The 42nd Annual National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity is coming to the Reno Livestock Events Center September 20 - October 2! This unique event perpetuates the tradition of the California Vaquero, blending the heritage of the American west with today's most precise contemporary horsemanship. And, it is big business. The Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion will receive a paycheck of $100,000 at the end of competition, and the show will pay out over $1.1 million for the fifth year in a row!
The economic prosperity isn't limited to the exhibitors. The Futurity has a monstrous monetary effect on the Reno community. According to the American Horse Council's economic impact formula, with more than 1,100 horses coming to Reno over thirteen days of competition, the event brings over $5.5 million into the community, and the economic impact on Reno exceeds $20 million.
Both because of the tremendous payoff and the "Who's Who" list of entries, which includes the western horse industry's top personalities, the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity is the most visible cow horse event in the world. The three distinct competitions that make up the event - herd work, rein work and cow work - offer an unequaled challenge for equine talent and horsemanship skill. In the herd work, the horse cuts a cow from the herd and shows its ability to control it with little assistance from his rider. In the reining, the horse is judged on precise maneuvers that include circles, sliding stops, spins and rollbacks. The climactic cow work demonstrates the ability to control the movements of a cow down the fence and in the center of the arena.
The Best of the West Trade Show, which opens September 24 and runs through the duration of the event, is an ideal place to get started on Christmas shopping. Vendors offer everything from jewelry to furniture to horse equipment and everything in between. If you're interested in a bigger ticket item - like a horse of your own, the Snaffle Bit Futurity Horse Sales, presented by Markel Insurance Company, will be held Thursday, September 29 thru October 1.
There's even a time set aside for remembering great riders and horses of the past, as the headquarters hotel for the Snaffle Bit Futurity, the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, hosts the Annual NRCHA Hall of Fame Banquet on Thursday, September 29.
Free educational seminars, covering everything from equine nutrition to competition strategy, will be held throughout the show. For those interested in learning about the reined cow horse industry, the NRCHA Owners Committee Reception is open to everyone, Friday, September 30, in the Doc Bar Room at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
On Sunday, October 2, the action in the Reno Livestock Events Center culminates with the Open Finals, as the top finishers from the preliminaries vie for that $100,000 first place check.
Tickets can be purchased through the Box Office, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. To keep up with the action, visit the NRCHA website at www.nrcha.com, or "Like" the NRCHA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nrcha.
The NRCHA, now in its 62nd year, is the governing body of reined cow horse competition. The NRCHA is responsible for promoting the sport, insuring high standards of competition, and educating members and the public about the history and tradition of the cow horse. Through the support of a Corporate Partner family that includes Bob's Custom Saddles, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Cinch, CCLassic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance, Merial products ULCERGARD and EQUIOXX, Nutrena, Pfizer Animal Health, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, San Juan Ranch - A Division of Santa Cruz Biotechnology, and the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, the association works to keep the vaquero tradition alive in today's equine industry. For information on the National Reined Cow Horse Association, call 580-759-4949 or visit the NRCHA Official Web Site at www.nrcha.com.
Photo: Todd Crawford by Primo Morales