Nick Dowers had a big show at this year’s National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity, piloting a handful of horses to more than $43,000 between the Futurity and horse show classes. That total elevated him to Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider status.
His total earnings, in addition to the reined cow horse money he’s won, includes checks he’s won at the Road to the Horse colt-starting challenge and through ranch versatility.
“It’s kind of a goal I’ve wanted to achieve; it’s a symbol of longevity and sustained success,” Dowers said. “I’m pretty proud of it.”
Dowers has come a long way since he posted his first paycheck, worth $400, to Equi-Stat in 2004.
He earned money a handful of times during the next five years, then in 2010, he won his first check from an NRCHA premier event. Only a few years later, Dowers guided Time For The Diamond to the 2013 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship, garnering $110,000 to finish out the season with $125,730.
“That [winning the Snaffle Bit Futurity] was a big catapult to feeling like I could compete with everybody,” Dowers said. “It was a big confidence builder.”
Though 2013 was his strongest year yet, Dowers outdid that total in 2016, winning $194,661. Then he blew that out of the water in 2019, during which he banked $300,117. That included $70,000 for placing third at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, $50,000 for winning the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity Open and two separate $50,000 checks from Road to the Horse, where Dowers was crowned champion.
Nick Dowers’ Special Horses
There have been a few key horses that helped Dowers cross the $1 million threshold. Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion Time For The Diamond (One Time Pepto x Diamonds With Style x Playin Stylish), who is owned by Dowers’ family and has earned $150,050, played an obvious role.
Also of note are High Stressin Cat (WR This Cats Smart x Playguns Melody x Playgun), an earner of $110,732, and Smooth Bellingrath (Smooth As A Cat x Very Special Peppy x Peppy San Badger) with $101,781.
Dowers thanked his family, including his wife, mom and dad, and his crew at home for giving him the support he needed to reach this milestone. His next goal is to achieve the same designation through the NRCHA. To Dowers, gaining Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider status confirms the consistency he strives for in his program.
“It was through longevity; it wasn’t winning a lot at one show,” Dowers said. “I’m pretty proud that I could take a few horses and win money on them all through their careers and help them turn out to be great horses.”