Cutter is in a six-way tie for the Futurity Non-Pro first go-round lead

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Patrick Collins is having the best week of his futurity career, and he might not be done.

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Patrick Collins, on Lach Down, is tied with five other riders in the Futurity Non-Pro after marking 216 in the first go-round. Collins, of Lincoln, Ill., won the Classic Non-Pro first go-round earlier in the day.  DAVE HART/SPECIAL
DAVE HART/SPECIAL
Patrick Collins, on Lach Down, is tied with five other riders in the Futurity Non-Pro after marking 216 in the first go-round. Collins, of Lincoln, Ill., won the Classic Non-Pro first go-round earlier in the day.

Collins of Lincoln, Ill., placed second in the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting Non-Pro go-round Tuesday. Early Wednesday, he won the Classic Non-Pro go-round.

He followed later in the day with another great performance.

Aboard Lach Down, Collins rang up a 216 to tie with five other horses for first place in the Futurity Non-Pro go-round at James Brown Arena.

Becky Galyean and KG Hot Pants; Isidro Sigala and Sigala Rey; Amber Wilson Czisny and Perfectly Dashin; Kaitlyn Larsen and Blu Light Special; and Dean Holden and Smart as Soloman also marked 216.

The top 19 horses with scores of 210 or better advanced to Saturday’s finals.

“I’m just pinching myself,” said Collins, who credited trainer Craig Thompson for his success. “We came prepared, but in cutting everyone comes prepared. So you need a little luck and you need a little help from upstairs.”

Larsen, of Weatherford, Texas, showed Blu Light Special, a mare by Light N Lena out of Playboy Special Copy, for the first time since December’s NCHA World Championship Futurity. They teamed to be co-leaders.

“I really didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “I was really happy. I cut two of the three cows I wanted to. I felt like the cows are perfect for my situation. (Blu Light Special) was great. I feel a huge relief.”

The 56-year-old Collins is married to Laura and has four adult sons. He is half-owner of a liquid cattle feed company (Agridyne LLC).

Lach Down is a gelding by Chula Dual out of Oh Cay Shorty. Collins raised the horse, naming him after his fourth son, Lachlan.

Collins said he gelded Lach Down early on because the horse “had a big motor.” Collins said he plans to show the horse at all the major shows this year.

“We have no desire to be in the stud business,” he said. “We just wanted to make a very competitive show horse.”

Collins is making his second appearance in Augusta. The first time competing in 2005, he said, is paying dividends on the comfort level.

“I was very mentally prepared, understanding that you practice at the Hippodrome and you bring your trailer (to James Brown Arena) and you stay real mobile and flexible,” he said. “If you just showed up, you wouldn’t understand. But if you’ve been here one time, you know the program and you’ve got your plan.”

THURSDAY AT THE FUTURITY

Thursday is a busy day at the Augusta Futurity, with two go-rounds and four finals. The Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting Non-Pro finals begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by the Open finals. Then, $35,000 Non-Pro Any Age finals and $100,000 5/6-Year-Old finals will be held.

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