By Bonnie Wheatley with Blanche Schaefer
Photo by Kenneth Springer

December 10, 2016 (Oklahoma City)—The curtain closed on the 31st Annual Barrel Futurities of America World Championships from December 5–10 in Oklahoma City with two new records set and history rewritten. Molli Montgomery of Dawson, Texas, became the first person to win both the juvenile and the futurity, and she posted the fastest times in the history of the BFA for both the futurity and the juvenile—a 15.002 in the futurity finals aboard A Dash Ta Glamour and a 15.294 on LegsGoneWild in the second round of the juvenile.

“I was pretty excited and pretty blown away. You don’t ever know what’s going to happen when you go up there [to the BFA],” Molli said. “Those are the moments and the runs that make all the hours of blood, sweat and tears worth it. When God delivers, He delivers. What I did at the BFA is nothing short of a God thing to me.”

Molli took an early lead with a scalding 15.002—the fastest time a futurity horse has ever run in the history of the BFA—from third position in the finals draw aboard Kelly Tovar’s A Dash Ta Glamour (JL Dash Ta Heaven x My Glamour Gal, Bully Bullion). The time, when combined with the 15.301 she posted aboard the 2012 gelding to place second in the second round and earn $3,409, accrued the fastest total on two runs of 30.303 seconds and the BFA World Futurity crown worth $40,530. Molli qualified for the finals with her time of a 15.406 for fourth in the first round and could have sat out the second round, but she wasn’t satisfied with “Bakken’s” first barrel. She decided to run him in the second go to ensure they were in sync for the finals.MolliMontgomery BFA2016Molli Montgomery and A Dash Ta Glamour earn the 2016 BFA World Futurity Championship. Photo by Kenneth Springer.

“On the first go, he kind of missed his first barrel, and he never misses his first barrel, but he still ran a .4,” Molli said. “In the second round, I honestly wouldn’t have ran him but I wanted to make sure I had my first barrel nailed down. With him, you can’t halfway do it, you have to send him, because if not he’ll slow down too much and roll back on top of it. I sent him and he clocked great, and I was super excited about it. In the finals, I had the exact same first barrel I did at Fort Smith, Arkansas, [Old Fort Days Futurity] where he threw down [and won the reserve championship], and I couldn’t have slid a piece of paper between my leg and that second barrel. That second barrel was phenomenal; it was insane. I wasn’t really worried about his third barrel.”

Molli also piloted LegsGoneWild (Tres Seis x Stoli Bugs Me, Stoli) to the BFA World Juvenile Championship. The 2013 filly is owned by Jeff and Leslie Makovy, whom Molli has a long history of working with as a trainer. Molli clocked a 16.024 on “Leggs” for 12th in the SuperStakes Slot Race, one hole out of the money in Leggs’ first competition run ever. The pair quickened for round one of the juvenile, posting a 15.816 for 15th in the round and $950. Leggs really tightened up and put a run together in a big way in the second go of the juvenile, smoking a 15.294 for $7,099, bringing the pair’s average to 31.110 to earn the juvenile championship worth $9,484.

“For the second go, I was just going to let her pick her own speed. I decided I’m not going to throttle her; I’m just going to work with whatever she gives me. Honestly I didn’t even know I was that fast. I just let her pick her speed, ran in there and asked her to turn. She was just so flawless and so smooth. She did everything perfect. When I saw that time, I was like holy smokes! Did I see that wrong?” Molli said. “I was super excited about my little juvy colt, because she ran maybe the third or fourth fastest time of the entire weekend. That’s a 3-year-old; that was her third competitive run ever. For a 3-year-old to go in there and be that confident just blows me away.”

Molli thanked her sponsors, owners of the horses, friends and family for their support over the years.

“I want to thank my sponsors: 5-Star Pads, OE Neutraceuticals and Quench Shampoo. My entire family; I feel so blessed by God to have given me the ability and the horses it took to get there. My owners who trust me enough with their animals that they’ve spent a lot of money on—I just really appreciate it,” Molli said.

Molli’s closest challenger was her sister-in-law, Jolene Montgomery, who rode JL Jamaican Me Rich (JL Dash Ta Heaven x Frenchmans Lana, Frenchmans Guy) for Dave and Lori Zabel to a total on two runs of 30.509 (15.188/15.321) worth $28,609.

“I went to a Thanksgiving barrel race at Marshall, Texas, before the BFA and he was really really good there, so I was pretty sure he was going to show up to the party, and he did,” Jolene said. “The first run [at the BFA], I tried to do exactly what I did at Marshall. I kept him way backed off for the first run and kept it smooth. I could have been faster the first run, but I was going for the win, so I was willing to sacrifice a slower run to make it perfect. The second run, I tried to quicken his feet up and let him be a little freer. I did rub the third leaving it when he ran the .1, which made me a little nervous, so for the finals run I did try to round him up a little bit. It maybe cost me a tenth, but I couldn’t risk dragging one over. That horse is so sensitive and so attentive, he will pretty much do exactly what you do in the warm-up pen. I just have to try to stay out of his way.”

Jolene, who won the Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic futurity aboard “Richie” in March of 2016, says winning the reserve title at the BFA behind her sister-in-law is the perfect way to cap off Richie’s phenomenal futurity year.

“It was pretty darn special. It’s pretty nice to be able to share it with your family and training partners, so it’s pretty special,” Jolene said. “Richie has had a good year, but to end it like that, I don’t even know how to describe the feeling; it’s pure satisfaction. I still think Richie has more to give and will be more solid in the years to come. It’s definitely the icing on the cake.”

Rounding out the top three in the BFA World Futurity final standings was Mark Bugni riding JL Roc Paper Scissors (JL Sirocco x Cut No Slack, Red) for owner and breeder Jill Lane to earnings of $16,689, thanks to a time of 15.337 in the prelims and 15.295 in the finals. 

Additional 2016 BFA World Championship Results

BFA Super Stakes Champion—Lacey Harmon, Flashin Flitter for slot leasee Kathy Donegan to a 15.465 and a hefty $100,000.

Equi-Resp Amateur Futurity Champion—Chelsea Moore, My Frenchmans Fame, 16.168/15.461, $1,320.

Mission Ranch Youth Futurity Champion—Huston Hadden, Double Shot Of Fame for owner Doug Hadden, 15.709/15.423, $1,650.  

Sangreal 4-Star Derby Champion—Brandon Cullins, VQ Sucker Punch for owner Robin Weaver, 15.378/15.248, $7,228.

Derby Amateur Champion—Renee Stuckey, Streakin Gold Fame, 15.818/15.839, $1,650.


Don’t miss the February issue of Barrel Horse News to read expanded coverage of all the winners at the 2016 BFA World Championships. Email comments on this article to [email protected]

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