Journal on the Road

Seven Times a Champion

September 30, 2011

Annie Reynolds claims her seventh NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity non-pro championship with a homebred mare.

By Larri Jo Starkey

Anne Reynolds and Smart Magic Trick turn a cow on the fence.

Anne Reynolds and Smart Magic Trick turn a cow on the fence September 30 in the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity non-pro finals. (Journal photo) Scroll to the slide show below for more photos from the Snaffle Bit.

The 2011 Snaffle Bit Futurity wasn’t Annie Reynolds’ first rodeo. In fact, it wasn’t even her first Snaffle Bit, let alone her first win. But it was still special to the seven-time champion.

In 1998, Annie won her first National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity with Magical Lena. On September 30, Annie won again with a daughter of Magical Lena, Smart Magic Trick, a homebred by Annie’s stallion Very Smart Remedy.

Smart Magic Trick is a 2009 sorrel mare owned by Joyce Pearson, Annie’s mother, and Annie claims the filly has the athleticism both her sire and dam possess. She had the chance to prove it September 30 in the non-pro finals, starting early with the herd work at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center in Reno, Nevada.

“That first set of cattle were kind of tough, really hard to drive out, and she wanted to be good,” Annie said. “I had a miss on my second cow, and then that third cow, I cut it with 30 seconds left, and I thought it was going to be a really bad cow. Well, it turned out to be a really good cow, so that helped me make up some points from my miss. I was happy about that.”

After a break, Annie and “Stacy” came back for the rein work and then the cow work.

“I was really pleased with her in the reining,” Annie said. “She had a super run. I had a little under-spin on my second turnaround, but she was just great and really showable. And she wanted to be good down the fence. I ran down there and that cow started to turn and then it changed its mind and snuck under her neck, and I was able to get up there before the marker and get it turned, but it just didn’t help me mark way up there. The cattle were tough here, and we were able to keep our lead.”

Annie and Stacy led throughout, with their eventual cumulative 640 good enough for the win and Annie’s seventh title.

“Her mom’s just a phenomenal horse,” Annie said. “She was just an unbelievable horse to show. She was really good in all three events. She was a real flukey horse. She was insecure if you were holding her or on the ground, but if you got on her, she felt a lot more secure and she was a really good show horse. She won the Futurity here. I think she won the non-pro in every major event, and when she was a 5-year-old, she won the non-pro and was reserve in the open at the Derby and she went on to be reserve at the World’s Greatest Horseman. She’s won over $185,000.”

The top score of 219 in the cow work went to Amanda Gardiner and her mare Whachichi Chex, purchased in 2010 at the Snaffle Bit from AQHA Professional Horseman Todd Crawford.

“Holy cow is really all I can say,” Amanda said. “I’m so excited. Todd  had told me to choke up on the reins so I could hold her down the fence and keep her with that cow, and she was fantastic. She was really good. She was tuned in and made a great fence turn and our second turn was fantastic, and she popped up and went to circling. I was so excited. It was truly thrilling.”

Amanda and “Chichi” were the intermediate non-pro champions.

“I learned a lot today,” she said. “This is my second Futurity horse. She’s exhausted and tired, and (in the rein work) you have to pull them into the stops so much harder, but until you come out here and show, you don’t realize that. Then in the fence work, I just went for it.”

For more photos from the 2011 Snaffle Bit Futurity non-pro finals, see the Journal slide show below. Click on each photo to read about it.

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