Pats Mate lookin’ great

October 29th, 2006

Pats Mate, ridden by Tracy Barton (pictured) for Ernie and Jean Causey, claimed the Southern Futurity championship with 220 points in Jackson, MS, on October 27. It was the fourth time the 3-year-old gelded son of Smart Mate has qualified for a futurity finals and the first big win for the Causeys, who live in Loris, SC.

Cetas Ahoy Mate, another Smart Mate son trained by Barton, won the Southern Futurity Non-Pro championship under Kirkland Gruber, Saint George, SC. Barton was also reserve champion at the recent All American Quarter Horse Congress on Gruber’s gelding.

“I felt really fortunate to win this year,” said Barton, who has now won the Southern Futurity three times (Playin Shorty in 2004 and Cats High Noon in 2003) and has been reserve champion twice. “There were a lot of well-trained horses that probably could have gone to the big (NCHA) Futurity. Steve Colclasure had an awesome horse. Austin (Shepard) drew up last, but he can show a stick horse and beat you.”

Steve Colclasure, riding Little Sa Lena, by Smart Little Lena, for Franklin and Tina Sapp, was reserve champion with 218.5 points in the 18-horse finals.

“They brought in 72 head of cattle,” noted Barton, who drew up second. “You had to drive a long way out because the herd was so big. I’ve never cut in a herd that big. I felt like I was at the King Ranch with walls.”

The Causeys purchased Pats Mate as a yearling, at the NCHA Futurity Sales. Steve Ginn started the horse and Barton took up the reins in January.

“He’s a big-stopping horse and one that you can use,” said Barton. “He’s really matured a lot in the last couple of shows. I trust him a lot. He just keeps getting better and better.”

Like Pats Mate, Cetas Ahoy Mate has been a finalist everywhere he’s been shown. Gruber purchased him this past April from trainer David Stewart on Barton’s recommendation.

“He’s a little more dynamic than Pats Mate in that he has that wild look and really splatters, but he’s not as mentally mature yet as Pats Mate,” noted Barton. “But Kirkland and I have both done really well with him.”

Gruber also was reserve champion in the Southern Futurity Non-Pro Classic with 217.5 points riding High Brow Doll.

Barton lives in Union Hall, VA, where he trains for the public out of a facility owned by his longtime clients Eddie and Debbie Shelton. Barton, 42, and his wife, Sue, have two children – Travis, 11, and Emma Ray, 7.

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