This year's Augusta Futurity broke records for entries and payout. The 4-Year-Old Open was won by Austin Shepard and Kittennish. • Photo by S. Sylvester Photography

Kittennish Scores First Major Win at Augusta Futurity

Kittennish had a lot to live up to before she took a single step in the show pen.

Sired by EquiStat Elite $10 Million Sire Hottish and out of one of the top-producing broodmares of the past five years, Show Biz Kitty, Kittennish is a half-sibling to a star-studded lineup of great cutting horses. Her older sister, All Spice, won the 2020 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity and was later named NCHA Horse of the Year. Half-brother Badboonarising was Reserve Champion in the 2018 NCHA Futurity and another brother, Rollz Royce, earned $353,872 and was inducted into the NCHA Horse Hall of Fame.

So far, Kittennish has done her part to live up to the family legacy. After earning the NCHA Futurity Open Reserve Championship — a mere point behind winners Phil N Dangerous and Lindy Thorn — Kittennish won her first aged-event championship on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Augusta Futurity in Perry, Georgia.

She and Austin Shepard did so by marking a 226 to win the 4-Year-Old Open. The $25,000 first-place prize pushed the young mare’s career earnings to more than $328,268 in just two shows.

Kittennish & Austin Shepard • Photo by S. Sylvester Photography

While Kittennish is new to show competitions, Shepard said she’s already very serious about her job.

“She’s pretty much all business,” Shepard said of the mare owned by Billy Wolf. “She’s kind of a quirky horse probably like most really good horses are they kind of have their own personality, but once she goes to work a cow she’s pretty well the same every day.”

Kittennish is half of a dynamic duo for Wolf, who also owns last year’s Augusta Futurity 4-Year-Old Open Champion, Wood She B Magic. Shepard rides both mares, and earlier in this show piloted Wood She B Magic to the Augusta Futurity 5/6-Year-Old Open Championship.

The two mares do share some similarities in their respective personalities.

“They have their own way of doing things when you’re not working a cow for sure. They’re both pretty pretty big characters, really,” said Shepard, a winner of more than $10 million. “And then, once you start working a cow, they’re pretty much the same horse as far as being being all business about what they’re doing.”

Kittennish’s lifetime earnings of $328,268 ranks her as the fourth highest-earning offspring of Show Biz Kitty. The mare’s leading earners are All Spice ($384,304, by Once In A Blu Boon), Badboonarising ($367,101, by Once In A Blu Boon) and Rollz Royce ($353,872, by Dual Smart Rey).

Stallion Incentive

In addition to the regular purse monies, the Augusta Futurity also offers its Stallion Incentive for eligible horses. The Stallion Incentive winner in the 4-Year-Old Open was Sho Boat, a mare by EquiStat Elite $3 Million Sire Metallic Rebel and out of Reycy Moon (by Cats Moonshine). A maternal half-sister to NCHA Futurity Open Champion Spots Hot, Sho Boat was ridden by Cass Tatum and earned $5,417 for owner-breeder Barker Ranch Cutting Horses LLC. They marked a 217.5.

The Reserve Champion in the Augusta Futurity Stallion Incentive was Talkin On the Fly, a stallion by EquiStat Elite $3 Million Sire Smooth Talkin Style and out of Ironn Butterfly (by Just Playin Smart). Talkin On The Fly marked a  216.5 with Bradey Davis to earn $4,239 for owner-breeder Lauren Buitron.

Nine horses earned money in the Incentive, which had a total payout in the 4-Year-Old Open of $23,550.