Tucker Robinson and Stylish Little Oak Win 2010 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship

When the curtain closed on the 2010 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity on October 3, a new face was in the Championship photo – but the name at the top of the leader board was familiar.

Tucker Robinson skillfully piloted Stylish Little Oak, owned by San Juan Ranch, through a picturesque fence work, marking a 224, to win the Open title of the Snaffle Bit Futurity. In doing so, Robinson not only won the $100,000 first-place check, he and his father, NRCHA Hall of Famer Ted Robinson became only the second father-son team to both be Snaffle Bit Futurity Champions.

“It means so much. I had seen my dad, Jon Roeser, Bob Avila, Greg Ward and John Ward all win it when I was a little kid – and now my name is going on that list with them,” he said. “It is really, really special to me.”

Robinson has ridden Stylish Little Oak, by Playin Stylish out of Shiners Little Oak, since she was a 2-year-old. “John and Brenda Stephenson send my dad and me a handful of 2-year-olds every year, and she and I just fit each other. I really appreciate them giving me the opportunity to ride such great horses,” the 32-year-old noted.

Within a short amount of time, Robinson knew the mare was special, and that belief in the mare never wavered. “I figured she had a shot. I knew she was talented and steady through all the events, and that, if luck went my way, we might have a shot.”

Going into the cow work, Robinson was only a scant half-point behind the leaders. But the highest-scoring cow work of the evening secured the title. “It could have gone any way – there were a lot of people right there together going into the fence work,” he said. “It’s awesome. I don’t know what to say. I’m still in shock and I’m hoping it might sink in tomorrow. It means so much because you work your butt off for two years and for it to work out is unreal.”

Along with the Championship check, Robinson received the C.R. Morrison NRCHA Cow Horse Bronze sponsored by the South Point Hotel and Casino; a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Lyle Lovett; a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Jeffrey Mathews and One Time Pepto; a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Hooker Creek Ranch; a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Lone Oak Veterinary Clinic; a custom handmade hat from Shorty’s Hattery; an ESP pad from Classic Equine; custom designed boots from Rios of Mercedes; Platinum Performance; two monogrammed Cinch vests from Bob’s Custom Saddles; and a C.R. Morrison commemorative medallion.

Robinson thanked his father, Ted; his mother Georgia; his sister Casey; his herd help – Jon Roeser, John Ward, and Jake Gorrell; his girlfriend Tina Fry; John and Brenda Stephenson; and everyone else who helped him.

Brenda Stephenson, who bred and raised Stylish Little Oak, noted “The only thing I can say is that we are very excited. Ted actually won money on not only this mare’s mother, but also her grandmother. It’s been a long process to get her here – we were happy to get here. We know how hard it is to make the finals so we are thrilled.”

The busiest rider of the day was easily Jake Telford, who took four of his five Snaffle Bit Futurity entries back to the finals, and finished Reserve on One Time Rey Jay, owned by Aspen Meadows Ranch.

“When the preliminaries were over I thought I could handle the four horses, but when I woke up this morning I knew there was no way,” he said. “I realized how grateful I was to be in the finals, and it was all about family and friends for me. I couldn’t have done it without all of them. I had people helping me with my horses who never have before. Morgan Cromer came up from California to help me with the herd work, Todd Bergen was warming up my horses for the rein work, my in-laws were watching the girls and my mom was brushing and cleaning stalls and feeding, while my wife kept me on schedule. It was a team effort.”

For the Reserve Championship on One Time Rey Jay, by One Time Pepto out of Hickorys Red Rey, Telford received a check for $80,000; a Bob’s Custom Saddle and a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Heart River Ranch; a Gist Silversmiths buckle sponsored by Garth and Amanda Gardiner; two monogrammed Cinch vests sponsored by Bob’s Custom Saddles; Platinum Performance; and a C.R. Morrison commemorative medallion.

Telford also won fifth on Hes Shinettes CD (CD Olena x Sheza Shinette), owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses; twelfth on Sheza Dancingdiamond (Diamond J Star x Sheza Shinette), also owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses; and nineteenth on Abbey Roan (One Time Pepto x Stylin Jewel), owned by Newt White. All total, Telford won $146,000 in the Open Finals competition alone, bringing his lifetime earnings within $60,000 of the $1 million mark!

“This is by far the biggest win I’ve ever had,” he said in the press conference following the awards ceremony. “I’m just blessed to have a great group of owners and a great group of horses.”

NRCHA Corporate Partner Wide World of Horses was in Reno to cover the Snaffle Bit Futurity. Commentators Robert Chown and Lee Schneider will give the expert play-by-play details of the Futurity in two broadcasts during the weeks of November 29 and December 13.Each weekly program is run three times – every Monday at 12:30 p.m. EST and 10:30 p.m. EST and on the following Sunday at 7:30 a.m. EST.

The National Reined Cow Horse Association, now in its 61st year, is 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 Hotel and Casino, 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 Web Site at www.nrcha.com.