High Brow CD, Shepard/Queen, Bubble Gum Win at Augusta Futurity

High Brow CD and Austin Shepard became just the second horse and rider team to take top honors in the Open finals at both the NCHA Futurity and the Augusta Futurity. In the Non-Pro, Elizabeth Queen won her second Non-Pro Futurity title 10 years, this time aboard an unregistered horse simply known as Bubble Gum. Shepard and Queen did their winning on Saturday evening, Jan. 26, at the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Ga.High Brow CD and Austin Shepard became just the second horse and rider team to take top honors in the Open finals at both the NCHA Futurity and the Augusta Futurity. In the Non-Pro, Elizabeth Queen won her second Non-Pro Futurity title 10 years, this time aboard an unregistered horse simply known as Bubble Gum. Shepard and Queen did their winning on Saturday evening, Jan. 26, at the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Ga.

Story originally posted by: Written by Mark ThompsonReprinted from Quarter Horse News, www.quarterhorsenews.com

High Brow CD and Austin Shepard became just the second horse and rider team to take top honors in the Open finals at both the NCHA Futurity and the Augusta Futurity. In the Non-Pro, Elizabeth Queen won her second Non-Pro Futurity title 10 years, this time aboard an unregistered horse simply known as Bubble Gum. Shepard and Queen did their winning on Saturday evening, Jan. 26, at the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Ga.

High Brow CD, a stallion by High Brow Cat out of Sweet Little CD by CD Olena and Shepard, Summerdale, Ala., marked a 222 to pick up $30,000 for horse owner Arthur Noble, a residential home builder and non pro cutting horse rider from Madison, Miss.

"I’ve been coming here since I was 5, with my family, and I grew up thinking this was the big futurity," said Shepard, 30, who also won at Augusta last year aboard Woody Be Tuff in the Open Classic division. "My wife [Stacy, a qualifier in the same night’s Non-Pro Futurity finals] being from Georgia and having family around here and a lot of people I grew up cutting with being from here, it makes it really unique."

The only other horse and rider to win the NCHA Futurity and the Augusta Futurity was the great mare Chiquita Pistol, ridden by Tag Rice, in December of 2002 and January of 2003. The Augusta Futurity started in 1980 and has taken place every year since.

High Brow CD and Shepard did not get off to a great start with the first cow that they cut. The rider said judges gave them credit for getting all they could out of a mediocre first cow, then taking advantage of two much better ones.

"He [High Brow CD] is smart enough to know how to win and he wants to win. He’s kind of a dream horse." Shepard said. "I was probably not marking too good on that first cow. I tried to chip my last two cows to kind of make up some ground and they [the judges] paid me for being aggressive."

CDS Starlight MS, a mare by CD Olena out of Jessies Starlight MS by Doc O’Lena, ridden by Allen Crouch, Noxapater, Miss., finished as Reserve Champions with a 219.5 to earn $20,000. Dual Rey Me Cat, ridden by Brad Mitchell and owned by Barbara and Kix Brooks, Brentwood, Tenn., finished third with a 217.5 to earn $13,000. A Peppy Little Widow and Sam Shepard, Austin’s dad, finished fourth with a 216.5.

Queen and Bubble Gum, a Tachitas Jewels gelding out of an unknown Tanquery Gin mare, co-owned by her husband, Skip Queen earned $17,001 with a 220 as the last rider and horse duo competing in a tough second and final cattle set. The Queens’ 3-year-old daughter, Katherine, who really likes bubble gum, named the talented gelding.

Prior to Elizabeth Queen and Bubble Gum’s run, Adan Banuelos, 19, Amarillo, Texas, and Kelle Earnheart, 22, who will graduate from the University of Mississippi in May, were tied for top honors with a pair of 215 scores and headed for an apparent Championship work-off.

Queen, the 22nd and final rider in the event, wasn’t that nervous because she really didn’t expect to do that well. Only one of 10 riders that preceded Queen in the second set marked a score of better than 210 and seven of them marked scores of 201 or less. Still, Queen realized that she and her horse also had a shot at winning with a respectable run.

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