The Southwest Reining Horse Association (SWRHA) Futurity has seen top-shelf competition throughout the week. Reiners from across the country have traveled the miles, put in the hard work and arrived in Ardmore, Oklahoma, in top form to battle it out for championship prizes and bragging rights.
The Futurity Open finals, sponsored by Billingsley Ford, were held Oct. 29, showcasing the top 52 horses and riders from the two-section qualifying round.
Fernando Salgado, riding Loveya, and Yonathan Baruch, aboard Spooks Show Time, each marked impressive 224 scores to tie for the Futurity Levels 4 and 3 Open championships, which paid $12,671 and $6,089, respectively, to each team. Salgado also finished on top in Level 2 for another $3,294.
Loveya is by Gunnatrashya and out of Love Em N Lena (by Smart Little Lena). He collected a total of $22,054 at the show for owner Cam Essick, making the SWRHA Futurity without a doubt a special one for both he and Salgado.
“It’s always a big score to win it [the SWRHA Futurity], and we’re so close to the [National Reining Horse Association (NRHA)] Futurity, it gives me a lot of confidence to go to the big Futurity in Oklahoma City,” Salgado said of his wins.
Baruch rode Spooks Show Time, who is by Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of the Shining Spark mare Dolittle Lena. He is owned by Bobby Lewis. Baruch said he and Salgado’s decision to split the win rather than run-off for the Championship was based on wanting to preserve their horses.
“This close to the Futurity, there’s really no point. We’re all trying to make the Open Futurity Finals, which is the biggest thing we have in our industry, so there’s really no point burning those horses [when] we already had to push them pretty hard this week,” Baruch said.
Baruch gave credit to owner Bobby Lewis for his help and the faith he’s shown him along the way, as well as to Misty Valley Performance Horses out of Marietta, Oklahoma, for their support to not only him, but to the industry and horses overall.
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