The 2010 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Amateur Championship was decided during the Non Pro preliminaries which concluded on Sunday, September 26. The third-time proved to be the charm for Rexburg, Idaho, Non Pro Tyler Fillmore, who made the trip to Reno with his horse Cuttin Cadet.
When Fillmore made his first foray into the world of reined cow horse competition, he chose the 2005 Snaffle Bit Futurity. “That Futurity was a disaster. I had thought it looked fun so I entered the biggest show there was,” he sheepishly explained. “Then I came again in 2007 and it was a little bit better.”
Fillmore purchased Cuttin Cadet from reigning Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion Zane Davis in January 2010. “We really liked the horse and Zane had started him nice. He was a bigger horse than Zane wanted to ride, but I’m bigger than Zane so he fits me well,” he explained.
The preliminary round started nicely and just improved as the week went on. “I had watched Anne Reynolds go earlier in the set and score big on a brindle cow, but she didn’t use it up, and I wanted it. I cut it first, and then Doug Williamson helped me find some others, and it turned out good,” he said of his 208-scored herd work. “I really appreciate my herd help – Doug, Boyd Rice, Todd Crawford, and Ron Ralls. I had great help and they set me up good.”
In the rein work Fillmore and the TR Dual Rey gelding, out of Lil CD Fair, marked a 209. “Slowing myself down is the biggest thing, because I’m pretty aggressive and reining and aggressive don’t go together. I tried to keep my horse soft. We got through it and I felt good about it.”
Going into the cow work, Fillmore was one of the front-runners, just two points behind the leader. The entry before – Betty Lou Valdez and Hickory Fletch – had taken the lead with a 625.5. Fillmore needed to mark at least a 209 to move ahead of her.
“I had watched the fence work yesterday, but thought the cattle would change. They actually were pretty similar,” he said. “I had seen people get on the hip of the cow too much and they would shoot out in front of them, so I stayed wide around the corner and it worked. I was really happy with my horse.” The fence work resulted in a 213.5, and the Amateur Championship, along with a check for $4,623, was his.
Fillmore will receive the rest of his prizes, including a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Larry and Ellen Bell; a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Circle Y Ranch; a custom handmade hat from Shorty’s Hattery; an ESP wool top pad from Classic Equine; a monogrammed Cinch vest sponsored by Bob’s Custom Saddles; Platinum Performance; a C.R. Morrison trophy; and a C.R. Morrison commemorative medallion at the Annual NRCHA Hall of Fame Banquet at the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino on September 30.
“Along with my herd help, I want to give a shout-out to my friends Trent Ford and Sherman Weeks, and Noel Skinner, who got me started about five years ago,” he said. Fillmore made the 11-hour trip to Reno with his wife, Nicole, and six children who range in age from nine months to 10 years.
Betty Lou Valdez, of La Junta, Colorado, won the Amateur Reserve Championship on Hickory Fletch (Royal Fletch x Hickorys Patty) with a 625.5. Valdez will receive a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Ernie Beal; a monogrammed Cinch vest sponsored by Bob’s Custom Saddles; Platinum Performance; a C.R. Morrison commemorative medallion and a check for $3,618.
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, Bob’s Custom Saddles, Cinch, Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance, MD Barns, Merial products ULCERGARD and EQUIOXX, Nutrena, Pfizer Animal Health, Platinum Performance, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, Running W Designs, the Silver Legacy, and Wide World of Horses, 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 website at www.nrcha.com.