The Snaffle Bit Futurity Amateur Champion was determined by the scores in the preliminary go-rounds, and it was Jenny Newman, a cattle rancher from the south-central Oregon town of Bly, who took home the Championship, riding One Kool Moon (Cats Full Moon x One Stylish Babe x One Time Pepto) to a composite score of 642 (215 herd/213 rein/214 cow). Newman also earned a place in Friday’s Non-Pro, Intermediate Non-Pro and Novice Non-Pro finals.
Newman, who arrived in Reno with $2,550 in prior National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) earnings, began her journey with One Kool Moon at the urging of her late sister-in-law, Jennifer Rice, who passed away in 2015 following a battle with brain cancer.
“She encouraged me to find a good horse,” Newman said through tears. Although her sister-in-law wasn’t a horsewoman, “she was my biggest supporter.”
Newman consulted NRCHA Professional Clayton Edsall, of Oakdale, California, who helped her find and purchase One Kool Moon, nicknamed “Koolie” by Newman’s granddaughter. Edsall rode the gelding from last November until May, and then Newman brought him home to finish his training and use him on the ranch she operates with her husband, Kevin.
“Clayton did a wonderful, wonderful job, and without him, there would have been no chance I could do this,” Newman said.
She was pleased with One Kool Moon’s steady performance in all three events.
“When I screw up, he babysits me. That’s the best way to put it. Clayton told me to go out there and stay calm and let him do his job. They picked good cattle for me in the herd work, and it all fell together. In the reining, we had a little bobble. We drug a lead a little bit, but other than that, he was perfect. We drew a good cow in the cow work, and from there, it’s history, I guess,” Newman said, smiling.
Before the fence work, Edsall’s advice to Newman was brief, but inspiring.
“He said, ‘Don’t be afraid to be great.’ Those were his exact words to me. It was awesome,” she said.
Newman took home $5,400; a custom saddle courtesy of Don Rich Saddlery and presented by Ellen and Larry Bell; a CR Morrison Trophy and Gist buckle from the NRCHA; a JW Brooks custom hat; a $500 CR Ranchwear gift certificate; a fleece cooler from Classic Equine; products from Platinum Performance and a monogrammed Cinch jacket.
The Futurity Amateur Reserve Champion was Sonia DiStefano, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, riding High Brow Kitty Cat (Palo Duro Cat x Hickorys Jac O Lena x Jac Pic A Nic). She scored a 637.5 composite (208 herd/212 rein/217.5 cow), earning $4,320. Her prizes included a Gist buckle and monogrammed Cinch jacket from the NRCHA; a hat from JW Brooks Custom Hats; gift certificates from Farnam and Platinum Performance and a $500 gift certificate from CR Ranchwear. DiStefano also advances to the clean-slate finals in the Futurity Non-Pro, Intermediate Non-Pro and Novice Non-Pro.
Futurity Non-Pro Limited on page 2