Perfection is hard to achieve, but Isnt She Perfect (Walla Walla Whiz x Miss Silver Gun x Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner]) made it look easy. Kole Price piloted the mare to a 222 at the Buckeye Reining Series Coughlin Automotive Futurity on Aug. 18, which clinched the Level 4 Open Championship by 3 full points.
“We got turned around really big to the left and got a plus-one on the maneuver,” he said. “She didn’t get started as great to the right and didn’t get balanced, so she had a slight overspin because I couldn’t get her shut down.”
The slight bobble didn’t faze the mare. She came back to Price like a seasoned derby horse rather than a first-timer.
“She had a solid slow lope. I threw a lot of rein to her and just showed her off,” he said. “The circles felt as symmetrical as I’ve ever had. When I reviewed the run, they looked like carbon copies. That’s really hard to do on a 3-year-old.”
When Price sent her down the fence for her first stop, Isnt She Perfect was firing on all cylinders. She got in the ground and had an awesome rollback. Her second stop was even better.
“I remember thinking that we had a pretty good run and telling myself not to screw it up by letting her break gait or something stupid,” he said. “I had a big smile on my face as I rode down to the last stop. I knew we had it.”
She delivered with her biggest stop of the pattern and a solid back-up to demonstrate to the crowd just what perfection looks like.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a horse as comfortable their first time into the pen as she was,” he said. “Watching the run, she never took her ears off me, and there were a lot of distractions.”
The score also earned Isnt She Perfect first place in the Open Mare Incentive, adding $1,462 to her earnings for co-owners Jeremy Ebert and Stacy Schlanser. Last October, Price flew out to Tamarack Ranch in Oregon to look at prospects for the pair. After spending two days looking at several coming 3-year-olds, he knew Isnt She Perfect was the one.
“I knew in the first five minutes I wanted to buy her,” he said. “She is so serious about going to work and is so easy to prepare.”
Futurity Level 3 Open
Robin Schoeller had a busy week at the Buckeye Reining Series Coughlin Automotive Futurity. He and his wife, Laura, co-managed the show, and he had two horses to ride in the Futurity Open – the first show for both 3-year-olds.
The crazy schedule didn’t seem to faze him in the show pen. First, he won the Level 3 Open aboard Tom and Debbie Coughlin’s Shine Like Boss (Magnum Chic Dream x Shinedup Whizn Toglo x Topsail Whiz). The palomino stallion had a slight overspin in the opening turnaround of pattern No. 8 and trotted out of a rollback at the end of the pattern, but his performance in between the two minor penalties impressed the judges. The pair earned a 217.5 and $4,926.
“When I went back and reviewed the run, I saw that he has a lot of presence in every maneuver. He needs a little fine-tuning but is showing a lot of promise,” Schoeller said. “He is a really strong stopper, and I like his turnarounds. He is attractive in his circles, too.”
Schoeller has been training the stallion for the Coughlins since November 2017. The duo’s score also landed them fourth in Level 4, which paid $3,748.
Schoeller was back in the winner’s circle with Beth Himes’ CCR Shiney Whiz Chic (Shine Chic Shine x Its Conquista Cash x Conquistador Whiz), who was reserve in the same class. The buckskin mare earned a 216.5 and a check for $3,349.
The mare started off the pattern with a strong turnaround to the left. A small bobble to the right earned them a zero on the maneuver.
“I didn’t get her to fire as much as I expected her to,” he said. “We also had a lead penalty in our right circle, but her left circle was nice.”
CCR Shiney Whiz Chic finished the pattern with three nice stops, he said. Because she was started a little later than other futurity horses in his program, she is a little greener, but is showing a lot of promise.
“She is laid back and was easy to show. That’s what I like to see this time of year,” Schoeller said.
Her score also earned her second place in the Open Mare Incentive, which paid $1,005, and sixth place in Level 4, which added $2,624 to her earnings.
“I’ll likely take both of them, along with a third futurity horse I have in the barn, to Tulsa before the [All American Quarter Horse] Congress, and then we’ll head to the NRHA Futurity,” Schoeller said.
Futurity Level 1 Open
Rebecca Asmussen and Shannon Fowler each scored a 214 to become co-champions of the Buckeye Reining Series Coughlin Automotive Futurity Level 1 Open on Aug. 18. Both exhibitors earned $752 in a field of 53 entries. Even though the futurity was the first show for the vast majority of the 3-year-olds entered, the inexperienced co-champions handled the pressure with ease.
When Asmussen trotted Xtra Step Like Juice (Wimpys Little Step x SLJ Dun Juice x Smart Like Juice), or “Juice,” into the center of the pen to start the pattern, the stallion wasn’t completely settled. As soon as they stepped into the first turnaround, though, he was all business. The pair earned plus-half on both turnarounds, a score Asmussen was pleased with for their first show. Their circles were solid, and strong stops left a lasting impression with the judges.
“He was really hooked with me and went where I put him,” she said.
Asmussen and her husband, Jesse, bought the Purcell, Oklahoma Xtra Quarter Horses-bred stallion as a yearling from the 2016 National Reining Horse Association Markel Select Yearling Sale. He brought his breeder a purchase price of $9,200.
“He’s easy-leaded and he has a lot of style with his run and stop,” Asmussen said. “He is a little quirky on the ground, but he is a nice horse to ride and really talented. We’re really enjoying him.”
Fowler and Diamonds N Cash (Whizkey N Diamonds x Tuck Away Cash x Big Chex To Cash) turned in an equally solid run on pattern No. 8. The black gelding made the most of his show ring debut.
“He was smooth and focused and did his maneuvers well. We have some room to improve, but I’m really happy with him for his first real test in the show pen,” Fowler said. “There was a lot of distraction with the crowd, but he stayed quiet.”
Mary Jo Kirkpatrick bought the 3-year-old last year at the NRHA Markel Futurity Prospect Sale for $23,500 from Matt Mills, agent for George Ranzau. Arizona trainer Mills started the colt before he went through the sale, and Fowler has had him in her program since November 2017.
“He’s a little guy and has been incredibly good-minded,” she said. “He has been very trainable and is quick-footed in his turnaround.”
The 214 earned both riders second in Level 2, adding $1,081 to their weekend winnings. The score also placed Fowler fourth in Level 3, adding another $1,081 to the horse’s earnings.