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Brad Lund Guides Ima Smart Catt to CINCH Intermediate Open Futurity Championship
Life may be about the journey, but sometimes one stop along the way will eclipse all others. That's what happened last night in Fort Worth for National Reined Cow Horse Association Professional Brad Lund and the 3-year-old mare, Ima Smart Catt, when they won the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity CINCH Intermediate Open Championship. Their composite score of 652 in the three events of herd work, rein work and cow work, earned them $30,000.
"This is unbelievable, but it really is about the journey. You start them as 2-year-olds and you really get to know them, and this mare, she's just got a big heart," said Lund, La Cygne, Kansas. "I'm real fortunate that I've had good horses all year and good help all year and very good owners."
Ima Smart Catt (WR This Cats Smart x Shiney Patrona x Shining Spark) is owned by Renee Cudd. This is the first reined cow horse that she has ever owned.
"I'm so excited I don't know what to say. She's a true athlete - she can do it all," Cudd said. "My friend Ty Smith and Brad found this horse, so I bought it for Brad to show."
Cudd runs one hundred broodmares and eight stallions at her ranch in Woodward, Oklahoma, where she raises between 70 and 80 foals per year. For the past 35 years, Cudd has held an annual production sale. Cudd has always admired reined cow horses but was never been to watch the Snaffle Bit Futurity. In fact she'd never laid eyes on Ima Smart Catt until she'd owned her for 18 months.
"I raise a lot of roping horses and barrel horses and horses for everyday use, but this is the first horse like this that I've owned," Cudd said. "I know people spend years trying to get one to the finals and for us to do that, and then to win it, there aren't words to describe it. She's also in the Open finals on Saturday so we're not done yet."
Lund and Ima Smart Catt got their Intermediate Snaffle Bit Futurity finals off to a good start when they marked a 216 in the herd work.
"The cows were waspy. We tried to get the cows drove up and out of the herd real good because usually, if she gets started right, then she's real good. We got started in pretty much in the middle and she got settled in and got to moving good," Lund said.
In the reining, the pair marked a 220.5 which surprised Lund, until he saw a video replay of his run.
"When I was out there doing it, I felt like she wasn't really stopping, and then I came back and watched the videos and she slid forever and I was just sitting there enjoying it," Lund said. "When I saw it, I was really happy with the way she stopped."
A 215.5 in the cow work capped off Lund's and Ima Smart Catt's championship run.
"She boxed the cow real good but that cow was real numb-acting, he didn't have a good feel about him so I wanted to drive around there. Normally I would have went one turn earlier but I went one more time and it worked out."
Lund, 49, has claimed the reserve championship once before in the Intermediate Snaffle Bit Futurity.
"I struggled there for a little bit, getting the right horse power. I've been trying to learn how to do this and get better for about ten years, and it's a struggle, it's a grind every day," said Lund who is mentored by two-time Worlds Greatest Horseman champion Ron Ralls. "Ron took me under his wing and has been teaching me. I grew up roping and learning how to be a better horseman and now, here I am."
Clayton Edsall rode Bet He Sparks (Bet Hesa Cat x Sparking Train x Shining Spark) for owner K&L Phillips, LLC, to a score of 651.5 to be the reserve champions of the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Intermediate Open. They earned $20,000.