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Bergen heads list of Futurity heroes

Buellton trainer Tina Fry enjoys big Futurity with 'Gus'

From Horsetrader staff reports - October 20th, 2011 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

RENO, Nev. — Todd Bergen, lifted by a 224.5 reining score, took Shiners Dun Juan (Smart Shiner x Cremes Chic Olena), owned by Janiejill Tointin, to the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Division World Championship Oct. 2, staking claim to the $100,000 winners purse with a composite score of 657.5. Moonstruck Pepto (One Time Pepto x Moonstruck Cat) and Boyd Rice took reserve and $78,000 with 654 points, while Stylishnfancy (Stylish Rey x Playgirl Fancy) and Zane Davis earned third and $58,000 with 653.5 points.

This marks the second NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity title for Bergen, who won his first one on Boonlight Dancer in 2001. The Eagle Point, Ore., trainer also has had two Snaffle Bit Futurity Reserve Championships in his career, which is marked by him being the first rider to claim Million Dollar status in both the NRCHA and the National Reining Horse Association.

Bergen, who also earned $5,000 in Sunday’s Open Finals aboard The One Time, outpointed his rivals decisively in the reining phase (224.5), and held his own in both the herd work 216) and the cow work (217).

One of California’s brightest stars at the 2011 NRCHA Futurity was Tina Fry, who won the Intermediate Division Open aboard TF The Gus Man (WR This Cats Smart x Classy Remedy), owned by Travelers Farm, and also took the gelding to victory in the Ladies composite and 11th in the Open Finals, taking home about $50,000.

“Gus may not be the prettiest-headed guy — he’s got this dent in his forehead — but he sure is a pretty mover,” said Fry, 31, an assistant trainer to Sandy Collier in Buellton. “The first time I took this horse down the fence, he had a lot of rate, a lot of look. He was actually a little afraid of the cow to get close to it. But he still turned when the cow turned, he still found his hind end and turned with the cow real big. And he just kinda stayed right there with the cow. And as we kept doing it each turn got better and better. He just kept finding his hind end, kept getting closer and closer to the cow. It seemed like he started to figure out what the game was all about and he just liked it more and more.”

In 2008, Fry’s first year as an NRCHA Open Finalist, she had brought three horses. This year, the focus was just on Gus, whom she began working last February after he had been started by Lupe Lopez at Travelers Farm.

“He was my only bullet,” she said. “I guess it only takes one — and I was lucky I had the right one!”

There was a rough spot — before the reining preliminary when he acted up and stepped on her foot.

“He was kind of making me mad before the reining prelim,” she said.

“He was being a pill and he hadn’t schooled very good. Right before warming up, I was cleaning his foot and he jerked his foot away and stepped on my foot real hard and bruised my toe. I was mad at him. Then he goes out and marks a 221, and I got some go-round money. It’s just funny how they make you feel mad, then they go and perform like that. My foot didn’t hurt so bad after that.”

Fry credits Collier and others for her success.

“Sandy’s been a great trainer,” said Fry, who has also worked under Anne Reynolds in Idaho as well as Jon Roeser. “She’s given me a lot of opportunities, and I’ve been real fortunate that way. Everybody has such a different style, a different theory. I always say that horses they have taken me everywhere.”

She also appreciates the support of her boyfriend and 2010 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity World Champion, Tucker Robinson.

“He’s been pretty good support the last four years,” said Fry, who routinely finds herself competing against Robinson. “He keeps me going. He knew what I needed to do before the Intermediate to win it, and he was excited for me — he’s always right there beside me.”

Les Vogt returned to the NRCHA Futurity for the 41st time, and finished seventh on Nic It Smartly (Nic It In The Bud x Shining Smartly), owned by Luke Jones, with a composite of 650 tht included a 221 reining score.

Anne Reynolds decisively won the Futurity Non Pro title, taking Smart Magic Trick (Very Smart Remedy x Magical Lena) to a 640 composite score that paid $17,480. Eric Frietas was reserve with One Time Nic (One Time Pepto x Lady Reminic) with a 636 composite that paid $13,110.

More results: See website http://www.nrcha.com

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