Chris Dawson and Chittchatt in the 2021 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Next year, the show is one of multiple events that will see a purse increase. • Photo by Molly Montag.

NRCHA Purse Increases at Snaffle Bit Futurity, World’s Greatest & More

The purses will be bigger at some major National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) events next year.

Officials say the NRCHA purse increases are possible because the organization’s board of directors voted to increase 2022 premier event payouts and offer more finals event berths for competitors.  

“The NRCHA Board of Directors continues to be so forward thinking and engaged,” said Anna Morrison, NRCHA executive director, “Their commitment to raising our premier event purses recognizes the dedication of our exhibitors, owners and breeders in their pursuit of success across all of our premier events.” 

World’s Greatest Horseman

The 2022 premier event shows start off with the Kalpowar Quarter Horses Celebration of Champions, where the Hashtags’ / Western Bloodstock World’s Greatest Horseman event shines a light on the versatility of NRCHA riders and all-around bridle horses. The champion’s purse doubles to $100,000 in 2022, with the addition of support from Western Bloodstock.

In addition, a more-than matching commitment of an additional $62,000 added from the NRCHA Board of Directors ensures a bigger payout for finalists from reserve on. Another change is that instead of the Top 10 being brought back for the ticketed World’s Greatest Horseman Finals, the top 15 will ride for the prize.

With the added purse, the NRCHA Board commits that those finishing 11th through 15th will earn at least $7,500.

Officials say the Tres Osos Cow Horse Derby – which, like the World’s Greatest, is also held during the NRCHA Celebration of Champions –  will pay $30,000 to the Open champion. 

NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity

In 2022, the NRCHA purse increases will include the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Officials say that, in 2022, the Open champion paycheck will increase from $125,000 to $200,000, with the increase to 30 finalists plus ties implemented at the 2021 event still in place.

In 2022, the bottom placing horse and rider Open finalist teams are now guaranteed $10,000 in the limited age event. The Board has also emphasized the importance of NRCHA’s Non Pro riders, and in 2022 the Futurity Non-Pro champion will earn $40,000 with the bottom placing finalists earning at least $2,000; the Level 1 Non Pro Futurity will pay at least $7,500 and the Non Pro Boxing Futurity (formerly Non Pro Limited) will pay at least $7,500 to the winner.  

“In no other Western discipline futurity does a horse have to prepare to compete in three different events. The Board felt the Snaffle Bit Futurity prize should grow to honor the challenge,” said Corey Cushing, NRCHA president. “But the Futurity is only the start for our horses. Western Bloodstock and Hashtags’ support has grown the World’s Greatest Horseman winner’s purse, and Nancy Crawford and Holy Cow Performance Horses have provided ongoing support for the Bridle Spectaculars. By increasing our commitment to the World’s Greatest Horseman purse the Board wanted to make it clear that NRCHA’s support of the bridle horse is unwavering.” 

Other Purse Increases

At the Teton Ridge Stallion Stakes, scheduled for March 25-April 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the derby event will pay $50,000 to the Open champion in 2022, and the finalists riding for that prize increase from Top 20 to Top 25, plus ties, with places 21-25 earning at least $2,500.

Also at the Teton Ridge Stallion Stakes, the Derby Non-Pro purse will pay $10,000 to the winner, an increase over the 2021 purse of approximately $8,000, with a $3,000 prize for the Derby Level 1 Non-Pro winner (formerly the Amateur division).   

When the action begins at the DT Horses Western Derby June 1-12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, competitors in the Derby Open will ride for $50,000, a $10,000 increase over the 2021 purse. Instead of 20 riders, now there will be 25 finalists for that limited age event. Like the Stakes, the finalists placing 21st-25th will earn at least $2,500.  The Derby Non Pro purse will pay $10,000 to the winner, with a $3,000 prize for the Level 1 Non Pro Derby winner. 

The NRCHA’s youngest premier event, the Dom Conicelli Memorial Eastern Derby, presented by MARS Equestrian™, will also see an increase in the limited age event purses that reflects the growth in entries at the show. The Derby Open will now pay $20,000 for the champion and the last four horse and rider teams placing in the Derby Open will earn at least $1,750. The Non Pro Derby will pay $5,000 to the champion, an increase over the 2021 purse, which paid approximately $3,300.