by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Miss Ella Rey and Brandon Dufurrena
Brandon Dufurrena of Gainesville, Texas, qualified two mares to the November 17 amateur cutting finals at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show – both solid standbys for the seasoned non-pro.
He was fourth in the go on Miss Ella Rey. Brandon won the AQHA amateur reserve on her in 2011 and was a finalist in 2010.
“The cattle (in the finals) were a little different than they were in the go-round, just a different type of cows,” Brandon told The American Quarter Horse Journal. “They were a little tougher today ...
“We watched the cows earlier on in the open (preliminary goes), and they were just a little closer and a little trickier. But we had a good draw to find good cows and had a little bit more of a selection. And my mare was really good today.”
Brandon and “Ella” marked a strong 221, and took the lead from Kyle Manion and Dear Gussey with a 220.
He was 10th in the go on Nievas – she finished 10th in junior cutting in 2011 – and they scored a 217.5. When all was said and done, Brandon was headed home with a world championship on Ella and a bronze trophy on Nievas.
Brandon is the son of AQHA Professional Horseman Ed Dufurrena and wife Shona. The Dufurrena family – including Brandon’s sister, Rieta – all cut. Ed trains out of their Dufurrena Cutting Horses facility in Gainesville.
The 28-year-old thanked his dad for helping him in the pen, along with R.L. Chartier, Phil Rapp and Jason Taylor. Rieta got Ella ready for him before the finals, and his mom, Shona, got Nievas ready.
By Dual Rey and out of Huggs Olena by Smart Chic Olena, Ella has more than $276,974 in National Cutting Horse Association earnings. The scored a personal high 229 to win the 2012 Mercuria-NCHA World Series of Cutting Non-Pro finals in Houston.
“We’ve had her since she was born,” he said. “The ranch where my dad worked (LKC Ranch, Longmont, Colorado), that’s where we got her from. He’s trained her the whole time and we’ve owned her the whole time. She’s been a phenomenal mare; she’s really been special to us.
“She has her quirks,” he added with a smile. “She likes to be petted but it’s only when it’s her idea. She’s great, and I love her.”
Nievas is a home-bred for the Dufurrenas, a daughter of Cats Merada and out of Smart Little Boogie by EG Southern Dancer. Nievas has more than $303,744 in NCHA earnings. Ed credits her dam with jump-starting his career as a cutting trainer.
“It feels great (to win an AQHA world championship),” Brandon said. “I was reserve on Ella two years ago and that was a great finals – Bill Cowan won it that year and his wife (Michelle) was third and I was second, and it was awesome. And this, it’s special.
“The (World Show) money is great, it’s two hours from our house, and it’s a good show. ... They really try to do a good job.”
The Dufurrenas are busy getting ready for the NCHA Futurity in December.
But Ella’s not quite done with her World Show, yet – Ed rode Ella in the senior cutting prelims that ran just previous to the amateur cutting finals, and the gritty little mare scored a 218 to make the November 18 finals.
“I just want to thank everybody (who helped me). It was a lot of fun.”
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