QUEENSLAND riders dominated at the 2014 National Cutting Horse Association Imax Gold Tamarang Futurity.
Held at the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre in Tamworth held from May 28 to June 8, the event concluded with the final of the open futurity, where the top 25 three-year-olds battled it out for the $75,000 prize money for first place.
Springsure professional cutting trainer Jason Leitch reigned supreme on Kempsey Quarter Horse’s chestnut mare Hy On Turps, winning the final on a 151 to second placed Satin Rey, owned by Dalby single mum Kelli Thomas, by two points.
Leitch, who is no stranger to this event, has won the annual NCHA Open Futurity two other times in the past five years – once on his own mare Winderadeen Whiskey Cat in 2010 and again on Forrest Saunders’ Lil Rey Of Hope in 2012. The wins gained him much deserved recognition in the cutting horse industry.
Todd Graham of Oakey proved why he is top trainer – hooking three prestige finals of his own including the open Derby on his own stallion No Moore One Moore with 149.
He doubled up on the open classic with Diane Brombal’s Winderadeen Miss Shorty Cat, smashing out an arena record of 153 and again in the Gold Cup open with Winderadeen Miss Shorty Cat on 151.
Alpha local Ian Bush came in best dressed for the non-pro futurity riding his horse Mom’s Stylish Doll, to come home on an impressive score of 147 ahead of Tyrell Park Alil Lena with Victorian Brian Elliott aboard, on 144.5.
The non-pro classic challenge was a surprise as 14-year-old Wyatt Gray of Finley, NSW, stole first place from a field of 16 adult competitors riding his mother Leanne Gray’s horse Pink Dove.
Wyatt achieved a phenomenal score of 151 when finishing the run, to earn himself the youngest competitor to take out the title to date.
Wade Davison of Greenmount took out first, second and fifth places in the limited non-pro cutting futurity.
He tied for first place on the liver chestnut rising four-year-old mare Texas Star Miss Rey Jay and his red roan stallion Stylish Tango Delta, and picked up fifth place with his chestnut stallion, Destined to Spin.
All three horses were purchased as yearlings, two from the Toowoomba Landmark Yearling and Broodmare Sale in 2012 and the other privately in partnership, and were broken in by Mr Davison.