Ryleigh Ferrier will not soon forget the 2022 Arbuckle Mountain Futurity.
It started when she hauled into the Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore, Oklahoma three days early to try and beat an incoming ice storm.
The weather – which resulted in cold temperatures and a thick coating of ice – forced schedule changes and there a few late nights of showing. But, what Ferrier will remember most is leaving as the 4-Year-Old Amateur Champion aboard Reysin A Talker.
“We had gotten run over at the Ike, so my goal was to go in, cut clean and see what happened,” said Ferrier, who marked a 217 to earn $5,144. “In my very first run—the Intermediate Amateur—we marked 220. It was a big deal for me, [and] it was a good confidence boost.”
Winning the title was extra special—the Arbuckle is the show where Ferrier competed in her first aged events exactly one year ago. The pair were also 4-Year-Old Amateur Intermediate Reserve champions with a 218, adding another $2,762 to their winnings.
In all, the gelding bred by Kerry and Jenny Frazier, of Merkel, Texas, now has an EquiStat record of more than $30,169.
Ferrier purchased the Smooth Talkin Style gelding, who is by Reynanza (by Dual Rey) last August. In their first five go-rounds together they marked a 216. And, at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, she qualified for all three semi-finals and two finals.
“We have a special bond because he is my first Futurity horse,” she said. “He has exceeded everyone of my expectations and is the most trained horse I’ve been able to call my own.”
Ferrier plans to get as much showing in as possible during the 2022 season before heading to Texas Christian University for a pre-med program.
“I want to thank my parents for being so supportive,” she said. “Thank you to Michael Cooper, who is my trainer, and Trevor Bullock who had the horse up until the futurity, and to everyone who helped me in and out of the show pen.”