Cade Shepard thought he knew which one of his three finalists had the best shot in the Augusta Futurity 4-Year-Old Non-Pro. Fortunately, he didn’t share his guess with a mare named Lite Headed.
The 17-year-old cutter and the mare owned by his parents, Austin and Stacy, marked a 217 to take the first-place prize of $5,047. Reserve Champions Ali Good and Sabrina Boon were a half-point back with a 216.5.
“We raised her and trained her, and I did the majority of the training on her,” Shepard said of the mare bred by Matthews Cutting Horses LLC, of Weatherford, Texas. “She’s really fun to ride. She’s got a real swoopy move and [she’s] really quick.”
The mare has continued to improve in her training, and that showed in Augusta.
“She’s just gotten so much quicker and hooked onto a cow more since we started,” said Shepard, of Summerdale, Alabama. “And, [she’s] got a lot brighter.”
Although Shepard respected the mare’s talent — he rode her to the 2018 Cotton Stakes Futurity Non-Pro Reserve Championship — after the class, he admitted that he’d thought his best shot was aboard Barney Ross. That horse is particularly special to Shepard, because he’d piloted the son of Bamacat to the finals of last year’s National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas.
His appreciation for Barney Ross’ talent was proven later in the night when his grandfather, Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider Sam Shepard, rode the horse to the Augusta Futurity 4-Year-Old Open Reserve Championship.
She is the first money-earner recorded in Equi-Stat out of Desire Some Time. The 2008 broodmare (by One Time Pepto) is out of Desire Some Freckles, a daughter of Freckles Playboy who has produced 28 earners of more than $1.4 million.
Reserve Champions Good, of Ringling, Oklahoma, and Sabrina Boon (Boon A Little x Ms Highliner x High Brow Hickory) earned $4,500 for owner Riddle Farm Revocable Living Trust. That pushed Sabrina Boon’s earnings to more than $16,000.
Her dam, Ms Highliner, is the mother of five money-earning performers with $267,657, according to Equi-Stat.
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