Walker Pozzi Wins NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Horse Show Youth Bridle Championship while Kelly Valdez Takes the Youth Limited

At the 2009 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Horse Show Youth Bridle class, Walker Pozzi marked a 149 on Lady Tom Tucker in the cow work. But an overspin in his rein work cost him the championship.

“I didn’t even know I had overspun until I came out of the pen and they told me,” the 15-year-old Bend, Oregon, youth said. Obviously let down, Pozzi was determined to redeem himself at this year’s Futurity, held at the Reno Livestock Events Center in Reno, Nevada.

When Pozzi and “Lady” entered the pen fifth in the draw out of seven in the Youth Bridle class on Saturday, September 25, Casey Branch of Bothell, Washington, and Whizaboot were leading with a 289.

Although Pozzi was disappointed in his rein work, he had no major mistakes this year. “I wish my rein work could have been a little better,” said Pozzi, who is the National Reined Cow Horse Youth Association Vice President and the President of the Northwest Reined Cow Horse Youth Association. “Our turn-arounds are never good and our stops are usually a little better but I know what I did wrong.”

When it came time for his cow work, Pozzi was worried about his cow because he was afraid it wasn’t energetic enough for Lady. “She has a tendency, if the cow doesn’t run down the fence, to run by it because she gets nervous,” he said. “I was glad we were able to rate it because it wasn’t running super fast.”

He was pleased with his fence work but didn’t think it would live up to last year’s 149. So he was a little surprised when he heard he had matched the score and, combined with a 140.5 in his rein work, earned a 289.5 total. He had finally won his first major championship title along with a check for $1,350; a Gist Silversmiths buckle, courtesy of Ann Ramsay; a C.R. Morrison NRCHA trophy; a monogrammed Cinch vest courtesy of Bob’s Custom Saddles; Platinum Performance; and a C.R. Morrison commemorative medallion.

But what Pozzi was excited about most was the Bob’s Custom Saddle, courtesy of Cable Creek Ranch. “My old one is falling apart. I really need a new one.”

Branch and Whizaboot were the Youth Bridle Reserve Champions, earning $1,013; a Gist Silversmiths buckle courtesy of Vicki Cantlon; a monogrammed down vest, courtesy of Bob’s Custom Saddles; 17 pounds of Platinum Performance; and a C.R. Morrison commemorative medallion.

In the Youth Limited, 12-year-old Kelly Valdez of La Junta, Colorado, rode Smart Tic Tack to her first championship title, marking a 142.5 in the rein work and a 144 in the cow work for a 286.5 total.

“My rein work was OK,” Valdez said. “She swapped leads an extra time but the stops were really good and the spins were good. My boxing was good.”

Although Valdez doesn’t work with a trainer on a regular basis, she does get help occasionally. “I really want to thank Jay and Rhonda Holmes and Morgan for helping me today and also Don Murphy,” she said.

The Youth Limited championship came with a check for $1050; a Bob’s Custom Saddle, courtesy of Wilson and Susan Lyle; a Gist Silversmiths buckle, sponsored by Triple J Ranch-Jay Holmes; a C.R. Morrison NRCHA trophy; a monogrammed Cinch vest, courtesy of Bob’s Custom Saddles; Platinum Performance; and a C.R. Morrison commemorative medallion.

The Youth Limited Reserve Champion was Kimberly Ferrante of Somis, California, on Oaks Choice with a 285. They earned $788, a monogrammed Cinch vest from Bob’s Custom Saddles, Platinum Performance and a C.R. Morrison commemorative medallion.

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.