NRCHA Announces Runaway Creek Outstanding Bridle Mare Award
The NRCHA Board of Directors has announced a new award to recognize the accomplishment of NRCHA bridle mares, beginning in 2007. Bert and Lori Hornback, of Southern California, worked with sculptor CR Morrison to create a beautiful and unique Bronze trophy to be called the “Runaway Creek Outstanding Bridle Mare” Award.
Each year an individual plate will be added naming the High Scoring mare of the prestigious NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Bridle class along with the breeder, rider, and owner to the trophy, which will already carry the names of the past 8 Historical Champion mares, their breeders, owners, and riders from 1974-2006.
The permanent trophy will be on display during the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity and the owners of the high scoring mare will also receive a CR Morrison trophy to keep.
For the Hornbacks, deciding to do the award came after a landmark event of their own, when their mare, Smart Plain Pep, won the Open Bridle at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in 2006. Lori remembered, “We realized how few mares had won this prestigious event, with only 3 in the last 13 years and only eight since the event began. There seems to be a drastic reduction in mares that were being shown and/or winning major Bridle events in recent times. We found this odd considering technological advances in breeding have made it easier than ever before to both breed and show a mare. While many people talk about the importance of the mare bloodline, few actually show their great mares through the mare’s best performance years in a bridle. We believe that if more recognition and incentive existed for mares, maybe this could change. Other than these 8 Champions, what other mares had excelled in the prime years of competition? The historical records are not readily available, if at all. But going forward they will be. That is the focus of this award, to memorialize the great Reined Cow Horse mares”.
The award will be on-going, Bert added, “We knew that an award like this is a lifetime commitment and we had to convince ourselves that we had that kind of dedication to the NRCHA and the Reined Cow Horse. We just could not see us doing anything else. This is where our heart is and where we think we can make a meaningful contribution to the organization and sport.”
The Hornbacks hope that this award will act as the incentive so that more mares will be shown into the bridle. With the new rules that go into effect in 2007 for the Supreme Reined Cow Horse Award, significantly more dollars must be won in the bridle. Bert noted, “We also believe that increased mare participation has the potential to positively influence bridle class sizes, which will add to the winnings for all horses that participate. It also offers a way to level the playing field for mares toward NRCHA merit awards.
In addition to the trophy award, Runaway Creek is sponsoring a minimum of $1000 added money each year to the High Scoring mare at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in the Open Bridle. Lori said, “We also believe that when people see this beautiful trophy and the names of the past winners, they will want to see their own mares name added to that list. Being the High Scoring mare in the Open Bridle at Reno is a significant accomplishment and now there will be an award that memorializes their achievement”.
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 Bob's Custom Saddles, Cinch, Inc., Classic Equine, MD Barns, Platinum Performance, Inc., Nutrena, Skyline Gold and Silversmiths, Bloomer Trailer Mfg., Quarter Horse News & Performance Horse magazine, the Peppermill Hotel Resort, Farnam products Vetrolin Liniment and Farnam dewormers IverCare, ComboCare, LiquiCare P and Continuex, Fort Dodge West Nile Innovator, Rios of Mercedes, Merial products ULCERGARD and GASTROGARD, 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.