By Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse JournalDecember 14, 2013
Craig Crumpler of Wichita Falls, Texas, cuts on his homebred mare Junie Wood to win the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity non-pro division December 12. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) For more photos from the evening, scroll to the slide show below.
Craig Crumpler couldn’t hear the final buzzer.
That’s how loudly the crowd was screaming December 12 during the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity non-pro finals.
Craig was riding next-to-last in the first set on his homebred mare Junie Wood, with family and friends helping him in the herd.
“It’s probably the most fun run I’ve ever had,” the Wichita Falls, Texas, resident said. “We cut all the cows we went to cut. When you’ve got four guys like I’ve got, I don’t do this by yourself. We all showed up together and that’s what makes it fun.”
Craig’s son Josh was one of his help, plus his brother, Don and two longtime family friends, Russell Harrison and Rowdy Larson.
“You don’t do it by yourself,” Craig said. “It’s teamwork.”
Craig’s 220.5 from the judges in Fort Worth, Texas, took the lead and held up through 14 more riders on 3-year-olds for a satisfying victory for the whole family.
“I thought she was better than the one I won it on (in 2008),” Craig said. “My son trained this mare. He’s just done an outstanding job. Josh my son. It’s all teamwork. That’s what makes this so neat. I raised that mare.”
Junie Wood is a 2010 sorrel mare by Nitas Wood and out of Tuffs Junie by Tuff Lena.
“Her mama is Tuffs Junie, and she’s the mama of Woody Be Tuff, which has become a great sire at the Center Ranch,” Craig said. “(Junie Wood is) a full sister to him. This mare, I bought a lng time ago from a guy named Boyd Summerhays in Utah, and it’s just been a blessing to have her, because that’s where all the bloodlines have come from. She’s about done breeding, so this mare is pretty special.”
Craig received an estimated $55,294 for his non-pro win, which pushes Tuffs Junie’s offspring earnings close to $650,000.
Junie Wood’s sire, Nitas Wood, is a 1995 sorrel stallion by Zack T Wood and out of Nitas Quixote by Doc Quixote. Tuffs Junie also traces to Doc Quixote through her dam, Candy Quixote.
“My dad was a Doc Quixote guy from way back,” Craig said. “We’re just homegrown (with our competition horses). We raise ours – that’s the only way I get to do it. I can’t go buy them, so we’re just fortunate enough to have some good bloodlines left.”
Kayla Norris had to go first.
On December 12, she was first in the herd for the unlimited amateur finals at the NCHA Futurity on her homebred gelding CD Kual Gun. With her trainer Austin Shepard pushing her, Kayla kept cutting aggressively until the buzzer sounded for a 219.
That score left all the next 34 riders chasing her.
“I knew (going first) there would be a lot of cows to choose from, but I knew I had a really good horse,” Kayla said. “I was really confident in my horse. Our plan was to go cut three good cows and do our best.”
CD Kual Gun is a 2010 sorrel gelding by High Brow CD and out of Kual Gun by Play Gun.
“The really special thing to me is I showed his mama here and won the Super Stakes amateur in 2009, and so he was actually born at my place (in Hattiesburg, Mississippi),” Kayla said. “I raised him. He’s homebred and he’s really special. I still have his mom.”
“Kualio” and Kayla were also entered in the non-pro division and had some tough luck there, but in unlimited amateur, they kept getting better and better.
Turnback help Austin, Brett Davis, Brad Mitchell and Shawn Flynn shouted advice to Kayla as she worked in the finals.
“(When I started to get off a cow), they told me to stay, to keep working it and get all the working time,” Kayla said. “It was our plan to try to win. Everybody goes in there wanting to win. It just – all the cards fell right tonight.”
For the win, Kayla picked up a check for $3,283.
Journal Coverage of the NCHA Futurity
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