John Wold finally broke through in Augusta in a big way on Friday night.
Aboard Fort Worth Pipeline, Wold rode to a score of 225 to claim the Classic Open finals by three points for his first Augusta Futurity title.
Wold, of Argyle, Texas, earned $12,000 for the victory. Austin Shepard, of Summerdale, Ala., and Great Chief marked 222 to finish second for $11,000. Gabe Reynolds and Bella Davidson marked 218 to tie Phil Rapp and Lahaina Lena for third for $9,000 each.
“It’s exciting,” Wold said, who has been competing in Augusta since the 1990s. “We like to be champion. It doesn’t matter where.”
The 50-year-old Wold, who is married to Amy and has two daughters (Jana and Catlyn) from a previous marriage, is the resident horse trainer for Furst Ranch in Bartonville, Texas. Last year, he and George C Merada marked 225 to finish as reserve champions of the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting Open finals during the Augusta Futurity.
Wold and Fort Worth Pipeline won the AQHA World Show in November. This week, Wold said his horse was just as solid.
“She was just dead ready when we left the house,” he said. “She’s been really simple the whole time we’ve had her.”
Fort Worth Pipeline, a 5-year-old sorrel mare by Cats Merada out of Fort Worth Skyline, is owned by Jimmy and Lisa Bankston.
“She’s a princess,” Wold said. “She knows she’s special.”
Wold and his horse took the Classic Open lead on the fourth run of the second set. He had six calves picked out and was able to choose three of them.
“One was a white calf I really liked a lot and she was in a good spot,” Wold said. “The second calf was a little lower on the list, but I knew she was fresh. She went to the same spots and turned into me a lot and really presented a challenge. The third one was one of my favorites that I was able to smoothly able to coax out.”