Tom Powers releases final results with payouts from this year’s futurity

Source: Text by Corrine S. Borton • Photos by Brad Borton, Ben Young and Crystal Holman

Beckey Schooler & Extremely Hot Chili
Beckey Schooler & Extremely Hot Chili
Erin Lieurence
Erin Lieurence
Jon Barry
Jon Barry
Jonathan Meilleur
Jonathan Meilleur
The Judges
The Judges
Mac McGinnis
Mac McGinnis
Jillian Willem & Sweet Baby Rey
Jillian Willem & Sweet Baby Rey
Stakes Winners
Stakes Winners
Tom & Dominique Powers
Tom & Dominique Powers
Donkey Races to Benefit the NSBA Crisis Fund
Donkey Races to Benefit the NSBA Crisis Fund



There’s a very good reason that the Tom Powers Triple Challenge is one of the largest and longest-running futurities in the world. Its founder keeps the focus directly on the owners and exhibitors.

Each year, after the conclusion of the event, held the last week of June in Berrien Springs, Michigan, Tom Powers is asked to answer a handful of questions about how many stalls were rented, how much money was given away and what could be improved.

This year Tom wanted to get a message out.

“Please tell everyone that we will never take them for granted,” he said. “We are aware that they have choices as to where to show their horses. Many of the more successful changes that we have made have come directly from our exhibitors. Showing horses is supposed to be fun. We will try our best to make it that way for you.”

This year’s futurity featured a number of special events, some new and some that have become a tradition. There were a total of 688 entries, up 61 over last year’s show but stall rentals were down slightly over last year.

“I’m not really sure why entries were up,” Powers said. “There were a lot of entries at the show this year. I think the weather played a big part.”

A total of 18 2-year-old Western Pleasure horses that graduated from the 2016 Tom Powers Stakes Sale competed for a purse of $65,000 in the Maiden Sale Stakes Class.

There was a tie for the top prize between Live N It Up, owned by Jeff Cochran and shown by Erin Lieurance and Why Dont You Kiss This, owned by Becky Durrett, Fairburn, Georgia, and shown by Jay Starnes. Each earned $17,500 for the win but Lieurance collected another $3,000 for winning the Harris Challenge by riding in a Harris saddle. In the Limited Division of the Sale Stakes Class Ricky Noiseux piloted Maybeline to the top spot for owner Michael Rapp, Pauing, New York.

Lieurance also won the inaugural 3-Year-Old Open Sale Stakes Western Pleasure Class, (for 2015 Sale graduates that were not shown in the Powers 2-Year-Old Sale Stakes Class last year), aboard Machine Made Hottie, owned by Teresa Meyer, Everly, Iowa. They earned a total of $2,094.40. Cassandra Marlatt teamed with Bringin Out The Best, owned by Stanley and Susan Scott, Ocala, Florida, to win the Limited Division of the class, taking home $1,177.80.

In the Non-Pro 3-Year-Old Sale Stakes Western Pleasure Mallory Menard, Howell, Michigan rode UF Batt Girl to victory, collecting $2,171.40.

“The 3-Year-Old Sale Stakes classes have been added to make a place for those that are not ready to show as 2-year-olds,” Powers said. “None of the 2-year-old money was put into the 3-year-old classes. We think it is a good idea to provide a ‘closed’ class for the 3-year-olds that went through our sale and did not show back as 2-year-olds. I thought the reponse was OK for the first year. I hope it grows next year.”

For the first time in the 37-year history of the Tom Powers Futurity a Pony Of The Americas Club (POA) entry competed.

Jillian Willem, Lindstrom, Minnesota, showed Sweet Baby Rey, sired by Docs Chocolate Delight and out of DK Wish Upon A Dream, to a fifth place finish in the Non-Pro Color Longe Line and a sixth place in the Open Color Longe Line.

Willem said she thinks that with ponies you either get one that is quirky and bullheaded or a really easy one. Hers has a personality like a dog.

“I would have had her in my house if my husband had allowed it,” she said. “She’s been so easy. I was leading kids around on her at the show.”

Willem said she was a bit nervous to show at the Powers because she predicted there would not be any other POA entries there.

“I was super nervous before I showed her and I wondered how the judges would take her,” she said. “I hoped they would fairly consider her. Obviously, she is smaller and her movement is a little different because of her size.”

Willem said she was impressed with how the judges handled her entry in the Open Color Longe Line.

“She probably wasn’t as broke as some of the other ones because I am not a huge longe liner. It was kind of an eye-opener for me to go there. She was a little tired and overly relaxed in the Non-Pro go, so getting her to take off was more difficult than in the Open.”

Willem said she learned a valuable tip after the Non-Pro class.

“I learned to not have her walk the whole time while the horse before me is working their go,” she explained. “That helped her to be more responsive and crisp in the open go.”

Biggest Entry Classes

As is often the case the Limited Non-Pro Western Pleasure Maturity drew the largest number of entries with 30. A total of 25 competed and judging ended in a tie between Marcie Budine riding Loping Radical and Shawn Johnson aboard Lazy Holla Dayz. Each took home a check for $658.13. The Open Division drew a total of 12 entries with Jenna Dempze winning top honors aboard Rewind And Repeat, taking home $620.50.

“The Maturity Open Western Pleasure is always a highlight for me,” Powers said. “There is not a better maturity class anywhere.”

This year was no exception as a total of 18 competed for a total purse of over $10,453. Lexus Made Lady collected $2,927.40 for the win with Cody Parrish in the saddle for owner, Anchored Soul LLC, Cumming, Georgia. Livin Ona Prayer, sired by One Hot Krymsun and out of Ona Impulse, won the Limited Division of the class with Theresa Wills in the saddle for owner Rebecca Bailey, Batavia, Ohio. They collected $2,728.50 for the win.

