Winners shake off rust for win at Augusta Futurity

Gerda Williams, riding Bob Somebody, scores a 221 to win the 50K Amateur Any Age Finals. Williams said she hadn't ridden the horse in months before the event.



Amid work and bad weather, Gerda Williams hadn’t ridden Bob Somebody for two months until she mounted the horse Sunday morning.

The pair escaped the go-round on the cut line to make the finals. On their second run of the day, Williams and her horse made up for their lost time.

Williams and Bob Somebody rung up a score of 221 to claim the $50,000 Amateur Any Age title by two points.

With her first Augusta Futurity victory, Williams took home $2,279. Bill Wilkins and Smart Little Cranbar marked 219 to finish second for $1,823, while Robbie Gale and Short A Shay tied for third at 215 with Kip Davis and Justa Pepper Playboy ($1,310 each).

“I was ecstatic,” Williams said. “He was really good. We were getting more in tune and just getting better and better.”

Williams lives on a farm in Baskerville, N.C., with her husband, Buck, a farmer and mail carrier. She’s worked the past 16 years as a registered nurse in the neuroscience unit at Duke University. Williams commutes 80 minutes every day, and she works 12 hours a day, four to five days a week.

“I like where I live. And I like what I do,” said Williams, who competes later in the week in another amateur event.

Williams started showing cutting horses five years ago after coming to the Augusta Futurity in 2004. That trip sparked a love affair with the sport.

“I told my husband that’s what I wanted to do one day,” she said. “And it took a while.”

Williams bought Bob Somebody, a 10-year-old gelding by Somebody Smart out of Tweetie Doc, three years ago. She loved his personality and ability.

“He’s very smart,” she said. “He has no mean bone in his body. He was a little more wide open when I got him, but he calmed down.”

Joey Varnadore, of Appling, and Halos Rey won the go-round with a score of 217.5. Williams and Bob Somebody posted 213 to make the finals by a point.


The go-round of the Classic Open begins at 8 a.m. at James Brown Arena. The event features 63 horses ages 5 and 6. The top 30 percent plus ties advance to Friday night’s final.