Miles Baker purposely set out to find a “big Paint mare,” and when Melanie Smith pointed him to Big Time Movie Star as a 2-year-old, he got what he wanted and then some.
“Queen” had gotten a little too big for the cow-horse world of her sire, Shady Lil Starlight (by Grays Starlight out of a High Brow Cat/Smart Little Lena mare). But her splashy tobiano color, from her dam A Masters Hobby (with distant Doc Bar and Leo blood), helped her stand out at the Badlands Bits and Spurs Futurity in Rapid City, South Dakota, Wednesday, as part of Baker’s and Brazile’s “Relentless Remuda.”
“It’s hard to find a big mare, especially one that can do what she can do,” said Brazile.
The pair clocked a smoking 6.8 in the first round that came with a score of 303—the highest marked score of any age on both ends. Brazile, with 894 on three, actually tied for the high callback position with Baker riding 4-year-old A Big Vintage Buckle. They had 30 points on the rest of the field of 30 horses. But then Brazile and Queen matched that 303 on their short-round steer, as well. The Badlands doesn’t use any times; only the judges’ tallies are used in the average rankings on four steers
Times, though, are used to pay go-rounds. So, for winning that first round and placing in another, Big Time Movie Star earned $2,000 to go with her first-place average paycheck of $10,710 and the custom-made Priefert chute. With the gelding placing second in the average after scoring 294 in the Finals for $8,627, the Relentless team added that to Queen’s $12,710.
“Her strength is honestly the fact she doesn’t have many weaknesses,” Brazile said. “She can run, but not over-run a steer.”
Badlands futurity founders Bob Harris and J.D. Gerard want to protect the minds of 4-year-olds, which is why they don’t use times in average rankings. They want their event to focus on that age bracket, and they’ve poured the added money into that division. With a total payout of $117,500, the Badlands’ purse was up more than a third from last year’s inaugural edition. Plus, Harris and Gerard hold out 25 percent as opposed to the customary third, and they offer 100 percent payback in the Limited sidepots.
Harris points out that third through fifth in the heading futurity went to Limited riders Brad Lund, Rick Rosachi and Riley Weehler, who were also paid all three holes in the Limited sidepot. The sidepot’s entry fees were $250, and Lund’s first-place check was $3,125 to go with his third-place overall check of $5,653.
Judges this year were North Dakota’s Bob Hansen, who’s spent decades producing top rope horses; former NFR team roper Jerry Buckles out of Nebraska and Wyoming’s Justin Johnson, who nearly made the NFR before settling into a career training and judging cutting horses.
“They’re cowboys; they’re old-school team ropers,” points out Harris.
Possibly the softest horse with the most feel shown in Rapid City, Queen would also place third in the heeling futurity the following day for Brazile. Big Time Movie Star has raked in roughly $44,000 since they started showing her in late May. They’ve flushed two embryos from the mare and expect the first foal to hit the ground in January.
Philipp wins 5-6-year-old heading futurity on PR Tari Dracula
In the 5- and 6-year-old heading futurity, Shane Philipp’s home-raised 6-year-old gelding PR Tari Dracula bested the field of 18 horses and edged J.D. Yates on Irrational Decisions after both head horses scored 303 in the Finals.
Philipp’s win paid $8,000, while the Limited sidepot was won by Wesley Moss on Bert’s Hancock. Wyatt Imus had purchased the horse last fall in the Philipps family’s annual production sale, which is scheduled for October 8 this year. The horse is by the Philipp’s black stud, Curtis Dracula, and out of Donna’s Little Hen.
“He worked better all morning and best on that last one,” said Philipp. “Wyatt sent him back to me while he’s rodeoing. He’ll be entered in Fort Worth, too.”