This year's Augusta Futurity, which was won last year by Austin Shepard and Bama Jelly, was postponed. • Photo by Molly Montag.

Decision Made on 2021 Augusta Futurity

There will be no Augusta Futurity in 2021.

Officials with the limited-age cutting event, which was originally scheduled in January but postponed due to a regional spike in COVID-19 cases, said Wednesday the Augusta Futurity Steering Committee decided to cancel this year’s edition.

“We deeply regret this decision,” said Show Manager Sherry Fulmer, “But, after carefully studying the schedules of other NCHA shows remaining this year, we decided that it would be impossible to settle on any dates that would not affect other shows.”

This will mark the first time in four decades the show has been canceled since its inception as a three-day event in 1980.  Pat Earnheart became the first Augusta Futurity Open Champion at that inaugural show riding Pure Tari.

The 41st Annual Augusta Futurity was held in January of 2020 in James Brown Arena attracted 602 entries from across the United States and Canada. That year’s Futurity Open Champions were Bama Jelly and long-time Augusta participant Austin Shepard. The 2020 show paid out a total purse of $571,665 that included $65,000 in Stallion Stakes Incentive money.

Because this year’s Stallion Stakes program was not able to pay out this year due to the cancelation, Fulmer said the decision has been made to take that incentive money and add it to the 2022 payouts.

“The money ($82,500) that would have been paid to the owners of 4-year-old horses in 2021 will be paid in 2022 to the owners of 5-year-old horses,” Fulmer said.  “Additionally, we will pay our scheduled amount ($80,000) to 4-year-old horses, which means we will have a total pay-out of more than $162,000 in 2022.”

The Augusta Stallion Stakes Incentive Program began in 2006 to help create and offer additional money to all 4-year-olds entered in the Augusta Futurity and sired by participating stallions.

Stallion owners donate a breeding service to their stallions with a breeding to be used in the same year.    For more information about the program, call Tom Holt at (817) 235-7507.