For a guy who hadn’t showed a 3-year-old before this year, Josh Briggs is really good at it.
The 20-year-old from Pilot Point, Texas, exited this year’s National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity, presented by Metallic Cat, with both of his horses wearing neck ribbons and a boat load of prizes to haul back to his stall.
The belle of the ball was Playin With Cher, who he rode to the Novice Non-Pro Championship and the Reserve title in the Non-Pro and Intermediate Non-Pro. His second horse, Voodoo Whiskey, was second in the Novice Non-Pro and third in the Intermediate.
It was a lot to take in for Briggs, who fielded congratulations as he waited to walk back into the arena for the after-show awards ceremony.
“It’s right up there at the top, to me,” he said.
Briggs, introduced to cow horses in the High School Rodeo Association, bought Playin With Cher from previous owner, William Lewis, about a month before the show. He was impressed with the mare bred by Kit & Charlie Moncrief.
“I really like just how hard she tries,” he said. “Every time you go in the show pen, she’s there to give you 100 percent and be there for you at the end of the day. And, when you have a horse like that, they’re easy to rely on and it’s fun to show.”
Before selling her to Briggs, Lewis successfully showed the daughter of Mr Playinstylish at the inaugural NRCHA Eastern Derby earlier this year. At that show, Lewis and the mare won the Amateur and were second in the Non-Pro.
The NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity prelims were the first opportunity Briggs had to show the mare, who entered the show with earnings of $1,462. Things started to come together for him and the mare, who came from the Ben Baldus training program, the day before the Non-Pro finals.
“I just really trusted the training of Ben Baldus and his assistants,” he said. “They’ve done a great job with her. She felt great. Just easy to learn, easy to get along with, and by the end of this show, some of my buttons and her buttons just started to click together.”
With her placings in all three Non-Pro levels, Playin With Cher added checks totaling $28,724 to her lifetime Equi-Stat record. Briggs now has earnings of more than $50,000.