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Robertson Wins 2008 Snaffle Bit Futurity Intermediate Open/Thompson Tops Limited Open

The National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity continued Friday, October 3, and crowned two new Futurity Champions. Ed Robertson, Paso Robles, California, and That CD Rocks earned the Intermediate Open title, while Tommy Thompson, Shafter, California, took home Intermediate honors on Famoso Starlight.

Neither Champion had ever qualified for the Snaffle Bit Futurity Finals, but each proved he could compete with the best at the Reno Livestock Events Center in Reno, Nevada.

Intermediate Open Champion

Ed Robertson and That CD Rocks

When Brandon Staebler broke his leg in July, he asked longtime friend, Ed Robertson, to ride his Snaffle Bit Futurity entry, That CD Rocks, owned by Robbie Humphreys. The pair earned a 650.5 composite, clinching the Intermediate Open Championship by more than ten points!

Their Final’s debut began with the high score – 219 – of the herd work. “He was great in the herd work; it’s the best he’s ever felt,” noted Robertson. “I cut good for him, and he held the cows. He was really comfortable.”

In the rein work, Robertson and the CD Lights stallion marked a 215.5, and then followed that with a 216 fence work score. “The rein work was scary. It was a little erratic. He’s been sore, so we haven’t really been doing much reining. I’m just glad we got through it with the score we did,” admitted Robertson. “Tonight, I was really happy that he came through the cow work like he did. He’s very fun on the cow work.”

Robertson was quick to give credit to That CD Rock’s original trainer. “Brandon did a great job. We rode together, and I used my input to help Brandon in the herd, and he helped me in the rein work.”

The win garnered owner Robbie Humphreys, of Clovis, California, a check for $21,698, a Bob’s Custom Saddle and a Gist Silversmiths Champion buckle, both sponsored by San Juan Ranch, an ESP wool top pad from Classic Equine, a Cinch monogrammed vest from Wayne Hodges 4-Star Trailers/Outlaw Conversions, a custom made hat from Shorty’s Caboy Hattery, and Platinum Performance.

B.J. Avila riding One Hot Pepto, and Tommy Thompson on Famoso Starlight, tied for the Intermediate Open Reserve Championship with 640. One Hot Pepto, by Pepto Power Play and out of BB Jalapenas Babe, is owned by Penny Knight. Famoso Starlight, by Wranglers Starlight and out of Chex My Rain, is owned by Lloyd Moore and Sylvia Riggs. Both received checks for $14,560, a Gist Silversmiths Reserve Champion buckle, a Cinch monogrammed vest from Wayne Hodges 4-Star Trailers/Outlaw Conversions, and Platinum Performance.

Limited Open Champion

Tommy Thompson and Famoso Starlight

“This horse has a story,” Tommy Thompson said of his Limited Open Champion Famoso Starlight, just after scores of 210 in the herd work, and 215 in both the rein and cow work clinched the title.

The horse was started by Matt McConn, who had worked for Thompson halter breaking yearlings. Because he liked the horse, Thompson tried to buy him. “A year later, I heard it was offered to another trainer for $2,500 – and that trainer turned him down. He was sold back to John Lacey, and he said he’d sell him to us for what he paid.” He paused, then added, “I was sure we couldn’t afford it, but we bought that horse for $1,500.”

But the story of Famoso Starlight continued, as the new owners, Lloyd Moore and Sylvia Riggs, weren’t thrilled with the idea of a futurity horse. “We tried to sell him, and he was sifted from both of the sales here. I just kept telling them it was better. Then they didn’t want to buy a slot, and I asked them, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to make the Open finals on this horse?’ and they bought the slot.”

With that hurdle aside, it was time to prepare for the pre futurity, but again, circumstances almost kept Famoso Starlight out of that competition. He was supposed to be treated with SMZs, but a misunderstanding had dire consequences. “It was an honest mistake, but our help was giving him 15 clicks of bute morning and night for two days, because the dispenser looks the same. The horse was in the hospital a week and I only rode him twice, then went to the pre futurity and made the Open finals.”

The rest of the story is unwritten, because Thompson will still compete in the Open finals on Sunday. “I’m going to give him some time off on Saturday to relax. He’s a very strong horse, so if any horse could do it, it’s him,” he said. “I’m lucky that I get to get up every day and do what I want to do. I’ve always wanted to be a cowboy.”

Friday’s performance resulted in quite the payday, with the owners collecting $9,900 for the Limited Open Championship, $14,560 for the Intermediate Open Reserve Championship, $3,500 from winning the preliminary cow work, and will have a guaranteed $6,500 for making the Open Finals. He also won a Bob’s Custom Saddle from Cottonwood Springs Ranch, two Gist Silversmiths buckles, one sponsored by Stuart Ranch, the other sponsored by Granite Creek Ranch, an ESP wool top pad from Classic Equine, two Cinch monogrammed vests from Wayne Hodges 4-Star Trailers/Outlaw Conversions, Platinum Performance, and a custom handmade hat from Shorty’s Caboy Hattery.

The Snaffle Bit Futurity concludes Sunday, October 5, with the Open Finals. The total payout for the event will exceed $1.3 million, with the Open Champion taking home the $100,000 check.

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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