Over $314,000 was awarded in the National Stock Horse Association (NSHA) Futurity and Derby last weekend. When the desert dust settled inside the South Point Equestrian Center, Dr Strangelove topped the Futurity field with a total of 661 points in three events across six days of competition.
Dr Strangelove, owned by Joyce Pearson and ridden by Shane Steffen, stayed incredibly consistent through the entire show. The beautiful 3-year-old black stallion by Shiners Voodoo Dr and out of Very Smart Sweetheart (Very Smart Remedy) was unphased by the bright Las Vegas lights, and Steffen says “Armando” felt like he had been competing for years.
“I felt like he was just very content and willing and just felt like he had been in there many times,” Steffen said.
Armando and Steffen started with their rein work on Wednesday, August 23. Steffen knew that large shows can be overwhelming for young equine athletes, but Armando’s cool personality allowed Steffen to really showcase the stallion.
“I just felt like he was there with me the whole time. He was relaxed and with me,” Steffen said.
This allowed Steffen to really test the stallion in the runs, and he handled it beautifully. The duo marked a 220 to tie for first place in the rein work. They went on to score a 219.5 in the herd work and led the field by only half a point after two events.
Armando and Steffen finished strong, marking their highest score of the weekend down the fence with a 221, sealing a check for $35,000.
Steffen also rode Will Kane (WR This Cats Smart x Dueling Chic Olena x Smart Chic Olena), owned by Linda McMahon, to a third place finish in the Futurity. Like Armando, Steffen says “Will” was incredibly consistent, and Steffen was blessed to be riding such incredible horses and draw great cattle.