Once In A Blue Boon twice an Arbuckle champion

February 22nd, 2013

James Payne

Five-year-old Once In A Blue Boon and rider James Payne claimed their second Arbuckle Mountain Cutting title with a 224-point win in today’s 5/6-Year-Old Classic. Last year the pair were champions of the 4-Year-Old Futurity.

Payne also scored 222 points as reserve to Once In A Blue Boon, on Poo Smoothie, owned by Kathleen Moore.

Owned by Charlotte Farms and bred by the late Bill Freeman, Once In A Blu Boon is by Peptoboonsmal and out of Autumn Boon, earner of $244,470 and dam of NCHA earners of over $1.15 million. In addition to the Arbuckle Futurity, the bay roan stallion and Payne also won the Chisholm Trail Fall Futurity and The Non-Pro Open Futurity in 2012, placed as reserve champions of the Brazos Bash and West Texas Futurity, were third in the NCHA Derby, and have together racked up earnings of over $135,000.

Poo Smoothie placed fourth with Payne in the 2011 Arbuckle Futurity, and third with Moore in the 2012 Arbuckle Non-Pro Classic. The 6-year-old Smooth As A Cat daughter, out of Dual Poo by Dual Pep, has lifetime earnings of over $80,000.

For Payne, 2012 was a breakout year. Not only did the 34-year-old Oklahoman earn over $225,000, but he won the NCHA Classic Challenge with 223 points on Sarenadual, also owned by Moore.

“If you had told me I was going to mark a 222 yesterday and a 223 today, I wouldn’t have believed it,” said Payne after the NCHA Classic Challenge win, his first in Will Rogers Coliseum.

Payne began his career just out of high school, in 1996 at Pieper Ranch, Marietta, Okla., home of $8 million cutting sire Playgun. He stayed with Dick and Brenda Pieper for eight years, then took on training responsibilities at Polo Ranch, also in Marietta, where he stayed for the next five years, before going out on his own.

The Arbuckle Mountain Futurity continues through Monday, February 25 at the Hardy Murphy Arena, Ardmore, Okla.

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