Still recovering from back surgery, Phil Rapp competed in just one event in the Augusta Futurity this year.
That was all he needed.
The winningest cutter in Augusta history added another milestone Thursday night when he and Dont Look Twice rung up a record score of 231 to win the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting Open finals at James Brown Arena.
Rapp, of Weatherford, Texas, won for the fourth consecutive year in Augusta, claiming his 12th Augusta Futurity title overall – seven more than any other competitor.
He and Dont Look Twice claimed the first-place check of $8,295 and eclipsed the previous high score in Augusta Futurity history (230.5), set by Tag Rice and Chiquita Pistol in the 2003 Futurity Open finals.
“Augusta’s been a special place,” the 42-year-old Rapp said. “It’s pretty exciting with that mare to have the arena record. What can I say about that mare? She’s one of a kind.”
John Wold and George C Merada marked 225 to finish second for $7,179. Lee Francois and Miss Smokin Garfield placed third (223, $6, 063).
Rapp, who is recovering from surgery in October to repair a herniated disc in his lower back, competed solely in the first stop on the Mercuria eight-event circuit, instead of working his typical heavy load in Augusta.
He and his wife, Mary Ann, flew back to Texas shortly after the competition ended.
Rapp is now in position to become one of the top 15 cutters at the end of the Mercuria season to qualify for a four-round competition in the world finals in Fort Worth, Texas.
Rapp is showing Dont Look Twice, a 7-year-old mare by High Brow Cat out of Tapt Twice, this year in hopes of making her the all-time leading money-earning mare.
Rapp said entering the event she needs about another $60,000.
“I don’t know what to compare her to,” Rapp said.
“She’s just one of those awesome horses. I’m glad that God gave her to us.”