A boost in added money saw this year’s Big Sky Futurity and Aged Event held August 11-16 at the Majestic Valley Arena in Kalispell, MT reach a record payout to owners and riders.
Due in part to continued and increased sponsorships from Switchback Cutting Horses, Montana Ranch of Bigfork, and Crazy Mountain Cutting Horses, the show saw a 28% increase over 2013 figures, with a total added purse of $49,000 for this year’s event.
Six days of aged event competition was kicked off by a well attended NCHA weekend show on August 9 and 10.
Winning the Open Futurity and a $9,113 paycheck, trainer Cody Smith, Calgary, Alberta rode “My Stylish Ride” a three-year-old by Hydrive Cat and out of Stylish Good Girl by Docs Stylish Oak for owner and competitor, Connie Down-Cicoria, also of Calgary.
Originally purchased as a two-year-old from NCHA Hall of Fame Rider, Greg Smith, Star, ID, the mare was “solid from day one”, according to Connie. “She’s a sweet mare and I am excited that this is our very first Futurity win at Big Sky, we’ve attended this event from the beginning, but this is our first three-year-old win”.
The Non-Pro Futurity Championship title and $2,754 payoff was earned by Van Greenwell, Paul, ID and “Mister One Time Jack” a gelded son of One Time Pepto and out of Mataguay by Freckles Playboy..
Van purchased the pretty roan gelding in April from Richard Jordan, Parma, ID. “This horse could really stop and use himself, he’s just gotten better and better,” Van commented.
Derby Open Championship was won by “Cats Smart Ricochet” ridden by Mike Giannini, Blackfoot ID for owner and breeder, Ron Wheeler, Quincy, IL.
The stallion son of Smooth As A Cat is out of Play Like A Ricochet x Smart Little Ricochet who was also shown by Giannini with much success.
With a $7,500 paycheck, the Big Sky Derby win puts the stallion over the $40,000 mark in earnings, adding to his list of titles that he accumulated his futurity year where he won Wyoming, Western States, and Utah Futurities.
The Non-Pro Derby Championship and $4,066 paycheck went north to Canada with Rocanville, Saskatchewan cutter Les Jack and his mare “Reys Your Freckles” by Dual Rey and out of Bet on Freckles x Bet on Me 498.
“We bought her mother at the Oxbow Dispersal and at the time, Lindy (Burch) advised us to breed her to Dual Rey – and I listened!” Les commented. “I did make the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity Finals on her, too, and placed fourth. She’s been a good little mare”.
Classic Challenge Open Title and $8,568 first-place payoff was won by “Dual Reys Ms Bobbi” shown by Josh Sleeman, Yelm, WA for owners Sarah and Judd Sherman, also of Yelm, WA.
Sarah had specifically wanted a filly by Dual Rey and researched and purchased the mare as a yearling at the Western Bloodstock Invitational Yearling Sale in Fort Worth in 2009.
Out of Smart Bobbi Sock x Bob Acre Doc, the mare now has NCHA earnings of $28,339 and has been a finalist in Calgary, Utah, and Idaho aged events.
Classic Challenge Non-Pro Championship title and $5,508 payoff was won by Jann Parker, Billings, MT aboard “Catty Dual” a five-year-old gelding by Wild Haired Cat and out of Maybellena Dual x Dual Pep.
“When we bought this gelding in June, he was bought for Bill to rope on. I hauled him to a weekend show and it worked, so I entered him in Kalispell. The roping is going to have to wait – he’s mine for awhile now”, Jann said.
Special events included a “draw party” hosted by One Time Pepto and Jeffrey and Shari Matthews, where the finals competitors drew their own positions for their respective finals.
Big Sky’s 2014 “Bridleless” Championship went to “High Brow Tuesday” and trainer Tom Campbell, Twin Bridges, MT for owner Helen Larsen, Powell, WY . The stallion son of High Brow Cat is a full brother to Hydrive Cat with $39,000 in LTE.
Pro-Am title was won by “Sues So Smart” shown by Brian Anderson for owner Bambi Gress, Ennis, MT.
Entry breakdown includes Futurity Open 31; Futurity Non Pro 4; Derby Open 32; Derby Non Pro 14; Classic Challenge Open 38; Classic Challenge Non Pro 26.