The inaugural edition of the California Reined Cow Horse Association (CRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity, Derby, and Horse Show, presented by CR Hes A Tuff One and Red Arrow Ranch, concluded at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, CA, leaving a trail of excitement and success.
High Stakes Purse Money
Booth Ranches stepped up to sponsor the $75,000 added Open Futurity, while JJ Fisher Construction came on board to sponsor the $27,000 added Non Pro Futurity. The total added money for the Futurity reached an impressive $109,000, with a combined payout of $254,000 across all divisions.
The Derby, generously sponsored by Judy Willhite’s JLW Associates and Rich Micke’s WeldCraft Industries, boasted a total added amount of $44,000 securing a total payout of $154,600 across all divisions. Adequan sponsored the Horse Show with $9,350 added and a payout of $29,152 across all classes.
The Futurity, Derby and Horse Show combined event payout reached an extraordinary $437,752.
Highlights of the Futurity included Matt Koch’s dominant performance on SJR Hitime Shine (High Brow Cat x Shiners Little Oak x Shining Spark), securing a composite score of 665 and claiming the Open Futurity title and adding $30,000 to his 2023 earnings. Justin Wright, with a three-way tie, took second through fourth places, each earning $13,334. Ken Wold and Shezabetonbobbie (Brother Jackson x Betshezthecatsmeow x High Brow Cat) excelled in the Intermediate Open Futurity, securing a composite score of 657 to take home the $15,000 first place check. Mason Beal dominated the Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro, and Limited Non Pro Futurity divisions, securing a composite score of 647.5 and a combined payday of $13,500.
In the Derby, Phillip Ralls on Call Me A Cool Cat (Call Me Mitch x Cool Smart Banjo x Cool Smart) clinched the top spot in the Open Derby with a 666.5 composite score, earning $15,000. The Non Pro Derby was won by Jayson Fisher and Wood U Just Do It (Woody Be Tuff x Spookys Cash x Miss N Cash), scoring 656 and claiming $6,000.
Adding to the excitement in the Open Futurity and Open Derby competition were the entries of Matt Koch and Phillip Ralls. Their participation wasn’t just about vying for event accolades; it was a strategic move to elevate their earnings, aiming for a coveted spot among the top five money-earning NRCHA riders of 2023 and securing qualification for the prestigious 2024 The American Performance Horseman. Both entered the event with their standings hovering just below the cut line. In a riveting display, Koch clinched a first place in the Open Futurity and an eighth in the Open Derby. His stellar performances translated into a total of $43,000, propelling him to the fourth spot in the standings, surpassing Clayton Edsall, who held onto the final position. Ralls, despite a ninth-place finish in the Open Futurity, bounced back with a victory in the Open Derby, adding $19,250 to his year-end earnings. Ralls narrowly missed breaking into the top five rankings. The competition was fierce, and every ride brought these skilled riders closer to their goals.
The event also featured a welcome reception hosted by Ideal Homes and a BBQ hosted by Day & Night Markets and Rare Earth Coffee, enhancing the overall experience for attendees. Every Futurity money earner received a buckle, Derby champions received buckles, and every CRCHA Horse Show class champion received a custom-embroidered event jacket.
The live stream and live scoring, courtesy of CRCHA official videographer JF Video, provided a dynamic viewing experience. CRCHA official photographer Deb Mann Images captured the memorable moments.
Despite the intense competition, the event was not only about the numbers and payouts but also about creating a memorable experience for everyone involved. Riders, sponsors, and attendees came together to celebrate the spirit of reined cow horse competition.
The CRCHA expresses gratitude to “the sponsors, owners, riders, staff and host facility” for making the 2023 event a resounding success.