Clark chose to go second in his workoff against Jason McClure for the Classic Non-Pro finals title. But aboard Freckles Meow, McClure went out and posted the second highest-score of the Augusta Futurity this week.
“I’d rather go second,” McClure said. “But if you’re going to go first, you better try to mark a good score.”
McClure and his mount marked 225 in the workoff to best Clark and Jesse Woodson James by six points in the Classic Non-Pro finals.
McClure, of Hayesville, N.C., earned the first-place check for $6,250, while Clark of Fountain Inn, S.C., also took home $6,250. Elizabeth Queen and Lil Sting Ray marked 219 to finish third for $5,500.
While Clark and McClure received the same winning amount, McClure said he wanted a shot to go for the title.
“I’m all about whoever wins, wins,” he said. “I don’t like tying. There needs to be a winner.”
Last year in Augusta, Clark and Jesse Woodson James finished as reserve champs in the $100,000 Amateur for 5/6-Year-Olds finals. Clark also won the $50,000 Amateur Any Age finals last year, his first official title at the Augusta Futurity.
The 17-year-old Clark and Jesse Woodson James, a 6-year-old gelding by Hickorys Indian Pep out of Colonels Smart Gal, marked 220 early in the first set to take the finals lead.
McClure tied Clark with his run on Freckles Meow, a 6-year-old mare by High Brow Cougar out of Docs Berry Freckles, early in the second set. McClure ran again on his second horse and didn’t watch the cows for the final five horses. Then, he was told a workoff was in order. Fortunately for him, his helpers – Gabe Reynolds, Billy Weir, Walt Erwin and Kevin Walden – paid attention.
“They knew that cattle really well,” McClure said. “The cattle we talked about cutting earlier were still fresh. So we went down and cut the same cows I was thinking about cutting the second horse out. My help did a great job.”
The 27-year-old McClure is married to Hali and they have a 2-year-old daughter, Micalynn. McClure trains and sells his own horses.