Oct. 11, 2005 -- The 2005 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity was one of many milestones. Legendary trainer Ted Robinson of Oak View, Calif., earned a record seventh Open Championship during the event, which for the first time paid out more than $1 million during its two-week run at the Reno Livestock Event Center in Nevada.
Robinson's win came on Nu Circle Of Light, a horse he owns with Paula Hunsicker, that is by Nu Circle N Cash and out of Katie Starlight. Katie Starlight had an impressive show career, winning two World's Greatest Horseman titles, and Robinson campaigned Nu Circle N Cash to about $80,000 in earnings. Interestingly enough, Nu Circle N Cash was sired by Nu Cash, the stallion that Robinson earned his first Open Futurity Championship with in 1987.
"Nu Cash made me," Robinson said. "He was the first futurity horse I ever had and it's so neat that his grandson is winning too."
Robinson and the stallion he calls "Theo" marked a 213.5 in the herd, a 216.5 in the rein work and a crowd-roaring 224 down the fence. Reserve Champion Boyd Rice led the field until Robinson entered the arena during third set. Robinson knew he would have to make a hard run, and as soon as he saw his cow, he had to let his horse go for it.
"When the cow work came, I had seen that cow and I didn't like him when I saw him because he was big and strong, and I thought he would push on me a lot," Robinson said. "But he kept working that fence and I knew he was going to stay on the wall. I felt good about him. He just happened to be fast, and I had a lot of run and my horse stayed with me."
With a composite of 654 points, Robinson took home his seventh title and the championship check for $100,000.
Boyd Rice, one of the country's top cutting trainers, earned the Open Reserve Championship and a check for $80,000. He and Playin Attraction, by Playin Stylish and out of Ginnin Attraction, owned by Burnett Ranches Ltd., led the Intermediate Open Futurity Preliminaries, won the Intermediate Open Championship September 30 and then came back October 2 to earn the Open Reserve title.
"It means a lot to me," Rice said of success at the Snaffle Bit Futurity after having so much success as a cutter. "I don't think those guys (his fellow cutters) have any idea what it takes to do this. The first time I ever watched the videos from past futurities, I thought I have to do that because it's not that big of a deal. Well once you do it, you realize it is that big of a deal."
The National Reined Cow Horse Association, the 56-year-old governing body of cow horse competition, is responsible for promoting the sport, insuring high standards of competition and educating members and the public about the history and tradition of the cow horse.