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A Star Is Borne & Missy Jean Etheridge are a great match in the cutting pen. • Photo by S. Sylvester Photography.

A Star Is Borne & Etheridge Earn Augusta Futurity Title

Whoever picked out the name for A Star Is Borne was right on the money. The mare was made for the spotlight.

With owner Missy Jean Etheridge aboard, the sorrel 6-year-old mare won the Augusta Futurity 5/6-Year-Old Classic Non-Pro on Friday, Jan. 21, in Perry, Georgia.

The victory was a relief to Etheridge, who feels a deep connection with the daughter of EquiStat Elite $3 Million Sire Boon Too Suen and wants to do well because she believes the mare deserves to win.

“For [the win] to be on her is exactly what I wanted … just because I love her so much, and she and I are just like a perfect team,” she said. “She understands what I’m thinking and I understand what she’s thinking.”

The bond held true during the run, when the cattle were tricky during the cut. Etheridge wanted a yellow-horned cow, but a black-colored one was still out there with it. Yet, A Star Is Borne remained focused on the right cow.

“I’m just telling her like, ‘The yellow horn, baby! Stick with it! You got this!’ I just threw down on her, because I know that she’s in synch with me,” Etheridge explained.

Etheridge and “Holiday” marked a 223 from the seventh hole to earn Friday’s title. The rider from Mississippi also earned the Reserve Championship with another horse, Boondexterous (by Once In A Blu Boon), who she rode to a 219 in the first draw in the 10-horse finals. She also made the finals with a third horse, Deputy Droopy, a gray gelding who is often also ridden by her husband, Vick.

She was thankful for her help in the pen – Zeke Entz, Chris Hanson, Christian Miller and Bill Pierce. She also wanted to thank her husband for all his “coaching.”

The plan for A Star Is Borne and Etheridge for the rest of 2022 is to stay a team. The mare lives at Missy Jean and Vick’s place in Mississippi, and that’s where she’ll remain.

“I keep it as she and I are the team, so I’ll show her in the Open and the Non-Pro all year this year and try to get to $200,000. I think she’s won $127,000,” said Etheridge, who has made several Open finals in recent months with her limited-age cutters. “After the [NCHA} Super Stakes I’m going to breed her to Stevie Rey Von, and I’m not sure yet on my second stud.”

Futurity Prowess

A Star is Borne had a spectacular futurity year back in 2019, winning four Open championships and one Non Pro title. With trainer Michael Cooper aboard, the mare won the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA), Cotton Stakes and Brazos Bash futurities. Etheridge rode her to a win in that year’s Non-Pro at the Southern Cutting Futurity.

Etheridge has found success on her since then, including winning a championship at last year’s Breeder’s Invitational.

Bred by Rose Valley Ranch, of Weatherford, Texas, A Star Is Borne is one of 13 money earners out of the broodmare Holly Is Smooth (by Smooth As A Cat).