A fundraiser will be held for the family of reined cow horse non-pro Shawn Renshaw, who died in February. • Photo by Primo Morales.

Renshaw Remembered For Love Of Family, Cow Horses

Friends of the late Shawn Renshaw are hosting a benefit for the California reined cow horse competitor’s family.

The accomplished non-pro rider who owned National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion Smokums Prize died in February. He was 57.

A celebration of life and fundraiser to benefit his wife, Kim, and children is planned for 1 p.m., April 7 at Wright Performance Horses, 3530 Dominion Road, Santa Maria, California. Money also can be donated to a Go Fund Me account set up for Renshaw’s family.

Justin Wright, of Wright Performance Horses, said the response to the fundraiser has been incredible, with people donating bits, spurs, new items and also collectibles for a silent auction.

“[It’s] open to anybody that wants to come or anybody that knew [Shawn],” said Wright, who was a child when Renshaw bought Smokums Prize from his parents, Walter and Sharon Wright. “We’re going to have a silent auction and just try to help Kim out as much as we can.”

Renshaw and Smokums Prize (Smokum Oak x Tommy Tivio Tucker x Doc Tom Tucker) went on a tear at the 2000 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, earning the Non-Pro Reserve Championship and also qualifying for the Open and Limited Open finals.

They led the Open after the preliminary reining and herd work, but Renshaw was forced out of the saddle after severely injuring his back shoeing a horse.

For the Open, he turned to a trainer he had taken lessons from in the past, fellow Californian Ted Robinson, who went on to ride Smokums Prize to the Futurity Open Championship.

The stallion retired with $215,618 in earnings. He went on to sire winners of $680,002, according to Equi-Stat.

Renshaw competed with great success on a number of Smokums Prize’s sons and daughters, winning the 2013 NRCHA Derby Non-Pro Championship aboard his son, Gennys Prize (out of Genuinely Perfect, by Genuine Doc). He also rode Gennys Prize to the 2011 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Intermediate Non-Pro Reserve Championship.

Wright, who was inspired to go into training by Smokums Prize’s win in the Futurity, said he and Renshaw connected in recent years. It was good seeing Renshaw’s truck pull into the driveway, he said, as it always led to laughing and having a good time.

“He was always so upbeat and wanted to have fun and hoop and holler,” Wright said. “You know, he was serous about training horses, but at the same time he always knew how to keep everybody very upbeat.”

Renshaw rode the winners of $358,763. He and Kim owned the earners of $468,878, according to Equi-Stat.

Although Renshaw still loved training horses, Wright said it was his friend’s love of family that stood out the most when they reconnected as adults in recent years.

“As I got to know him the last few years, even though I had known him all my life, I didn’t know how much of a family man he was,” Wright said. “His family meant a lot to him.”

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