Vauna Walker and RV Brijett won the 2021 Run at the Rose Futurity, held the weekend prior to the Colorado Classic. Photo by PixelWorx

The Colorado Classic Futurity and Derby from June 24-26 in picturesque Montrose, Colorado, nearly doubled in futurity entries over last year and awarded close to $300,000 across all divisions, as well as added a Breeders Challenge qualifier. After 185 runners had passed through the gates at the Montrose County Fairgrounds for the $8,000-added Smoke Creek Quarter Horses Futurity, it was the savage speed of Monsterr (Tres Seis x Rosas Cantina CC x Corona Cartel), ridden by Jenna Dominick for owner Danielle Stubstad, that secured the prestigious victory.

To sweeten the incentive for barrel racers to travel to Colorado’s Western slope, producer Kayla Jones and her friend Taylor Hildreth teamed up to produce the Run At The Rose, held June 18–20 the weekend prior to the Colorado Classic in the same great venue.

Vauna Walker emerged as the Run At The Rose futurity champion aboard her 2017 sorrel mare RV Brijett, by Blazin Jetolena and out of the proven winner DTF Mellowdoc by Dash Ta Fame. Walker earned $2,853 for a total on two runs of 31.075, plus an additional $2,446 for finishing fourth in both go-rounds of the $10,000-added Horse Hair Analysis-sponsored futurity.

The Run At The Rose also featured a $3,000-added Maturity, youth slot race, two days of Open 4D racing, and side pots like a non-pro futurity and novice maturity.

FC Strait Cajun, a 2015 gray mare by Strait Dallas Fuel and out of PC Cute Ze Cajun by PC Dox Cajun, ridden by Wyatt Paul for owner Ashley Harvey, won the maturity with a time on two runs of 31.45, worth $2,317.

BHN caught up with Colorado Classic producer Kayla Jones to chat about the 2021 events.

Barrel Horse News: How many years have you produced the Colorado Classic?

Kayla Jones: “This was our eighth year. I never quite thought we would get to this point in size, but my goal from the start was to have a fun, well paying, affordable race that gave the stallions’ progeny a little extra bonus to enter. I think we’ve accomplished that.”

Give readers your overall impression of the 2021 Colorado Classic—were your numbers up this year?

“2021 was insane. Before this year my biggest year was 2020 with 99 futurity entries. We had 185 this year. Our maturity was what I’ve always aimed for—an event where aged horses could legit make money running. We had 99 entered. We paid out just shy of $300,000, and prior to that our biggest year was $175,000. It was a bit nerve-wracking moving facilities again (the 2020 Classic was held in Torrington, Wyoming, due to COVID restrictions in Colorado) with these types of numbers, but it turned out fantastic and we found our new home.” 

What’s been your biggest challenge producing the Colorado Classic? Most rewarding aspect?

“My biggest challenge is trying to make the event the best I can for the majority of people. No matter what, you can’t make everyone happy, but we strive to be fair to everyone whether they have 10 horses entered or one, and to keep it a fun, laidback atmosphere without the over-the-top fees and rules. Sometimes you have to also make that balance with the bank account and time spent managing it. I am a one-person office until the weekend of the show, so some days are harder than others, but I have great help when the time comes.

“The most rewarding aspect is all the friends I have met through the years. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet and know many of our contestants if I wasn’t the producer of the show, but now I have a network nationwide that I am thankful for. I am really proud of our program and love seeing people win their firsts or biggest achievements at our race.”

For more information on the Colorado Classic and Stallion Auction, visit coloradoclassicstallions.com.

Read full coverage from the 2021 Colorado Classic in the September 2021 issue of Barrel Horse News.

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