2020 Metallic Cat NRCHA Snaffle Bit Open Champions: Sarah Dawson & Selvarey

The atmosphere on Open Snaffle Bit Futurity finals night inside Will Rogers Coliseum was nothing short of adrenaline-charged as fans were treated to one dynamic performance after another at the $1.3 million National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity, presented by Metallic Cat.
The crowning of Open, Cinch Intermediate Open and Limited Open champions represented the dreams of owners, breeders and trainers coming to fruition. In typical reined cow horse fashion it all came down to the fence work.



Open Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion
Selvarey ridden by Sarah Dawson 2020 Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion
The leaderboard was stacked as Open finals fence work began. Madeleine Claire Fountain's Ricato Suave (Metallic Cat x Hip Hip Sue Rey x Dual Rey) and Clay Volmer held down the No. 1 spot with a 440.5 (223 herd/ 217.5 rein), but Sarah Dawson and both of the great horses she made the finals on were hot on his heels. Dawson ranked second, trailing by one point, with Smart Chic An Tari (219 herd/ 220 rein) owned by Aaron Ranch. She was sitting third on Sheri Jamieson's mare Selvarey (216 herd/ 220.5 rein) with a 436.5.

Last out in the second set it was SnapDragons (Gunnatrashya x Catnaps x High Brow Cat), ridden by Zane Davis for Shane Law, that took command of the lead with a scalding 222 down the fence and the resulting 656.5 composite (215.5 herd/ 219 rein). Ricato Suave (Metallic Cat x Hip Hip Sue Rey x Dual Rey) and Volmer were first up in the third set, posting a 216 to join SnapDragons and Davis at the top of the leaderboard with a 656.5. No. 26 of 28 in the draw, it was Dawson and Selvarey who rose to the challenge, executing their fence run to perfection. Selvarey and Dawson were rewarded with a score of 224 by the judges. Dawson's resulting 660 composite on Selvarey cinched the 2020 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity championship by a three and one half point margin for earnings of $125,000. SnapDragons and Davis shared the reserve championship with Ricato Suave and Volmer, each of whom earned $80,000.

Surrounded by friends and family, including her 6-month-old daughter Hadley Grace and her husband Chris, Dawson explained how the win was quite special considering that Selvarey's dam Shine Smarter, by WR This Cats Smart, was her first Open Snaffle Bit Futurity finalist. Selvarey is a Dual Rey daughter and is a product of Dawson's parents Richard and Cheryl Winters' breeding program. Dawson describes the mare as having been exceptional from the start.

"She’s been such an easy mare to train, she tries really hard and she hates to take a wrong step. She’s a dream to train, she’s awesome," said Dawson.

The humble champion not only credited her horse, but also her spouse and fellow NRCHA Professional, Chris, for his role in her win. "My husband, Chris, he’s just such a support system to me," she said. "We ride and train horses together all day long and if it weren’t for him and having his eyeballs on me all the time I wouldn’t be where I am today."

Of her stellar finals performance Dawson explained that her mindset was simply to put forth a solid effort.

"Winning it wasn’t on my radar at all," said Dawson. "I was just trying to put a clean, smooth run together and get as big a check as we can at that point. It comes together when you least expect it."

The Open Futurity champion was awarded top-notch prizes including a stunning custom saddle by Martin Saddlery, courtesy of Matthews Cutting Horses; an original CR Morrison bronze trophy, Gist Silversmith’s custom buckle sponsored by The Final Cut Ranch, pair of Rios of Mercedes cowboy boots, 100X custom cowboy hat from the Western Legacy Company, Classic Equine monogrammed polar fleece cooler, a two-month supply of the Equine Wellness & Performance Formula + Digestive Care by Platinum Performance®, monogrammed Cinch jacket, and 10-lbs. of UltraCruz EQ Advanced Joint Support. As owner of the Open Futurity champion, Sheri Jamieson was awarded a pair of Rios of Mercedes cowboy boots. As Futurity Champion rider, Dawson received a Bob’s Custom Saddle courtesy of Cindy Warn and Smart Luck; a Gist Silversmith’s custom buckle, monogrammed Cinch jacket, and a two-month supply of the Equine Wellness & Performance Formula + Digestive Care by Platinum Performance®.

WATCH THE WINNING RIDE HERE

Cinch Intermediate Open Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion
SJR Smooth Caddy (Smooth As A Cat x Sumkinda Pinkcadilac x Peptoboonsmal), owned by Stan Rowlan and ridden by Todd Fitch, took the CINCH Intermediate title and $30,000 home to Arbon, Idaho. SJR Smooth Caddy and Fitch scored a 653 (216.5 herd/ 217.5 rein/ 219 cow) during Friday night's Cinch Intermediate and Limited Open Finals, which held strong through the Open finals. SJR Smooth Caddy was bred by San Juan Ranch.

The CINCH Intermediate championship was accompanied by a first-class prize package including a Bob’s Custom Saddle courtesy of CINCH, a CR Morrison bronze finish trophy and Gist Silversmith’s custom buckle sponsored by Kit Kat Sugar, Classic Equine monogrammed polar fleece cooler, a two-month supply of the Equine Wellness & Performance Formula + Digestive Care by Platinum, and a monogrammed jacket by CINCH JEANS courtesy NRCHA.
TO WATCH THE SJR Smooth Catty and Todd Fitch 2020 Snaffle Bit Futurity Intermediate Open Champion finals, click HERE


Limited Open Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion
It was a sweet victory for Sweet VooDoo Mama (Shiners Voodoo Dr x Very Smart Sweetheart x Very Smart Remedy) and Gusti Buerger tonight in Fort Worth, Texas. Sweet VooDoo Mama and Buerger, of King Hill, Idaho, overtook the top spot in Limited Open competition thanks to a crowd-pleasing 217.5 in the cow work for a composite 651.5 (216 herd/ 218 rein) worth $16,270. Sweet VooDoo Mama is owned by J Pearson TTEE JWP TR 5/11/88, who is also the horse's breeder.

