Katherine Queen rode Clayrecious 10, aka "Poker," to a second straight Area 18 Youth Scholarship Championship on Saturday at the Augusta Futurity. • Photo by Molly Montag.

Seeing Double: Katherine Queen And “Poker” Do It Again At Augusta Futurity

If Katherine Queen had a familiar feeling in the Area 18 Youth Scholarship finals at the Augusta Futurity, it wasn’t because she was suffering from a case of déjà vu .

The 13-year-old cutter won the event for a second straight year on the same horse, only this time she didn’t have to relive the experience of a judges’ review.

Queen, 13, of Allendale, South Carolina, and Clayrecious 10 marked a 221 to take Saturday’s Championship.

This year’s victory was much more straightforward than the 2017 event, where Queen was originally marked a 214. Several riders had higher scores, including the 218 marked by leader Joey Varnadore, but she shot to the top when her score was adjusted to a 220.

She went into this year’s finals hoping for the same end result.

“I was hoping just a remake of last year, so it happened,” Queen said. “It was really good. He was perfect and the cows were good.

The Youth Scholarship finals was a festive affair, with each contestant picking out a song to play during their run. Queen chose Lady Gaga’s pop hit “Poker Face” as a nod to her horse, whose nickname is “Poker.”

She said Poker, owned by her family, is a fun horse that has a few quirks.

“He’s just wild,” Queen said. “He’s really sweet and everything, but he likes to run and he likes to play, and he doesn’t like you to do anything on him unless he’s got a saddle on.”

Even with his idiosyncrasies, the James Eakin-bred (Halreycious x Cash N Scooter x Cash Quixote Rio) has always been a consistent horse for Queen.

“I love him,” she said. “He’s awesome. I can always count on him. He’s never going to do anything different than the normal.”

Queen, who also made Saturday night’s Futurity Non-Pro finals, said she still enjoys participating in Youth scholarship cuttings. The events are intended as a way for young cutters, who typically cut for year-end points and don’t have a shot at big purses, to earn money for higher education.

The Youth events also are a chance for Queen, who shows against many adults in non-pro events, to compete against her friends. 

“In the Youth I’ve showed with these people a lot and there’s really good (riders) in the Youth, there is, and it’s really tough, too,” she said.

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