Shepard wins Classic Non-Pro finals

Sylvester Photography/Special Cade Shepard, 16, riding Christy Hughes, scores a 222 to win the 5/6 Classic Non Pro Finals.

Through the 39-year history of the Augusta Futurity, the name “Shepard” has been entwined with the show like kudzu.

 

Sam Shepard was a judge at the first Augusta Futurity before later winning two titles in the Garden City. Then, his son, Austin Shepard, emerged as the second-winningest cutter in Augusta history, entering this week with eight championships. Now, the third generation has made its mark.

On Friday night, Cade Shepard and Christy Hughes marked 222 to win the Classic Non-Pro finals at James Brown Arena. With his first Augusta Futurity victory, Shepard took home a check for $8,001.

Judy Rogers and Prette Prette Please placed second at 216.5 for $6,700. Jody McGlothlin and Somethingtobelievein finished third at 215 for $5,400.

“It felt really good to win tonight,” said the 16-year-old Shepard, who grew up attending the Augusta Futurity before beginning his cutting career about seven years ago. “It’s special. I’ve been here a lot. I like it.”

Christy Hughes is a 6-year-old mare by Thomas E Hughes out of MH San Tules Dually. Austin and Stacy Shepard, Cade’s parents, formerly owned Thomas E Hughes and still own MH San Tules Dually. Cade started showing Christy Hughes as a 3-year-old at the NCHA World Championship Futurity.

“She’s a really sweet horse to be around,” he said. “She’s pretty intense going down there. She’s kind of nice and just loafs around, but when you go down there she knows what to do.”

In the finals, Rogers and Prette Prette Please posted the top score on the final run of the first set of nine horses. The lead held until Shepard of Summerdale, Ala., and Christy Hughes rode seventh in the final set of nine horses.

After a smooth cut of the first cow, Christy Hughes continued building momentum.

“That’s probably the best she’s ever felt,” Shepard said. “My first cow was kind of soft and she just kind of worked it. But my second cow, I kind of opened it up a little bit. My last cow was about the same.”

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