Originally created 01/25/02

Two-timers mark 2001



Double winners are rare at cutting-horse futurities. But Augusta saw two last year.

Faron Hightower and Glade Knight each had two victories in the 2001 Augusta Futurity.

"It was a good show last year," Augusta Futurity show chairman Pete May said. "It was an excellent year."

Hightower became just the second rider to win the Classic Open and Futurity Open titles in the same year. Lloyd Cox pulled that off the year before.

In the Futurity Open finals, Hightower marked a 221 and defeated Jody Galyean, the 1989 and 1996 Futurity Open champion, by three points.

"After cutting the first two cows, I'd felt like I had laid down a pretty good run at that point," Hightower said. "And here it don't take but a millisecond for something to go wrong."

Defending champion Cox advanced two horses into the finals. But he had to settle for a high score of 214.5 for a sixth-place finish.

"That was just a tremendous job by Faron," Cox said.

Knight won the $50,000 Amateur 5- 6-year-old finals and then won the $50,000 Amateur 4-year-old finals an hour later.

The 2001 Augusta Futurity also was a good show for the women riders. Deborah Kelley Bartlett won the Classic Non-Pro and Mary Ann Rapp, five-months' pregnant, took the Futurity Non-Pro title.

Bartlett, along with Sam Shepard, had the highest score of last year's show with a 222. Bartlett rode first in the second group of 10 riders, and her draw paid off.

"I didn't think it would be an advantage," she said. "I thought it was going to be a disadvantage for me. Sometimes (riding) first is not a good place to be."

Rapp added to the family legacy in Augusta. Her husband, Phil, is the all-time winningest rider in the history of the Augusta Futurity.

Seventeen-year-old Jennifer Gibson won the $20,000 Non-Pro Any Age competition. The previous year, her sister, Elizabeth, won the Area 18 Youth Scholarship competition.

Kathleen Sullivan won the $50,000 Amateur Any Age event.

Monty Nix III won his first Area 18 Youth Scholarship title. Nix, of Barnwell, S.C., was awarded a $2,000 scholarship.