With a 221 already on the board, Pedro Ornelas walked into the herd aboard Little Jo Cat in the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Limited Open knowing the championship was within his reach.
“I’d sat there and watched all the cattle, and they seemed really really tough,” Ornelas said. “I saw some people get run over, [but], you know, I had faith in my horse. I knew he was gonna respond.”
They did so even though they were late in the draw, the third-to-last horse out of two sets. Despite that, they got a shot at the cattle they wanted.
“I believe it was a black [cow with a] white chin first to kind of get him hooked on, and then my second cow, [we] went in there and he just happened to drive way up, and I went after it,” Ornelas said.
He was worried about the third cow, because it was right against the herd and the sorrel gelding has a lot of draw, but the horse came through with a big effort. It was the kind of talent the horse showed last December the first time Ornelas rode him.
“The very first time I rode him I worked him on cows, and I knew that there was something there,” he said. “I knew right then that there was something special there, and the more I worked him, the more he responded. I thought some day I’d get to show him, I just didn’t know it was going to be at the Futurity.”
The win earned $18,636 for Anderson Cattle Co., of Victoria, Texas.
The Reserve Championship went to Cat About Houston and Nate Lansford, who marked a 221 as the second pair to enter the herd. They earned $16,223 for owner Rose Valley Ranch, of Weatherford.