The National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Amateur finals saw 32 contestants competing for the Championship title, bragging rights and a three-horse trailer donated by Cowboy Trailer Sales. When two exhibitors marked the same high score – a 215 – they eventually agreed to settle for Co-Championship honors, although a coin was tossed for the trailer.
David Taurel, of Whitesboro, Texas, won the coin flip to take home the trailer.
“I wanted to work off, but they said that they’re showing their horse tomorrow and they didn’t want to go again,” Taurel said of how he ended up winning the coin toss. “I got lucky! I’ve never been a gambler and I’ve never won anything in my life.”
Taurel rode Playboy Is Smooth, a son of Smooth As A Cat who is out of the Freckles Playboy mare Mary Has Freckles.
“I was not going to show at the Futurity, and Josh [Townsend] called me and said, ‘David, I’ve got this nice horse,’ and he told me that’s the horse that he thought we needed. I went and looked at him, and we liked him and bought him. For the last month and a half Corey Courville has been training him and he was real easy to ride. I was very impressed. I’ll be honest with you, a month ago I didn’t know if I was going to show or not.”
Robert Masterson, of Guthrie, Texas, lost the coin flip, but the win with Little Guy Cat (Cats Merada x Miss Biscalena x Mister Dual Pep) was still enough to bring tears to his eyes.
“My dad raised this horse,” he said. “He’s been in training with James Payne all along, ever since he started his 2-year-old year. My dad passed away last September and I inherited my dad’s horses, so all of a sudden I had a 2-year-old in training.
“James talked to me in April – I hadn’t shown in 3-and-a-half years,” Masterson continued. “He said, ‘I think this horse would be a fun horse for you to show at the Futurity,’ and here we are.”
Masterson owns the stallion, who he referred to as “like a little kid,” with his wife, Wendy.
“A lot of his mother is starting to come out in him,” he said. “He’s a good ‘un. I think we’re going to keep him around for a while.”
Masterson and Taurel each received a check for $17,727.