Laurie Ward and Kiss Me A Lot. Primo Morales photo.
Friday was ladies’ night at the Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nevada, as every Championship up for grabs was claimed by a female rider: the Futurity Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro, Novice Non Pro, and Open Bridle! See the highlights in the latest edition of the Reno Wrap Up, and visit www.NRCHA.com for complete results and the top runs in their entirety.
Discount Tire Futurity Non Pro
In the 19-horse Futurity Non Pro finals, competitors proved to the spectators and judges why they deserved their spots in the finals as each horse-and-rider duo displayed control and perseverance. At the end of the day, it was Laurie Ward and Kiss Me A Lot who took home the championship.
“It just feels surreal and amazing,” Ward said following her win. “I won the [NRCHA Snaffle Bit] Futurity in 2002 on Justa Hot Chic and it’s taken me this long to do it again. It’s not easy.”
Ward and Kiss Me A Lot (Master Getta x Kiss Me A Little x Smart Little Pepinic) scored a 216 in the herd work, 214.5 in the rein work and a 218.5 in the cow work for a composite 649.
“In the herd work, I expected her to be spot on, because that’s probably her strongest – well, I thought before tonight that was her strongest point. She just does the herd work really well,” Ward explained. “In the rein work, she really is a show horse. She went in there and tried really hard and let me guide her. Then in the fence work, I had a little bit of trouble in the prelims, just a little spot where she was kind of green, and then tonight she just was gritty and amazing.”
The duo received an $18,309 paycheck along with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Discount Tire, an original CR Morrison Bronze and a monogrammed Cinch jacket from the NRCHA, a Gist Buckle sponsored by Jon and Jody Semper, a 100X and 30X Hat from JW Brooks Custom Hats, a Classic Equine Polar Fleece Cooler, product from Platinum Performance, a Cooler bag with Grooming Supplies and a $50 Gift Card from Santa Cruz Animal Health/San Juan Ranch, and a $500 Gift Certificate for a CR Ranch Wear Shirt.
Futurity Non Pro Reserve; Intermediate & Novice Non Pro Champion
In the Futurity Non-Pro finals, it was Terry Forst and Seven S Indian Maid (Hickorys Indian Pep x Seven S Fiesta x Playgun) who earned the Futurity Intermediate and Novice Non-Pro Championships and was the Non-Pro Reserve Champions.
“[This win] feels really good,” Forst said. “I’m just so proud of my son because he trained my horse and I think the thing I’m most proud of is this is part of our program. We’ve been breeding horses for 70 years and we’ve owned, I know five or six generations of this mare’s family. That’s a really good feeling. Makes you think you’re doing something right for once.”
Forst and Seven S Indian Maid scored a 214 in the herd work, 211 in the rein work, and a 216 in the work adding up to a composite score of 641. Despite Forst’s reviewed rein work run, she was grateful for the score she received and now knows what she needs to work on for next time.
“We were really good out of the herd. I got three cows cut pretty clean and it worked out really good,” Forst said. “Reining is where I struggle and that’s one of my big goals this next year is to get over some of my little demons that run around out there. I’ve had a little lead change trouble with her and we’ve worked really, really hard on it. She still drug it a little, but we tried to compensate by getting our stops and turnarounds to make up some lost ground.”
Forst was very thankful for her wins and gave credit to her son, Robert Forst, who trained the mare and has continued to support her every step of the way.
“She’s got a pretty big engine. She will feel you out sometimes because she acts like she’s laid back, but she really isn’t at all,” Forst said. “I’m not sure we are a good team because I’m not the most laid back person that ever lived, but we are and it worked out good. Robert just had her where when I was struggling; he could help me through it. He spent a lot of time with me and we tried to come as prepared as we could and by golly I guess we did!”
Forst garnered a total of $23,871 and took home two Bob’s Custom Saddle’s, one sponsored by NRCHA and one by JT and Sandra Neal; three Gist Buckles, sponsored by Dominic Conicelli, RT Stuart Ranch and Robertson Ranches; two CR Morrison Trophies, sponsored by NRCHA; three 30X Hats, sponsored by JW Brooks Custom Hats, two Classic Equine Polar Fleece Coolers; three Monogrammed Cinch Jackets, sponsored by NRCHA, and many other prizes.