Wild Spayed Filly Futurity: A new tradition and one solution to the wild horse crisis

Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity and Wild Spayed Filly Futurity

by Protect the Harvest

The third annual Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity presented by Lucas Oil and Protect The Harvest was just held in Reno, Nevada the week of September 8th – 15th, 2019.  Along with the classic cow horse snaffle bit futurity classes, the show, again, included the 2nd annual Wild Spayed Filly Futurity presented by Protect the Harvest.  The entire event was a great success. Nearly doubling the entries in both the futurity divisions and horse show classes from the 2018 show. Competitors, vendors and spectators came from all over the country to be a part of it.

Spayed wild fillies, 2020

The Wild Spayed Filly Futurity is a unique reined cow horse competition showcasing spayed three-year-old mustang fillies from the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Facility in Burns, Oregon. The 11 fillies that competed were auctioned off last year during the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity sale. These fillies were purchased by trainers of all backgrounds; from NRCHA professional trainers like Jason Gay and Andrew Steiger, repeating competitors from last year’s event like Whitney Campbell, Taylor Gordon, and Tyler Johnson-Clark, to well-known mustang enthusiasts who were trying their hand at this discipline for the first time.

The Wild Spayed Filly Futurity filled the seats at the Reno Livestock Events Center. At the end of the night, Andrew Steiger with South Steen’s Maggie Magpie took home the championship with a composite score of 673. They received several prizes including a championship buckle made by Skyline-Vaquero, a championship saddle made by TBE Cowboy Supply and $25,000 sponsored by Lucas Oil. After the competition, Andrew mentioned that he was so proud of Maggie Magpie, saying, “she has never run that fast down the fence before”.

Whitney Campbell

Another aspect of the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity was the opportunity to celebrate the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Doug Williamson during the Futurity’s Hall of Achievement Banquet. Doug Williamson has dedicated his life to preserving the traditions of the California Spanish Vaqueros and is a million dollar rider. This award was presented in conjunction with the National Reined Cow Horse Foundation.

On Saturday, Phillip Ralls won the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Bridle Championship on Short N Catt owned by Sarah Davis. Jeremy Meador took home the Open Hackamore Championship aboard Upper Class Cat, owned by Redtail Ranch LLC.

Andrew Steiger on Maggie Magpie

Saturday also included the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity Sale, where several of the 2019 trained spayed fillies sold as well as the new batch of 2020 Wild Spayed Filly Futurity fillies. Champion filly, South Steen’s Maggie Magpie, sold to Ginny Griswold who has known her since the beginning and followed her journey through the last year.  AQHA/APHA cow horse prospects, broodmares, and trained horses also went through the auction – the high seller of the day was a 2018 red roan filly by Metallic Cat and out of a Shining Spark mare. Her final bid was $31,000.

The Open Futurity Finals fell on Sunday, September 15th, with the highest scoring horses from the preliminaries coming back to compete. Nick Dowers and Smart Shiney Playboy, owned by Clinton and Kim Marshall, took home the championship and $50,000. Nick told Quarter Horse News “He was awesome from start to finish… Two weeks ago I couldn’t push on a cow like I did tonight, and so for him to come out here and just push that cow around… he just handled business, I’m very, very proud of him.”

Shelby Rosholt and fillies

The 2019 Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity and Wild Spayed Filly Futurity reached people nationwide between the Protect the Harvest and Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity social media outlets and the livestream broadcasts.

The Wild Spayed Filly Futurity is slated to return to the 2020 Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity with the ten new fillies sold at this year’s sale. The 2020 trainers include NRCHA professionals, Non-Pro competitors, and well-known Mustang trainers. This important program has accomplished two significant goals since its inception in 2017. It brought the issue of over-population of wild horses on American rangelands to public attention and demonstrated spaying as a viable, humane and economical option for addressing the animal welfare crisis on our American rangelands.   Additionally, the program also showed just how trainable and athletic these horses can be, helping to increase adoptions of wild horses.

The Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity is an important western reined cow horse tradition. Lucas Oil and Protect the Harvest, are proud to help keep that tradition alive.