Originally created 01/22/06

Show was a short one for '05 champ



Michelle Hall's stay in the Augusta Futurity lasted less than 24 hours.

The 2004 Futurity Open champion failed to make the cut on a pair of horses in the Classic Open first go-round Saturday. She is not entered in the Futurity Open, which begins at 8 a.m. today with the first go-round.

In the Classic Open first go-round, Hall marked 210 on Miss Hickory Dox after posting 210 on Scramble Dox.

The top 64 horses with scores of 213 or better advanced to the Classic Open second go-round, which begins at 8 a.m. Monday.

"It was a quick show for me," Hall said. "But you live and learn."

All-time Augusta Futurity champion Phil Rapp rung up 224 on Light N Lena to lead the pack. The score matched the top score of the 2005 show.

"I don't try to go in there and win the go-rounds," said Rapp, a seven-time Augusta champion. "But that horse is so good. And two of the three cows were just fabulous, just really good cows."

Rapp and his stud, by Grays Starlight and out of Little Missie Lena, and owned by Billy Martin, had some success in this event last year, winning the second go-round. However, the pair finished 18th in the finals.

"He just needs to get a good break," Rapp said. "(Last year's finals) just didn't work out for him. Nothing just fit in the finals."

Nothing worked for Hall in her third Augusta appearance as she returned to the scene of her biggest career victory.

In 2005, she surprised everyone - including herself - when she posted 224 on Play Stocks to win the Futurity Open finals by 4.5 points.

"Everything went right that night," she said. "I proved that I can do it.

"It was thrilling. It doesn't happen very often, even to the best people. For someone like me, you can go back and watch your video once a week and remind yourself you can get it done even when things are going wrong."

The 29-year-old Hall is seeking another horse the caliber of Play Stocks, who was sold by the Slate River Ranch after the NCHA Super Stakes last April.

She took 4-year-old Bob Boberandy to the NCHA World Championship Futurity in December and advanced to the second go-round. But she decided to give the horse a break and not run him in the Augusta Futurity.

Hall said her two 5-year-old mares, Miss Hickory Dox and Scramble Dox, still need some seasoning. She's been training both horses for a little more than a year.

"They're both very green," she said. "We're still waiting for them to emerge. They're still blooming."