Father/son 1-2 at NCHA Futurity

The National Cutting Horse Association's 40th annual Futurity, which ended December 16 after a 20-day run, featured Ronnie Rice beating his son, Tag, for the title. Ronnie, a 49-year-old trainer from Buffalo, Texas, rode late in the 24-horse finals. If he had the horse to win the $200,000 prize, he had to prove it by beating his son, who earlier had set the standard with a 222 mark. Mounted on a Freckles ...The National Cutting Horse Association's 40th annual Futurity, which ended December 16 after a 20-day run, featured Ronnie Rice beating his son, Tag, for the title. Ronnie, a 49-year-old trainer from Buffalo, Texas, rode late in the 24-horse finals. If he had the horse to win the $200,000 prize, he had to prove it by beating his son, who earlier had set the standard with a 222 mark. Mounted on a Freckles ...

Story originally posted by: John Brasseaux

The National Cutting Horse Association’s 40th annual Futurity, which ended December 16 after a 20-day run, featured Ronnie Rice beating his son, Tag, for the title.

Ronnie, a 49-year-old trainer from Buffalo, Texas, rode late in the 24-horse finals. If he had the horse to win the $200,000 prize, he had to prove it by beating his son, who earlier had set the standard with a 222 mark. Mounted on a Freckles Playboy-sired stud, Ronnie cut three great heifers and walked out of the herd with a 223.5.

It was his second Futurity title. He won it all in 1998 on another Freckles Playboy horse, this one a mare, Dainty Playgirl. Ronnie also rode another horse, Smart Sugar Badger, to a 216, while Tag was fourth on Short Candy. It was a wealthy night for the Rice’s. Tag’s total take was $271,000, while Ronnie won just over $246,000.

The NCHA Futurity is the largest cutting show in the world. This year, 569 open horses made runs in the first go-round. Throw in the non pro and amateur entries and the total horse count was nearly 1,500. Add to that the 1,400 horses offered in the 12 sales during the Futurity and you get an idea of the number of horses the Futurity draws.

"I wouldn’t have cared it it had gone either way," Ronnie said after the finals. "That boy has worked hard for what he’s done and he showed his horses so good. I was just so proud of him."

Ronnie’s mount was clearly the best horse of the field, exciting the 5,000 spectators who filled the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. During the post-Futurity press conference, Ronnie expressed his admiration for San Tule Freckles.

"You don’t have to go pick a special cow on that horse," Ronnie said. "That little horse is going to hold a cow that gets way out away from him or one that crawls right up under his belly.

"It’s life or death to him. When you drop your hand down on him, he’s serious about what he’s doing."

The Futurity is only for 3-year-old horses that have never been shown in competition.

Horse – Rider – Money Won – Score
1 San Tule Freckles – Ronnie Rice – $200,000 – 223.5
2 Mr Beamon – Tag Rice – $162,524 – 222.0
3 Little Pepto Gal – Matt Gaines – $135,714 – 220.0
4 Short Candy – Tag Rice – $108,903 – 219.5
5 Catsa Movin – Tommy Marvin – $82,093 – 219.0
6 Angels Little Gunner – Ascencion Banuelos 54,143 218.0
7 Kodo Bill – Guy Woods – $54,143 – 218.0
8 Hes A Peptospoonful – Brad Vaughn – $50,726 – 217.5
9 Freckles Lena Boon – Hope Justice – $46,170 – 216.0
10 Dulces Smart Lena – Phil Rapp – $46,170 – 216.0
11 Smart Sugar Badger – Ronnie Rice – $46,170 – 216.0
12 Purely Bob – Darren Simpkins – $40,475 – 215.5
13 Doc Alley – Paul Hansma – $40,475 – 215.5
14 Smart Little Pepto – Jody Galyean – $37,958 – 215.0
15 Nitro Dual Doc – Acension Banuelos – $33,641 – 214.0
16 Mr Roan Freckles – Lloyd Cox – $33,641 – 214.0
17 Belle Mate – Shannon Hall – $30,224 – 213.0
18 Zacks Lena – Matt Gaines – $27,946 – 212.5
19 Haidas CD – Paul Hansma – $25,668 – 211.0
20 Tm Nutcracker – Leon Harrel – $23,390 – 210.0
21 Spanish Wilson – Mark Michels – $21,112 – 207.0
22 Maybellena Dual – Dean Holden – $18,834 – 204.0
23 I Sho Spensive – Dick Gaines – $16,556 – 196.0
24 Mighty Fine Sue – Kobie Wood – $14,278 – 191.0