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Scottsdale Western World Non Pro Futurity Champions Crowned
2016-10-28
Big stops, flying lead changes, and flashy horses took over the Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore, Okla., during the Scottsdale Western World Non Pro Futurity at the Southwest Reining Horse Association Oct. 28. Highlighting the day, the Non Pro Futurity featured 44 entries paying out a total of $36,709.

Topping the Scottsdale Western World Non Pro Futurity Level 4 was a tie between two top-shelf performances put in by Kelle Smith riding GottaShiney Whiz and Cade McCutcheon riding Whiz My Freckles. Smith and McCutcheon piloted their mounts to scores of 218.5, which earned them the co-championship after the decision was made to forego the runoff option. Each pocketed $4,290 plus championship prizes.

Smith rode GottaShiney Whiz (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Cee Bee Shine) who she says is her “comeback” horse. The duo have only been partners for a few months and the connection seems to be a perfect fit.

“I tried her literally for five minutes at the [Tulsa Reining Classic],” Smith said of purchasing the mare. “After that horse show I went to Waco (Texas) just to see what she was and then I took her to the (AQHA) Congress and had a couple of bobbles and still won money on her.”

In preparation for the SWRHA Futurity, Smith received help from Dany Tremblay, and the team was able to get those few bobbles ironed out. The hard work paid off in big ways for Smith and “Shiney,” who along with the Level 4 co-championship took the top spot in the Level 3 Intermediate, as well.

“It feels amazing since I have not been Level 3 since the first year I did reining,” Smith said of winning both levels. “All this time I’ve only been Level 4, so it’s awesome I’m happy. I’ve had a bad couple of years and I think I kind of have a comeback horse.”

Sharing the win in the Level 4 was Cade McCutcheon riding Whiz My Freckles, who is by Spooks Gotta Whiz out of Dun Lost My Freckles. McCutcheon says although he and Whiz My Freckles are still figuring each other out he’s happy with his run and confident for their future.

“I feel good about going to the big futurity, because there’s stuff I could improve on, and she was really easy for me to show,” McCutcheon said. “She turned really good to the right, just how I wanted her to. The left we had a little bobble, she started her turn, and I kind of rushed her and she missed a couple of steps, but she finished good.”

Although McCutcheon is only 16 he shows with maturity beyond his years, making knowledgeable decisions about his horses and preserving their future. When Smith and McCutcheon were informed they had the option to runoff for the win the decision was made to share the title and preserve those young aspiring equine athletes.

“I try to save her a little bit before the big futurity,” McCutcheon said. “I want to win here obviously, but this is a stepping stone to the big futurity and I’d rather not run out of horse here then have nothing left there. So, I just save her to have something to show there.”

There was a three-way tie for third place in the Level 4 between Mandy McCutcheon riding One Last Nite (Gunners Special Nite x One Last Corona), James Morgan riding Gals N Guns (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Dun Lost My Freckles) and Mandy McCutcheon riding Customized My Gun (Colonels Smoking Gun x Dun Step N Out) with scores of 216.5.

Gunners Special Nite also earned distinction from the Non Pro Futurity and won the SWRHA signature golf cart, which went to the sire of the highest scoring Non Pro Futurity horse for sires that participated in the SWRHA Stallion Auction.

The Level 2 Limited Open champion was Deb McCandless riding One Fancy Magnum (Magnum With A Dream x Ms Diamonds Fancy) with a score of 216, for $1,102.

McCandless and One Fancy Magnum have only shown once prior to the SWRHA Futurity and “Rio” shows, talent which makes his owner excited about his future. Having only purchased Rio in August McCandless says he’s quickly finding his stride in the show pen.

“He was very green,” McCandless said of One Fancy Magnum when she purchased him. “He’s just been a real good guy. He was behind, but he’s catching up very quickly.”

Futurities hold a special place in McCandless’ heart and she loves the challenge and connection of starting a young horse. In Friday’s Non Pro Futurity, she relied on her connection and skills as a rider to prepare One Fancy Magnum for his run.

“He was a little green on one side, but we worked it out outside [in the warm up area],” McCandless said. “He’s so quiet and so cute loping - he’s stylish that way – hanging and stylish, so that helped us a lot I think. And he ran down and stopped, I mean that’s a big part of our game. It was just a really fun ride.”

The McCutcheon team was a big winner in one way or another throughout the entire Non Pro Futurity. Audrey Jewell works in the McCutcheon Reining Horses office by day and shows a Gunners Special Nite in her time outside of work. Jewell rode Special Nite Time to the Level 1 Non Pro championship with a score of 214.5 worth $238.

“I’ve always loved Gunners Special Nite and when I bought him (Special Nite Time) it was before I started working for Tom and Mandy (McCutcheon),” Jewell said. “It’s actually kind of fate that I had a Gunners Special Nite and I started working for them, so it’s been pretty cool.”

The SWRHA Futurity was Special Nite Time’s first show and Jewell admitted when she purchased him in February he was a little behind. The duo have been making great progress and the win in the Non Pro goes to show the team is sure to have a bright future. The win was even more special for Jewell, because Special Nite Time is her first futurity horse.

“This was kind of awesome that he’s doing so well,” Jewell said. “He’s a really cool horse. He’s really quiet, super chill and he’s the calmest horse I’ve probably ever shown in my entire life. I’ve never actually had a 3-year-old before - I’ve only ever shown derby horses. So this is kind of my first show back really.”

It was a bittersweet victory for James Morgan at Friday’s Scottsdale Western World Non Pro Futurity. Morgan’s brother died Friday morning prior to the Non Pro Futurity. A day which would have normally been filled with thoughts of preparation for his run was clouded with the passing of his brother.

“Today it was a little hard for me to focus,” Morgan said. “It was one of those kinds of days where I just had to drive myself away from those thoughts, and I just tried as hard as I could. My emotions were just everywhere about the whole thing. I really don’t want to glamorize the death of my brother, but if I didn’t mention it, it really wouldn’t be what today was all about, because he used to ride horses with me way, way back.”

Morgan rode Gals N Guns to the Prime Time Non Pro Futurity championship. The duo also picked up a shared third place finish in Level 4 and second in the Level 3 Intermediate.

Gals N Guns is by Colonels Smoking Gun out of Dun Step N Out and Morgan has only had the mare about a month.

“She’s the kind of mare that she’d been passed around and she really wasn’t working out for people and when she came down to Brian Bell’s for training I just saw her and loved the way she looked, her conformation,” Morgan said. “I’d ridden a couple of other horses that looked just like her – long time ago and I got on her and I thought that I felt that there was a very special horse in there. With the help of Brian Bell and myself we spent a ton of time on her and we just decided that we were going to have a try out between my No. 3 and No. 4 horse and she was my No. 4 horse. There’s something really special about that mare. She didn’t win Level 4, but it was a huge thing for her to mark a [216.5]. One judge even had the courage, I would say, to plus 1 her circles and to get a plus 1 maneuver on a horse that was pretty far behind was very rewarding.”

The SWRHA Futurity strives to bring not only a great show for the competitors, but top-notch entertainment for all attendees and a chance for all the young guns of reining to share in the fun of the show. As such, a Lead Line and a Walk/Trot – sponsored by Sebastian Petroll Reining Horses – and the always entertaining dog races, plus the Markel Insurance Pizza Party added extra excitement to Friday evening’s event.

For information and complete results from the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity, held at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore, Okla., visit swrha.com or follow on Facebook.