The news about Junie Wood, 2014 NCHA Horse of the Year and one of NCHAâ€™s Top 20 all-time leading money earners, with $525,774, was shared Friday on facebook by her owner, Slate River Ranch. â€œIt was with heavy hearts yesterday that we had to lay our mare Junie Wood to rest. She was diagnosed with kidney disease a few weeks back and unfortunately we had to make this tough decision.â€
Bred by Craig Crumpler, Wichita Falls, Tex., and sired by Nitas Wood, Junie Wood was a full sister to Woody Be Tuff LTE $351,063, sire of NCHA and NRCHA earners of $6 million, and also bred by Craig Crumpler. Josh Crumpler, Craigâ€™s son, trained Junie Wood, who they called Lucy, and Craig showed her as the 2013 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro champion.
â€œMy dad is a Doc Quixote man from way back,â€ said Crumpler of his father, Paul Crumpler, who won the 1973 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity on Doc Quixote, sire of the earners of $9.5 million, and maternal grandsire of both Junie Woodâ€™s sire and dam. Tuffs Junie, Junie Woodâ€™s dam, is the producer of 12 NCHA earners of more than $1.2 million.
â€œI named her Junie Wood because her mom is Tuffs Junie, and I thought I owed it to her to put that (Junie) in her name,â€ said Crumpler, who sold Junie Wood to Slate River Ranch, at the 2013 NCHA Futurity.
Under John Mitchell for Slate River Ranch, Junie Wood never missed a beat, with a 229-point win in the 2014 NCHA Super Stakes, and eight more major wins, plus a reserve championship in the 2014 NCHA Derby, during her limited age event career. In addition, she also carried Slate River Ranch owner and non-pro contestant Glade Knight, as a money earner in major Non-Pro and Non-Pro Senior divisions, as well as John Mitchellâ€™s daughter, Jade, as winner of the 2017 NCHA Junior Youth World Finals.
â€œThe horsemen that I respect know what it means to win so many in a row,â€ said John Mitchell, after Junie Woodâ€™s 2015 NCHA Super Stakes Classic championship win, which was preceded by wins in the 2014 NCHA Super Stakes; the 2014 Southern Futurity; the 2014 Brazos Bash; the 2015 Abilene Spectacular; the 2015 Bonanza; and the 2015 Cattlemen’s Derby. â€œItâ€™s not that youâ€™re just ripping and tearing because you have a good horse, but you are grateful to have had some good trips.
â€œYou have to be lucky to win, but when she has a shot, she still pulls it off. Sheâ€™s a special horse.â€
At the time of her death, Junie Wood had one NCHA money earner, 4-year-old Ethell LTE $12,511, by Metallic Cat, bred and owned by Slate River and shown by John Mitchell. In addition, she has six other registered foals, two each from 2017, 2018, and 2019.