Originally created 01/25/03

Texan overcomes the cold



Donna Goett knew this would happen. In fact, she told her husband, Keith, two years ago if she came to Augusta there would be terrible weather.

So Goett stayed home with a doctor's excuse for the 2001 Augusta Futurity. No, really.

"I had to get some dental work done," she said.

As it turned out, there was mild weather in Augusta. Two years later, Donna Goett tempted her fate. Of course, below-freezing temperatures hit Augusta on Friday morning.

"So I came this year," she said.

The weather had no effect on Goett or her 6-year-old stallion, Purple Lynx. The pair scored 220.5 to win the go-round of the $20,000 Non-Pro Any Age event to open the 24th annual Augusta Futurity at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.

The top 12 horses advanced to tonight's finals with a score of 213.5 or better. On Slip Me A Haida, Jamie Johnson marked 218 for second place, while 13-year-old Will Arthur rode Rioxote Quixote to a third-place finish with 217.

At 9:20 Friday morning, the temperature stood at 50 degrees inside the civic center and barely 20 degrees outside. The cold weather didn't bother Arthur, of Turkey, N.C, or Rioxote Quixote.

"The horse is a little bit more hyper that way," Arthur said.

Arthur and fellow 13-year-old cutter Mary Ellen Graves will compete in the finals in their first try in this competition. On her second run of the competition, Graves and Screen O Lena marked 216.5 to tie for fourth.

"This one probably has a little more spunk than the other one (Zacks Luvaboy)," she said. "They're both good horses."

Purple Lynx, by Smart Little Pistol out of Rosies Last Lynx, isn't a bad horse, either. Goett has found quick success on the horse, showing him for just the fourth time Friday. In two of their first three shows, they won the $50,000 Amateur Any Age event in a weekend competition in November and made the finals of the Abilene Spectacular earlier this month.

Goett - who owns Kedon Farms in Weatherford, Texas, with her husband - has been showing cutting horses for 10 years. Goett said she's come a long way since beginning the sport.

"I started at the very bottom, the turn-back horse," she said.

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 114.