Originally created 01/25/02

Record score set in 1995 still stands



No riders in the 2001 Augusta Futurity were close to taking Pete Branch's record away.

The highest mark in last year's show was a 222 by Sam Shepard and Deborah Kelley Bartlett. His ride was five points off Branch's arena-record run of 227 during the 1995 Classic Open.

In the five shows that have followed Branch's remarkable ride on Little Badger Dulce, only once has a rider approached the record mark.

That came in 1999. In the semifinals of the America's Greatest Cowboy contest, Ronnie Rice came within a half-point of matching Branch's record.

In the 22 years of the Augusta Futurity, there have been only 11 scores of 225 and above. Last year, there were just 11 scores of 220 or better.

The highest score in the 2000 Augusta Futurity was a 224.5 by Shepard in the America's Greatest Cowboy contest. Though there was a show record number of entries (740) there were only 23 scores of 220-above, compared with 46 in 1999.

After Branch's 227 and Rice's 226.5, the next-best score is a 225.5, by Branch in 1994.

There have been eight scores of 225. The latest came in 1999 when Phil Rapp did it on his famed mare Tap O Lena.

Rapp's 225 came in the one-time-only Non-Pro Parade of Champions event. The Parade of Champions brought together former Augusta Futurity champions.

Of the 11 scores of 225 and above in show history, five have been scored by two riders. Branch has two and Kobie Wood has three - all on the great stallion Cash Quixote Rio.

Only one women is represented in the elite "225 club." Sumer Hightower had a 225 on Hyglo Freckles in 1990.

Top of line

227: Pete Branch, 1995 Classic Open, Little Badger Dulce

226.5: Ronnie Rice, 1999 America's Greatest Cowboy, Hickorys Farmer

225.5: Pete Branch, 1994 Classic Open, Lenas Playgirl

225: Norman Bruce, 1992 Non-Pro Shootout, Squeak Toy

225: Kobie Wood, 1992 America's Greatest Cowboy, Cash Quixote Rio

225: Kobie Wood, 1990 America's Greatest Cowboy, Cash Quixote Rio

225: Sumer Hightower, 1990 Non-Pro Shootout, Hyglo Freckles

225: Butler Welch, 1988 Futurity Open, Imari Tari

225: Kobie Wood, 1988 Futurity Open, Cash Quixote Rio

225: Bill Freeman, 1983 Futurity Open, Smart Little Lena

225: Phil Rapp, 1999 Non-Pro Parade of Champions, Tap O Lena