The Limited Open Futurity Champion was presented with a Bob’s Custom Saddle courtesy of Todd and Pam Crawford, a Gist Silversmith’s custom buckle sponsored by Boyd and Halee Rice, a CowTrac System from CowTrac, CR Morrison bronze finish trophy sponsored by Kit Kat Sugar, Classic Equine monogrammed polar fleece cooler, a two-month supply of the Equine Wellness & Performance Formula + Digestive Care by Platinum Performance®, and a monogrammed CINCH jacket from NRCHA.

TO WATCH Sweet VooDoo Mama ridden by Gusti Buerger 2020 Snaffle Bit Futurity Limited Open Champion's ride, click HERE

Special Awards
The NRCHA presented special awards to the Open Futurity preliminary round high scores.

Five winning teams share the honor of High Score in the Herd Work preliminaries with matching scores of 219: I Got Cow Issues ridden by Spud Sheehan for owner C. Randy Massey; Smooth Cat Player 17 ridden by Corey Cushing for owner Lynne Wurzer; Smooth Lil Dream ridden by Justin Wright for Suzanne Rodoni Silverberg; Catelyn Walker's stallion Teles Were Dreamin ridden by Ben Baldus; and Naked Lies, ridden by Clay Volmer for owner Bradley Rogers. Each receives a Gist Silversmith’s trophy buckle and Doc N Missy Oxbow Ranch Perpetual Trophy.

Three teams shared the Open Rein Work High Score Award in the preliminaries with identical scores of 223: Smart Time Out ridden by Nick Dowers for owner Jerry Beukelman; Smart Chic An Tari ridden by Sarah Dawson for the Aaron Ranch; and DT Hickorys Playtime ridden by Kelby Phillips for DT Horses LLC. Each winner receives a Gist Silversmith’s trophy buckle and NRHA trophy sponsored by Dry Creek Ranch and Jahn and Gregg LaFitte.
 
The Open Fence Work High Score Award goes to Smart Chic An Tari ridden by Sarah Dawson for the Aaron Ranch thanks to their crowd-pleasing score of 225.5 in the prelims. The winning team receives a CR Morrison trophy and a Gist Silversmith’s trophy buckle.

The 2020 Ladies Champion was Sarah Dawson riding Smart Chic An Tari (Smart Chic Olena x Shiney Tari x Shining Spark). Dawson was awarded the Sherri Gilkerson Memorial Saddle, CR Morrison bronze finish trophy, Classic Equine monogrammed fleece cooler, Gist buckle, a two-month supply of the Equine Wellness & Performance Formula + Digestive Care by Platinum Performance®, and monogrammed CINCH jacket.

Earning $7,002 as NRCHA Open Gelding Incentive champion was CR Woody Dig It (Woody Be Tuff x Cat Digs Lucinda x High Brow Cat), ridden by Corey Cushing for owner Dave Belson. CR Woody Dig It was bred by Center Ranch. As the high scoring gelding of the Snaffle Bit Futurity prelims, CR Woody Dig It and Cushing were awarded a custom saddle by DC Cow Horse Gear.
 
The AQHA Ranching Heritage Bred Horse Award in the Open Snaffle Bit Futurity went to CR Woody Dig It (Woody Be Tuff x Cat Digs Lucinda x High Brow Cat) ridden by Corey Cushing for Dave Belson. The Ranching Heritage Breeder Award was presented to Center Ranch.
 
Judges for the 2020 Snaffle Bit Futurity were Tom Buckingham, Bobby Ingersoll, Cayley Wilson, Jim Spence and Dan Roeser.

About the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity ®
Now in its 51st year, the iconic NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity features an appealing multi-level competition format for trainers, which consists of Open, Cinch Intermediate Open and Limited Open divisions. The $141,000-added Non Pro Snaffle Bit Futurity provides lucrative incentives for non professional reined cow horse enthusiasts across all divisions, including Amateur and Limited.

The NRCHA Hackamore Classic for 4- and 5-year-old reined cow horses is featured in Fort Worth, along with a full slate of NRCHA horse show classes boasting $95,800 in added prize money—including the thrilling $25,000 Holy Cow Performance Horses Open Bridle—across all divisions.

The $15,000-added AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge, the Cowboy Class Invitational presented by MC Cowhammer, Cow Horse For Cutters and Beginning Fence Work divisions offer something for literally all skill levels.

The Snaffle Bit Futurity is much more than a horse show. The event encompasses ancillary activities like the Mars Equestrian™ National Finals Cow Dog Rodear, the DT Horses and American Rope Horse Association Futurity and a host of Snaffle Bit Futurity Youth Activities sponsored by Bet He Sparks that range from Leadline to Buckaroo Flag Classes. Additionally, Western Bloodstock Sales provide the perfect chance to shop the elite reined cow horse market, while the Snaffle Bit Futurity Sponsor Showcase offers the finest in tack, clothing, equipment and more.

BY NRCHA PRESS RELEASE