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Simpsonville woman takes first at Augusta Futurity

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By The Staff

In the first run of her first Augusta Futurity finals appearance, Libby Bowman proved to be unbeatable.

Bowman and San Tule Uno marked a score of 221 to win the $100,000 Amateur for 5-6-Year-Olds category of The Augusta Futurity by six points Sunday, Jan. 20, at James Brown Arena. The Augusta Futurity is the largest cutting horse event east of the Mississippi River and runs through Saturday, Jan. 26.

"It's been very fun," she said. "It's wonderful to win here at Augusta."

Bowman, of Simpsonville, claimed the first-place check of $6,135. Al Larsen, of Denver, and Reydiculous posted a 215 to place second, and Tom Bowen, of Clermont, Ga., and Snortys Little Toot finish third with a 214.

The finals took place almost 48 hours after the conclusion of the go-round.

Bowman said she helped her 10-year-old daughter Page with her fourth-grade homework during the down time.

Bowman, who helps her husband with his veterinary practice, did her own homework as well, going first in the finals order.

"I like drawing up first because you know all the cattle are fresh," she said. "The cattle were really tough all day. Being able to feel the cattle and seeing how they were going to set up helped a lot."

Bowman's San Tule Uno, a 5-year-old gelding by San Tule Freckles out of Smart Little Thunder, posted one of the biggest wins of 2007. Trainer Austin Shepard rode the horse to the Millionheir Derby finals championship last year. The win was worth $300,000.

Bowman sent the horse to Shepard late in his 2-year-old year.

"As soon as Austin got him, he liked him," she said. "And we had high hopes for him when we bred him. Of course, you have to wait four years until you hit the Millionheir thing, but that was the whole goal."

Despite the victory, Bowman said she had a tough time riding the horse.

"I hadn't ridden younger horses in a few years," she said. "He's open caliber with Austin riding him. Austin's easy to ride behind. I just need to polish my skills.

"It's me learning to sit correctly and kick correctly and things like that. Soon as you think you know something, something else goes awry. It's just a matter of getting things to come together. It feels good when it does."