Florida man gets win in Non-Pro finals of Augusta Futurity

Florida man's win in Non-Pro finals biggest of career
Bill Wilkins, riding Smart Little Cranbar, scores a 219 to win the 35K NP Any Age Finals. Photo by Dave Hart

Wyatt Wilkins, all 15 months of him, bounced around in his dad’s arms, the two wearing almost identical plaid shirts.


Wyatt was content playing with a small box, while his father was equally content after claiming the biggest win of his cutting career.

Aboard Smart Little Cranbar, Bill Wilkins marked 219 to win the $35,000 Non-Pro Any Age finals by one point Sunday evening.

Wilkins, a farrier from Live Oak, Fla., took home a check for $2,081. Joey Varnadore of Appling and Reyminate placed second at 218 for $1,666.

Gerda Williams and Bob Somebody tied for third with Amanda Purdin and Pepto Stylish Babe at 217.5 (each earned $1,196).

“It’s a dream,” Wilkins said about winning. “Just having a horse like that is a dream.”

The 50-year-old Wilkins is a busy man, traveling around the country shoeing horses.

He also has a full life helping raise his 14-year-old stepdaughter, Aubrey, along with Wyatt.

“It’s great,” Wilkins said about parenthood. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Wilkins bought Smart Little Cranbar, an 8-year-old gelding by Smart Little Lena out of Playgirl Peppy, from Charles Crawley 18 months ago.

Wilkins and his then-pregnant wife, Tara, went to check out the horse. He wasn’t sure about the purchase, but Tara wanted him.

“I said I didn’t know if she really needed to get a horse with her having a baby,” he said. “She said there’s some about him and had to have him.”

After cutting their first cow in the $35,000 Non-Pro Any Age finals, Wilkins and Smart Little Cranbar went to work on their second cow. The crowd applause began building, and the pair finished off strong chipping a third cow off the herd to close their run.

“I sent him out there and he started controlling that second cow,” Wilkins said. “He was just in control of it the entire way. He’s a great horse.”

Earlier in the day, Wilkins and Smart Little Cranbar won the go-round by one point over Matthew Blewitt



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