Special Nu Baby
Matt Gaines and Special Nu Baby won the Mercuria Open finals at the Idaho Futurity. Suzanne Sylvester photos.

Matt Gaines on Barker Ranch’s Special Nu Baby and Constance Jaeggi on Saguaro Ichi scored runaway wins in the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting at the Idaho Futurity on August 30.

Special Nu Baby marked 229 in the Open finals for a seven-point win over Pure Redwhiteandblue, ridden by Eric Wisehart for Roger Booth. Jaeggi and Saguaro Ichi marked 225 for a seven-point margin over Bambi Gress on Sues So Smart in the Non-Pro finals.

It was the second Mercuria win  in a row and the third this year for 9-year-old Special Nu Baby. She also scored 229 when she won the Mercuria finals at Las Vegas earlier in the month, and she marked a 230 when she won at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo back in February.

Owned by Gary and Shannon Barker of Madill, Oklahoma, Special Nu Baby was bred by Eddy Longley’s Crystal Creek Ranch. She is by Dual Rey out of Nu I Wood, the mare that Gaines showed to win six major championships, including the NCHA Derby and NCHA Super Stakes Classic, earning $405,000. Nu I Wood has produced earners of more than $900,000, including Special Nu Kitty ($301,000) and Special Nu Cat ($127,000).

Special Nu Baby has a big lead in the 2015 NCHA World Standings as the point year enters the home stretch.

Saguaro Ichi
Constance Jaeggi and Saguaro Ichi won the Non-Pro finals.

Jaeggi, the 2014 NCHA Non-Pro World Champion, will move up from 9th to the top five in the 2015 standings with her win at the Idaho Futurity.

This is Jaeggi’s fourth Mercuria win, and her third with Saguaro Ichi. The team won at Las Vegas last year, and at this year’s Pacific Coast Derby.

Saguaro Ichi was bred by EE Ranches by Cat Ichi out of Playboys Heidi, an NCHA Futurity finalist that earned $104,000. Saguaro Ichi has earned over $240,000 now. He was NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year in 2014.