From humble beginnings in 1970, with a mere 27 entries, the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity has flourished into one of the most prestigious and exciting events in the Western performance industry. Many cow horse enthusiasts describe their first Snaffle Bit Futurity experience as the reason they became hooked on the spine-tingling sport. Hundreds of horses and thousands of fans from across the U.S., Canada and overseas make the journey to Reno, Nevada, for the Futurity each year.
Thrills, and sometimes spills, abound as 3-year-old horses test their athleticism in a trio of demanding events: herd work, rein work and fence work. The reward for the best performance is the $100,000 first-place Open Championship paycheck, and the total payout for all the divisions at the show is expected to top $1.1 million. Other Futurity activities include the NRCHA Hall of Fame Banquet; the enormous Best of the West trade show; the Snaffle Bit Futurity Horse Sales; and horse show classes for horses age 4 and older.
The annual Raffle Filly giveaway also is a Futurity mainstay. For the price of a single $10.00 ticket, you could win your very own royally-bred, started 2-year-old with a paid entry to the 2015 Snaffle Bit Futurity! The Raffle Filly is donated every year by the Ward Ranch, Kingsburg, California.
Limited Age Event Added Money totaling $428,000 includes $328,000 added to the Open and Cinch Intermediate Open. $100,000 is added to the Discount Tire Non Pro Futurity along with $5,000 added to the Amateur and $5,000 added to the Non Pro Limited Futurity.
Horse Show Added Money totals $33,500 and includes a $7,000 Added Open Bridle and Open Hackamore and $3,000 added Non Pro Bridle and Non Pro Hackamore.
July 30, 2014
Below is more great info about the Reined Cow Horse sport compliments of the AQHA:
Reined Cow Horse 101, Part 1 – In Part 1 of this series, learn the history behind reined cow horse competition and begin to understand its three parts.
One phase of reined cow horse special events ““ such as bridle spectaculars, derbies and futurities ““ is similar to cutting, where the horse shows his ability to control a cow with little assistance from the rider within a 2 1/2-minute period. Journal photo
From The American Quarter Horse Journal
The three-phase events of National Reined Cow Horse Association competition make it one of the most thrilling and demanding of all performance horse classes. At NRCHA futurities, derbies and bridle spectaculars, horses and their riders must compete in rein work, similar to reining; herd work, similar to cutting; and cow work. This three-leg event challenges the skill of both the horse and rider.
Like reining and cutting, reined cow horse traces its roots to the vast ranches of the Southwest.
The California Spanish vaqueros (cowboys) are credited for developing the reined cow horse, which was trained to work with the great herds of Longhorn cattle driven from Mexico to California, as well as perform the day-to-day chores of the ranches.
But in the early 1900s, machinery began to replace the well-trained, versatile working horse, and the honored vaquero training methods began to fade. This trend continued until shortly after World War II, when a small group of Californians decided to preserve the heritage of the legendary ranch horse.
The formation of the National Reined Cow Horse Association preserved the training methods of the Spanish vaquero and brought about one of the world’s largest cow horse events, the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, which is held every fall. The prestigious futurity is exclusive to 3-year-old horses. NRCHA is an AQHA alliance partner.
What Is a Reined Cow Horse Competition?
NRCHA competition is very similar to AQHA’s working cow horse event. But where AQHA’s class only consists of rein work and cow work, NRCHA also offers special events for reined cow horses based on the age of the horse ““ futurities are for 3-year-olds, derbies are for 4- and 5-year-olds, and bridle spectaculars are for aged horses 6 and up.
At these special reined cow horse events, horses and riders compete in three distinct competitions, and scoring is on the basis of 60 to 80, with 70 denoting an average performance.
These events are rein work, cow work and herd work. More info to come!