Copaspepto And Rice Win Augusta Open Classic

Copaspepto, the National Cutting Horse Association 2007 Horse of the Year, gave Tag Rice his fifth Augusta victory Jan. 24 at the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Ga., as they marked a 221.5 to win the Augusta Classic by a half-point.Copaspepto, the National Cutting Horse Association 2007 Horse of the Year, gave Tag Rice his fifth Augusta victory Jan. 24 at the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Ga., as they marked a 221.5 to win the Augusta Classic by a half-point.

Story originally posted by: Written by Robert EubanksReprinted from Quarter Horse News, www.quarterhorsenews.com

Copaspepto, the National Cutting Horse Association 2007 Horse of the Year, gave Tag Rice his fifth Augusta victory Jan. 24 at the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Ga., as they marked a 221.5 to win the Augusta Classic by a half-point.

The gelding, 5, owned by Jon and Abby Winkelried’s Marvine Ranch LLC, Meeker, Colo., is by Peptoboonsmal out of Miss Martini Play by Freckles Playboy. The victory was worth $29,250, including $28,000 in the finals.

Lloyd Cox, Fort Morgan, Colo., rode three horses to total earnings of $43,500, including a pair of full brothers. Halreycious, a 2002 son of Dual Rey out of Stylish Play Lena by Docs Stylish Oak, owned by Linda Holmes, Longmont, Colo., was second with a 221 and earned $22,000, including $19,500 in the finals. Cox also was third with a 217 on Sophisticated Catt, owned by Keith Feister, Gainesville, Texas. The 2002 son of High Brow Cat out of former NCHA Futurity Champion Shania Cee by Peppys Boy 895, earned $13,000. Reydiculous, the 2002 full brother to Halreycious and owned by ATL Cutting Horses LLC, Salt Lake City, Utah, was eighth with a 214.5 and earned $8,500.

Copaspepto and Rice won the Abilene Spectacular Derby, the Memphis Derby and tied for the NCHA Super Stakes title. They then captured the Brazos Bash Derby and the Southern Derby late in the year to win a two-horse race for the NCHA yearly award. This was despite missing two months of competition late in the summer.

They worked fourth in the second set, or 14th of 21 overall, in the Augusta Classic finals.

Finding cows that allowed them to show their horses well was a problem for many riders, as only 10 of the 21 finalists were able to mark a 214 or better.

"The cows were pretty tough all night," Rice said, adding he was able to cut ones that were not great, but just good enough to get the job done. "The horse felt good. He’s been in a little better mind frame and he settled in here.”

The great gelding made three huge stops and came back from deep in the sand to hold his second cow. When Rice tried just to make a clean third cut, the cattle roared like a pack of racecars in his face. But he was able to cut a black cow off the end of the pack and survive the scary moment.

"I knew I had a good run and I didn’t want to mess it up," Rice said.

Rice ranks Copaspepto a close second to the great mare Chiquita Pistol, who won the 2003 Augusta Futurity, the 2004 Augusta Classic Open and the Western Horseman Cup Finals. He also won the Western Horseman Finals on Cat T Masterson.

Halyrecious and Cox set the bar high with the 221 from the No. 2 draw in the first cattle set. The next best score in the opening set was the 217 posted by Sophisticated Catt and Cox.

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