I could do,” Shepard said, crediting the mare, who is owned by Jan Newman, of Rosedale, Louisiana, for her willingness and try. “When it fits, it fits.”
Kual Lil Wendy, bred by M&N Cutting Horses/Grace Ranch, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, surpassed the $40,000 mark in lifetime earnings with this win. She is a full sister to CD Kual Gun and Kual CD, who have won $89,239 and $60,251, respectively.
Ripping Ichi (Cat Ichi x Kodoboomba x Kodo), bred by EE Ranches of Texas Inc., and Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider James Payne marked a 220 from draw one for the Derby Open Reserve Championship and a $12,000 payday. John Johnson, of Ardmore, Oklahoma, owns the gelding.
In a single set of 15 horses, Suen You Will See earned her first major victory with Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Steve Oehlhof, of Corsicana, Texas. Not to be outshined by the competition, the 5-year-old mare marked a 227 to top the Classic Open by a 5-point margin.
Suen You Will See (Boon Too Suen x Cat O Connor x High Brow Cat), bred by Rose Valley Ranch, of Weatherford, Texas, is owned by Ken Sitton, of Freeport, Texas. The mare garnered $14,000 for her win in Jackson, pushing her total lifetime earnings to approximately $135,000, according to Equi-Stat.
As a 3-year-old, Suen You Will See picked up $26,053 after making the 2014 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Open finals with Michael Cooper at her debut performance. Oehlhof began showing the mare late in her 4-year-old year, and shared rides with Sitton earlier this year. More recently, Oehlhof has taken over the reins full time and the duo has continually gained momentum.
“I’m very happy to finally get that mare shown,” Oehlhof said. “I cut her three good cows, and she was great. We’ve been close a couple times, so I was happy to finally win one on her.”
The Classic Open Reserve title went to the Cindy Ann Smith-bred gelding Hevvy Metal (Metallic Cat x Dual Nurse x Dual Pep) and Todd Gann, who marked a 222 from the draw before Suen You Will See. The duo took home $12,000 to owner Thomas Guinn, of Philadelphia, Mississippi, for their second-place finish.
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