Here For A Good Time
Corey Cushing wins his second National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship aboard Good Time, owned by Lynne Wurzer.
Scottsdale, Ariz., horseman Corey Cushing, a National Reined Cow Horse Association Million Dollar Rider, captured the 2014 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship riding Good Time (One Time Pepto x Dual Nurse x Dual Pep), owned by Lynne Wurzer, Tacoma, Wash. The Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finals were held Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center in Reno, Nev.
Cushing guided the sorrel gelding to a composite 660 score (219 herd/219.5 rein/221.5 cow) to win the $100,000 Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship, the second of his career. Cushing won his first title in 2012 with CD Diamond (CD Olena x Shiners Diamond Girl x Shining Spark), bred and owned by San Juan Ranch.
It was an emotional win for Cushing, who wiped tears as he rode Good Time into the spotlight at the Reno Livestock Events Center to accept the award.
“I couldn’t be any happier right now. What an outstanding horse this is,” Cushing said.
Good Time and Cushing were neck-and-neck through the first two events of the finals with Call Me Mitch (Metallic Cat x Miss Hickory Hill x Doc’s Hickory), shown by Phillip Ralls, Paso Robles, Calif., and owned by Estelle Roitblat. In the herd work, Call Me Mitch earned the high score of the round, a 222, while Good Time was tied for the second-high score with a 219.
Next, in the rein work, Call Me Mitch and Good Time marked identical 219.5 scores, which meant, in true reined cow horse fashion, it all was going to come down to the fence work. Good Time drew up well ahead of Call Me Mitch in the working order, controlling the cow for a big 221.5 and a commanding lead. Call Me Mitch needed a 219 or better to move Good Time out of Championship contention, but the cow took Ralls and the roan horse around the corner on their second turn, incurring penalties and leaving them with a 202 in the cow work. Call Me Mitch finished in a tie for 6th place, taking home $27,500.
“Phillip and I – we’re great friends, and I knew he was going to be a huge threat coming in,” Cushing said.
With three horses in the Snaffle Bit Futurity Finals, more than any other competitor, Cushing admitted it was a challenge to stay focused. He credited his wife, Kristen, and his team of assistants, for keeping him prepared.
“Coming into the finals, Kristen came up to me and kind of gave me the rundown on how I needed to do things. That’s been a thing of ours. She reminds me of this and that, and tells me to be sure to finish my run. Thank you Kristen – love you!” he said, smilling. “It’s just one horse at a time. My hat is off to Ty Benson, Jake Barry, Dani Nelson and Glen Aspinall. I couldn’t do it without them. Might as well call them the dream team. They were awesome.”
For Good Time’s owner, Lynne Wurzer, the Futurity Championship was a “bucket list” item. The whole story began last year, when she called Cushing out of the blue.
“I’d never met her. She said she’d like to buy a horse and put it in training. I said, sure, when I come across one, I’ll let you know, and I didn’t know whether it would be tomorrow or six months from now. About three months later she calls me again and asks if I had found a horse for her. I said I hadn’t. Some more time went by. I had been to see a friend, [fellow horse trainer] Hayden Upton, and he had a nice one. I called Ms. Lynn and told her what the price was, and she told me, ‘Corey, I can’t afford that horse.’ I said, ‘No problem. We’ll find you another one.’ She called me back two days later, and she goes, ‘You know what? I’ve been doing this for a long time, and this is probably the last horse I’ll ever buy. You go buy him.’ And thank goodness she did! It was awesome,” Cushing said.
Besides the $100,000 Championship check, the Snaffle Bit Futurity title came with two Bob’s Custom Saddles sponsored by Triple D Ranches and the NRCHA; a CR Morrison Bronze sponsored by the NRCHA; two Gist buckles sponsored by Hooker Creek Ranch and Michelle Cannon; monogrammed jackets sponsored by Cinch; a polar fleece cooler from Classic Equine, a 100x hat from JW Brooks Custom Hats, and product from Santa Cruz Animal Health, Platinum Performance and Back On Track.
The Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion was Shiney Nu Annie (Shining Spark x Annies Nu Lena x Nu Cash), shown by Chris Dawson, Burneyville, Okla., and owned by Wagonhound Land and Livestock. Dawson guided the mare to a total 651.5 (216 herd/218.5 rein/217 cow), earning $80,000. Dawson and the mare have been a team since last fall.
“She’s been a treat this whole time. She’s been a superstar. I love her to death. I couldn’t ask for a better fence horse, and she wants to be really good in the herd work and the reining, too,”
Dawson had other highlights in Reno – he had a second Open Finalist,Sushi Boss (CD Lights x Shiney Sushi x Shining Spark), who finished in a for 12th place, earning $14,250 for owners Kay Tennant and Leroy Hoffman. Earlier in the week, Sushi Boss won the rein work preliminary go-round with a 222.
“It’s been a great show. It’s been a week to remember. I need to thank my fiancee, Sarah Winters, and Lee Deacon for all their help, and of course the owners who let me show these great horses,” Dawson said.