Spectators of the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity and Show enjoyed a spectacular display of horsemanship and skill during the Billingsley Ford Open Futurity Finals on Saturday night.
The show, billed as “Where the Finest Go First,” lived up to its moniker, as several high scores were posted. When announcer Wayne Wise declared that two-time SWRHA Futurity Champion Dell Hendricks had piloted Cache Of Jewels to a 229, the cheers could be heard well outside of the Hardy Murphy Coliseum.
But just three horses later, 2010 National Reining Horse Association Futurity Champion Jordan Larson and Tinseltown Wimpy also marked a 229. While the riders had the option of a run-off, the two agreed to be Co-Champions. Each received a check for $15,418, and flipped for prizes which included a custom SWRHA Golf Cart, an NRHA Lawson trophy, and Anderson Bean boots.
“They’re just 3-year-olds, and the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City is in the near future, so we want to save them,” noted Larson.
Larson has ridden “Tinseltown,” by Wimpys Little Step out of Downtown Tinseltown, for almost a year. “Kyle Shaw rode her as a 2-year-old and did a really good job. Her owner, Ron McRorie, sent her to me on Garth Browns’ recommendation,” he explained.
Two months ago, Larson and Tinseltown were riding in the Hardy Murphy Coliseum, and the mare had a hard time settling down. “We did a paid warm-up and I couldn’t get her around the pen. I was glad she did so well tonight. She missed some time earlier this year, so I’m really proud of her. She’s a good horse. In fact, she might be better than good.”
Larson gave credit for his success to his wife, Taylor. “She does everything – I just show up and ride. She’s awesome. I also thank the rest of my family and my help. I got a couple new employees and they’ve been great,” he said.
When James Crews charged Dell Hendricks with finding a “really good horse,” the ensuing search took several months. “Dell always says a horse is really, really good if it makes his butt tingle – and he called me and said this one did,” Crews said of his horse Cache Of Jewels. “I’ve had other horses with Dell and he does a great job. I’m really excited about this horse and feel very fortunate to own him.”
Hendricks said, “There’s something special when you sit on a good horse. When I rode this one I only rode him about three strides and knew we had to have him. He might just be the best one I’ve ever ridden.”
Hendricks has only shown “Bird” twice. “Every time I’ve made a run he’s scored high. Tonight he was good – he was better than I was. I let him down a couple places, but I’ll make it up to him. We’ll keep doing what we’re doing,” he said. “I still haven’t asked him for his life. He won the go-round with a 226.5, and I knew he had more. Even after tonight, I think there’s more there.”
The SWRHA Futurity and Show concludes Sunday, October 23, with the ancillary Rookie Levels 1 and 2, and the Limited Non Pro.
Built in 1937, the historic Hardy Murphy Coliseum has been a mainstay as an Ardmore tourist attraction. Primarily designed to host horse and livestock shows, recent renovations to the facility have given it the flexibility to host even more events. Along with the space upgrades that allow the facility to stall 500 horses, the addition of air conditioning provides Hardy Murphy with the competitive ability to attract national and regional events. The renovations have resulted in a premier competitive equine facility.
For more information on the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity, or to inquire about the SWRHA, please call 580-759-2929, or visit www.swrha.com