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2003 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity

Bob Avila and Chics Magic Potion powered their way to an insurmountable lead late in the first section of the Cow Work Finals of the 34th Annual NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity on Sunday, October 5. The near-capacity crowd at the Reno Livestock cheered as the score of 221.5 was given, and the cheering increased when Announcer Mark Thompson noted that the composite of 660 (Herd - 214.5, Rein - 224) had made them the new leaders.

The score held and the win gave Avila his third NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship and a check for $100,000 to split with his partners - Doug Carpenter of Sulphur, Oklahoma and Alan and Kay Needle of Temecula, California.

Avila, also of Temecula, California, noted, "It's my anniversary. I came to the Futurity the first time 25 years ago!" The third title was very special for Avila, but he quipped, "Teddy (Robinson) is still ahead of me, though!"

By winning this Futurity, Avila had broken a long-time superstition. No other horse has ever won the NRCHA Futurity after winning the Pre-Futurity in Santa Ynez, California, held the month before. Avila won the 2003 Cow Horse Classic on Chics Magic Potion. When asked if the superstition worried him, Avila said, "I thought about it, but not for very long. I threw that away real quick. I believe in mind over matter!"

Of Chics Magic Potion, by Smart Chic Olena out of Remedys Magic Potion, Avila said, "This is the nicest horse I've ever had to train, the best mind I have ever dealt with." It was high praise indeed from one of the most successful trainers in the industry. He laughed, "This colt is so good minded, he acted like he was at home in Temecula. He's just like his mother."

Avila knew the stallion's mother well, as he tried to buy her years ago. 'Magic' was her last foal. He was quick to credit the influence of the mare, saying, "When she showed, she walked in every time with her tail down and her ears up." Avila said he bought Magic at the AQHA World Show last year when he was a 2-year-old, and the partnership of Avila, Carpenter and Needle was formed just months before the Futurity.

"Great is a big word," said Avila, "But this colt is truly great minded. He is by far the nicest Smart Chic Olena I have ridden yet. It's so hard here, and that's what makes it so rewarding, It's never easy here, this is the most exciting event in the world!"

Finishing as the Reserve Champion just two points behind with a 658 point composite (Herd - 214, Rein - 222.5, Cow - 221.5) was Gainesville, Texas trainer, Ron Ralls, on Chromium Cowboy (A Chic In Time X Marvelous Miss) owned by Patty Pollard.

"Cowboy" worked hard at the Futurity, according to his owner, who rode him to a $50K Limited Finals Berth before the horse was in the open. "We really didn't plan on showing him in the open," noted Pollard. "But then we bought a slot and entered the open and there he is. So he ended up making 12 runs at Reno and stayed completely sound through the whole time!"

For Ralls, who earned $75,000, this is the second major accomplishment of 2003. Earlier in the year, he became the 2003 World's Greatest Horseman. Rounding out the top five were John Roeser on Heart Of A Fox (As Smart As The Fox X Tivios Reminic) owned by Twisselman and Roeser, with 657 winning $52,500; Randy Paul on Travelenas LuckyLegs (Travelena X Cats Okey Dokey) owned by Imiliano Ferro with 654 earning $40,000 and Todd Crawford on The Love Man (Meradas Mondy Talks X Lovie Lena) owned by Gary and Kathy Benton.

Other highlights of the day came with the completion of the Sundowner Drawdown when Tim Retzik of Louisville, Colorado won the new Sundowner 727 Three-Horse Deluxe Horse Trailer valued over $21,000! The announcement of the winner was the culmination of 13 days of draws at the Futurity. In this special promotion, every NRCHA member's name was placed in the drawing as well as the owner and rider of every entry that placed at an NRCHA approved show from January 1 through August 31. ON the first day of the Futurity a hundred names were drawn, then each day of the futurity, eight names were drawn out.

Sharyn Jameson of Prineville, Oregon, won the NRCHA Raffle Colt and Kim Norris of Placerville, California won the Sundowner Raffle Trailer.













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