National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Level 1 Open Championship Wednesday, Oct. 2, in Reno, Nev.A 20-year-old assistant trainer in his first year of showing reined cow horses claimed the
Russell Probert, who works for NRCHA professional Justin Wright at Wright’s Quarter Horses, of Wilton, Calif., won the title aboard Mama Mia Lotta Lena (Little Lotto Lena x Mia Gunna Smokum x Smokum Oak), a mare owned by Lori Lucchetti and Sharon Wright. They scored a total 640 (212 herd/211 rein/215 cow).
“The herd work was really good. I haven’t showed out of the herd hardly at all, and I was really nervous about it. The reining was okay. She stops really hard – I just have to make sure to run her to the stops. The cow work was really exciting. I wanted to go as fast as I possibly could, and I had to do a lot of kicking, but it turned out good,” Probert said.
The Level 1 title came with a $6,120 check.
Probert, originally from the small Eastern Oregon town of Vale, started working for Wright almost two years ago. He started Mama Mia Lotta Lena as a 2-year-old and has ridden her ever since.
“She was going to be an open horse, but just wasn’t quite going to make it. Lori and Sharon gave me the opportunity to show her. I was super excited. She has a lot of natural ability,” he said.
When asked what he likes about reined cow horse, Probert immediately replied with a smile, “Everything! I love it all. I’ve been starting colts my whole life. I just love training horses.”
He thanked Justin and Sharon Wright, Lori Lucchetti, Eric Frietas and his parents for their support and encouragement.
The Level 1 Open Reserve Champion was Shine The Lights (CD Lights x Shiney Tari x Shining Spark), shown by Austin Johnson for owners Steve and Alicia Billman. They scored a 639 (212 herd/213 rein/214 cow), earning $4,896.
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