Archive for October, 2007

David McDavid to sponsor Futurity show

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

As an auto dealer, David McDavid became familiar to millions of viewers across Texas with his fondly remembered commercials featuring a big dog named Widetrack. You can still hear Widetrack’s bark here.

McDavid and his wife, Stacie, have also been avid cutters for years. They own the leading freshman cutting sire Hes A Peptospoonful and 4-year-old The Silver Spoon, one of the top money earners from Hes A Peptospoonsful’s first crop.

Now McDavid’s cutting and television threads are coming together in December as he sponsors a live telecast of the $4 million NCI Building Systems NCHA Futurity. The three-hour program will be available to more than 28 million homes via RFD-TV.

Promoting the sport of cutting is nothing new to McDavid, a former owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Back in 1995, as part of a customer appreciation event for one of his dealerships, he brought 600 people who knew nothing about the sport to the NCHA Summer Spectacular,  gave them a mini-seminar with a AAA judge, and watched them have the time of their lives.

The new fans got to meet Hall of Fame riders, the “Dirk Nowitzkis of the cutting world.” They quizzed experts, watched videos during cattle changes, and came away with an appreciation of a sport they’d known nothing about. One participant said she was going to trade in her new McDavid automobile and buy a horse.

Multiply that kind of response by 28 million households, and cutting could really be in business.

Southern Futurity finalists

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Southern Futurity champion Dualin Mate is by Dualin Jewels, and is the first performer for his dam, Rhonda Mate. Rhonda Mate is a Smart Mate mare that was a finalist in the Amateur division of the 2001 NCHA Futurity, ridden by Stacie Kopp.

Dualin Mate was previously a finalist in the Music City Futurity. Here’s a look at the Open finals of the Southern Futurity held last week in Jackson, Mississippi. (more…)

Curlin crowned in Breeders’ Cup

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Curlin (pictured earlier this year), who broke his maiden in his debut back on February 3, sealed his bid for Horse of the Year honors with a decisive win in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Monmouth Park Saturday. It was his sixth victory from nine starts this year. He is only the third Preakness Stakes winner to take the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Ridden by Robby Albarado, he took the lead coming out of the final turn and left Hard Spun 4 1/2 lengths back, followed by longshot Awesome Gem and Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, the 5-2 favorite.

Trainer Steve Asmussen said that he considered Curlin’s grueling Triple Crown quest – with wins in the Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby, a third in the Kentucky Derby, a win in the Preakness and a second in the Belmont – as the horse’s two-year-old season. After two months off, he came back for third in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth, and then won Belmont’s Jockey Club Gold Cup.

“He’s a special horse to accomplish what he has accomplished in the length of time he had to get to this level,” Asmussen said.

Both Asmussen and Albarado were notching up their first wins in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, on Thoroughbred racing’s richest day.

Unofficial wagering on the 11 Breeders’ Cup races was $111,903,685, down 20% from the all-time record set last year at Churchill Downs. The decline followed five consecutive years of increases. Severe weather, which kept on-track crowds down to 41,000, may have also been a factor in the wagering decline.

No stopping Topsail Whiz

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Leading reining sire Topsail Whiz recently topped $5 million in offspring earnings, according to the National Reining Horse Association. The 20-year-old stallion is only the second sire to reach that benchmark. Hollywood Dun It, who died in 2005, was the first to attain $5 million in offspring earnings.

“He’s done a great job of passing all of his best attributes on to his foals,” said Bob Loomis, who trained and showed Topsail Whiz to earn $54,000. “Very few horses can produce their great qualities like he can.”

Topsail Whiz’s top performers include The Great Whiz, 2003 NRHA Open Futurity champion and the highest money earner in NRHA history, with $243,088. Loomis, who stands Topsail Whiz at Loomis Quarter Horses in Marietta, OK, holds an NRHA record with six Open Futurity championship titles.

Thompson takes two at Southern Futurity

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Craig Thompson, winner of the 2006 NCHA Open Futurity on Oh Cay Felix, claimed two more championship titles during the $675,000 Southern Futurity, which runs through October 27 in Jackson, MS.

Riding Kits Corona Playboy for Lisa and Jamie Johnson, of Benson, NC, Thompson scored 224 points to win the Open Classic on Tuesday, and was back on Wednesday to claim the Futurity with 218 points on Dualin Mate, also owned by the Johnsons. He also placed third and fourth in the Classic riding Kaboomsmall and Vicarious Thrill, respectively, and took third in the Futurity aboard Stylish Merada 004.

To date, Thompson has qualified 33 times for major event finals during 2007, with four wins.

Dualin Mate, by Dualin Jewels, was also an open finalist at the Music City Futurity under Thompson. Six-year-old Kits Corona Playboy, by Kit Playboy, won the Music City Amateur Classic with Jamie Johnson and placed second in the open novice division for Thompson.

Copaspepto, ridden by Tag Rice for Marvine Ranch, earned his fifth major title in 2007 with a 223-point win in the Southern Derby. The 4-year-old son of Peptoboonsmal, third-placed in the NCHA Futurity, also won the Abilene Spectacular, the Memphis Futurity, the NCHA Super Stakes and the Brazos Bash, and has official NCHA earnings of more than $280,000.

Horse rescue efforts in California wildfires

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

As wildfires continue to engulf Southern California, where more than 1,500 homes have been destroyed, the Humane Society of the United States, at the request of the San Diego County Department of Animal Services, is assisting in rescue efforts for thousands of animals in harm’s way. Despite wide-scale devastation, loss of life has been minimal, thus far.

“Many residents were able to take their animals with them as they evacuated,” said Melissa Rubin, vice president of field services for HSUS. “Unfortunately, it is much harder to evacuate horses and farm animals.”

Within 12 hours of receiving San Diego’s request for assistance, members of HSUS were on the ground assessing the situation and more than 20 HSUS disaster services staff from across the country were deployed to California to rescue horses, farm animals and pets.

San Diego’s historic Del Mar Fairgrounds and racetrack has made room for nearly 2,000 displaced horses and 1,000 more were given emergency shelter at nearby parks and polo grounds. Vessels Stallion Farm near Bonsall in San Diego County has taken in 300 horses and an evacuation plan is ready, if necessary, for their most famous resident, Quarter Horse racing’s leading sire First Down Dash.

South Point $25K Futurity

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Here’s a look at the finalists in the $25,000-added Open Futurity at last week’s South Point Cutting Horse Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. (more…)