The 26th Annual Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity, held annually at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore, Oklahoma, is well underway as the Billingsley Ford Open, Intermediate Open, Limited Open, and Open Level 1 Futurity riders finished the preliminary round Thursday, October 28.
The top 20 in each division, plus ties, will advance to the finals on Saturday. It took a 217.5 in the Open, while a 215 was the magic number for Intermediate Open entries. Limited Open riders with a score of 212.5 earned a finals berth, as did Open Level 1 entries with at least a 210.
This year, the added money in the Futurity is an impressive $115,000 - including $52,000 in the Open division alone. The event is the largest futurity to precede the big National Reining Horse Association Futurity that will take place in November.
Although Saturday's finals will be clean-slate, no one dismisses the challenge and rewards of winning the preliminary round against the always-tough field of SWRHA Futurity entries.
This year that honor went to Brian Bell, of Marietta, Oklahoma who piloted Dun It Chexinic to a score of 223.5. Bell, a 6-time NRHA World Champion, was riding the Bueno Chexinic gelding, out of DS Fancy Footwork, for Troop Quarter Horses.
Topping the Intermediate Open and Limited Open division with a score of 220.5 was former NRHA Futurity Champion Brett Stone. Stone was riding Smoking Whiz, by Topsail Whiz out of Glendas A Smokingun, for Silver Spurs Equine. Stone and Smoking Whiz also earned a spot in the Open Finals.
Topping the Open Level 1 division - and earning a finals berth in all four Open divisions - was Greg Hall, riding his own horse Topsail Chrome. Hall and Topsail Chrome, by Topsail Whiz out of Custom Dudette, marked a 219 in the preliminary round.
All the action of the 2010 SWRHA Futurity and Horse Show can be seen thanks to the live webcast from Waltenberry Productions. Just visit the SWRHA website at www.swrha.com for a link.
Built in 1937, the historic Hardy Murphy Coliseum has been a mainstay as an Ardmore tourist attraction. Primarily designed to host horse and livestock shows, recent renovations to the facility have given it the flexibility to host even more events. Along with the space upgrades that allow the facility to stall 500 horses, the addition of air conditioning provides Hardy Murphy with the competitive ability to attract national and regional events. The renovations have resulted in a premier competitive equine facility.
For more information on the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity, or to inquire about the SWRHA, please call 580-759-2572, or visit www.swrha.com.