December 10, 2008 - Wednesday -

Montanans Shine at NRHA Futurity

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By Chandra Morris

There is a distinct advantage to being a newcomer to the NRHA Futurity and North American Affiliate Finals – everyone is willing to share something with you about the facilities and the events – and there is much to share. From the moment you enter the massive 9,000-seat coliseum and watch a rider come through the Gateway of Champions, you realize that this is the big time. And then you go on to the barns and chat with trainers in the enclaves of the world’s top riders, visit a hundred or so vendor booths, preview the sales horses and follow the auctions in the sales barn and you realize why you strive all year to make the affiliate finals: so you have a chance at the big time.

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Montanans Shine at NRHA Futurity

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Stephanie Anderson sliding to a stop aboard A Girls Best Friend.

State Fair Park, where the finals are held, sits on Oklahoma City’s southwest side and is fed by Interstates 35, 40 and 44 and the Will Rogers World Airport, less than 10 miles away. In November and December, daytime temperatures hover in the 50s. Leaving Montana’s frigid temps and mantle of snow for Oklahoma City’s balmy clime was a great idea, but we reining enthusiasts were in for a much bigger treat than the weather.

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