The 3-Year-Old Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle was the largest English class with 16 competing for the top prize of $588. Sarah Nimigan, Paris, Ontario Canada, emerged victorious aboard Al Wayz On Your Mind and the bay gelding sired by Allocate Your Assets and out of Your Arts Desire, also won the 3-Year-Old Novice Horse and another $1,299.84 with Katy Jo Zuidema in the irons.

Judy Zeitler piloted Blazin With Rhythmn to a win in the Limited Division of the 3-Year-Old Open Hunter Under saddle for owner Kelli Jensen. They took home $1,256. There was a tie in the Open Division of the class between Zuidema and Al Wayz On Your Mind and Trisha

Yamber riding Me And My Assets for Erin Boatwright, Atlanta, Georgia. Both collected $1,132.95.

Western Pleasure Super Sires Classes

The Western Pleasure Super Sires program presented over $25,000 in it’s Non-Pro Longe Line and 3-Year-Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure classes at the Powers Futurity this year. The program has awarded over $320,000 in five years and has been held at the Powers since 2014.

Mac McGinnis, of Dalton, Georgia, and Shesaezrockingoodbar, a red roan filly sired by The Rock and out of Shesaezzippingoodbar, won the Longe Line, earning a check for $5,000.

The win was special for McGinnis since the Tom Powers Futurity marked the first time he has ever shown in Longe Line, although he has been riding and showing for many years. He also placed second in the Tom Powers Non-Pro Longe Line, earning $1,658.25 and Shesaezrockingoodbar was Reserve in the 22-entry Open Longe Line with Rick Baker, earning an additional $1,522.13. His total earnings at the show topped $8,180.

In June 2016 McGinnis suffered serious injuries when a horse fell on top of him, crushing his right femur and pelvis. Following a 10-hour surgery, McGinnis was left with a plate in his pelvis and 17 screws that hold it together. He was in the hospital for six weeks; a wheelchair for four months; moved to a walker, and then a cane.

“It was just one of those accidents that happens,” he said. “You can’t blame the horse, you can’t blame me, you can’t blame anybody. It was a little bit of an ordeal, but that is part of life. You just gotta get up and go on.”

To prepare for the Longe Line this year, McGinnis sent his filly to Waymond Roberts, of Chatsworth, Georgia.

“I could not have done all of this if it weren’t for my wife Wanda, and Waymond and Susie Roberts,” he said. “They are the greatest people that you have ever heard of.”

He also gives credit to Shesaezrockingoodbar’s great mind.

“I don’t know why, but there really isn’t much at all that bothers that filly,” McGinnis said. “The Longe Line was fun. Everyone kept asking me if I was nervous, but I really wasn’t. There’s not too much that bothers me.”

In Super Sires riding classes Mallory Menard, Howell, Michigan, piloted Hourgirl Sleeps, a double (APHA and AQHA) registered sorrel mare, sired by Too Sleepy To Zip and out of Hourradicalvalentine, to a win in the Open Division of the 3-Year-Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure, earning $10,000. They also received the Color Bonus in the class. In the Limited 3-Year-Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure Brenda Yates, Wedgefield, South Carolina, rode her Congress Masters Western Pleasure Champion, Extremely Late, to victory, earning a check for $10,000. Extremely Late is sired by Extremely Hot Chips and out of Flashin My Assets.

Benefit Donkey Races

At the conclusion of the show on Thursday, June 29, the National Snaffle Bit Association’s Foundation held a fundraiser to benefit the Trainer Crisis Fund. Ten teams of riders raced donkeys in five go-rounds to compete in a final battle. Each team auctioned off calcutta-style to the highest bidder. The event raised more than $23,000 for the Crisis Fund.

Tom Powers Stakes Sale

On Saturday, following the presentation of the 2-Year-Old Sale Stakes Class and a barbecue for exhibitors, sponsored by Game Time Sports Medicine, this year’s yearling sale offered a catalog of 53 potential winners for the 2018 futurity. The high seller was Forever Kool (Machine Made x Forever N Ever), winner of the Open Western Longe Line at the futurity, consigned by Stanley and Susan Scott and fetched $37,000. The average prices of yearlings sold in this year’s auction was $9,970.

“The sale was down by about 30 entries,” Powers said. “I think if you look at the breeding records for 2015 it will pretty much tell the story. There are fewer yearlings. I’m confident it will come back.”

All the sale graduates were microchipped and will be eligible for the 2018 Tom Powers Sale Stakes Class.

Looking Ahead

Although the 2017 futurity is barely in the books, Tom Powers and his wife, Dominique, are already wrapping up payments and looking ahead to next year’s show.

“We changed our placing and scoring and invoicing system from my old personal ‘dynasoric’ system to the system that most horse shows use,” Tom said. “It worked well except for several glitches in the placings. Once we get it figured out, I’m sure it will be fine. I’m just a bit old fashioned. I still want to check it by hand. Also, it pays strictly on the

NSBA pay back schedule so we are paying deeper this year.”

He also said spreading competition over five days this year seemed to be a big hit.

“Everyone was really laid back this year,” he said. “Some of the trainers mentioned that they liked having the time to prepare their horses and still have time to enjoy dinner with their group.”

Judging this year were: Mike Hawkins, Wayne Holt, Buddy Fisher and Brett Clark. Keep checking the Tom Powers Futurity website ( for updates on next year’s show.


2017 Fut results All Classes



You must be logged in to post a comment Login