Christy Hughes & Austin Shepard • Photo by Hart Photos

Christy Hughes and Ettafied Win First Two Titles at the NCHA Eastern Nationals

$5,000 Novice

Ettafied & Gabe Reynolds • Photo by Hart Photos

Gabe Reynolds always believed that Ettafied was destined to do big things; he just didn’t know when they were going to happen. Ettified’s time came on Wednesday night at the Eastern Nationals when the 6-year-old gelding marked a 223 to win the $5,000 Novice and $5,209.

“I’m very excited about this for that horse. I wanted him to win something like this just to show how good he is,” Reynolds said. “He has so much ability. He’s not a big horse, he’s very small, but he’s as strong as any horse I’ve ever shown. He has so much try and is a fun horse to have.”

The previous evening, Ettafied got through a tough run in the $25,000 Novice finals to place 14th and win $1,172, but Reynolds was concerned that the gelding may have hurt himself in doing so.

“The cows were really fast and tough, and he had tried so hard that I was worried,” Reynolds said, “But when I got on him the next day, he felt just as good, if not better, than he had the night before.”

Going into the $5,000 Novice finals, Reynolds told his help, Kevin Walden, Matt Williams, Bill Pierce and Walt Erwin, that he wanted to slow down and only cut choice cows.

“Those guys did a fantastic job finding them for me. We cut them clean and he was so accurate. He didn’t make any mistakes and it just worked out nicely,” Reynolds said.

Ettafied (High Brow CD x Travs Foxetta x Travalena) is owned by Lisa and Jamie Johnson of Benson, North Carolina, and was originally trained by their son, Nicholas. When Nicholas returned to the family business, Ettafied had close to a year off from the show pen. Reynolds, who had seen and liked the gelding as youngster, put in a call to Nick.

“He said they weren’t really showing at that time, so I asked them if they’d send him to me and let me show him,” Reynolds recalled.

Reynolds, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Lisa both started showing Ettafied in August last year at local aged events and together added $5,764 to earnings which now total $23,883. This year, they both made the finals in their respective classes at the Augusta Futurity on him.

“I felt like we were snake bit there for a while,” Reynolds said. “We had some tough luck on him at Congress and at the Southern, but he’s starting to get consistent now and he’s been a blast to show. I think he’s in the top three horses that I’ve ever got to show.

“I said to Lauren [Minshall] on the way here [to the Eastern Nationals] that I thought there was a big win in him, I just didn’t know where it would be,” he continued. “I said that we just had to be patient because his turn would come and it has – this is great, it feels really good to have done this on him.”

This is Reynolds’ second time to win at the Eastern Nationals in five years. His other championship was in the $25,000 Novice on Reyn Storm.

Ichin In The Reyn (Cat Ichi x Little Rey Gal x Dual Rey), owned by EE Ranches, of Whitesboro, Texas, and Dusty Nelsen placed second with a 217.5. They earned $4,205.

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