National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Triple Crown winner and freshman sire Not Ruf At All will soon see the majority of his first foal crop compete at the NRHA Futurity, which begins Nov. 22, but it won’t be the first time one of his offspring showed at a Triple Crown event. His son Ruf Cut Diamond earned his first check in the reined cow horse arena when he made the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finals with Todd Bergen, cheered on by owner Vaughn Zimmerman, who also owns his sire.
“It was exciting,” Zimmerman said of watching Ruf Cut Diamond’s performance. “We felt that the way ‘Ruf’s’ bred, being a Little Peppy [Peppy San Badger] and being a Shiner [Shining Spark], there’s no question that he ought to be able to produce cow horse-caliber horses. We just wanted to try one out of the first crop, and we’re probably going to do it again!”
Ruf Cut Diamond (out of Oaks Little Annie x Doc’s Oak) proved his cow sense when he and Bergen marked a 217.5 in the herd work – the third-highest score. Few were surprised when the stallion and his trainer, a $2 million rider in both the reining and the cow horse, scored the second-highest score – a 221 – in the rein work. In the fence work, a rough cow pushed the duo around, resulting in a 187.5. That made for a 626 composite, placing them 23rd.
Though Ruf Cut Diamond had some tough luck in the cow work, Zimmerman knows the stallion’s future is bright.
“You just can’t predict what’s going to happen going down the fence with a cow. It just was the luck of the draw,” he explained. “We got a cow that wasn’t real cooperative, and it just did what it did.
“We had a lot of people contact us about breeding to Ruf afterward – they liked what they saw – so all in all, it was a good experience,” he continued. “Naturally, I would have loved to have seen Todd be able to get a good cow and get down the fence the way the horse is capable of doing, because that’s probably his best event, between that and the reining.”
No matter what, Ruf Cut Diamond has already cemented his status as Ruf’s first reined cow horse money-earner.