Sebastian Petroll, of Whitesboro, Texas, says he’s grateful to show a horse with as much try as Dunit The Walla Way. Petroll and the big-hearted filly won both the NRHA Futurity L3 and L2 Open Championships thanks to their score of 218.5. They also finished 12th in the Open L4 Finals for combined total earnings of $53,879. Owned and nominated by Ellen Lloyd Cummins, Dunit The Walla Way is by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz and out of Dunit The Gunner Way.
“We bought her mother several years ago,” Petroll said. “Her owner, Ellen Cummins, and I both showed her. It’s always fun when you are part of the whole process with a horse.”
Petroll says Dunit The Walla Way is a horse that he can always depend on to perform.
“She has a heart that I don’t know how it fits into her little body,” he said. “She is so kind and she always wants to be with you. You can count on her 100 percent of the time. That’s what makes her so special; that paired with some obvious talent, but mentally she is just very special.”
Petroll’s plan for the preliminary round was to make a safe run that was enough to get to the Open L4 semi-finals, sponsored by Not Ruf At All & Tamarack Ranch, which he accomplished handily with a 219.5. His aim was similar for the semi-finals. “I knew if I could finish in the upper half that I should be fine, so I tried not to use up my horse. In the Finals I just tried to get as good of a run together as I could, and it worked.”
With all the uncertainly in 2020, Petroll says he is happy that the Futurity went on uninterrupted.
“It means everything to get to show here, not just for me personally, but it’s very important that we were able to have the event for the sake of the entire industry,” Petroll said.
He is also thankful for Dunit The Walla Way’s owner, Cummins, who has been a client with him for more than a decade.
“She’s just been amazing. She’s a pleasure to work with and very important to our program. We can only do this because of all our great owners,” Petroll said, adding, “Also, my wife Melanie, she rode this horse for big stretches during her 2-year-old year. Without her, I couldn’t do this.”
Mandy McCutcheon Wins NRHA CINCH Non Pro Championship
“Team” is a word you hear spoken a lot by showmen at the NRHA Futurity. For Mandy McCutcheon, who emerged with a winning score of 221.5 to top the CINCH Non Pro Finals, she attributes her incredible career in large part to her family and the team that stands behind her. The NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider from Aubrey, Texas, began showing reiners at age 12. She won her first NRHA Futurity in 1993 on Hollywoods Striker. The 2020 NRHA CINCH Non Pro Futurity marks at least her 10th NRHA Futurity crown.
McCutcheon rode her home-raised and trained gelding Shining At Nite, by Gunners Special Nite, unofficially the newest NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire, and out of A Shining Sidekick, to earn the coveted CINCH Non Pro payday of $60,000. Thanks to Futurity Challenge Donors this is the first year the Non Pro Futurity Champion has won a $60,000 paycheck. Bred by Tom McCutcheon and owned by Tom and Mandy McCutcheon, Shining At Nite was nominated by Mandy McCutcheon.
“We bred him and raised him,” McCutcheon said. “We had his mother off and on. I wish I still had his mother, but Green Valley Ranch has her now and she’s in very good hands.”
McCutcheon says Shining At Nite was bred to be a winner and shares the heart and propensity to win that his siblings have displayed.
“This has just been an exceptional family of horses for us. [Shining At Nite] has a full brother that Carlee made the Level 4 Futurity Finals on when she was 12, and she took her brother’s record of being the youngest Level 4 finalist,” McCutcheon said. “There’s another one that Kathy Thompson used to show that’s just been a phenomenal show horse. The full siblings and now Shining At Nite have just been great, great horses.”
According to McCutcheon, Shining At Nite doesn’t resemble his siblings physically as much as he does mentally.
“This one doesn’t look like any of the other ones, the other two are sorrel with white faces,” she said. “What they resemble is just having great brains. They’re great show horses. They just go in there and try every time to be a good show horse. He’s shown well every time I’ve shown him. One time he broke gait slowing down showing him, but he was just trying to be too good.”
She had high praise for Shining At Nite’s performance this evening.
“Every maneuver I asked him to do he just stayed hooked up,” McCutcheon said. “He was very good. Once he ran through the gate he just said, ‘Okay, whatever you want me to do.’”
And naturally, McCutcheon has a large and talented team of people behind her to thank for being a part of Shining At Nite’s journey to the winner’s circle.
“Debbie Brown trained him some as a 2-year-old, Trent Harvey trained him some, Cade trained him some, Tom trained him some. Everybody played a part in getting me where I am and that’s really been my whole career and I’m just really lucky to have such a great team around me all the time. My parents have been so supportive for my entire career,” she said.
Brian Bell Wins NRHA Ancillary Open on Mr Hollywood Cee
With a crowd-pleasing 220.5, Brian Bell and Mr Hollywood Cee won the ancillary open, which ran concurrently with the Adequan® NAAC. The win netted owners George R. Bell and Carol Bell a check for $2,139.
Bell, of Pilot Point, Texas, was proud of the 2014 palomino stallion’s winning performance, as well as of his championship lineage. Out of the mare Miss Hollywood Cee, Mr Hollywood Cee is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Hollywoodstinseltown.
“Our family bred this horse. We own his mother, his grandmother and used to own his great grandmother,” Bell said. “I’ve shown him this year. I marked a 227.5 on him to win Tulsa and was fifth in the NRHA Derby with him. I wasn’t actually supposed to show him here but about three weeks ago they said, ‘Can you get him ready to show?’ So, I did.”
In the coming year, the stallion will continue to be shown in hopes of adding more NRHA LTE to his record, as well as to that of his dam’s. Bell credits Mr Hollywood Cee for being a solid performer that is enjoyable to train and show.
“I’d like to thank my dad and Carol, they have a lot of good horses and they’ve been kind of letting me do what I want to do with them this year,” Bell said. “It’s been a lot of fun. My dad normally shows this horse, but he quit showing him this year so I could.”
In light of 2020 being an atypical show year, Bell is particularly pleased to be competing and winning here in Oklahoma City.
“We’re glad for every show we get to go to this year. We’re excited to get to show here at the futurity,” added Bell.
Complete results from the NRHA Futurity and Adequan® NAAC can be found at NRHAFuturity.com.
Courtesy of National Reining Horse Association