TORNADO JONEZ AND LEE DEACON WIN THE 2022 SNAFFLE BIT FUTURITY®
The National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity® crowned Lee Deacon and Tornado Jonez the 2022 Open Champion in Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday, October 22 in front of a sold-out crowd at the Will Rogers Memorial Center. The win was the first for both the Australian-born rider and the bay gelding’s owner, Brandy Ragland.
“Unreal. It’s unbelievable,” Deacon. “In 2016, I made the Limited Finals and that is the last time I made any Finals. I’m very thankful, humbled and grateful. I can’t believe God would allow me the blessing of this and I don’t want to take it for granted. Now, how can I use this to glorify him. I hope I’m an example for any one of these guys who are working as hard as we do, they can achieve it if you just don’t quit. We all face adversity. It’s tough but we keep going. It’s our dream.”
Deacon and the 2019 gelding, bred by the Missi Jonez Partnership, sired by Stevie Rey Von and out of Missi Jonez (out of Travelin Jonez), marked a 224 in the cow work in set two of three in the Finals. Then, Deacon returned to the back gate to cheer on his fellow competitors. In the end, his composite 667 (H: 222/R: 221/C: 224), held to take the Open and Intermediate Open titles.
The pair earned $200,000 in the Open and another $45,000 in the Intermediate Open. The Reserve Champion was Sarah Dawson aboard 2019 gelding Vince Von (Stevie Rey Von x Hottness x Spots Hot), owned by Wendy Buehler and bred by Fults Ranch LTD), scored a 662.5 (H:222/R:226.5/C:214) and the $100,000 paycheck.
On Friday, October 21, Debbie Crafton piloted four horses in the Non Pro Finals for the Snaffle Bit Futurity. Aboard 2019 mare Biscuits R Smokin (Hickory Holly Time x IC The Biscuits x ), bred by Bobby Lewis, Crafton earned a 659 composite and $40,000. She also placed 7th, tied for 11th and placed 16th.
“This is what we work for,” Crafton, who also won the 2020 Non Pro Snaffle Bit Futurity, said. “I love 3-year-olds and the Derby horses, that is my comfort place. I am used to riding all these and it is a mindset to go and do my job as a rider. [The adrenaline] kind of carries you. There was a moment where I felt like I could use a cup of coffee, but I knew as soon as I got back up [to the arena] I could get back to it.”
While Crafton bested a Non Pro field of 21 riding for a $150,923.27 purse. For her, it was hanging out with her second family
“The love of this sport,” she said. “I love the people here! All these people here are my family. I have my family at home, but I love these people and this sport. It is just an amazing sport.”
For a complete list of results from the 2022 Snaffle Bit Futurity® visit nrcha.com/nrcha-snaffle-bit-futurity.