Thirteen days of glory –

The 35th Annual National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity is slated for September 21 Ð October 3 in Reno, Nevada.The 35th Annual National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity is slated for September 21 Ð October 3 in Reno, Nevada.

Story originally posted by Staff

The 35th Annual National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity is slated for September 21 Ð October 3 in Reno, Nevada.

The Snaffle Bit Futurity was created to perpetuate the traditional progression of training the California Vaquero Bridle Horse and its special mystique blends the heritage of the American west with today’s most precise contemporary horsemanship.

As in recent years, the Open Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion will receive a paycheck of $100,000 at the end of competition at the Reno Livestock Events Center. The top professional paycheck is remarkable, but Non Professional riders win big as well, with $40,000 guaranteed to the winner of the Non Pro Division.

Last year’s Open Champion, Bob Avila, rode Chics Magic Potion (owned by Avila, Allen & Kay Needle and Doug Carpenter) to the championship, his third. Although this horseman has won more than his share of events, this one is unique, he says.

"It’s the ultimate," he noted, and added. "This one is the most special Ð it’s an amazing event with incredible horses and riders and it’s thrilling just to be a part of it."

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 Ð herd work, rein work and cow work Ð offer a challenge for equine talent and horsemanship skill that is unequalled. The exciting action keeps 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 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. This year’s entry numbers show a substantial increase over previous years, with 245 horses in the Open draw and 94 in Non Pro competition.

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

The Snaffle Bit Futurity always sets the stage for remembering great riders of the past, as the headquarters hotel for the futurity, the Reno Hilton, hosts the Annual NRCHA Hall of Fame Banquet on Thursday, September 30. A special video presentation of the 2004 NRCHA Hall of Fame inductees will highlight the evening.

The "Best of the West" trade show September 24 Ð October 3 is an ideal place to get started on Christmas shopping. Trade show vendors offer everything from jewelry to unique horse equipment.

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, September 30 followed by Select Yearling and Broodmare Sale on Friday. On Saturday, attention goes to The Performance Horse and Select 2-Year-Old Sales.

On Sunday, October 3, the action in the Reno Livestock Events Center continues with the Open Finals, as the top finishers from the preliminaries vie for the $100,000 first place check. Sunday also will see the drawing for the "Drive Away in a Sundowner" horse trailer, and the Sundowner "Drawdown" to win another horse trailer.

Each year, the renowned Ward Ranch of Kingsburg, California, donates a well-bred colt for the NRCHA Raffle Colt, and the winner of this year’s colt will be drawn during finals day, as well.

Thirteen days of glorious activity culminate with the crowning of the 2004 Open Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion, featured in special ceremonies with special lighting/effects by Michael Lippman.

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 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

National Reined Cow Horse Association
Reno Livestock Events Center

2004 NRCHA World Championship Snaffle Bit Futurity

2004 Snaffle Bit Futurity Schedule

PDF Version of Schedule

Tuesday 9/21/04 8am Non Pro Herd Work

** Non Pro Hackamore

Wednesday 9/22/04 8am Non Pro Rein Work

* Non Pro Limited

Thursday 9/23/04 8am Non Pro Cow Work

* Non Pro Bridle & Novice Non Pro Bridle

Friday 9/24/04 8am Open Herd Work

Saturday 9/25/04 8am Open Herd Work

Sunday 9/26/04 8am Open Rein Work

* Youth Limited, Youth Bridle

Monday 9/27/04 8am Open Rein Work

Tuesday 9/28/04 8am Open Cow Work

* Open Bridle Prelims & Limited Open Bridle

Wednesday 9/29/04 8am Open Cow Work

* Open Hackamore Prelims, Limited Open Hackamore, Open Two Rein

Thursday 9/30/04 8am Non Pro Finals

9am Open Futurity Horse Sale

7pm Awards Banquet – Reno Hilton

Friday 10/1/04 7am Intermediate & Limited Open Finals

3pm Select Yearling/Broodmare Sale

Saturday 10/2/04 8am Open Hackamore Finals

Open Bridle Finals
12 Noon Select 2-Yr-Old & Performance Horse Sale

Sunday 10/3/04 9am Open Finals Herd Work

12pm Open Ceremonies

Rider Introductions
Open Finals Rein Work
Sundowner Trailer Draw Down
Open Finals Cow Work

Raffle Colt Drawing
Closing Ceremony/Awards

*Denotes Horse Show Class is 30 minutes after previous class
**Denotes the N/P Hackamore Class will Start 1 Hour after the N/P Herd Work
Note: Herd settled 1/2 hour before start time.