NRCHA World Championship Snaffle Bit Futurity – Catch The Excitement


The 2002 National Reined Cow Horse Association’s World Championship Snaffle Bit Futurity, slated for September 25 – October 6, is like no other show in the world. It's an event with a special mystique and each futurity champion secures a place in cow horse history. As in recent years, a paycheck of $100,000 goes to the Open Champion, at the end of twelve days of competition at the Reno Livestock Events Center in Reno, Nevada.

The Snaffle Bit Futurity is the most visible cow horse event in the world, and the three distinct competitions that make up the event – herd work, rein work and cow work – offer a challenge for equine talent and horsemanship skill that is unequalled. In the herd work, the horse must cut a cow from the herd and show its ability to keep it out with little assistance form his rider. In the reining, the horse is judged on precise maneuvers that include circles, sliding stops, spins and rollbacks. In the climactic cow work, the horse demonstrates the ability to control the movements of a cow down the fence and in the center of the arena, working at lightning speed. This year's entry numbers show a substantial increase over previous years, with 226 horses in the Open draw and 100 in the Non Pro competition.

Besides the arena action, a full trade show, select cow horse sales and special activities give this show a unique personality and a fall trip to Reno has become a vacation of choice for cow horse fans from around the world.

The Snaffle Bit Futurity is also a place to remember the great riders of the past, as the headquarters hotel for the futurity, the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, hosts the Annual NRCHA Hall of Fame Banquet on Thursday, October 3. A special video presentation of the 2002 Hall of Fame inductees highlights the event that also features the highly popular Snaffle Bit Futurity Silent Auction. The array of distinctive items on display keeps bidders busy going back and forth from the tables to raise their bids!

Headlining the array of unique lots already donated to the auction are a 50 foot round pen from MD Barns (valued at $6,500), a 100X pure beaver hat from Sean Ryon (valued at $1,000), and a TR3 Drag from Absolute Innovations (valued at $3,800). Bidders might also opt for a breeding to million dollar sire Shining Spark (valued at $10,000) or a weekend in a spa suite at the Silver Legacy valued at $775! A new twist for this year’s action will be the selection of a handful of items for live bid, as well.

Dave Hammond of Dave Hammond Sale Company reports that the offering of top cow horses for the NRCHA world Championship Snaffle Bit Futurity Sales is better and larger than ever. The Open Consignment Sale takes place on Thursday, October 3 at the Reno Livestock Events Center, then the Reno Hilton hosts the Select yearling and Broodmare Sale the next day. On Saturday, it's back to the Livestock Events Center for The Performance Horse and Select 2-Year-Old Sales.

The National Reined Cow Horse Association, the governing body of cow horse competition, 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 Bayer Corporation, Cinch, Inc., Flowmaster, MD Barns, Platinum Performance, Inc., Purina Mills, Inc., Skyline Silversmiths, Sundowner Trailers, Western Horseman magazine, the Reno Hilton and the Silver Legacy, the association helps 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