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<em>Journal</em>

NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity

Nick Dowers and Time For The Diamond clinch the National Reined Cow Horse Association's open title; Tammy Jo Hays and SDP Got Fancy Genes take the non-pro crown.

By Stephanie Duquette and Tara Matsler
National Reined Cow Horse Association and The American Quarter Horse Journal
October 9, 2013

Time For The Diamond and Nick Dowers win the 2013 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity open championship

Nick Dowers, 31, piloted the sorrel stallion Time For The Diamond to a total 661 score (218.5 herd/218.5 rein/224 cow), earning the 2013 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity open championship. (NRCHA photo)

In his first trip to the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finals, Nick Dowers of Dyer, Nevada, claimed the $100,000 championship aboard Time For The Diamond, a horse Dowers owns under the name of his family's Triple D Ranches.

Interestingly enough, from his dam line, Time For The Diamond bears a striking resemblance to the 2012 Snaffle Bit Futurity open champion, CD Diamond. Time For The Diamond, by One Time Pepto, is out of the Playin Stylish daughter Diamonds With Style. Diamonds With Style is out Shiners Diamond Jill, a full sister to Shiners Diamond Girl, who is the dam of CD Diamond (by CD Olena).
 
Dowers, 31, piloted the sorrel stallion Time For The Diamond to a total 661 score (218.5 herd/218.5 rein/224 cow) on Saturday, October 5, earning a deafening ovation every time he entered the arena.
 
"I wasn't sure I would be able to hear the horn at the end of my fence work," he said, smiling. "This is surreal. It hasn't even sunk in. I've been telling my wife for a year, 'I got the horse to do it. If I can get things done right, I got a shot.' "
 
Besides the six-figure paycheck, Dowers won two Bob's Custom Saddles sponsored by Jeffrey & Sheri Matthews/One Time Pepto and the NRCHA; two custom saddle racks sponsored by Sunmoon Ranch; two Gist buckles sponsored by Hooker Creek Ranch/Matt & Lesley Day and Lone Oak Veterinary Clinic; the Dorothy Jenkins Bush Perpetual Trophy, sponsored by the Ralph Gragg Family and Keith Christie; a polar fleece cooler from Classic Equine; Platinum Equine from Platinum Performance, a 30x hat from JW Brooks Custom Hats; Back On Track product sponsored by Back On Track; and a 10-pound bucket of UltraCruz Sand Clear plus a $50 gift certificate and a coffee tumbler in a cooler tote bag, sponsored by San Juan Ranch, a division of Santa Cruz Animal Health.
 
Time For The Diamond was bred by Gardiner Quarter Horses of Ashland, Kansas. Dowers purchased the stallion at the 2011 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Sale as a yearling – it was love at first sight.
 
"I saw his head and neck sticking out of the stall, and I was, like, 'Wow.' He's got the prettiest head and neck of any horse here, in my opinion. And that's what drew me to him."

AQHA Professional Horseman Dick Pieper shows you how to get your colt started right for plus-marks in the rein work in the continuing series, "Plus This," in The American Quarter Horse Journal.

Dowers considered selling "Cactapus" – nicknamed by his 5-year-old daughter, Tuli – when an elite NRCHA professional threw a six-figure offer on the table this summer.
 
"I stewed over it for three or four days," he said. "I called a good friend and mentor and asked him what he thought. He said, 'Well, is your dream worth that?' I was, like, 'You're right. It isn't.' So that was my decision. My dream of this, tonight, wasn't worth the price."
 
The Futurity open reserve champion was Blind Sided (Peptoboonsmal-Lil Miss Shiney Chex by Shining Spark), shown by Jay McLaughlin for Aaron Ranch. McLaughlin maneuvered the roan stallion to a total 656 (215 herd/217 rein/224 cow). The placing paid $70,000 and came with a Bob's Custom Saddle sponsored by NRCHA; a custom saddle rack sponsored by Sunmoon Ranch; Gist buckles sponsored by Missy Capone and Ruby View Quarter Horses/Jim & Holly Gregory; a 30x hat from JW Brooks Custom Hats; a Cinch jacket from Bob's Custom Saddles/The New West; Platinum Equine from Platinum Performance; Back On Track product sponsored by Back On Track; and a 10-pound bucket of UltraCruz Sand Clear plus a $50 gift certificate and a coffee tumbler in a cooler tote bag, sponsored by San Juan Ranch, a division of Santa Cruz Animal Health.

