Shepard sweeps MillionHeir Cutting

February 27th, 2007

Austin Shepard made a clean sweep of the MillionHeir Open Finals in Las Vegas on Sunday, February 25, winning the Derby on San Tule Uno and the Classic on MH Quixote Plays. The Derby win was worth $300,000 to owners Mike and Libby Bowman; the Classic fetched $68,000 for teenage owner Elizabeth Brumbaugh, Weatherford, TX.

Both wins were decisive, with San Tule Uno scoring 221.5 points to trump reserve champion Jae Bars Tule, with Matt Sargood for Ron Knutson, by 3 1/2 points. MH Quixote Plays marked 223 points over reserve champion Sir Ellard, under Guy Woods for EE Ranches, with 219.5 points.

The earnings, added to his other accomplishments this year, put Shepard in the lead among open riders of 2007.

San Tule Freckles, bred by the Bowmans, Simpsonville, KY, is by 2001 NCHA Open Futurity champion San Tule Freckles, owned by Western States Ranches, who created the MillionHeir program for progeny of MillionHeir sires. Shepard also rode San Tule Uno to place sixth in the Memphis Futurity.

Second-placed Jae Bars Tule, also sired by San Tule Freckles, was also bred by her owners and is out of Jae Bar Maisie, an NCHA Non-Pro world champion and full sister to the great performer Jae Bar Fletch, who was euthanized earlier this month.

MH Quixotes Plays, by Playboysalittlesmart, was bred by Western States Ranches and purchased by Brumbaugh at three. The 5-year-old mare has earned more than $170,000 and has qualified under Brumbaugh for the MillionHeir and South Point Non-Pro second go-round, which continues on February 28.

Sir Ellwood, a 5-year-old stallion sired by Bodee Boonsmal, was bred by EE Ranches and has earned more than $60,000.

In the South Point Winter Open Championships, being conducted in conjunction with the MillionHeir Derby and Classic, Miss Cat Olena, a High Brow Cat daughter owned by Jim Bilbrey, Conyers, GA, won the Derby with 220.5 points under Ronnie Rice. Lenas Affair, owned by Carrolls Cutting Horses, Weatherford, TX, was second with 219 points for Matt Gaines.

Gaines also placed as reserve with 224 points on Im Countin Checks in the Classic, where Pepto Rio Playboy won with 226 points under J.B. McLamb for Brewer Ranches, Weatherford, TX. Pepto Rio Playboy, by Peptoboonsmal, earned $18,000, to increase his career earnings to nearly $100,000. Im Countin Checks, by Smart Lil Ricochet, has career earnings of over $250,000.

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