She had nothing to worry about Thursday night.
Riding in the last position, Page Bowman and Athena Mad Man marked 221 to capture the Amateur 5/6-Year-Old finals, presented by Synbiont and the stallion Dealnwithacoolcat.
Bowman, a 10th grade home-schooled student from Simpsonville, Ky., won her first Augusta Futurity title, claiming $3,000. Jordan Vaughn and Sarahs Painted Bridge finished second at 218 for $2,500, while Bob Meyer and Slow My Roll placed third (216, $2,000).
The Bowman family claimed this event for the second consecutive year. In 2013, Page’s mother, Libby, won the title. Watching her daughter win, though, wasn’t as easy.
“It’s way more nerve-wracking,” she said. “Somebody asked yesterday, because I was squirming in my seat, if it gets easier? Heck no, it doesn’t get easier.”
At 16, Page Bowman is a veteran cutter. She began the sport at age 8, and the Bowmans have been competing in the Augusta Futurity since 2008.
“It’s just been a part of my life forever,” she said.
Athena Mad Man has been a part of Bowman’s life for about 14 months. Bowman’s father, Mike, a veterinarian, bought Athena Mad Man, a 5-year-old gelding by Athena Puddy Cat out of Puppy Breath, just before the 2012 NCHA World Championship Futurity. Bowman had checked the horse several times, but no one wanted to buy him. Bowman was looking for a horse for his daughter to purchase, and trainer Austin Shepard recommended Athena Mad Man.
“From the first time I worked him, he felt like a good horse for me,” Page Bowman said. “He is a pet. He’s
goofy and he constantly wants
to be on top of you. He’s a sweet-
heart. I love him to death.”
Earlier in the day, Madalyn Colgrove and Hes a Heapinspoonful won the go-round with a mark of 218.5, 2.5 points better than the field.