Sarah Dawson and Selvarey... Photo Credit: Quarter Horse News……


Since October 10th, 2020 Fort Worth has been a buzz of excitement as the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity returned to the Will Roger Coliseum. Amongst the countless heavy hitting competitors waiting for their moment in limelight, a familiar face in the reined cow horse community also had her eye on the prize – the queen of the Snaffle Bit Futurity. 

Sarah Dawson of Perrin, Texas is no stranger to the National Reined Cow Horse Association. With an impressive record of championship titles, along with an AQHA World Show arena record in the Jr Cow Horse class in 2017, she is a force to be reckoned with. Every year as Sarah and her husband Chris prepare for a new futurity season, they have the equivalent of a draft. With each taking their turn in choosing which prospects they will have the opportunity to show.

Last year Sarah pulled out the big guns. With the opportunity to have the first pick of the draft, Sarah wasted no time choosing Selvarey. The sorrel filly prospect, owned by Sheri Jamieson, was chosen for a multitude of reasons. From her natural ability to her impeccable breeding (Shine Smart x Dual Rey) there was no wonder why Sarah made sure Selvarey was her first choice. But as always there is a bit more to the story. Shine Smart (Dam of Selvarey) was the mare that really kicked off Sarah’s training career, paving the way to great success. To say that Selvarey was a bit of a sentimental choice would be an understatement.  

Now, as fate played its part in the talent department, as well as the sentimental, the stars were really starting to align for Sarah and Selvarey as the duo entered the 2020 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. High hope of a victory on both of their minds. 

Sarah Dawson aboard Selvarey at the 2020 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Video Credit – Western Horseman…..


With the entries paid, stalls bedded and a quick 50-mile drive under their belt, Sarah and Selvarey were on track for competition. First up – prelims, where the team made the cut to progress on to the finals in the Open Futurity. Finals started out with herd work, gaining Dawson a respectable score of 216. Next up was rein work. Things escalated from here for Dawson and Selvarey. Upon completing the reining pattern, the duo turned out a score of 220.5 – the winning score of this section of competition. 

Then came the most anticipated section of competition – Cow work. The section of competition that can either make you or completely break you. It is the ultimate test in this triathlon style competition. Dawson and Selvarey came in setting 3rd with a composite score of 436.5 behind Clay Volmer aboard Ricato Suave (440.5) and another horse that Sarah was aboard, Smart Chic An Tari (439). The goal for a championship was in sight.

As Sarah and Selvarey entered Will Rogers Coliseum, all was still. She stepped to the center of the pen aboard the sorrel mare and called for her calf. As the charolais cross came through the gate Sarah stepped up to calf and began her cow work. The crowd erupted with every cut, stop and turn Sarah made. As the horn blew the coliseum was deafening! With Sarah and Selvarey performing nearly flawless cow work there was an undeniable electricity coursing through both spectators and competitors! The look on Sarah’s face was nothing short of love and adoration for her equine partner. As the pats and cheering continued Dawson and Selvarey’s score was announced – a whopping 224! 

The rest was a blur! With a composite score of 660.5 Dawson and Selvarey clenched the title of Champion in the Open Futurity at the 2020 NRCHA (National Reined Cow Horse Association) Snaffle Bit Futurity on October 24, 2020. This monumental accomplishment pushed Sarah into the history books! She is now only the second women (the first being Sandy Collier in 1993) to ever win the Open Futurity class at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity! This young trainer, wife and mother is creating her own legacy in the western industry!