Locals cash in on prizes at Augusta Futurity
Several Barnwell County residents rode to victory and earned prize money recently during the Augusta Futurity.
The Futurity, held Jan. 13-20 in Augusta, Ga., is a national cutting horse competition overseen by the Atlantic Coast Cutting Horse Association. It is considered to be the largest cutting horse event east of the Mississippi River.
In the $35,000 Non-Pro Any Age Finals, Kaylyn Huggins Baxley of Barnwell and her horse Swoop That Rey earned the first place championship spot and a $3,300 prize.
“Swoop and I are truly blessed to have the most amazing support system,” said Baxley. “We have definitely come a long way in the last two years and I couldn’t ask for a better horse.”
“I am truly grateful for this opportunity and experience,” she said. “Thanks to all who helped us get to the point! We couldn’t have done it without you.”
Also competing in the $35,000 Non-Pro Any Age Finals, Madeline Collins Nix riding Two Cat Shaker placed fourth with a $1,700 prize.
In the $50,000 Amateur Finals, Becky Huggins riding Lil Manigo placed third and earned a $1,044 prize while Madeline Collins Nix of Blackville riding Two Cat Shaker earned fourth place and $765.
Madeline’s husband Monty Nix also participated.
Credited with helping support the local riders are Ashleigh Collins Gleaton of HP Veterinary Services LLC and Billy Wier of Wier Cutting Horses. Wier is the trainer/operator of Southern Comfort Farms in Barnwell which is owned by Baxley’s parents, Travis and Paige Black.
Wier, who trained all four of the winning horses, said he was “very proud” of all the horses and riders he works with. “They all did a great job.”
He said the horses begin their training at age 2 and start showing at age 3. “Most of these horses were 7 or 8 years old. They have shown before and are fine-tuned.”