By the NRCHA
Finals Field Set for the 50th Running of the NRCHA Open Snaffle Bit Futurity ®, presented by Metallic Cat
The Open cow work preliminaries wrapped up today to solidify the field of 25 Open, 20 Intermediate Open and 15 Limited Open Finalists at the $1.2 million National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity ®, presented by Metallic Cat, in Fort Worth, Texas, at Will Rogers Memorial Center. Anticipation is high to see which elite horseman or horsewoman and gifted 3-year-old cow horse will take home the $125,000 Open champion’s paycheck on Saturday, October 19 at this historic 50th running of the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity.
In Justin Arena an adrenaline-charged day of Open cow work got underway with sets six through 23. Fittingly, the horse and rider team that took an early command of the aggregate after two events brought their A-game to the fence work with a convincing 224 to add to their 439.5 (219 herd/ 220.5 rein). Duallicious (Dual Spark x Unos Charm x Smart Little Uno), ridden by Robert Smith III for owner and wife Becky Smith, leads the field of 25 Open Futurity Finalists with a 663.5. The 2016 mare is a product of Bobby Lewis’ breeding program. Lewis rode the mare’s sire, Dual Spark (LTE $39,512), to reserve honors at the 2014 NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman. Duallicious and Smith have already accrued $4,750 in preliminary round earnings—$1,000 for third in the Intermediate rein work, $1,750 for second in the Intermediate cow work, $500 for fifth and sixth in the Open herd, and $2,500 for third in Open cow work.
Sarah Dawson and RYourChecksSmokin (Dual R Smokin x Checkers Live Oak x Im Countin Checks) are second overall with a 662 (218.5 herd/ 220 rein/223.5 cow). The 2016 mare was bred by Stuart Bozeman and is owned by Nonie Casselman-Reed.
Third and fourth is the team of Metallic Memorey (Metallic Cat x Memorey x Dual Rey), owned by Eric Dunn and ridden by NRCHA $2 Million Rider and three-time Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion Corey Cushing, with a 660.5 (216.5 herd/ 221.5 rein/ 222.5 cow). Tied with Cushing is the team of Hesa Dual Bet (Bet Hesa Cat x RJJ Miss Viagra Pep x Dual Pep), ridden by Matt Koch for owner Kent Blough. Koch and Hesa Dual Bet brought the house down with a 227 to win the cow work prelims and $6,000, bringing their total on three to 660.5 (217.5 herd/ 216 rein).
Rounding out the top five in Open Futurity rankings is WooodYa (Woody Be Tuff x CR Dees Boon Meow x Peptoboonsmal), ridden by Justin Wright for owner Eric Freitas, with a 660 (217.5 herd/ 223 rein/ 219.5 cow). The 2016 mare was bred by Center Ranch.
Duallicious and Smith lead the Intermediate Open composite as well. Tied for second and third is HesaStylin (Mr Playinstylish x ShesaLittleRedBoon x Peptoboonsmal) ridden by Boyd Rice to a 657 (217.5 herd/ 219 rein/ 220.5 cow) for owners Kit and Charlie Moncrief. Boasting an identical total on three of 657 (215.5 herd/ 216.5 rein/ 225 cow) is Tweenkle Lights (CD Lights x For Her Eyes Only x Colonels Smoking Gun), ridden by Tyler Merrill for owner Andi Paul.
Tweenkle Lights and Merrill are first in the Limited Open composite and have earned $5,750 already thanks to topping the Intermediate Open cow work prelims for $2,250 with their outstanding score of 225, plus $2,500 for second in the Open cow work round and first in the Limited cow work for $1,000.
Level 1 Limited Open Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion
Taking the championship of the Level 1 Limited Open Futurity was Sixteen Carat Cat (Metallic Cat x All That N Cat x Highbrow Cat), ridden by Spud Sheehan for owner and breeder Beechfork Ranch. Their total after three rounds of 649.5 (220.5 herd/ 206.5 rein/ 225.5 cow) was worth $12,426. With stellar performances in the herd and fence work preliminary rounds, Sheehan added $9,750 for a total of $22,176 (unofficially).
