In the shadow of the mountains, CSR Flash Mob and Jordan Larson stunned the crowd at the Rocky Mountain Reining Horse Association (RMRHA) Summer Slide Futurity with a 226.5 in the Futurity Level 4 Open finals.Larson brought home $5,085 for owner Diane Mesmer and the confidence that one of his National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity prospects is headed for the big leagues.
With 63 entries vying for the Summer Slide win, it was a deep field of talented young horses showing in Denver. Larson piloted CSR Flash Mob (HF Mobster x Simply Paris x Shine With A Twist) to the win with impressive spins and infallible circles.
“He was good everywhere, but two out of three judges [marked] plus-1.5 on his spins, so that is a lot of his credit,” Larson said. “He couldn’t have turned much better either way or shut off any better. He clicks and sometimes when you have a horse that turns that fast, it can be hard to shut it off. I was able to keep him straight when he shut off, and it was good.”
The 2015 buckskin was started by Preston Kent in Utah before moving to Larson’s program in January. The young horse is similarly talented to HF Mobster, but he has a way of going in the arena that is all his own. The large arena in Denver allowed him to show off his talent.
“It’s a nice, big arena. The two-go format lets us get the horses out and test them, season them and prepare them for the [NRHA] Futurity,” Larson explained. “The arena is way bigger [than Oklahoma City] and the big arenas are good because you have more time to set maneuvers up.”
When the dust settled from the last slide of the class, Larson had finished first and second. His Reserve Champion horse, ARC Harvey (Gunnatrashya x Hickorys Holly Cee x Doc’s Hickory), marked at 222 to earn $3,095 for owner 9 Mile Ranch, of Walla Walla, Washington.
Though the stallion placed second, it was a big win for Larson emotionally.
“As a yearling, I picked him out with my friend Dale Harvey. Dale was killed last year in a car wreck, so that is why we ended up naming him that [ARC Harvey]; this was the last horse we bought together,” Larson said. “He is a cool horse and has a lot of potential. There is room to improve, but where he’s at is a good place getting ready for the Futurity.”
With two successful horses in his program leading up to the NRHA Futurity in late November, Larson is confident his program is on the right track.
“It feels really good and is a confidence booster,” he said. “I feel like the work is paying off, and we’re going in a good direction. I definitely want to say thank you to our customers, our awesome crew that works for us, and I wouldn’t be successful without my wife [Taylor]. I want to give God glory for the opportunity.”
Futurity Levels 3, 2 & 1 Open
Shane Brown and Xtra Chex Step (Wimpys Little Step x RM Chexicallie Rose x Bueno Chexinic) rode to a 221.5 to tie for third in the Futurity Level 4 Open with Matt Mills riding Tinker This (Tinker With Guns x Tejons Finally Dunit x Hollywood Dun It). The two teams also tied for the Level 3 Open win. And, Brown sat atop the Levels 2 and 1 Open by himself. It was a hometown win for the Colorado horseman.
All told, the pair won $7,396 for owner Alison Bendele. The success was more than satisfying for Brown, who had three horses to show in the Futurity, as well as juggling more than 20 non-pro clients.
“It’s the biggest reining show in our state or our region, and the biggest futurity in our region,” Brown said. “It is easy to go when you have a good 3-year-old. I have a barn full of clients; we hauled 23 head of horses and four more hauled in [separately]. It’s a busy week with three futurity horses, two for my assistant and all those non-pros. It’s a fun horse show with great prizes and a lot of added money.”
A good chunk of the added money was definitely scooped up by Xtra Chex Step. The 2015 buckskin stallion joined Brown’s program in January from Xtra Quarter Horses. Brown said the horse showed his fortitude by giving more in the finals than in his first run.
“He had a bobble to the start of our left [spins] that put us at a zero, but he’s a nice horse and recovered so [the score] didn’t put us in the hole,” Brown said. “To have that ability to correct from a mistake is pretty incredible for a 3-year-old this early in the year. He said, ‘Yes, sir!’ and let me correct him. To compete at this level, you have to have one that will let you correct them and is a team player, and he is incredibly good-minded.”
While Xtra Chex Step rose above his competition with his skill, he stood out from the crowd for another reason. Brown competed with the stallion in a hackamore – not the normal bridle to adorn a reining horse. Also a reined cow horse trainer, Brown said Xtra Chex Step responds well to the hackamore.
Next up for the team is the pre-futurity event at the Tulsa Reining Classic. Brown said with each event, he hopes to build mental confidence for the horse with the ultimate goal of having a successful reining horse for Bendele.
“It is fun to show them this early to see what the horse has got, but you don’t want to wind up doing your best two runs early and have mental problems later in the year,” Brown said. “A win gives me a lot of confidence. I’ve got an incredible owner in Alison Bendele. She trusts me and lets me do my program. We can’t do this without really good owners, and she’s an exceptional owner.”