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National Reined Cow Horse Association – 2013 Snaffle Bit Futurity

“The Greatest Show on Dirt” – You probably assume this has something to do with stock cars circling a dirt track, but don’t be fooled by the title.  Reined cow horse cowboys are the real deal.

Each year in Reno, Nevada, horse enthusiasts travel from all over the world to watch twelve days of exciting action as 3-year old futurity horses test their skills and cow sense during three events: herd work, rein work, and fence work. The winner’s payout is over $1 million and the champion will walk away with $100,000 and go down in NRCHA history as the 2013 Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion.

Back in the 1700s, a reined cow horse used to be a “Vaquero’s,” (Spanish for cowboy), most valuable asset. The method of training used to teach horses how to work cattle drives in the wide open ranges spanning from Mexico to California. The training took years of hard work and dedication to create a class of horse the vaqueros needed.  “A quick-footed, intelligent horse with nerves of steel to assist with daily chores like branding, sorting and doctoring.” As time and modern technology progressed, the reined cow horse became less of a necessity and more of a luxury. The western expansion into California, the gold rush, economic depression, and World War II, all but took away the need for a skilled reined cow horse.

In 1949, the National Reined Cow Horse Association originated to preserve the history and tradition of the reined cow horse. Their skills are put on display and to the test in annual competitions for all to see.

Animal rights activists have been attacking the horse industry for decades — extremists who will settle for nothing less than total “animal liberation.” The idea that we should not “own” a horse, a household pet, or any animal is at the root of their fundamental beliefs that fuel their radical agenda.

In 2006, Congress, influenced heavily by animal rights organizations, defunded the USDA’s ability to conduct inspections of horse processing plants. Many in the horse industry warned of the adverse affects that would occur, but groups like the Humane Society of the United States continued pushing their agenda despite warnings from animal care and industry professionals. Since then, there has been a significant drop-off in the economic value of horses, resulting in a drastic and devastating impact on horse welfare in the United States. Reports indicate a staggering increase in the number of horses left abandoned and malnourished, while wild herd sizes increase at an uncontrolled rate as a result of years of mismanagement.

Today’s $100 billion recreational horse industry is the largest in the U.S. and horses are to many, a part of their rich family history and a source of livelihood.

Protect The Harvest is proud to be sponsors of the 2013 Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nevada, September 24 – October 5th. In observing and celebrating the heritage of the reined cow horse, we honor their amazing talents and abilities, while the commitment and love the cowboy has for his horse.

We’re proud to stand behind America’s horse industry in support of the National Reined Cow Horse Association and we hope that you’ll join us.

The futurity is broadcast live, here: www.gallopingvideo.com/webcasts/

To learn more about the NRCHA and future events, visit: www.NRCHA.com

Be sure to visit NRCHA on Facebook to catch the most recent updates of this year’s competition: www.facebook.com/NRCHA

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