The 2002 National Reined Cow Horse Association’s World Championship Snaffle Bit Futurity, slated for September 25 – October 6, is like no other horse show in the world. Created over 30 years ago to perpetuate the traditional progression of training the California Vaquero Bridle Horse, the futurity has a special mystique. It blends the heritage of the American west with the most precise contemporary horsemanship and each futurity champion secures a place in cow horse history.
As in recent years, the Open Champion will receive a paycheck of $100,000 at the end of twelve days of competition at the Reno Livestock Events Center. That top professional paycheck is remarkable, but at the Snaffle Bit Futurity, the Non Professional riders win big as well, with $40,000 guaranteed to the winner of the Non Pro Division.
Both because of the tremendous payoff and the "who's who" list of entries which include 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 a challenge for equine talent and horsemanship skill that is unequalled. The exciting action keeps the fans on the edge of their seats, or springing to their feet to watch a horse turn a cow on the fence at warp speed!
In the herd work, the horse cuts a cow from the herd and shows its ability to control it with little assistance form 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. This year's entry numbers show a substantial increase over previous years, with over 225 horses in the Open draw and over 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 evening.
The "Best of the West" trade show September 27 – October 6 is a great place to get started on Christmas shopping and vendors offer everything from jewelry to muffler systems. It's all there to be found and for those interested in purchasing their own cow horse, the offering of consignments in 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, Rios of Mercedes, Horsecentral.com, Sundowner Trailers, Western Horseman magazine, 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 www.nrcha.com.