Ponoka, Alberta, Canada, unlimited amateur rider Danny Jones cut his way to the top of The Cattlemens Derby and Classic 5/6-Year-Old Unlimited Amateur division. In the first go, Jones was the sixth draw out of 47 competitors aboard Play Miss Boonsmal. The duo had a solid run going until their third cow.
“The first two cows were really good,” Jones said. “She had a really good run going, and that’s what helped our score. We didn’t cut the third cow clean enough, and that’s what marked me a 216.”
Heading into the finals, Jones was the first draw in the 16-horse field. Determined to make three clean cuts, the pair turned in an impressive performance. The judges rewarded them with a 222, a score that was four points ahead of second place finisher Joe Wood aboard Olenas Dually Time (One Time Pepto x Olenas Dually x Dual Pep). They garnered $3,000 for the win.
“I was pretty thrilled with the ride,” Jones said. “It’s pretty good to be the first draw. My plan was to cut the cattle clean to maximize the score and see where things fell into place among the 16 of us.”
He credited his herd help and Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider Eddie Flynn, of Lipan, Texas with much of his success.
“They always seem to find good cattle. Today they found two really good ones, and so we marked really good,” he said. “I was very thrilled with it [the finals].”
Jones purchased the 2012 Peptoboonsmal mare (out of Play Miss x Playgun) at the end of her 3-year-old year. The sale was final Dec. 20, 2016, at the conclusion of the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity. Both Jones and Flynn rode her through her 4-year-old year, Jones in the unlimited amateur division and Flynn in open. Jones and the mare topped the 2017 Brazos Bash Classic/Challenge Unlimited Amateur.
As the mare started this season, Jones said she is a little stronger and that as a team they are a little more in time with one another. The duo turned in strong third place finishes at both the 2018 Abilene Spectacular (216) and Bonanza Cutting (217). It’s a trend Jones hopes will continue through the remainder of this year.
“She is so smart on a cow and keeps you out of trouble when you think you’re getting into a little trouble,” he said. “When I let her take over and stay out of her way, she always does the right thing.”
Under both riders Play Miss Bonsmal has accumulated more than $129,000 in lifetime earnings. Jones and Flynn plan to continue showing the mare at all of the major events this year, including the NCHA Super Stakes later this month.
“She is a strong horse and can really move,” Jones said. “She is very physical and has a big stop.”