It’s Finals Night at the 50th running of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity in Oklahoma City, and it’s hot beneath the bright lights of Jim Norick Arena. The stands are packed, and you know everyone is here to see a good show. You also know it’s about to get LOUD. 

You lope down the shoot, catching a last-minute glimpse of the eager, friendly faces on either side of the barricades. Your stomach flip flops as you leave them behind, but there’s no time to think about that now. You’re already galloping up the center line, and the blood is pulsing in your ears. It’s go time.


Or at least, that’s how we’d imagine go time would feel at NRHA Futurity Finals. Thankfully, $3 million rider Craig Schmersal strapped on a GoPro for the event, which took place in early December, to show us what it’s really like.

Riding his homebred Cashing Black Chex, a horse the Scottsdale, Arizona ridertrained himself—and who has already won more than $100K as a three-year-old for Wranglen Partnership—Schmersal put on quite a show, cruising his way to a score of 221 and a third-place finish in the Open Level 4 Finals (Casey Deary and Shesouttayourleague took home first prize).

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to cheer right along with the crowd:

And here’s how it looked from the stands: