THE second biggest event on the cutting horse calendar is looking healthier than ever as the Snafflebit Futurity and National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) National Finals hit a record-high number of entries.
“Competitor numbers in our Snafflebit Futurity event are up by 30 per cent from 2012 which is extremely positive to see,” NCHA general manager Glenn Morgan said of a competition carrying $18,000 in prizemoney and being held in the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC).
“In recent years we’ve created more incentives around the Snafflebit Futurity to entice riders of different equine disciplines and it has paid off. We have over 55 competitors in this event alone and we anticipate an extremely high standard of competition.”
The Snafflebit is a unique form of cutting which sees riders use two hands on the horse’s reins as opposed to one hand during other cutting events and it has experienced a resurgence in popularity over the past few years.
Not only is there good prizemoney on offer but also crucial end of year points that could determine year-end places in the National Finals.
Entries in the National Finals are also solid with numbers doubling previous years’ entries in both the non-pro and novice classes.
“Following discussions with NCHA members, the structure of the qualifying criteria for horse and riders was altered and this has had a positive impact on the number of entries in our National Finals events,” Morgan said.
Dungowan’s Gavin White will be competing for the first time in the Snafflebit Futurity on horses Smokes Nic and Tuck and Osland Pastures Vegas.
“It has been a solid preparation with both of the horses I’ll be riding,” Gavin White said.
“I bought a 2 year old horse at the 2012 Landmark Sale and the NCHA offer some good incentives for buyers to then enter these horses into the Snafflebit Futurity. It will be a good stepping stone and test for both horses.”
The 2013 Yulgilbar Snafflebit Futurity will be run in conjunction with the National Finals and will take place from March 14-16 in AELEC.
Admission is free.