Becky Elliott’s love affair continued Wednesday afternoon with the Augusta Futurity.
A long-time futurity director, who also runs the Area 18 Youth Scholarship Cutting, Elliott enjoyed time inside the pen. Aboard Halos Rey, the cowgirl posted a score of 216.5 to ensure herself a spot in the Classic Non-Pro finals.
Patrick Collins, who’s having a great week with his horses, rode Oh Miss Peacock to a go-round winning score of 219. The top 20 horses with scores of 213.5 or better advanced to Friday’s championship round.
Elliott and her husband, Miles, live in Appleton, S.C., just outside of Allendale – about a 45-minute drive from Augusta. The pair have two adult children.
Elliott first came to the Augusta Futurity when a farrier friend gave her some tickets in the 1980s. She and daughter, Elizabeth, were hooked.
“I just couldn’t believe this Western-type event was going on on the East Coast,” Elliott said.
Elliott eventually became an Augusta Futurity director, a job she’s worked for the past decade.
She said the main focus this year was to increase entries. The show did just that, doubling in size with the addition of the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting and the second payout year of the Stallion Stakes Incentive program.
One event close to Elliott’s heart is the Area 18 Youth Scholarship Cutting finals, an event for area contestants. Dr. Michael Watts started the competition, but he handed it off to Elliott in the late 1990s when he got too busy.
Every year, she lines up sponsors and ensures that the 12 youth competitors (14 this year because of ties) are lined up for the finals, which run Friday night. The winner typically receives a $3,000 scholarship of an $8,000 purse.
“That’s become my little baby,” Elliott said. “The kids work toward it all year long. I’m excited for them.”
Elliott’s been so busy off the dirt, she was excited to ride Halos Rey, a 6-year-old gelding by Dual Rey out of Haidas Little Pep. Elliott bought the horse at age 3 on the advice Skip and Elizabeth Queen. Elliott and her horse worked together well in the Classic Non-Pro go-round.
“It felt good,” she said. “My little horse was very good. My help was tremendous.”