BFI or Bust

NOPE, Different Buckskin: Cody Snow to Debut Southern Ranches’ Futurity Standout SJR Diamond Billy at Bob Feist Invitational
SJR Diamond Billy has won $75K at the rope horse futurities—including the first Gold Buckle Heading title and Reserve Platinum Medal Futurity title—and now he'll test his abilities at the Feist.
SJR Diamond Billy
Snow reaches on his Horse of the Year Ima Fresnos Dee at RodeoHouston, while Billie Jack Saebens wins the Gold Buckle Futurity on SJR Diamond Bond. | Impulse Photography/Elite Equine Promotions

SJR Diamond Billy is the newest bad-to-the-bone buckskin in NFR average champion Cody Snow’s rig, and the standout son of CD Diamond will back into the box March 30 at the Lazy E for the 47th edition of the Bob Feist Invitational.

SJR Diamond Billy has won $75,083 per QData, all in judged earnings under NFR heeler and ARHFA Champ Billie Jack Saebens. Until this week, Shane and Jessica Boston’s Southern Ranches owned the 2018 gelding out of Billies Smooth Cat, a daughter of Smooth As A Cat. But after the horse stood out yet again in Houston at the American Rope Horse Futurity Association’s event mid-March, Shane was determined to get the 15.2-hand gelding on an even bigger stage.

SJR Diamond Billy

Billie Jack Saebens and SJR Diamond Billy went 232.86 in the second round of @American Rope Horse Futurity Open Heading at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo this morning to notch the second-round win and $1,500. They’rs setting to come back for Round 3, and we’ll have full results and stories at the link in bio brought to you by @resistol1927. #TeamRoping #Heading #BillieJackSaebens

♬ Play with Fire (feat. Yacht Money) – Sam Tinnesz

“I called Cody, and I wanted to see him go to the BFI,” Shane said. “I asked him if he’d ride him, and he said he’d try him. He rode him at Clay Logan’s a few days, and he asked if he could take him to that Open of Tyler Wade and Wesley Thorp’s, and he fell in love with him.”

“Once I rode him at that roping, I had to have him,” Snow added. “I haven’t felt one that felt as good as him since Annie was young. She’s been a career horse for me, and this horse is bigger and stronger than she is. I think he’ll be perfect for the second half of my career. All I know is that horse wins all the time. I was always wanting him, but I never try to spoil myself buying the best ones. I tried to talk myself out of it, but I needed to do it.”

Snow, 27, from Los Olivos, California, won the NFR average title with Wesley Thorp in 2019 and qualified from every Finals from 2016 to 2022, missing it in 2023 after struggling with horsepower all year. His mare Annie—registered as Ima Fresnos Dee—was the AQHA/PRCA Head Horse of the Year in 2021, but after spending more than half her life on the road, she needed to spend less time on the road. Snow’s ridden her much of the winter 2024, however, putting him inside the top 15 with $32,384 won by the end of March with new partner Hunter Koch.

Ima Fresnos Dee Annie Cody Snow

“It’s dang sure made a big difference seeing how much I win every time I get on her,” Snow explained. “That made me change my mind about spending more money on a good, reliable horse. This horse is only 6, and I can ride him for 10 years. This is his last year for showing, but with the Gold Buckle and everything else you can show him in, he can make a lot winning just this year. All I have to do is get out and turn them and he’ll score good. He wants to score good and run hard, and Billie Jack did a good job training him. He’s had a lot of pressure put on him, and that gave me the confidence to buy him and trust that he’ll work in the situations I put him in.”

Saebens is excited about other young head horses he’s got in the hopper, complementing his string of elite heel horses headlined by stallion The Notorious BIG. Plus, he’ll get to see SJR Diamond Billy with Snow at the rodeos, as Saeben will head out for the summer with Coy Rahlmann.

“Whether I trained him or somebody else did, or whether Snow bought him or somebody else did, he’d go on and be good. He has so much control. He’s young still, but he never loses control. He might think about getting quick on one, but you just pick him up, put him where you want and tell him what you want him to do and he pretty much does it. He’s going to score good, and he’s fast enough and he rates the cow well enough, and he’ll look really good there for sure. It will be neat to see how good he is in all the other situations because I think he will be good in any situation. I’ve roped on him at BFI-type stuff at home, where I see the steers out a long ways and make him get up there and slow down. He should be fairly prepared.”


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