Abbie Phillips is now the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Non-Pro Champion.
Phillips, who nearly won the Non-Pro two years ago, clinched the victory this time aboard TRR Dual Smart Olena in front of an arena full of cheering fans on Friday, Oct. 23, in Fort Worth, Texas.
She and the 3-year-old stallion marked a winning composite of 647.5 (213.5 herd/218 rein/216 cow).
TRR Dual Smart Olena, who is known as “Chief” around the barn, is the kind of horse that gives his rider confidence, Phillips said. He’s also special to Phillips and her husband, trainer Kelby Phillips, because he’s a full brother to the horse Kelby rode to the 2016 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship, Duals Lucky Charm.
Both horses are by EquiStat Elite $9 Million Sire Dual Smart Rey and out of TRR Ms Pepcid Olena (by Pepcid).
“I knew that we could be good if we could just get together on the same level and be consistent,” Phillips said of the horse bred by Tongue River Ranch. “And, he’s one of those horses and makes you feel like you can go show hard every time and he’s just going to stay with you every time, so he’s been awesome to show.”
That level of talent and trainability helps calm the pre-show nerves, she said.
“I get a little anxious the day before most of the time, but then when it comes down to it, especially when you’re riding a horse like that, it makes you feel pretty calm and confident walking into the show pen,” she said.
Though this is the first Non-Pro Championship at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity for Phillips, she previously had a great showing in 2019 aboard CR Tuff Guns N Roses. That year, she and “Axl” won the Intermediate Non-Pro and Novice Non-Pro titles, and were second in the Non-Pro.
Phillips was grateful to everyone who helped her achieve this year’s success, from her husband to her herd help, as well as the many friends who supported her along the way.
After Friday night’s $25,000 paycheck, Phillips now has lifetime earnings of more than $176,000.
The NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Non-Pro Reserve Championship went to Boon Boon Ur Dead and Parke Greeson, who marked a composite of 644.5.