Corey Cushing • Photo by Kelsey Pecsek

Final Champions Crowned at NSHA Futurity

The National Stock Horse Association (NSHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity wrapped up Aug. 28 with the Futurity Open and Non-Pro finals. With a lot of prize money on the line and a chance to gain momentum for a victorious futurity season, the horse-and-rider combinations put it all on the line and some were rewarded in a big way.

Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider Corey Cushing has had success at every major cow horse event, and his horses did not disappoint in Paso Robles, California. When the dust settled in the arena after the last horse finished its fence run, Cushing walked away with both the Open Championship and Reserve Championship.

The horseman took top honors aboard San Juan Ranch’s SJR Smooth Rio (Smooth As A Cat x Shiners Dimaond Girl x Shining Spark) with a composite score of 664.5. They took home an impressive $25,055 for the title, which kick-started SJR Smooth Rio’s Equi-Stat record.

Just 1 point behind SJR Smooth Rio was Moonstruck Striker (Dual Rey x Moonstruck Cat x High Brow Cat) with a 663.5 composite score. The Reserve title was worth $16,006 for owners Eric and Wendy Dunn.

The Dunns also own one of Cushing’s other standout mounts, Sippin Boons Farm (Smart Boons x Peppy Nicolena x Nic It In The Bud), who won the 2016 American Quarter Horse Association Junior Working Cow Horse World Championship and has posted big checks from the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Celebration of Champions, NRCHA Stallion Stakes and NRCHA Derby.

Cushing has had the ride on another horse owned and bred by San Juan Ranch – SJR Diamond Rey, a half-brother to SJR Smooth Rio who won the Open Championship at the NRCHA Stallion Stakes in 2016.

Futurity Intermediate Open

The 2016 World’s Greatest Horseman Champion, Clayton Edsall, rode Bet He Sparks (Bet Hesa Cat x Sparking Train x Shining Spark) to the Futurity Intermediate Open Championship with a composite score of 658.5. Owner K & L Phillips LLC went home with a check for $8,418, along with an additional $9,234 from their fourth-place finish in the Open.

Now, Bet He Sparks has an Equi-Stat record of $17,652 and Edsall boasts lifetime earnings of more than $315,000. The duo tied Cushing and SJR Smooth Rio for the highest fence run score of 223.5 to help them clinch the Championship.

Randy Paul and Travalinonmoonshine (Cats Moonshine x Travalin Miss Mosa x Travalena) finished second in the Intermediate Open with a composite score of 655.5. They sent home a check for $5,856 to owners Jayson and Teresa Fisher.

Futurity Limited & Level 1 Limited Open

Until this show, Jared Jones had only posted one check to Equi-Stat – one from his Reserve Championship in the Level 1 Limited Open at the NRCHA Derby aboard Gunna Smokum Alittle (Little Lotto Lena x Mia Gunna Smokum x Smokum Oak). He added several more checks and two championships to his record while at the NSHA Snaffle Bit Futurity.

With Bet Shesa Fancy Cat (Bet Hesa Cat x Real Hickory Smoke x Lil Bit O Hickory) between the reins, he picked up the Futurity Limited Open and Level 1 Limited Open championships, finished fifth in the Intermediate Open and 14th in the Open.

All in all, the team banked $12,217 for their runs, which combined for a 651 composite score. This brings the horseman’s lifetime record to more than $14,000.

In the Limited Open, Bob Stevens’ Nic It Ona Full Boon (Nic It In The Bud x MH On A Full Boon x Bodee Boonsmal) carried Jacob Barry to a composite score of 642 and the Reserve title, which was worth $2,537. Erik Dahlstrom and Smooth Romeo Rey (Dual Rey x Smooth As A Twist x Smooth As A Cat), who is owned by Marianne Plancke, finished as the Reserve Champions in the Level 1 Limited Open with a 629.

Futurity Non-Pro, Intermediate Non-Pro, Novice Non-Pro & Amateur

Dylan Sponseller posted her first check to Equi-Stat in September of 2014 and had accumulated around $6,200 through the 2016 season. When she walked out of the working area with Crackers On My Lips (Nabisco Roan x Kiss My Shiny Lips x Shining Spark), however, her run was worth much more than that.

Sponseller swept the Non-Pro, Intermediate Non-Pro, Novice Non-Pro and Amateur divisions and added a whopping $8,768 to her and Crackers On My Lips’ records. The duo finished with a composite score of 637 thanks to their impressive 217.5 down the fence. Now, the horsewoman boasts lifetime earnings of nearly $15,000.

Laurie Richards rode Glitter N Glam (One Time Pepto x Cats Tiara x High Brow Cat) to the Non-Pro Reserve Championship with a composite score of 636.5. They walked away with a check for $3,328.

Joanne Carollo and Blue Rey Dual (Rey Dual x RN Peptos Can Do x Peptos Stylish Oak), whom she owns with her husband, Jim, went home with the Intermediate Non-Pro Reserve title and a $1,200 check thanks to a composite score of 628.5.

Very Shiney Remedy (Very Smart Remedy x Shirley Shine x Shining Spark) carried Randy Gamble to a composite score of 627.5, which put them in second in the Novice Non-Pro and added $680 to their records.

Mandy Lizama ended with a composite score of 620 aboard San Master Peppy (Smart Little Pepinic x Masters Miss Pici x Master Remedy) for the Reserve title in the Amateur, which was worth $1,012.

Futurity Non-Pro Limited

Jessica Wright and Cash Shiny Checks (Nu Circle N Cash x Shiners Little Rita x Shining Spark) rounded out the Champions crowned in Paso Robles. They produced a 619.5 composite score for the Futurity Limited Non-Pro Championship and left the city with an extra $2,376 in their pockets.

Laura Campbell and A Total Rock Star (That CD Rocks x Spats Lil Spitfire x Colonel Spats) finished second in the Non-Pro Limited with a 613. Their efforts were worth $1,584.

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