When Rene Ferini rode Pennys From Prize into the arena for her Youth Limited run at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity on Saturday night, September 22, the 16-year-old high school junior had the confidence that comes from knowing she and her horse were ready for the challenge.
“I felt really prepared. He was really good and respectful. He listened to everything I did, and he was really good,” the Santa Maria, Calif., rider said.
She rode “Copper” to a rein work score of 144 and then marked a 144.5 in the cow work. Her 288.5 total garnered the Championship, which came with a check for $1,050, a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Wilson & Susan Lyle, a Gist buckle sponsored by Triple J Ranch – Jay Holmes, a CR Morrison Trophy from NRCHA, a Cinch Jacket from Bob’s Custom Saddles and New West Country Store and a Platinum Performance gift card.
Ferini already knew the taste of victory at a major NRCHA event – she and her other horse, Soula Boom Star, claimed the Youth Limited Championship earlier this year at the NRCHA Stakes in Queen Creek, Ariz., in March. Since that show, she has diligently schooled in two particular areas of her reined work.
“I’ve really been working on my stops and my lead changes, because I haven’t been getting my lead changes, but I got them here. I felt really good about my stops, too,” she said. “We had a good cow – I had to push on it and make it go, because it was kind of slow, but I think we handled it well.”
Ferini started riding cow horses about five years ago, and “I’ve loved it ever since,” she said. Her regular trainer, Korie Baker, was not able to come to Reno, but Ferini had some well-qualified substitute coaches in Sandy Collier and Mary Dosek.
“They told me to keep checking in and keep him in the bridle, and that was the main thing,” Ferini said.
She thanked her parents for supporting her riding and showing activities, adding that she plans to continue with her horsemanship after graduating high school. Ferini is seeking admission to a college with an equestrian team; she’s looked at Baylor and TCU, but has not made a decision.
The Youth Limited Reserve Champion was Jordan Stice, New Plymouth, Idaho, who rode Supers Lucky Star (BR Lucky Star x Sheza Super Jiggs) to a composite score of 284. The placing paid $788, and Stice also took home some great prizes – a Cinch jacket from Bob’s Custom Saddles and New West Country Store and a Platinum Performance gift card.
The National Reined Cow Horse Association, now in its 62nd year, is the governing body of cow horse competition. It is responsible for promoting the sport, ensuring high standards of competition and educating members and the public about the history and tradition of reined cow horses. With the support of a Corporate Partner family that includes Bob’s Custom Saddles, Cinch, Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance Company, Platinum Performance, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, Bloomer Trailers and Schwalbe Trucks presented by Great West Trailers, and Merial products UlcerGard and Equioxx, the association works to keep the vaquero tradition alive in today’s equine industry. For information on the National Reined Cow Horse Association, call 580-759-4949 or visit the official NRCHA web site at www.NRCHA.com.