The National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Non Pro preliminaries are complete in Fort Worth, Texas. The top 16 riders will advance to the clean slate finals and a chance at the nearly $21,000 top prize on Friday, October 13, in the historic Will Rogers Coliseum.
Abbie Phillips and Special High Brow Top Non Pro Prelim Composite & Claim Amateur Championship
The NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Amateur in Fort Worth Texas came to a conclusion when Abbie Phillips and Special High Brow marked a composite score of 646 in the preliminaries to
win the championship and $5,451. This was the first time that the former rodeo competitor has competed at the Snaffle Bit Futurity.
“I’m super excited,” Phillips said of the win. “I have a lot of goals and this is one that I can check off my list.”
In the reining portion of the run, it was the mare’s attitude that impressed Phillips most.
“She’s really pure and good-minded so I don’t have to worry about anything in the reining,” Phillips said. “She stays on pattern all the time for me and is just a good mare.”
Phillips was nervous going in to the cow work, but the mare stood up and took care of her.
“She stayed with the cow. I didn’t have to put her in any position, she just did it herself,” Phillips said.
Special High Brow (High Brow CD x PG Special Edition x Playgun) was initially bought for a client of Abbie’s husband, NRCHA Professional Kelby Phillips. When she didn’t mature into an Open horse, the Phillips bought her for Abbie. Kelby trained the mare throughout her 2-year-old year but then handed her to his wife to finish off this year.
“It’s been really fun and I’ve learned a lot but it’s been good,” Phillips said. “She has a great attitude and has been very easy to get along with which makes everything easy for me.”
Phillips, Scottsdale, Arizona, has been competing in the NRCHA for two years and has enjoyed furthering her horsemanship. Prior to that, she team roped and ran barrels.
“In this, the horses are a lot more broke and they teach you to ride a lot better,” said Phillips, who pleased that she entered the Snaffle Bit this year. “I had a bridle horse that took care of me, so doing this, I knew that I had to ride better and be able to help them out a little bit more so learning to do this has been exciting.”
With finals berths in the Intermediate and Non Pro Snaffle Bit Futurity, Phillips has a lot to look forward to before the show ends on Saturday evening.
“I’m excited and just want to go have a good time,” she said.
Pete Rogan, who is believed to be the first Australian to compete in the Snaffle Bit Futurity Amateur, and Shirley Shiney (Very Smart Remedy x Shirley Shine x Shining Spark) picked up $4,266 for being the reserve champions. They marked a 641.5.
Meet the 2017 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Level 1 Limited Open Champion:
Miss Scarlets Cat/Myles Brown
In his first attempt at Open competition, Non Pro rider Myles Brown achieved success that most people only dream of. Riding Miss Scarlets Cat, Brown marked 217’s across the board for a composite score of 651 to win the 2017 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Level 1 Limited Open and $8,520. Brown also qualified for the Limited Open and CINCH Intermediate Open finals on Thursday, October 12; and the Open finals on Saturday, October 14.
“I was happy with her everywhere,” Brown said of his reining run. “We just tried to go through there at medium speed because I wanted to save my horse for the finals. She’s talented and she’s real good-minded. She steals points – she had lots of eye appeal and style so I don’t have to run the circles real hard or send her real hard to get plussed because she is so stylish. We got what we were hoping for which was to cruise her through there and be a 217.”
A soft cow allowed him to keep the same momentum.
“When you know that you’ve only got to mark a 214 or 215 to get back to the open finals, it’s tough not to be too conservative so I hit it five or six licks and went down the fence and once she goes by, that’s it,” Brown said. “She’s a good fence horse and she reads that cow really good down the wall. She can run and she’s quick left and right-she’s one hundred percent every time.”
Stepping up in to open competition caused Brown to suffer some nerves.
“To come to town with a horse that you know is that good, puts pressure on you because you know if something goes wrong, that it’s your fault,” Brown said. “I knew I had a real good shot to make the Open finals so I’m happy I did that and I’m proud of winning Level 1, it’s a cool deal, but the thing with cow horses is that they’ll humble you real quick.”
Brown, 23, knew that Miss Scarlets Cat (Metallic Cat x Bee Miss Scarlet) was a good horse from the time he first saw her as a yearling at breeder Brenda Michael’s place in Amarillo, Texas.
