For the second year, Eric Freitas took the Futurity Non-Pro title at the National Stock Horse Association’s event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This time, Freitas’s NSHA Futurity Non-Pro win was aboard Loves Blu Boon (Once In A Blu Boon x Loves Etch x High Brow Cat). The Santa Maria, California, non-pro brought two entries for the Futurity and his other entry, LG Cookin With Sugar (Kit Kat Sugar x Cookies Cookin x Docs Hickory), finished third.
Freitas saw Loves Blu Boon when trainer Robby Boyce had the horse at the 2-Year-Old Sale held during the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity in 2018. He liked the horse from the beginning.
“We like him and he’s been really good all along,” said Freitas. “I didn’t do much riding on him until the last two months; Jared Jones trained him quite a bit and lately Justin [Wright] has been helping me with him.”
The pair rode to a composite 653.5 (211 herd / 213 rein / 211.5 cow). While a consistent scorer, Freitas said the stallion is an unconventional stopper.
“He stops huge, but it is quite different because he doesn’t move his front end but kind of picks it up. He doesn’t paddle his front end but he’ll go 30 feet. It is kinda cool. You expect him to bounce you out of the saddle but it is smooth as glass. I really like him. He gets stopped on the fence and is really cowy and very bright on a cow.”
The two Futurity horses are vastly different to ride, according to Freitas, but both have the talent to justify their entry into the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in October.
“Loves Blu Boon and LG Cookin With Sugar are opposites,” he said. “One is big, the other is not; one is really feely, the other is numb. That is a challenge because you have to ride them completely different. I have a lot of help and without the guys, I couldn’t do it. They all help out so it makes having two in the Futurity pretty easy.”
The Futurity win caps off a top-notch weekend for Freitas, who won the NSHA Derby Non-Pro aboard Cat Snacks (Cats Full Moon x Chic Snacks x Snackbox). He earned $4,132.50 for the Futurity win and $2,911.13 for the Derby championship.
NSHA Futurity Non-Pro Reserve Champion Shannon McCarty also won the Futurity Intermediate Non-Pro with riding Boonlights Smartchic, owned her mother, Cheryl Schuyler. The pair marked a 631.5, earning $3,443.75 in the Non-Pro and $1,750 for the Intermediate Non-Pro.
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