Augusta Futurity celebrates 35th anniversary with 2014 show

Competitors look to make more history

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After winning the 2013 Futurity Open finals, Craig Thompson stood in the Georgia clay negotiating with Laura and Patrick Collins. The Collins family, owners of Mc Im With The Band, discussed keeping the stirrups. Thompson asked for the heavy championship trophy.

Harris Shepard, riding Especially Thomas, won the Futurity Non-Pro Finals with 217. The Shepard cutting family, which includes father Sam and older brother Austin, have seven Augusta titles.  FILE
FILE
Harris Shepard, riding Especially Thomas, won the Futurity Non-Pro Finals with 217. The Shepard cutting family, which includes father Sam and older brother Austin, have seven Augusta titles.

“This is what I really want,” he said.

Thompson made history in the 34th edition of the Augusta Futurity. With Mc Im With The Band, Thompson marked 223.5 and the Buffalo, Texas, rider captured his second consecutive Futurity Open victory.

He became just the third rider in the history of the Augusta Futurity to win back-to-back Futurity Open titles, joining Larry Reeder (1984-85) and Buster Welch (1987-88).

Who will make history in the 35th year of the Augusta Futurity? The seven-day event starts Sunday and runs through Jan. 25.

One unofficial event kicks off the show Saturday, the popular USCA Extra Inning Bull Riding Competition. The event starts at 8 p.m. at James Brown Arena.

The following Saturday, Jan. 25, the Wrangler Family Fun Fest will be held outside the arena on the Seventh Street side. The kid-friendly event offers dancers, live music and a petting zoo.

Last year, the largest cutting horse event east of the Mississippi River offered a total purse of $351,755 (plus an additional $80,000 in Stallion Stakes Incentive money) with 493 entries coming from 20 states as well as Canada. Texas had the most with 91 while Georgia placed second with 76.

Thompson became the second competitor at the 2013 show to repeat as champion. Libby Bowman also captured her second title with Rich N Snazzy in the $100,000 Amateur for 5/6-Year-Olds event.

Harris Shepard added to his family’s legacy, claiming the Futurity Non-Pro title aboard Especially Thomas. Along with his older brother, Austin, and father, Sam, Harris helped add to the family’s Augusta Futurity total of seven titles.

John Wold and Fort Worth Pipeline posted 225 to win the Classic Open finals. In the Classic Non-Pro finals, Jason McClure and Freckles Meow defeated Chisholm Clark and Jesse Woodson James in a workoff.


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