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High Brow Snap and Sarah Morine Claim the 2023 NCHA Intermediate Non Pro Futurity Championship

DATE POSTED:November 29, 2023

Sarah Morine of Weatherford, Texas, earned her first big win in the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum aboard High Brow Snap during the 2023 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Intermediate Non Pro finals.

“I’ve made a lot of finals before, but this is my first title,” Morine revealed. “It feels good.”

Despite a difficult draw at the bottom of the first set in the finals, Morine and the 2020 gelding by High Brow Cat and out of Dualsnap (by Dual Rey) marked a 222 to win the Intermediate Non Pro championship, taking home a check for $16,138.23.

“I was happy with the way we showed in that draw,” she explained. “The first cow was one that we didn’t know, but it felt good, so we went with it, and it turned out great. The second cow I cut was one that we did know, and we got her cut good. Then we finished up on a cow that was in a good spot.”

The pair marked consistent scores and improved their performance throughout the go-rounds to land a spot in the finals.

“[High Brow Snap] got better and better through the goes,” Morine said. “The cows have been a little bit tough—not terrible, but tough. You have to show smart, so I tried to cruise through and not make any mistakes.”

Dennis The Menace

Morine credits her strong performance in the finals to trusting her gelding to do his job.

sarah-morine
Sarah Morine proudly displaying her new trophy. * Photo by Kaycie Timm

“I was definitely proud of my horse,” she says. “He feels a little more mature, like an older horse. I feel confident making power cuts and showing him a little more boldly than your average three-year-old.”

Although he’s an all-star in the show pen, the gelding has earned a unique barn name due to his mischievous nature at home.

“I call him Dennis—Dennis the Menace,” Morine laughs. “He is like a pet coon. He loves harassment.”

All jokes aside, the non pro and her gelding share a strong bond that allowed them to best some tough cattle and earn an impressive score.

“He’s just a nice horse that I trust, and I can call on him at any moment,” Morine reveals. “He’s been a good horse, and he really shined in the finals.”

The A-Team

No win comes without an army of supporters, especially in the cutting horse pen. Morine expressed her gratitude to the team alongside her in the arena, as well as those helping behind the scenes.

“My trainer, Kelley Earnhardt, had [High Brow Snap] working just fabulous,” she shared. “I’d like to give a big shout out to my herd help, Lloyd Cox and Kelly Earnhardt. They helped me find those cows, and I couldn’t do it without them. I also want to thank my turn back help, Clint Allen and Sean Flynn. I couldn’t have accomplished this without their help and guidance along the way.”

Outside the pen, the Intermediate Non Pro champion relied on her friends and family to make sure she was ready to compete.

“It’s nice to have a very big support group,” Morine shares. “I’d like to thank my dad, Bruce Morine, and my mom, Kathy Morine for their support. I’d also like to thank my friends, Paige Hadlock and Teagan Still for coming in. I had two horses in the finals, and I couldn’t have done it without my team and my friends who really helped me out with getting all my horses prepared.”

NCHA Futurity Intermediate Non Pro Reserve Champions

Two competitors marked 217.5 to tie for the reserve championship and third place slot in the Intermediate Non Pro finals. Isabella Banuelos, the youngest rider in the Intermediate Non Pro finals, rode Lipp Smacker (Smooth Talking Style X Kitt And Kadabra x Abrakadabracre), owned by Adan Banuelos, while Jessica Banuelos Feiner rode Phantom One (Rollz Royce x Desiresomemettalic x Metallic Cat) owned by SMF Cutting Horses.

One of Isabella Banuelos’ cuts. * Video by Kaycie Timm

Mashups and APIs