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John Ward returns to form with NSHA Open Futurity win on Gotta Go Get It

From Horsetrader staff reports - September 20th, 2012 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

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John Ward and Gotta Go Get It were strong in all phases of the NSHA Futurity.

PASO ROBLES — There is a zip in the step of John Ward this fall, but not just because he remedied an old football injury last November with hip replacement surgery. The two-time National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity World Champion is excited to have his health this year — and to have Gotta Go Get It.

The Ward Ranch’s 3-year-old stallion (Smart Little Pepinic x Got Mister x Mister Dual Pep) was brilliant under Ward in his first competition, the National Stock Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity at the Mid-state Fairgrounds Aug. 13-19, winning both the Open and Intermediate Open championships. Zane Davis took John Semanik’s Brother Jackson to the Reserve NSHA Open Futurity title.

“He has been exciting all year long,” said Ward, an NRCHA Million-Dollar rider who won his first NRCHA SBF title in 1994 on Masteroani and his second in 2008 with his mare, Black Pearl. “He’s probably the easiest ‘pretty horse’ I’ve ever had to train. You get on and you’re like, ‘How do you know how to do all this?’ He’s just born that way.”

“He’s a real calculating, smart-thinking horse,” Ward added. “He thinks with his hocks. He thinks before he does something –it’s no different than when you watch the NFL and see Peyton Manning, just so far ahead of everybody else.”

Speaking of football, the Kingsburg-based trainer is relieved there’s no more pain associated with a high school game injury from 35 years ago — a broken femur that required insertion of an 18-inch steel rod. In 2009, his brushed off discomfort as a sore back, but escalating pain moved him to last winter’s decision for surgery after a difficult 2011.

“It feels great — I’d say I’m darn near 90 percent of where I was before,” Ward said. “I’ve got some really good horses and I’m healthy. It’s way more fun than dragging a hind leg, thinking, ‘How am I going to get up them stairs?’ or using a mounting block for the horses.”

And the best part is Gotta Go Get It.

“The horse is phenomenal,” said Ward, who has already bred Gotta Go Get It to 13 mares, included Black Pearl. “He is just thinking all the time — plus, he is talented. He can move that front end and use his hocks, and he’s built right. He’s just phenomenal.” And he proved it at his first show at NSHA.

“Hopefully,” he added, “we’ll have some luck at Reno.”

Gotta Go Get It compiled a 650 score across the three Futurity events in Paso Robles, looking strong in each one. The NSHA Open Futurity win earned $20,000.

Davis, who won the 2009 NSHA Futurity on Semanik’s Reymanator and a month later rode him to the 2009 NRCHA SBF Open title, looked strong again with Brother Jackson, finishing 1.5 points behind Ward for a $15,675 payout.

In Non-Pro Futurity action, Anne Reynolds rode the champion and reserve horses, Very Black Magic and Smart Medicine Man, to earn a combined $6,755. Her 639 composite aboard front-running Very Black Magic was scored 5.5 points beyond the reserve.

Jessie Telford took home $6,100 from the NSHA Non-Pro Derby classes, riding Vandas Spark to wins in four different classes, including the Non-Pro Derby ($3,000), Intermediate NP ($912.50), Novice NP ($712.50) and the Amateur ($1,475).

2012 National Stock Horse Association Futurity
Aug. 13-19, 2012 * Midstate Fairgrounds, Paso Robles, Calif.
NSHA Open Futurity Top 10
Money Horse Rider Score Owner
$20,000/ Gotta Go Get It/ John Ward / 659/ Ward Ranch
$15,675/ Brother Jackson/ Zane Davis/ 657.5/ John Semanik
$13,395/ One Shiney Pistol/ Todd Bergen/ 656.5/ Roxanne Koepsell
$10,830/ Lenas Last Time/ Corey Cushing/ 654.5/ Cathy Corrigan Frank
$8,550/ Oskars Spoonful/ Lance Johnston/ 654/ Katie Moon
$7,410/ Sheshotterthanithot/ Ted Robinson/ 653/ Allen Moyer
$5,700/ Nics Shiney Dresser/ Zane Davis/ 651.5/ Dallan Jeppesen
$4,560/ Red Moons Rising/ Jake Telford/ 651/ Newton White
$3,420/ Too Long Til Autumn/ Sandra Collier/ 650/ Tammy Fink
$2,993/ Esperanza / Jake Telford/ 649.5/ Newton White
$2,993/ CD Diamond/ Corey Cushing/ 649.5/ San Juan Ranch

MORE ONLINE: http://bit.ly/29B_NSHA

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