In his first trip to the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finals, Nick Dowers, Dyer, Nev., claimed the $100,000 Championship aboard Time For The Diamond (One Time Pepto x Diamonds With Style x Playin Stylish), a horse he owns under the name of his family's Triple D Ranches, LLC.
Dowers, 31, piloted the sorrel stallion to a total 661 score (218.5 herd/218.5 rein/224 cow), earning a deafening ovation every time he entered the arena.
"I wasn't sure I would be able to hear the horn at the end of my fence work," he said, smiling. "This is surreal. It hasn't even sunk in. I've been telling my wife for a year – I got the horse to do it. If I can get things done right, I got a shot."
Besides the six-figure paycheck, Dowers won two Bob's Custom Saddles sponsored by Jeffrey & Sheri Matthews/One Time Pepto and the NRCHA; two custom saddle racks sponsored by Sunmoon Ranch; two Gist buckles sponsored by Hooker Creek Ranch/Matt & Lesley Day and Lone Oak Veterinary Clinic; the Dorothy Jenkins Bush Perpetual Trophy, sponsored by the Ralph Gragg Family and Keith Christie; a polar fleece cooler from Classic Equine; Platinum Equine from Platinum Performance, a 30x hat from JW Brooks Custom Hats; Back On Track product sponsored by Back On Track; and a 10 pound bucket of UltraCruz Sand Clear plus a $50 gift certificate and a coffee tumbler in a cooler tote bag, sponsored by San Juan Ranch, a division of Santa Cruz Animal Health
Time For The Diamond was bred by Gardiner Quarter Horses, Ashland, Kansas. Dowers purchased the stallion at the 2011 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Sale as a yearling – and it was love at first sight.
"I saw his head and neck sticking out of the stall, and I was, like, 'Wow.' He's got the prettiest head and neck of any horse here, in my opinion. And that's what drew me to him."
Dowers considered selling "Cactapus" – nicknamed by his 5-year-old daughter, Tuli – when an elite NRCHA professional threw a six-figure offer on the table this summer.
"I stewed over it for three or four days," he said. "I called a good friend and mentor and asked him what he thought. He said, 'Well, is your dream worth that?' I was, like, 'You're right. It isn't.' So that was my decision. My dream of this, tonight, wasn't worth the price."
The Futurity Open Reserve Champion was Blind Sided (Peptoboonsmal x Lil Miss Shiney Chex x Shining Spark), shown by Jay McLaughlin for Aaron Ranch. McLaughlin maneuvered the roan stallion to a total 656 (215 hed/ 217 rein/224 cow). The placing paid $70,000 and came with a Bob's Custom Saddle sponsored by NRCHA; a custom saddle rack sponsored by Sunmoon Ranch; Gist buckles sponsored by Missy Capone and Ruby View Quarter Horses/Jim & Holly Gregory; a 30x hat from JW Brooks Custom Hats; a Cinch jacket from Bob's Custom Saddles/The New West; Platinum Equine from Platinum Performance; Back On Track product sponsored by Back On Track; and a 10 pound bucket of UltraCruz Sand Clear plus a $50 gift certificate and a coffee tumbler in a cooler tote bag, sponsored by San Juan Ranch, a division of Santa Cruz Animal Health