“Brenda told me that she was going to be a good horse and she’s been good ever since. She was a Metallic Cat so I figured we’d try it,” said Brown who has looked to mentors Jordan Williams, Kyle Trahern and Boyd Rice throughout the training process. “There’s been a bunch of people who’ve helped me with this.”
Brown, Stinnett, Texas, raises cattle and horses on his family’s ranches in the Texas Panhandle. He became interested in cow horses four years ago and has been showing for three years. Last year he competed in the Snaffle Bit Futurity Non Pro in Reno, Nevada.
Reserve champion in the 2017 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Level 1 Limited Open was Sinful Merada (Cats Merada x Sinful Style) owned by Cowan Select Horses, LLC, and ridden by Matt Turner who marked a 638 to win $6,390.
Meet the 2017 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Non Pro Limited Champion:
Katherine Peterson/Dually Judged
Katie Peterson can’t put in to words what it feels like to be 2017 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Non Pro Limited Champion, but it’s a feeling that she hopes will stay with her for a long time. Riding Dually Judged, Peterson had a composite score of 624.5 to take home $2,816 for the win.
Peterson works in inventory for Tractor Supply. This was just her first year to show cow horses and her second time to show Dually Judged.
“It’s the allure of it,” Peterson said of why she took up the sport. “I love going fast, I like the cattle aspect and I like the horsemanship that’s involved. It’s something that I’ve always really wanted to get into.”
Peterson was nearly ready to quit riding horses altogether when her gelding of 13 years died of a heart attack. After giving herself a pep talk, she got online and found Dually Judged.
“I saw a headshot of this horse and I don’t even normally like the red-roans but he looked exactly like my previous horse. From that moment on, it’s been about him,” Peterson said.
Dually Judged (Judge Boon x Cattys Dual Jazz x Dual Jazz) was two at the time, and Peterson had her friend Brent Callahan get the gelding ranch broke and going throughout that year. Over the past year, she has turned to Chris Dawson and Carter Metcalf for help. It was the fact that Dually Judged was so good, that made her want to show at the Snaffle Bit.
“Everyone kept saying that he could be a good one,” Peterson said.
In Fort Worth, all Peterson wanted to do in the reining, was to get a score and hope for the best.
“I get nervous with the lead changes and he just switched, it was easy,” Peterson said. “Carter and Chris have done an awesome job with getting me to calm down and go with it. The entire time I rode him like I stole him.”
Once she got on a cow, the showmanship aspect became easier.
“He’s good with anything cow. With him it’s just the rider staying in the buggy and holding on,” Peterson said. “He’s such a good horse and we’ve used him out in the pasture with cattle too which has made me more confident. Dealing with wild heifers and separating them from their babies made me think that I could do this.”
Peterson lives in Krum, Texas with reiners Nancy and Kenny Eppers. The hardest thing she’s had to do to become competitive in the cow horse business, is to break all of her previously acquired bad habits.
“I’ve been riding for 15 years and done an array of disciplines from show jumping, dressage and saddle seat to team penning and sorting. It’s hard to put all that aside and do this,” said Peterson, who believes that she’s found her forever sport.
Nicole Westfall rode On Line Chic Flick (Shine On Line x Chics Sompen x Smart Chic Olena) to the reserve championship for having a score of 617.5. She earned $2,346.
Hackamore Classic Open Champion
Hackamore Classic Open Champion
Sarah Dawson, of Perrin, Texas, rode Shine Smarter (WR This Cats Smart x Shiney Tari x Shining Spark) to the NRCHA Hackamore Classic Open Championship with a total 442 (148 herd/146 rein/148 fence), earning $19,539. Shine Smarter is owned by Linda Mars.
Hackamore Classic Open Reserve Champion/Intermediate Open Champion
The Hackamore Classic Open Reserve Champion and Intermediate Open Champion was Peptoboomshakalaka (Peptoboonsmal x Arosesuchaclatter x Smooth As A Cat), shown by Cayley Wilson for owner Jenta Madsen. They scored a total 440 (148 herd/146.5 rein/145.5 fence), earning combined paychecks of $19,633.