Sheehan and Sixteen Carat Cat advance in the second position to the Limited Open Finals. The Level 1 Limited Open Futurity Champion was awarded a Bob’s Custom Saddle courtesy of Bell Performance Horses, a CR Morrison bronze finished trophy, Gist Silversmiths custom buckle, a browband headstall with rawhide accents and silver buckles from Dennis Moreland Tack, a Classic Equine monogrammed polar fleece cooler, product from Platinum Performance, a monogrammed jacket by CINCH JEANS and UltraCruz EQ Foaming Shampoo and Foaming Tool.
Tying for second and third in the final Level 1 Limited Open Futurity was Alexandra Ciavardelli riding her own horse, Suns Out Guns Out (Chics Playgun x Clark Jones Lass x Clark Jones) to a 646 (208 herd/ 220.5 rein/ 217.5 cow) to earn $8,339. Suns Out Guns Out was bred by Kevin Bennett. One Time Up North (One Time Pepto x Our Special Kitten x High Brow Cat), ridden by Chet Martin for owner Up North Quarter Horses, split second and third with an identical 646 (208 herd/ 220.5 rein/ 217.5 cow). One Time Up North and Martin were awarded $8,339. One Time Up North was bred by Lone Oak Performance Horses. The reserve championship came with a Gist Silversmiths custom buckle, $300 Farnam gift certificate, product from Platinum Performance, a monogrammed jacket by CINCH JEANS, and UltraCruz Detangler Spray.
Non Pro Bridle Champion
Four sets of Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro, Novice Non Pro and Select Non Pro Bridle got underway Tuesday morning in the Will Rogers Coliseum. Accomplished National Reined Cow Horse Youth Association competitor Cutter McLaughlin, Clarendon, Texas, put on a spectacular display riding the stalwart 2005 gelding CD Dee Vee Dee (CD Lights x Shiners Missy Jay x Shining Spark), owned by his parents Jay and Wendy McLaughlin.
Cutter and his NRCHA Supreme Reined Cow Horse scored an outstanding 294 composite thanks to a 145 in the rein work and picture-perfect 149 on the cow. The team banked $4,063 to add to CD Dee Vee Dee’s lifetime earnings of $246,594. The win came with a plethora of first-class awards including a CR Morrison bronze finished trophy, Gist Silversmiths custom buckle and pocket knife, a pair of Lucchese Boots, clippers by Wahl Professional USA, a Classic Equine Zone Pad, product from Platinum Performance, a Back on Track USA therapeutic mesh horse blanket, Western hat carrying case and a monogrammed jacket by CINCH JEANS.
Amy Bailey, Sparta, Tenn., and her dynamic equine partner, the 2012 gelding Electra Playboy (Woody Be Tuff x Electras Boots x Doc O Boots), took reserve honors and $3,250 thanks to a 291.5 (144.5 rein /147 cow). Bailey received a monogrammed jacket by CINCH JEANS for the win.
Intermediate Non Pro Bridle Champion
Champion of the Intermediate Non Pro Bridle division was Addison Fjelstad. A gutsy performance from Fjelstad aboard the 2012 mare Suens Little Cat (Boon Too Suen x Cant Track This Cat x High Brow Cat), owned by Laney Fjelstad, earned her $2,450. Scoring a 139.5 in the rein work, Fjelstad mastered a tough cow to the tune of 147.5 for a 286.5 composite. Fjelstad earned an additional $1,236 and a monogrammed jacket by CINCH JEANS for reserve in the Novice Non Pro Bridle.
With an identical cumulative score of 286.5 (414 rein/ 145.5 cow), Judy Fortenberry and her 2009 palomino gelding Cold Hard Smart Cash (Big Chex To Cash x Smartin Up x Smart Little Lena) ended up reserve champions in the Intermediate Non Pro Bridle according to the tie-breaker going in favor of the high marked cow work. Fortenberry earned $1,925 and a monogrammed jacket by CINCH JEANS.
