Officials say the 2021 National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity® will have the largest entry field for the 3-year-old event in recent history, and with those added numbers comes an increase in the cap on the total number of finalists brought back in the Open division.
As of Aug. 1, there were 300 Open entries in the NRCHA premier event. In 2019, the field hit a decade-high of 274 entries. This year’s edition will be held Oct.7-23, in Fort Worth, Texas, and will also feature an increase in the number of finalists showing under the lights in the Will Rogers Coliseum.
“The Board is in tune with the changes we are experiencing as our events grow, and they feel the way we approach our finals should be responsive to that growth, too,” NRCHA Executive Director Anna Morrison said in a statement. “When discussing changes to the finalist structure for the 2022 Derbies and Snaffle Bit Futurity®, it became clear that the time to make the change for the Futurity was now.”
The NRCHA Board of Directors voted to increase the finalist cap to 30 in the Open, Intermediate Open and Limited Open at this year’s Snaffle Bit Futurity. There will be a maximum of 30 finalist contestants, plus ties, showing in the finals, which are scheduled to run October 21-23. All other aspects of the Snaffle Bit Futurity finalist calculation detailed in the NRCHA Rule Book, Rule 10.6.4, will remain the same.
“We’re pleased to be able to recognize additional horses in the finals, and even happier to say that despite the change happening so late in the season the Board is able to commit that 26-30th place in the Open Finals will receive a $5,000 payout,” Morrison said.
Officials say NRCHA membership has increased in 2021, and the organization saw more entries at all premier NRCHA events: 15% at the NRCHA Stallion Stakes, 20% at the DT Horses Western Derby and 33% at the Dom Conicelli Memorial Eastern Derby, presented by MARS Equestrian™.
Tickets for the 2021 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity will go on sale in September. For details, visit nrcha.com.