Reined cow horse riders will join the party this year at The Run For A Million.
Officials say the 2020 show will host its first-ever reined cow horse invitational during its second annual edition July 29-Aug. 1 in Las Vegas. The $100,000 cow horse event will be held in conjunction with the existing reining competitions at the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa – a roster that includes the show’s $1 Million Invitational for reiners.
Amanda Brumley, show producer for The Run For A Million, said invitations will be sent to selected cow horse riders in the coming weeks. She said invitees for the inaugural cow horse invitational – which will be sponsored by DT Horses – will include ten Open riders with the top three-year average in earnings. A number of wild card riders outside that earnings bracket will be invited as well. She said the field, which has not yet been made public, will likely be limited to no more than 15 riders.
Wild card riders were a big hit with last year’s $1 Million Invitational at The Run For A Million, in which wild card rider Cade McCutcheon tied Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Rider Craig Schmersal for the win, so officials wanted to include them in the first cow horse class, Brumley said.
“It was such a big hit, because they [the wild card riders] were the underdogs,” she said. “So, the format worked really well for the first year.”
Riders can bring any horse. Like other events at The Run For A Million, the $100,000 cow horse class will be a one go-round event. There will be no preliminary round.
Although the 2020 reined cow horse class will be an invitational, Brumley expected it to follow suit with the reining and include a qualifier in its second year. She has submitted an application for approval for this year’s class to the National Reined Cow Horse Association.
Brumley said the goal of branching out into disciplines beyond reining is to promote the Western lifestyle as showcased on the hit Paramount television series, “Yellowstone” and the reining-focused reality series “The Last Cowboy.” Both shows were created by actor Taylor Sheridan, a reining enthusiast who grew up riding horses on a ranch in Texas.
“The whole idea of ‘The Last Cowboy’ and The Run For A Million, and the reason it says The Run For A Million and not The Run For A Reining Million, is to promote the Western lifestyle,” Brumley said. “It’s a spinoff of ‘Yellowstone,’ that’s the Western lifestyle, Western tradition, foundation families, ranching families.”
Given the focus on the Western lifestyle, Brumley said officials would like to add other related equines events such as team roping and cutting to The Run For A Million fold in the future.
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* This story has been updated. The original date of The Run For A Million was incorrect.