A mere half-point determined the winner of the 4-Year-Old Amateur at the Ike Derby & Classic.
The title went to Jordan Vaughn of Forsyth, Georgia with Desires Big Al. Their 216.5 took the top prize and a check for $3,744. It also earned them top spot in the 4-Year-Old Gelding Incentive, adding $926 to their weekend winnings.
“He is just a really nice horse to be around,” Vaughn said after winning the title Saturday, Feb. 6 in West Monroe, Louisiana. “He stops good and he is really willing.”
Vaughn purchased “Al” as a yearling out of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) sale. The pair competed at the 2020 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, but didn’t make the finals because the horse was still green, according to Vaughn. A winter cutting circuit in Florida helped him get seasoned before the Ike.
Though Vaughn said the horse seemed soft in the first go-round, where they marked a 216, the horse stood up to a stiffer test in the finals. Their cows in the finals were strong, the first not wanting to turn away. The pair worked the cow a little longer than Vaughn would have preferred – but the horse rose to the challenge at The Ike.
“He had to grow up and become a more seasoned show horse,” he said. “He handled it real well.”
Bred by Woody Bartlett, DVM, of Lagrange, Wyoming, Desires Big Al by Bamacat and out of Playguns Desire (by Playgun). He comes from a strong female family, with his dam producing the earners of nearly $900,000 and his second dam, Genuine Desire (by Genuine Doc), foaling the earners of more than $650,000, according to Equi-Stat.
The 4-Year-Old Amateur Reserve Co-Championship was a tie at 216 between Wendy Warne of Pageland, South Carolina riding ESR Rhoda (Metallic Cat x ESR Rahab x Duals Blue Boon) and Gayle Karanges from Arlington, Texas aboard Metalicious (Metallic Cat x Flash About x Purdy Boy Flash). Each took home $2,831.66.