The tempting payouts and multitude of classes lured many to the North American Reining Stakes, but it was Brandon Brant and Gun A Lida who rose to the top of the Futurity Level 4 Open.
Brant, of Belle Center, Ohio, rode the son of Gunnatrashya to victory in both the McGee Farm Futurity and the North American Reining Stakes Futurity Open with a 224. Between the two classes, which ran concurrently, Gun A Lida won $12,665 for owner Cynthia Thiel on Saturday, July 24 in Lexington, Virginia.
“I knew my horses were broke and I didn’t expect to win. I want to win every time I walk through the gate but I wanted to see how my horses felt and see what I had. What I needed to go home and work on,” Brant said.
Sired by EquiStat Elite $5 Million Sire Gunnatrashya, Gun A Lida or “Crosby” has been in Brant’s program from day one. Out of Smart Spook mare Spook A Lida, Crosby’s sooty palomino color and dramatic mane added to the flourish of the 224 run.
“You’ve got to prepare him right. He’s an overachiever and very intense so you’ve got to have him hooked. I had a tough time the months of February and March; I ran into a rough patch with him. He was trying to over achieve and he was figuring stuff out. It was hard for him, we had some battles but he slowly came out of it and I have a lot of confidence in him,” Brant said.
Brant had a laundry list of people to thank for his futurity success. He said Kole Price has been instrumental in Crosby’s training, and has always been available for Brant to glean training insights from. Brant’s family also topped the list of people to thank.
“I want to thank my family. Being a horse trainer, my wife and two kids… it comes with a lot of sacrifice. Long hours, dedication, your phone is constantly ringing. My wife Cathy is a trooper. She runs the business on the management side of things and she keeps it all running as good as possible,” Brant said.