Novice Non Pro Bridle Champion
Paris Starn rode her 2010 bay gelding Given Ya Goosebumps (Starlight Captain x Missy Dual Master x Dual Peppy) to the championship of the Novice Non Pro Bridle and $1,574. Starn marked a 143 in the rein work and a 144.5 on the cow for a 287.5 to edge reserve champion Addison Fjelstad and Suens Little Cat. Starn was awarded a CR Morrison bronze finished trophy, Gist Silversmiths custom buckle and pocket knife, a pair of Lucchese Boots, clippers by Wahl Professional USA, a Classic Equine Zone Pad, product from Platinum Performance, a Back on Track USA therapeutic mesh horse blanket, Western hat carrying case and a monogrammed jacket by CINCH JEANS.
Select Non Pro Bridle
Betty Lou Valdez rode the 2010 gelding A Shooting Spark (Cinnabars Lil Lena x Gees A Shining Star x Shining Spark), owned by he and her husband Robert Valdez, to top honors in the Select Bridle. Valdez marked a 281.5 (142 rein/ 139.5 cow) to earn $750, a single ear headstall with rawhide accents and silver buckles from Dennis Moreland Tack, and $150 in Farnam products.
Reserve in the Select Non Pro Bridle was Jecca Ostrander riding the 2012 buckskin mare BoxO Valentines Cat (Palo Duro Cat x Tracis Blue Roan x Roan Ambrose), owned by BoxO Quarter Horses, to a 280 (138.5 rein/ 141.5 cow). Ostrander earned $450, a Western hat carrying case and $100 KO Trading Company gift certificate.
Cow Horse for Cutters
The Invitational Cow Horse for Cutters Class saw a field of 21 National Cutting Horse Association non professional riders try their hand at NRCHA Limited (box only) competition on Tuesday evening in Will Rogers Coliseum. Prior to showing, a “Coffee and Questions” session was offered at 10 a.m. in the John Justin Sale Arena for contestants wishing to clarify the finer points of reined cow horse with NRCHA professional and judge Russell Dilday.
In the true spirit of cow horse camaraderie, riders were cheered on by an enthusiastic audience and several even tested their cows down the fence and circling up, experiencing a thrill like only riding a reined cow horse can deliver. Even Taylor Sheridan of Yellowstone fame joined in the friendly competition! The top ten Cow Horse For Cutters were presented with an NRCHA vest and cap.
With a 294 (146 rein/ 148 cow) it was Jeremy Barwick of Western Bloodstock who reined and boxed his way to victory riding the 2014 stallion Shining CD Light (CD Lights x Jennys Spark x Shining Spark). Barwick was awarded a Jeff Smith Custom Saddle, CR Morrison bronze finished trophy and 20X Hat from Shorty’s Caboy Hattery. Reserve champion Blakely Colgrove rode the 2009 stallion Get It Master (Smart Little Pepinic x Get A Master x Master Remedy) to a 291.5 (149.5 rein/ 142 fence). Colgrove was awarded a Gist Silversmith’s trophy buckle.
NRCHA Sale Incentive
Not to be overlooked, another lucrative futurity race is on as part of the Open and Non Pro Futurity action. All weanlings, yearlings and 2-year-old horses sold at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Sales are eligible to participate in the NRCHA Sale Incentive Program. In 2019, the NRCHA added $25,000 to the purse, which is combined with pay-in fees from owners and consignors to bring the payout at this year’s Futurity to a whopping $120,000. Purses will be paid to the four highest-advancing eligible foals in the Open and Non Pro divisions based on preliminary composite scores--$85,120 total in the Open and $36,480 in the Non Pro. First place in the Open Sale Incentive payout is an estimated $34,048, while first in the Non Pro will award $14,592.
On Wednesday, October 16, NRCHA show action commences at 9:00 a.m. in Justin Arena with the Non Pro Futurity presented by Discount Tire cow work prelims, followed by the Open Hackamore Finals and concluding the day with what promises to be a stellar group of Open Bridle finalists. Tomorrow evening’s special activities include the Old Timer’s Reception beginning at 5 p.m., followed by the NRCHA Hall of Fame Banquet Festivities beginning with cocktail hour at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m., after which time the special class of 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees will be recognized..