Wooodya & Justin Wright · Photo by Rockin' Horse Photography

Wooodya Nabs IRCHA Futurity Open Title After Last Minute Entry

Justin Wright didn’t originally plan to take Wooodya to the Idaho Reined Cow Horse Association (IRCHA) Futurity, Derby and Horse Show, held Oct. 29-Nov. 3. The mare had made the finals at the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity, where she placed 14th, and the duo traveled back home to California after. But some of Wright’s buddies had a load of horses going up to Idaho, and the lure of another horse show was too much to pass up.

“I loped her around the day before the reining and schooled her the morning of the reining, so it was all kind of last minute. I can’t say I really had a game plan or was prepared whatsoever,” Wright said.

The last minute decision paid off, though, when Wooodya and Wright won the Futurity Open Championship with a composite 594.5 after winning the Open fence finals with a 153. Wright believed resting the mare a little after the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity helped a bit and said she felt even more grown up in Idaho.

In the reining, the duo scored a 146, and Wright said Wooodya felt good everywhere. The pair next had a good draw in the herd work, where they scored a 147 to win the round.

“The cows were starting to get a little bit tough, but she came out there and I felt like I finally got her shown good out of the herd,” Wright said. “I had a few flaws down there in Fort Worth, so that was a relief to get her shown there.”

Wright added that Wooodya was good in the cow work prelims, where the mare scored a 148.5, putting her and her full brother, CR Dees Be Tuff, slightly in the lead going into the fence work finals. After watching several good fence works before their turn, Wright realized he would have to mark at least a 152 to win the title. He knew it would be tough, but he didn’t give up hope.

“She’d been feeling good all week long and the cattle were giving all of us an opportunity to mark big scores,” Wright said. “It kind of seems like on those nights when everybody’s having big fence works, that confidence and energy get rolling. It just kind of all worked out.

“I think from the time I left the corner, there weren’t two strides she wasn’t right on that cow,” Wright added of his run. “We came out of the first turn really tight, and that cow had a lot of run left in it. We ran it into the second turn and it only took her two strides to get caught back up to that cow. From then on, she never let it get off of her.”

Wooodya, a daughter of Woody Be Tuff (out of CR Dees Boon Meow x Peptoboonsmal) who was bred by Center Ranch, was originally intended for the cutting pen with then-owner Tom Lyons. Lyons called Wright in April and told him he had a 3-year-old mare he thought could do the cow horse.

“She was behind in the rein work and the fence work,” Wright said of when he got the mare into his training program. “They had worked a cow on her quite a bit, but she hadn’t had any reining training done on her. But she just had a great attitude. Every day she came out and wanted to learn. There’s not a lot of horses that probably could have advanced as quickly as she did and had such good spirits about it. She just continues to get better.”

Wright works out of Eric Freitas’ facility in Santa Maria, California. Freitas fell in love with Wooodya and purchased her in May. Wright thanked him and the rest of his customers for letting him go to the shows, along with his family and his help.

“It was fun. It was spur of the moment, but I didn’t know what I was going to do not going to a horse show,” Wright said with a laugh. “It sounded like a good plan when we were driving home from Fort Worth, but I couldn’t stay home.”

Taking the Futurity Open Reserve Championship was Smart Shiney Playboy, who carried Nick Dowers to a composite 593 after marking a 152 in the fence work finals. The stallion (WR This Cats Smart x Sinful Playgirl x Freckles Playboy) was bred by Cowan Select Horses, of Havre, Montana, and is owned by Clinton Marshall, of Rathdrum, Idaho.

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