Now through Sunday, see these amazing horses and horsemen as they compete in the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
Competitors are vying for more than $1 million in prizes throughout the week, including cash, 100 Gist Silversmiths belt buckles, 15 Bob’s Custom Saddles and CR Morrison bronzes.
The event will culminate with the Open Finals on Sunday, in which the 2011 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open champion will be crowned and awarded with a check for $100,000.
According to the NRCHA, California “vaqueros,” or Spanish for “cowboys,” are credited with developing the reined cow horse. The NRCHA continues to follow the traditional training methods of the vaqueros, in which a horse is not considered trained until it completes seven years of training.
Futurity horses are 3 years old and in the first stages of schooling. Horses and riders compete in three different events: herd work, reining and cow work.
“In herd work, the horse cuts a cow from a herd and shows its ability to control it with little assistance from the rider,” the official show program states. “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.”
Today is “Think to Wear Pink” day to raise awareness for breast cancer at the futurity. The competition begins in the indoor arena at 8 a.m. and runs throughout the day.
On Thursday, the competition begins at 7 a.m. in the indoor arena, and a yearling and broodmare sale will be held in the pavilion at 1 p.m. An “Old Timers Reunion” will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Grande Exposition Hall at the Silver Legacy, and the annual NRCHA hall of fame banquet will be at 7 p.m. at the Silver Legacy.
On Friday and Saturday, horse show action gets started at 7:30 a.m. in the indoor arena. A 2-year-old and performance horse sale will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday in the main arena.
Cowboy Church Ministries will present a sermon at 7 a.m. on Sunday, followed by the Open Futurity Finals at 8:30 a.m.
General admission seating costs $8 today, $5 on Thursday and $15 Friday through Sunday.