Last October, Jake Telford, of Caldwell, Idaho, was able to finally accomplish what he had worked so many years for. He rode Starlight Kisses (Shady Lil Starlight x Kiss My Shiny Lips x Shining Spark), a homebred mare owned by Nancy Crawford-Hall and Phil Hall’s Holy Cow Performance Horses, of Santa Ynez, California, to win the 2015 National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship.
As usual, the 2015 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity finals was a nail-biter right down to the final cow work. At first, Telford thought he and Starlight Kisses had tied Erin Taormino and Plain Wright (Hes Wright On x Isabellena x Quejanaisalena), owned by Garth and Amanda Gardiner. However, following a review of the score sheets between cow works, the judges found a half-point discrepancy and when the scores were adjusted, Telford, an Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider, and Starlight Kisses topped the leader board, a position they maintained to the end.
“I’ve wanted this for so long, and when you work so hard at something and it’s your dream and it finally comes true, it’s a truly, truly amazing feeling,” said Telford, who had come close to winning in 2010 when he and One Time Rey Jay (One Time Pepto x Hickorys Red Rey x Doc’s Hickory) finished as the Open Reserve Champions.
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