AUGUSTA, GA. --- The 40th annual Augusta Futurity promised to be a special one with the equine event in James Brown Arena celebrating four decades of cutting history in the historic city by the Savannah River.
It turned out to meet all expectations and then some with an Alabama cutting family dazzling the finals night crowd on Saturday, Jan. 19; taking home both major titles and a reserve championship to boot.
AUSTIN SHEPARD of Summerdale, Ala., won the Futurity Open competition with a score of 225 riding Bama Jelly owned by Joel M. Colgrove Sr.
Just the night before, Shepard was the Reserve Champion in the 5/6-Year-Old Classic Open competition riding Tank Tallic owned by Jan Newman to a score of 217.
Shepard’s 17-year-old son, CADE SHEPARD, won the Futurity Non-Pro competition with a score of 217 riding Lite Headed owned Cade’s parents, Austin and Stacy Shepard.
Austin’s father and Cade’s grandfather, 72-year-old SAM SHEPARD, of Verbena, Ala., who was a judge at the very first Augusta Futurity, added to the family’s trophy case by winning the Futurity Open reserve champion title with a score of 219 on Barney Ross also owned by his son and daughter in law.
One of the largest cutting horse events east of the Mississippi River offered a total purse of $449,507 which includes $63,000 in Stallion Stakes Incentive money with the 435 entries coming from 20 states as well as Canada. Georgia had the most entries with 89 while Texas placed second with 68. North Carolina placed third with 53.
During the eight day event, champions were crowned in eight main categories. There also was a winner of the Area 18 Youth Scholarships competition featuring 11 contestants from Georgia and South Carolina.
Special events also added to the excitement and fun of the show including NCHA members only Non-Pro and Open cutting, the new 40 Open and Non-Pro competition sponsored by Miles and Becky Elliott, Western theme vendors, the Stallion Stakes Incentive program, a horse sale and the Wrangler Family Fun Fest.
Detailed coverage can be found at augustafuturity.com.
HERE IS A SUMMARY OF THE WINNERS:
4-YEAR-OLD FUTURITY OPEN
CHAMPION: AUSTIN SHEPARD of Summerdale, Ala., riding BAMA JELLY owned by Joel M. Colgrove Sr., 225
RESERVE CHAMPION: SAM SHEPARD of Verbena, Ala., riding BARNEY ROSS owned by Austin and Stacy Shepard, 219
CHAMPION: CADE SHEPARD of Summerdale, Ala., riding LITE HEADED owned by Austin and Stacy Shepard, 217
RESERVE CHAMPION: ALI GOOD of Ringling, Okla., riding SABRINA BOON owned by Riddle Farm Revocable Living Trust, 216.5
5/6-YEAR-OLD CLASSIC OPEN
CHAMPION: WALT ERWIN of Evans, Ga., riding WILLIE J REY owned by Charlie and Denise Seiz, 220
RESERVE CHAMPION: AUSTIN SHEPARD of Summerdale, Ala., riding TANK TALLIC owned by Jan Newman, 217
5/6-YEAR-OLD CLASSIC NON-PRO
CHAMPION: JODY McGLOTHLIN of Weatherford, Texas, riding SOMETHINGTOBELIEVEIN owned by Brett and Jody McGlothlin, 222
RESERVE CHAMPION: JOE HOWARD WILLIAMSON of Wichita Falls, Texas, riding HOTT DAWG owned by Williamson, 215
4-YEAR-OLD UNLIMITED AMATEUR
CHAMPION: JULIE BEASLEY of Montgomery, Ala., riding CR DUALIN OUT TUFF owned by Beasley, 219
RESERVE CHAMPION: MARK SENN of Appling, Ga., riding BET HESA SMART MATE owned by Senn, 213
5/6-YEAR-OLD UNLIMITED AMATEUR
CHAMPION: JORDAN VAUGHN of Forsyth, Ga., riding JUAN IN A MILLION owned by Vaughn, 216
RESERVE CHAMPION: SANDRA LINES of Indiantown, Fla., riding HIGHEST OF THE STARS owned by Lines, 212
$50,000 AMATEUR ANY AGE CHAMPIONS (TIE):
BECKY HUGGINS of Barnwell, S.C., riding LEE MANIGO owned by Huggins, 215.5
BARNWELL RAMSEY of Huntersville, N.C., riding LIZZAGOTTACHULA owned by Ramsey, 215.5
RESERVE CHAMPION: DOUG SECREST of Naples, Fla., riding SMOOTH SPYDER REY owned by Secrest, 215
$35,000 NON-PRO ANY AGE
CHAMPION: ALISON HOWELL of Rockledge, Ga., riding DMAC MAGICIAN owned by Howell, 218
RESERVE CHAMPION: KAYLYN BAXLEY of Barnwell, S.C., riding SWOOP THAT REY owned by Baxley, 214
AREA 18 YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP CUTTING
CHAMPION: GAVIN CALLAHAN of McConnells, S.C., riding JOHNNY REYNGO owned by Jarrett and Shannon Callahan, 219
RESERVE CHAMPION: LILY ERWIN of Appling, Ga., riding PLAYFUL HIGHBROW CD owned by Walt and Sara Erwin, 215