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The Countdown Begins for the 2008 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity

Although the 2008 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity won’t begin for another day, the Reno Livestock Event Center is already bustling with activity.

As exhibitors rush to check in, the staff in the Horse Show Office works diligently to make certain the show goes smoothly. Inside the Coliseum arena, exhibitors are schooling their top 3-year-olds for the fifteen days of grueling competition to come. With over $1.3 million up for grabs in the Futurity, there’s no margin for error.

Around the coliseum concourse, NRCHA Corporate Partners and the NRCHA staff are assembling booths and displays. But with all the excitement and preparation, a cloud has dimmed the usually buoyant mood. NRCHA Competitor Rod Wiemers was killed just as people were preparing to leave for the Futurity.

After graduating high school, Rod began his life long career of training horses. He was a successful horse trainer and NRCHA judge, and was the 2004 Magnificent 7 Champion. Rod was a resident of the Sacramento area for 22 years.

The entire NRCHA membership joins his wife, Denise, in mourning his loss. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations could be made to the National Reined Cow Horse Foundation Crisis Fund. Wiemers had two horses entered in the Snaffle Bit Futurity, and his long-time friend, Benny Guitron, has taken over the reins.

And this week, the NRCHA experienced another loss. On September 16, longtime NRCHA supporter and patron, Jack Cooke of Paso Robles, California, passed away. Cooke, who among other duties served as the President of the Cow Palace Board for twenty years, was 83 when he died. Jack was also the Chairman of the Board of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and he and his wife, Phoebe, were longtime supporters of the western horse industry.

The NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity begins on Sunday, September 21, with the Open Herd Work, and runs through October 5. There will be a live feed of the Futurity, beginning September 21 at 8 am. The live feed can be accessed through the NRCHA web site, http://www.nrcha.com.

The National Reined Cow Horse Association, the 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. Through the support of a Corporate Partner family that includes Adequan®, Wayne Hodges 4-Star Trailers and Outlaw Conversions, Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Inc., Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, MD Barns, Platinum Performance, Inc., Nutrena, Quarter Horse News & Performance Horse magazine, the Peppermill Hotel/Resort, Fort Dodge West Nile Innovator, Rios of Mercedes, Merial products ULCERGARD and EQUIOXX, Great American Insurance Company and the Silver Legacy Hotel, 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 NRCHA Official Web Site at http://www.nrcha.com.


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