For full open division results from the 2013 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, visit www.nrcha.com

Non-Pro

Tammy Jo Hays has won the non-pro championship at every National Reined Cow Horse Association premier event except one: the Snaffle Bit Futurity. That all changed Friday, October 4, when Hays claimed the Futurity non-pro title on SDP Got Fancy Genes (RC Fancy Step-SDP I Got Good Genes by Dual Rey), a mare she owns with her father, Walter Greeman. SDP Got Fancy Genes is a half-sister to the 2013 AQHA junior working cow horse world champion, SDP Blue Blood (by Laredo Blue).

"I can remember watching the Snaffle Bit Futurity and thinking it was too big a dream, much less make the finals, or win it. It's indescribable. It's the biggest blessing. I feel beyond blessed," Hays said, through tears.
 
Hays won the title by a six-and-a-half point margin. She and SDP Got Fancy Genes racked up a total score of 675 (218 herd/217 rein/222 cow), and they had the top score of all three events. The championship paid $15,317. It also came with a Bob's Custom Saddle sponsored by Holy Cow Performance Horses LLC; a custom saddle rack sponsored by Sunmoon Ranch; a Gist buckle sponsored by John and Jody Semper; a CR Morrison Bronze sponsored by the NRCHA; the Keith Christie Perpetual Trophy, a polar fleece cooler from Classic Equine; a Cinch jacket from Bob's Custom Saddles/The New West; a 30x Hat from JW Brooks Custom Hats; a 40th Anniversary Edition Don Dodge custom snaffle bit handcrafted by Greg Darnall; a 10-pound bucket of UltraCruz Sand Clear plus a $50 gift certificate and a coffee tumbler in a cooler tote bag, sponsored by San Juan Ranch, a division of Santa Cruz Animal Health; Platinum Equine from Platinum Performance; and therapeutic equine products from Back On Track.

Have you ever thought about making your reined cow horse a four-event contender? Check out "Adding a Fourth Dimension" in the October Journal for in-depth help on adding the rope to your reined cow horse.

Though the mare is well-endowed with talent, Hays said SDP Got Fancy Genes did not perform to her ability in the preliminary fence work. The finals were a different story. Hays' fence work ignited the crowd at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center as the sorrel mare glued herself to the cow, finishing the run with a dramatic open-field turn and aggressive circles which unseated her petite rider.
 
"I nearly fell off circling! All week we'd had trouble with her in the fence work. She wasn't good for me in the prelims. She wasn't good for my husband in the prelims [NRCHA professional Shawn Hays, who showed the mare in the Futurity open]. We went and schooled her. I thought I had the problem fixed, but I didn't know I had it fixed that well," Hays said. "She's the very best she's ever been today. I'm speechless. All I can say is, it had to be God. It doesn't happen that perfectly without Him."

Hays and SDP Got Fancy Genes also racked up another $8,400 for winning the Non-Pro Sale Incentive. Hays won the same award last year with her Futurity intermediate non-pro champion and non-pro reserve champion horse, Two Kitties (Smooth As A Cat-SR Jaguar by Doc O'Lena).
 
"It's kind of a nice thing," Hays said. "We bought [SDP Got Fancy Genes] because I wanted another sale incentive horse. I bought another one here [at the NRCHA Futurity Sales]. I think there's a few people on to my racket – a few other non-pros bought some sale incentive horses, too!"
 
Hays arrived in Reno with $155,767 in NRCHA earnings. Her performances at Reno augmented that number by more than $25,000, putting her total career NRCHA record right at the $181,000 mark.

She thanked her husband; her family; her veterinarians; herd helpers Phillip Ralls, Chris Dawson, Jon Roeser and Robbie Boyce; and NRCHA Hall of Fame horseman Don Murphy.  

The Futurity non-pro reserve champion was Laurie Ward of Kingsburg, California. She rode Lites Out (Smart Little Pepinic-Justa Hot Chic by Just Plain Colonel) to a 650.5 composite (216 herd/215 rein/219.5 cow), earning $11,488. Ward won the 2002 Snaffle Bit Futurity non-pro title aboard Lites Out's dam, Justa Hot Chic; it was Ward's first Snaffle Bit Futurity non-pro championship.

For full open division results from the 2013 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, visit www.nrcha.com