The Amateur finals at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity saw 33 contestants ride to the herd, but it was a 219 marked by Blake Heid aboard Nothing Comes Easy that held strong through the remainder of the finals.
“I was just going to do the cleanest I could, cut the cleanest and show the cleanest I could. It worked out,” Heid said after claiming the Championship in the Will Rogers Coliseum. “I had some good cows and kept them in the middle and controlled them a little bit. I feel pretty good!”
The Weatherford Christian eighth-grader who piloted his 2015 gelding with seasoned intensity was all smiles after his first win in the “big pen.” He rode into the Coliseum with $84,346 in lifetime earnings, according to Equi-Stat, and received a check worth $22,617, as well as a brand new three-horse trailer given by Cowboy Trailer Sales, on his way out. The team also topped the Gelding Amateur class.
“Does the truck come with it?” Heid said with a laugh as he watched his prizes roll into the arena.
“I cut the ones [cows] I picked. My first cow was a grey cow and really good. I drove her out and I kind of cut her a little wrong, but I set my horse up better and he kind of took over and did the job,” Heid explained of his run on the Kit Kat Sugar gelding who is out of the Smooth As A Cat mare Smooth Little Cat. “In the corner, I had Michael Baker and Pedro Ornelas telling me to slow down a little bit, and it worked out.”
Nothing Comes Easy, who is known as “Dually,” was trained by Ornelas before he was purchased by Heid’s father, Mike, just three months prior to the Futurity.
“He turned out to be a really good horse. Pedro has a real good draw on him, had him working really well. Dually’s a cool little horse, very friendly and I just like showing him because you can go out there and just throw down, and you know he will cover you back up.”
Heid, who was slated to compete near the end of the Unlimited Amateur semifinals on Dec. 5, said Dually has earned some rest following the Futurity, after which they plan to show him at the Abilene Spectacular.
“This is my second year [showing at the Futurity], and to be so blessed with another horse, to come out and just ride the second year and win it, its just unbelievable,” the Fort Worth, Texas, rider noted, adding that his new motto should be to slow down, which he hears a great deal from his mentors.
Heid thanked the Lord first and foremost for his thrilling title, and then the men who helped him get there – Casey Green, Boyd Rice, Clay Johnson, Tom McGee, Ornelas and Baker.
The Reserve Championship went to Tom Williams riding Sofies Choice Cat (High Brow Cat x Sofie Rey x Dual Rey), who marked a 217. The duo earned a check for $19,853, along with claiming the Senior Amateur title.