With the Snaffle Bit Futurity quickly approaching – the moment Sawyer Sanders had been waiting two years for – the you-know-what hit the fan with six weeks to showtime.
Clancy, better known to some by his registered baptismal name, CW One Bay Boon, tore up a coronet band on a fence line while turned out one day as Sanders buried his head in a school textbook. That led to an abscess, a back and forth to the vet, a spot on the injured list and an acute case of hand-wringing.
“We were 40 days out [from the Snaffle Bit] and he had to be off for about three weeks, when I should have been putting the finishing touches on him.”
The vet won. Clancy got back on his feet with three weeks to go.
“In Fort Worth,” Sanders said, “he was completely sound and did his job.”
That was the understatement on this particular day.
Clancy and Sanders had a big day on Monday, winning the Discount Tire Non-Pro Limited division, the first futurity title awarded in the 2019 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity®, presented by Metallic Cat.
CW One Bay Boon (Once In A Blu Boon x CW Charlies Angel x SM Blazin Dually) and Sawyer Sanders earned the distinction by registering a three-run total of 644 (212.5 herd/ 214 rein) after a 217.5 in cow work on Monday at the John Justin Arena at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. The victory was worth $5,550 for the winners. Sanders’ total payday atop the Deborah Sanders-owed steed at $7,300 after an additional $1,000 for a top score in rein work and another $750 for second on the cow.
The duo’s only real hiccup was in herd work. “I had two cows at the top of the judges booth,” Sanders said. “And we put too much pressure on them and one ran through the back gate at the beginning of it. I’m sure I got docked pretty good for working time there. Other than that, he was awesome after we got those other two cows cut.”
The bay gelding was born in Oklahoma, bred by Carole Wyatt of Marietta, just up Intestate 35, about 30 miles from the Texas border.
Sanders’ family bought Clancy as a yearling and except about a month each under the tutelage of Ed Dufurrena and Wade Meador, Clancy has been working under Sanders, a 20-year-old native of Muenster, Texas, and current resident of Lubbock, Texas – the Hub City of the South Plains and home to Texas Tech University, where Sanders is an ag economics major.
The achievement represented Sanders’ finest hour in a very young, three-year competition career.
His competitive outings with Clancy now total two after pre-futurity work at the Southwest Reined Cow Horse Association (SRCHA) show in August in Fort Worth. Two years he spent on the ranch horse team at North Central Texas College in Gainesville, Texas.
He would by all appearances be a good fit for Tech’s team, which will conduct tryouts in November.
“I’ve been [competing] for three years since I got out of high school,” the Muenster High grad said. “I’ve had some success, but this has been my goal for the past two years … to get here. It’s by far my biggest success so far.”
And by all appearances, merely the first of big successes to come.