Hall of Fame Banquet Honors NRCHA's Best and Brightest

A perennial Snaffle Bit Futurity highlight is the National Reined Cow Horse Association Hall of Fame Banquet, honoring the people and horses who have earned elite NRCHA Hall of Fame and Hall of Merit status. The gala banquet also spotlights the stellar performers from the Snaffle Bit Futurity preliminary rounds with special awards for high scores in a variety of events and divisions.

The 2012 Hall of Fame and Hall of Merit roster includes NRCHA standouts of today and yesteryear. World-renowned horseman, Million-Dollar Rider and three-time Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion Bob Avila, Temecula, Calif., was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, along with two worthy equines: "Mitch," the 1959 buckskin gelding who enjoyed a triumphant 16-year show career, and Lil Miss Smarty Chex (Smart Little Lena x Miss Reed Chex x Bueno Chex), the superior performer who earned numerous reining and cow horse championships before retiring to a brilliant broodmare career.

The Hall of Merit welcomed John Hyde, the California movie and television executive whose lifelong love of horses led him to the reined cow horse industry. He has served multiple terms on the NRCHA Board of Directors and is the chairman of the National Reined Cow Horse Foundation, which seeks to preserve the history of reined cow horse and encourage youth participation in the sport.

National Reined Cow Horse Association President Todd Crawford also bestowed the Stock Horse Man of the Year Award upon Paul Bailey, the NRCHA Vice President and chairman of the NRCHA Non Pro Committee. Crawford praised Bailey for his forward-thinking outlook, his dedication to growing the NRCHA's Non Pro divisions and his service at the affiliate level.

Several riders accepted special honors for their performances in the Snaffle Bit Futurity preliminaries. The Open preliminary winner, Anne Reynolds, riding Smart Medicine Man (Very Smart Remedy x Magical Lena x Little Lenas Legend), received custom stirrups sponsored by Terry Ratto, as did Smart Medicine Man's owner, Reynolds' mother, Joyce Pearson. Reynolds and Smart Medicine Man also collected the high-scoring gelding award which came with a $1,000 check, the Ralph & Mickey Gragg Memorial Saddle, sponsored by the Gragg family and a Gist buckle sponsored by Carol Rose;  a Gist buckle for the Non Pro high-scoring rein work; and the Open high-scoring rein work award, a $1,500 check from Ken Wold Training Stables and Lawson bronze trophy from the National Reining Horse Association, an award they shared with Chris Dawson and Callme Mister Mister
(Mister Dual Pep x Travelin With Sass x Travalena). Reynolds also won the high-scoring Non Pro herd work award, a Gist buckle sponsored by Wilson and Susan Lyle, for her preliminary run on Very Black Magic.

The high-scoring Non Pro in the preliminaries, Tammy Hays, riding Two Kitties (Smooth As A Cat x SR Jaguar), won a set of custom stirrups sponsored by Terry Ratto and also claimed the high-scoring Non Pro cow work award, a Gist buckle sponsored by G2 Performance Horses.

The high-scoring Open herd work award went to Corey Cushing and Lenas Last Time One Time Pepto x Lenas Peppy Cutter), owned by Cathy Corrigan Frank. They won $1,500 and a trophy from the National Cutting Horse Association.

Jon Roeser claimed the high-scoring Open cow work award, $1,500 and a Lawson bronze trophy from the Leavitt family in honor of Morey Leavitt, for his preliminary run aboard Dual Smart Peppy (Mister Smart Remedy x Peppys Sassy Hobby), owned by Virgil Cotter.

The Snaffle Bit Futurity Ladies Champion, Tina Fry, riding TF Choice Sugar (SR Instant Choice x Pepto Sugar) for Travelers' Farm, also received her award at the Hall of Fame Banquet. The Ladies Championship came with a $1,260 paycheck, a Gist buckle sponsored by Larry and Sharon Rose, an ESP Wool Top saddle pad from Classic Equine, a monogrammed Cinch vest from Bob's Custom Saddles and the New West Country Store, a CR Morrison Trophy and Medallion from NRCHA and Platinum Performance.