Augusta Futurity bringing the West back to town

Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 1:43 PM
Last updated 8:33 PM
  • Follow Futurity

Augusta Futurity show chairman William S. Morris III rang the cowbell Tuesday morning, his traditional welcome to the Champions Club Roundup.

Back | Next
Dana T. Atkins (from left), the president of The Augusta Chronicle; William S. Morris III, the chairman of the Augusta Futurity; and  Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree chat at the Champions Club Roundup news conference about the upcoming 34th annual Augusta Futurity.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Dana T. Atkins (from left), the president of The Augusta Chronicle; William S. Morris III, the chairman of the Augusta Futurity; and Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree chat at the Champions Club Roundup news conference about the upcoming 34th annual Augusta Futurity.

At the Morris Museum of Art, Morris thanked futurity officials, sponsors and volunteers. He also discussed several popular events of the 34th annual show, which will be Jan. 20-26 at James Brown Arena.

Morris said equine events around the country have suffered – some have closed – over the past four years. While the economy continues to limp along, the Augusta Futurity remains a constant. The 2012 futurity featured 476 entries with competitors from 27 states and Australia, Canada and Venezuela.

“We’ve found a way to keep the Augusta Futurity going,” said Morris, the chairman and chief executive officer of Morris Communications Co. and publisher of The Augusta Chronicle. “I’m delighted to report to you we’re going to have a great show this year. I feel very good about where we are.”

The Augusta Futurity brings to town a Western mystique, Morris said, prevalent in today’s society. The National Cutting Horse Association event, the largest cutting show east of the Mississippi River, also has brought in $200 million over more than three decades. Each January, the event brings in an estimated 10,000 people who spend money at local hotels, restaurants and retail stores.

Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree arrived at the Champions Club Roundup to a warm welcome from Morris and the packed crowd at the museum.

“Let’s give our new sheriff a hand,” Morris said. “We’re delighted you could be with us. Thank you so much for coming.

“Sheriff, I’ll have to see to it that you get a cowboy hat.”

Roundtree responded: “I’ll need it, too.”

The biggest competition in the Augusta Futurity is the second annual Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting. Competitors in the Open and Non-Pro classes will vie for a share of the $50,000 in added money – $25,000 per class. The go-rounds will be held Jan. 23, while the finals take place Jan. 24.

The Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting is making the Augusta Futurity its first stop on its 2013 circuit. The event, which is open to horses of all ages, is expected to again bring high scores from competitors. In 2012, Phil Rapp and his 7-year-old mare, Dont Look Twice, set an arena record with a score of 231.

“It was an asset to the Augusta Futurity,” Morris said. “It helped us tremendously. It brought more horses and more cutters here.

“I’m delighted we’re having it again.”

The USC Aiken Benefit Bull Riding Championship kicks off the show Jan. 19. On Jan. 26, the annual horse sale and Wrangler Family Fun Fest return. The fun fest, a free event that features live music and a petting zoo, will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Seventh Street Plaza side of James Brown Arena. At 4 p.m., the opening ceremonies will be held before the Futurity Non-Pro and Futurity finals.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: 34th annual Augusta Futurity

WHEN: Jan. 20-26

WHERE: James Brown Arena

Comments (1) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 01/08/13 - 07:12 pm
1
0
YEAH!!!

YEAH!!!

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

Christmas Eve rains to dry up

If Wednesday seemed particularly wet and dreary, you would be right. The day broke the record for the wettest Christmas Eve that Augusta has ever had.
Search Augusta jobs