September 23, 2011–The National Reined Cow Association Snaffle Bit Futurity has probably created more fans for reined cow horses than any other single show. This year it is being held from September 19-October 2 in Reno, Nevada.
The first Snaffle Bit Futurity was held in 1970 at Cal-Expo in Sacramento and boasted 27 entries. In the following years, the Futurity has become a major spectator event with thousands of fans now making the trip each fall to the Reno Livestock Events Center in Nevada for twelve days of the world’s finest cow horse action.
Horses entered in the futurity are 3-year-olds, and are shown in a snaffle bit in three different disciplines–herd work, rein work and cow work.
The herd work, or cutting, comes first, followed by the reining pattern in the rein work. The signature cow work, often called fence work, is where the horse holds, or boxes, the cow at the end of the arena, then turns it on the fence and finally circles it both ways in the arena.
In addition to the 3-year-old snaffle bit competition, the show features all of the NRCHA bridle and hackamore classes, the annual Hall of Fame Banquet, the huge :Best of the West Trade Show,” plus the Snaffle Bit Futurity Horse Sale.