As the scores grew bigger during the Non Pro finals at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity, Lane Colston had a plan in mind for how he wanted to show Gunna Be Painted. The plan could’ve gone better, but went well enough to earn the pair the coveted title of 2023 NRHA Futurity Non Pro Level 4 Champions.
Colston knew that he and ‘Cricket’ needed to put up a big score if they were going to best the drove of experienced non pros in the finals, but he didn’t want to overdo it either.
“We ran in and stopped big, backed up, turned good each way, had a little penalty shutting off to my left because he turned so fast,” Colston said. “Then he circled really good, I just tried to stay smooth and pretty but also push him in the circles and challenge them a bit.”
“He was there for me every step of the way,” Colston reminisced.
They didn’t get the relief of hearing their score when they left the pen, it was to be held for review, as was the run before him.
After the drag, the judges decided that Kevin Colston’s stallion by Gunners Special Nite and out of Darlins Not Painted (by Smokin Chic Olena) had earned a 220.5.
Painting a Family Legacy
This isn’t the first horse Lane has rode with those exact bloodlines. Two of his derby horses from this season, RC Sleepless Nites and My Favorite Nite, are both full siblings to Cricket.
“So we bought him when he was a weanling. I picked him out of the field at Tom and Mandy McCutcheon’s in Texas, and I’ve shown five of his siblings so I knew that he would probably turned out to be a good horse,” Lane recalled.
He said the stallion wasn’t cute, but he’s always been sweet.
For the rest of the winter, the good-natured stallion has earned some time off which he’ll spend on Colston’s ranch in Kentucky. Next spring, they’ll see what may become of his derby career.
Level 4 Reserve Champions
It is becoming more common to see tied scores in reining shows, and that was on full display Friday, Dec. 1 in the Jim Norick Arena. Mandy McCutcheon, Kelsey Price, Dani Latimer and Allison Thorson earned scores of 219 for a four way tie.
The Non Pro Level 4 Reserve Champion title and purse were split amongst the four women. McCutcheon rode Dun It For Whiz (Dun It For Whizkey x Indians Gunalena x Gunners Indian), Price rode Let Err Rip (Magnum Chic Dream x Gunner Be Custom x Colonels Smoking Gun), Latimer rode Snap My Crush (PS Mega Shine Chic x Snapbacks x Master Snapper), and Thorson rode Froze (SG Frozen Enterprize x Electric Cha Ching x Jacs Electric Spark).