With added money sponsored by Miles and Becky Elliott, the NCHA and the Atlantic Coast Cutting Horse Association, the Mercuria/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Series of Cutting, held in conjunction with the Augusta Futurity, drew quite a few people to Augusta, Georgia. The Open boasted 34 entries, with 9 making it back to the finals.
Drawn by the possibilities the Mercuria offered, one of those riders drove more than 1000 miles to have a chance at the title. Sulphur, Oklahoma, resident Gaylon Wells, who does not usually make the trip to Augusta because of the distance, came to the Augusta Futurity strictly for of the Mercuria. He made his trip worth it, riding Bill and Catherine Lacy-bred Jay Moss Cougar to a 223. The score couldn’t be touched, and he and the gelding were crowned the Champions.
“It feels great. Anytime you have a win, it feels good,” Wells said. “It was a very tough set of cows. A lot of horses went out trying to force the issue on these cattle, and they just wouldn’t take it.”
Jay Moss Cougar, or “Spyder,” was purchased by Shannon Lamb two weeks before the Mercuria. She bought him from Frank Harrison, one of Wells’ customers.
“He was in our barn so I knew that he and Gaylon would be a good fit,” Lamb said. “When he came up for sale, I couldn’t resist him. He’s just too cool of a horse, and he’s done really well. And Gaylon knows him.”
Lamb hopes to show the 9-year-old gelding (High Brow Cougar x Ariel Rey x Dual Rey) some in the future. She collected $9,104 for the win.
After watching her husband, Equi-Stat Elite $9 Million Rider Phil Rapp, win the 5/6-Year-Old Classic Open the night before, Mary Ann Rapp won her own title during the Mercuria Non-Pro. She piloted Im Reydioactive to a 221.5 and banked $7,600 for the win.
“It’s pretty cool! I’m glad they have it [the Mercuria] again [at the Augusta Futurity],” she said. “I think it’s a pretty good drawing card for the show. I’m excited it’s back, and I’m excited to have this horse to show.”
After not having a horse to compete with last year, Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Rider Rapp is excited to be back in the show pen this year. She and Phil purchased “Radio” from the 2016 NCHA Futurity Cutting Horse Sale, where he was consigned by Wes Galyean.
“Wes and Kristen Galyean owned him. They don’t usually weekend. He aged out for them and they didn’t really have any use for him, so they put him in the sale. That’s why we had the opportunity to buy him.
“This year at the Futurity we were looking through the sale catalog for another horse for our son Ryan to show because his main youth horse was injured,” she continued. “I was looking through the sale catalog, and I picked this horse out. Phil was working the sale and he texted me and said, ‘I bought Radio,’ but he said, ‘I bought him for you, I didn’t buy him for Ryan.’ So it’s pretty fun to have one to go show this year.”
The 7-year-old Kim Larue Miller Ezell-bred gelding (Dual Rey x Kaboomsmall x Peptoboonsmal) received lots of cookies from the Rapps’ daughter Emma after his win. Rapp plans to take him to several shows this year in between hauling Ryan and Emma to keep them competitive in the Youth standings.
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