RGamble QRHick

First NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Champions Crowned

RGamble QRHickNRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Amateur Champions Randy Gamble & QR Hickory BoonAt the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity, the conclusion of the Non-Pro preliminaries not only determined who would advance to Friday’s clean-slate finals, they also decided the championships in two divisions: the Amateur and the Non-Pro Limited.

The Futurity Amateur Champion is Randy Gamble, of Prineville, Ore., who rode QR Hickory Boon (Boons Milliennium x Melissa Josey x Doc’s Hickory) to a 633.5 composite score (210 herd/207.5 rein/216 cow).

The Amateur Championship paid $5,400 and comes with a Bob’s Custom Saddle, sponsored by Larry and Ellen Bell, a CR Morrison Trophy and Gist buckle sponsored by Chandler Ranch.

“I’m pretty darn excited, I guarantee you!” an elated Gamble said, following the win. The 216 cow work score was the highlight of his performance. “I knew it was a good cow as soon as it came out. He had enough run to him that I could score well on him. It was cool. It was really cool. Definitely a bucket list item; definitely a highlight.”

Gamble also qualified for all three Futurity Non-Pro division finals on Friday, Oct. 2. He thanked his herd help and expressed great appreciation for the reined cow horse community of trainers and non-pro competitors in the Pacific Northwest.

The Amateur Reserve Champion was Wilder Jones, riding Magicat (Metallic Cat x Magical Lena x Little Lenas Legend) to a 626 composite. He took home a $4,300 check, along with a Gist buckle from Crawford Performance Horses. Wilder and Magicat also qualified for all three Non-Pro division finals on Oct. 2.

Non-Pro Limited Champion

ERussellULightsNRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Non-Pro Limited Champions Erin Russell & Under LightsErin Russell and Under Lights (CD Lights x Shiners Missy Jay x Shining Spark) won the Futurity Non-Pro Limited Championship, scoring a total 634.5 on three events (210 herd/209.5 rein/215 cow) to win a $3,983 check.

“I was first in the herd, so I knew I had the pick of the litter. I had Boyd Rice and Winston Hansma helping me, as well as Todd Crawford and Steve Metcalf. They were awesome help – a huge thanks to my guys for helping me,” Russell said. “My horse was great in the reining – very clean. In the cow work, I was just praying for a great cow. He handled it so well. I pushed him up in there, he took a hold of it. I tried to be easy with my hands and keep my legs close to him and not fall off, and he was great!”

Russell’s championship came with a pile of great prizes including a Bob’s Custom Saddle, sponsored by TKO Ranch, and a Gist buckle sponsored by her horse’s sire, CD Lights. She purchased “Buddy” from the Carol Rose dispersal sale last year. She had a feeling about the big, strong yellow gelding.

“I knew he was the one. It was meant to be,” she said.

Under Lights reminds Russell of her first cow horse, Bonnies Fancy Twist. They won an NRCHA Non-Pro Limited World Championship together in 2007, but sadly, Russell lost “Twister” two years ago.

“I literally think my old horse is inside this one. They’re so much alike. I had a flashback when I was working the cow just then. Buddy really encompasses what Twister was, but without some of the quirks, so he’s even better,” she said.

Russell, who has not yet started showing down the fence, appreciated the new Non-Pro Limited Futurity class.

“It’s awesome! I was so thankful for it. It’s another reason I went out to look for a 2-Year-Old last year.”

Russell thanked her trainers, Steve and Carol Metcalf, her cutting horse trainer, Ronnie Rice, Carol Rose, her friend and equine insurance agent, Dianne Passek and her family. 

The Non-Pro Limited Futurity Reserve Champion was Marissa Greenberg, who rode her grade mare named Minnie to a 632.5 total on three events (211 herd/204.5 rein/217 cow). Greenberg’s $3,130 check came with a Gist buckle from Estelle Roitblat in memory of Harold Farren.

Futurity Non-Pro finalists determined

It took a 623.5 composite score to advance to the Futurity Non-Pro finals, where 16 riders will compete for the championship in the clean-slate class Friday, Oct. 2. In the Futurity Intermediate and Novice Non-Pro divisions, the bubble was a 618.5. Fifteen will compete for the Intermediate Non-Pro title, and 10 for the Novice Non-Pro.

For complete coverage of the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.