by Quarter Horse News
A horse trained and ridden by Craig Thompson, owned by Patrick and Laura Collins and sired by Smooth As A Cat won Saturday night’s Augusta Futurity Open cutting finals with a 223.5 to earn $10,000.
MC Im With The Band (Smooth As A Cat x Ms Silver Pitchfork x Playgun) is the second horse in two years to capture the premier event title at the Augusta, Ga., show with Buffalo, Texas, Thompson for the same Lincoln, Ill., husband and wife team.
Last year, Oh Cay Do Over (Smooth As A Cat x Oh Cay Shorty x Shorty Lena), a mare owned and bred by Patrick and Laura, and trained and ridden by Thompson, won the Augusta Futurity Open with a 222.5 score.
There are a few differences this time. MC Im With the Band, a gelding, outscored last year’s winner by a point, and Patrick and Laura’s son, Max Collins, bred this year’s Champion, and placed the MC in his name.
The rest of the story, though, is remarkably similar. Thompson is just the third Augusta Futurity Open Champion rider in its first 34 events to earn the 4-Year-Old Open title two years in a row. He joins 1984 and 1985 Champion Larry Reeder and 1987 and 1988 Champion Buster Welch in that category.
“That’s pretty good company right there,” Thompson said with a smile, shortly after completing what until then hadn’t been a great show for either him or non-pro rider Pat Collins. He and Collins had missed making the finals with four other horses.
“It had been tough all week,” Thompson said. “I just thank God that I was able to get my horse shown tonight,” Thompson said.
Co-Reserve Champion Reys Lucky Girl, ridden by Jonathan Rogers, Rockdale, Texas, and owned by Robert and Carrie Tiemann, marked a 220 to earn $8,500.
Co-Reserve SDP Moms TR (TR Dual Rey x Playboys Mom x Freckles Playboy), ridden by Brett McGlothlin, Perrin, Texas, and owned by Carol and Don Dewrell, Holt, Fla., also marked a 220 to earn $8,500.