horse and rider and cow
Mason Mefford & Smart Lookin Ruby • Photo by Dawn Baxstrom

Amateurs Shine on Final Day of Abilene Spectacular

At the Abilene Spectacular on Jan. 10, Mason Mefford and Smart Lookin Ruby walked into the first class of the day, the 4-Year-Old Unlimited Amateur, and marked a 213.5. After the 15th and final rider of the class exited the arena, Mefford was named the Champion. But the day’s success didn’t end there.

Later that afternoon, he and the mare took home another championship from the 4-Year-Old Amateur after scoring a 213. The combined paycheck of $6,919 they received for winning both titles boosted Mefford’s earnings in Equi-Stat to $27,578.

“My Unlimited Amateur run was kind of up and down,” Mefford said. “The first cow was alright. My second cow got close to disrupting the herd. I thought I was out of the cutting after that, but then my third cow went, and I did good on [it]. I saw the score, and I was proud of the horse.

“My Amateur run was kind of similar, but I pushed up far enough where I wasn’t on the herd too bad. It was just another run on her [my mare],” he added.

Mefford, who is 14 years old and in the seventh grade, was proud of “Helen,” who is owned by his mom, Tamyra. He showed the daughter of Dual Smart Rey at the 2018 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity and made the finals in both the Unlimited Amateur, where they tied for 20th, and the Amateur, where they tied for 15th.

Out of Ruby Red Cat (by High Brow Cat), Helen boasts earnings of $19,305 in Equi-Stat, putting her in the top five earners out of her dam. Ruby Red Cat has produced seven earners of more than $168,000.

“She’s smooth. She takes lots of little kicks,” Mefford said of Helen. “She’s a real calm horse. I’ve never seen her spook. You can take the halter off her, and you don’t expect her to run away.”

Mefford’s goal for the mare, who was bred by Jeff Neidhart, is to go to the bigger NCHA shows and have good rides.

“We’re trying to be in the top 10 in the Amateur Limited-Age,” he said.

“I’d like to thank Ashley Baxstrom for training her. He did such a good job,” Mefford continued. “And then Wayne Czisny for helping me out and teaching me so much stuff about cutting. Also my parents for motivating me and driving me to the shows. And importantly, I’d like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to go to all these big shows with such a great horse.”


horse and rider and cow
German Lugo & This Chics Hot • Photo by Dawn Baxstrom

5/6-Year-Old Unlimited Amateur

German Lugo & This Chics Hot
13M (Spots Hot x Heavenly Reys x Dual Rey)
Owner: German Lugo, Gainesville, TX
Breeder: Avn Oaks Creek Ranch LLC, Weatherford, TX
Score: 219.5
Payout: $2,500




horse and rider and cow
Luis Gutierrez & Hey Thomas • Photo by Dawn Baxstrom

5/6-Year-Old Amateur

Luis Gutierrez & Hey Thomas
14G (Thomas E Hughes x Some Kinda Twister x Freckles Fancy Twist)
Owner: Louis Gutierrez, Springtown, TX
Breeder: Charlie Israel, Mountain Brook, AL
Score: 217
Payout: $2,965