World Championship Rope Horse Futurity
The richest rope horse futurity in history—adding a whopping $100,000 to its purse—is scheduled for Oct. 13 in Fort Worth, Texas, in conjunction with the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s Snaffle Bit Futurity.
The American Rope Horse Futurity Association, spearheaded by Colorado’s Jay Wadham, partnered with Dean Tuftin of DT Horses to produce the event, which allows horses 4 to 6 years old to compete in both a timed and judged format. Judges Jay Ellerman, five-time NFR header, and Justin Johnson, AQHA World Show judge and brother to PRCA world champion Jhett Johnson, will look for a more “jackpot-type head horse,” one without as much slide as an AQHA show horse that a roper could ride at the BFI or US Finals. They’ll want head and heel horses to be quiet in the box, and penalties will be assessed if not. Heel horses should show a lot of rate going down the arena, and ropers can heel the steer on the first or second jump as long as the horse is working, Johnson said.
The futurity will include three goes and a finals. Each run will be timed, and that number will be subtracted from 60 seconds. The resulting sum will then be added to the scores from Ellerman and Johnson.
The futurity also has an incentive for #6 and below headers and #7 and below heelers.
With a Sept. 5 entry deadline and a Sept. 25 late entry deadline, ropers are already lining up to be a part of the groundbreaking event.
“I’ve got several entered. It creates more interest in the roping horse industry, and like always, when events start paying more money, people are interested in doing it,” said AQHA world champion rope horse trainer Bobby Lewis. “It’s good. Anything to create interest in the industry, I’m all in.”
Entrants can ride an unlimited number of horses per side for fees of $1,250 each, with a late fee of $500 between Sept. 5 and Sept. 25.