Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - For the past three decades, Ohio horse show announcer, Keith Bradley has called the action at the National Reining Horse Association Futurity and the 2001 Futurity marks his 30th consecutive futurity.
Bradley's distinctive style has even inspired the name of a bronze by Doug Israelsen, "The Score!" that is awarded annually to the futurity's winning open rider.
The years with the NRHA have been a labor of love for the successful Bowling Green, Ohio auctioneer, and his years as the "Voice of the NRHA" have taken him all over the United States as well as to Australia and Canada.
Out of 29 futurities, is there one that stands out in his mind?
"I'd have to say it was the one in 1974, when the NRHA Futurity was still held during the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio," he recalled. "Paul Horn had been injured and was unable to show, so his brother, Bill, rode Paul's horse, as well as his own. Well, Bill tied himself to win - and had to have a runoff with himself."
He continues, "He showed his own horse, Miss White Trash, then came back and beat himself on Paul's horse, Im Great Too. It was an incredible moment. That was back when the announcer's stand was down in the stands and Paul and their father, Bill, were in the stands behind me and when Bill ran his horse, Paul just started bawling. It was such an emotional show."
Bradley continues, "But there are special moments every year. It's impossible not to get caught up in the excitement. All the futurities are so outstanding and they all have a way of building in a different manner. I can't wait for this year's event!
The NRHA Futurity begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs through December 1st at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds.