July 27, 2014

NCHA Futurity winner moves smartly into Spectacular semifinals

Dual Smart Kitty and Super Stakes champion Junie Wood maintain hopes of adding another leg to Triple Crown event wins.

In December, Dual Smart Kitty and rider Clay Johnson won the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity, which was the first jewel of the sport’s Triple Crown Series.

Over the weekend, the mare got off to a great start at the NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby, the Futurity’s sister show.

Dual Smart Kitty qualified for the Summer Spectacular Derby open division semifinals, which are scheduled for Friday. At that point, the mare will attempt to advance to Saturday’s open finals, the third jewel of the Triple Crown.

Dual Smart Kitty and Johnson, a Stephenville resident, advanced to Friday’s semifinals after turning in a two-ride aggregate score of 436. The mare, who is owned by Rusty and Shelley Simpson of Nemo, turned in a remarkable first-round score of 221 on Friday, and followed up with a solid 215 on Sunday at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.

Rusty Simpson said Dual Smart Kitty shows lots of determination.

“She’s got a lot of heart,” he said. “You can tell by the look on her face coming in that she’s ready and she will lock in on a cow.”

Junie Wood and rider John Mitchell of Weatherford, the duo that won the April Super Stakes, advanced to the semifinals after turning in 440.5 (221.5 and 219). The Super Stakes was the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

Cheyenne concludes

Three Fort Worth-area cowboys won event titles at the 118th Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo on Sunday.

Trevor Brazile of Decatur clinched the tie-down roping title and earned $22,573. K.C. Jones, who also lives in Decatur, pocketed $13,210 after winning the steer wrestling title. And Jarrett Blessing of Paradise earned $14,731 after winning steer roping.

When the tie-down roping title was at stake in the final round, Brazile, a 19-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world champion, turned in a time of 12.4 seconds. He clinched the title with a three-run time of 37.1, two seconds faster than second-place finisher Matt Shiozawa.

In steer wrestling, Jones, a seven-time NFR qualifier, turned in a 12.9 during the finals. He clinched the title with a three-run time of 30.2, three-tenths of a second faster than runner-up Dru Melvin.

Blessing, a three-time National Finals Steer Roping qualifier, won the steer roping title after turning in a 19.6 during the finals. He finished with a three-run time of 58.9. Jess Tierney and Randy Mekelburg tied for second with 61.2s.

In bareback riding, Richmond Champion, a resident of The Woodlands who helped Tarleton State’s men’s team finish second at last month’s College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., clinched the title after scoring 91 aboard the notorious bronc Dirty Jacket, which is owned Dallas stock contractor Pete Carr. Champion earned $12,122.

Other champions were team ropers Brandon Beers and Jim Ross Cooper, barrel racer Brenda Mays, saddle bronc rider Chad Ferley and bull rider Austin Meier.

A record time

Two-time world champion Tuf Cooper clinched the tie-down roping title at the Days of ’47 Rodeo in Salt Lake City after turning in an arena record time of 6.6 seconds. That broke eight-time world champion Fred Whitfield’s record of 7.0 in 2012 at EnergySolutions Arena.

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