2018 NRHA Rome Shoot In – Kronsteiner and Fontana tie to win the $23,400-added NRHA Rome Open Shoot In

2018 NRHA Rome Shoot In
Rome, Italy
February 16-18, 2018 

Kronsteiner and Fontana tie to win the $23,400-added NRHA Rome Open Shoot In
14-year-old Francesca Ferrarol sweeps the $13,200-added Rome Non Pro Shoot In

Rome, February 18 – Provided by Simona Diale – Once again the NRHA approved $55,560-added Shoot In in Rome attracted Europe’s best horses and riders as well as an enthusiastic crowd. Held during Cavalli a Roma, the annual three-day exhibition showcasing international horse show jumping, national pony show jumping as well as NRHA, NRCHA and AQHA approved competitions, counted over 25,000 visitors.

The NRHA Rome Open Shoot In


In a field of 59 entries, the $23,400-added NRHA Open Rome Shoot In, past NRHA Intermediate Open World Champion Guglielmo Fontana set the bar early in the draw by posting a 228 aboard Luga Quarter Horses’ Whiz Wild West. Aboard the 5-year-old gelding, the Italian NRHA Professional had clinched the 2017 NRHA European Futurity Level (L)3 Open as well as the Italian Reining Horse Association 4-year-old L4 Open Futurity Championships. Following the winter break, the duo came back strong leaving their mark in the Italian capital’s show arena.


Fontana held on to the lead until NRHA Million Dollar Rider Rudi Kronsteiner rode Jenny Nixdorf’s 2017 NRHA Open Reserve World Champion AB Peppy Diamond. With the talented stallion by OT Taris San Peppy out of Mare Made, who boasts over $80,000 NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE), the Austrian NRHA Professional lay down a strong pattern paid back by the judges with a 228.

Both NRHA Professionals opted to share the highest step of the podium of the $23,400-added NRHA Rome Shoot In Open. “I don’t believe I have ever ridden a horse as talented as Whiz Wild West,” said Fontana about the gelding aka Mosé. “He was the first horse I rode when I moved in as head trainer for Luga Quarter Horses and we immediately clicked. He was awesome today and it truly would have been unfair to run off for the win.”

Kronsteiner agreed, adding that he had picked up his mount – aka Tony – from the breeding station three weeks prior to the show in Rome and had only ridden him a week before showing him. “He [AB Peppy Diamond] is an exceptional horse and proved his worth yet again,” he added. “The level of competition here was very high. Guglielmo and his horse were certainly my favorite here and, after setting the bar so early in the draw, we all knew we had to step it up. Tony was great and it truly did not make sense to run off, especially considering we’re at the beginning of the show season.”


NRHA Professional Angelo Benedusi riding Little Hancock (Docs Tivio Hancock x Little Bay Solano), owned by Rebecca Folcia, took home first place honors in both the $12,000-added NRHA Intermediate Open and $480-added Limited Open with a 219.5.

The NRHA Rome Non Pro Shoot In

Winning the $13,200-added NRHA Rome Non Pro Shoot In, as well as the $6,000-added Intermediate Non Pro and $480-added Limited Non Pro with an outstanding 223 — in a field of 59 entries — went to 14-year-old Francesca Ferrarol aboard Tarisnap (Snapper Cal Bar x Tari Badgekin) owned by her father, Maurizio Ferrarol. “I have no words to describe how special my horse is,” said Francesca. “I ride under the guidance of [NRHA Professional] Max Ruggeri who suggested we buy him. When we picked him up in January last year he was in the pasture with a couple of donkeys. We put him back in training – always respecting his age and knowledge – and he showed us all how patient and talented he is. Here he was spectacular and I am so proud of him. I knew he could do it but never expected to achieve this result – he is the best and I truly love him.” Plans for the oldest horse in the competition, ridden by the youngest rider entered, are now to qualify for the upcoming FEI European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors.


Past NRHA Non Pro World Champions, Enrico Sciulli and Snips Gotta Bud (Nic It In The Bud x Snip O Chex), rode to second place in the Non Pro with a 219. Young Matteo Bonzano riding Highpoint Reiner, the gelding his father Manuel Bonzano rode to the NRHA Non Pro World Champion. Owned by 23 Quarter Horses Azienda Agricola S.S., the talented bay is by Sailin Ruf out of Scarlet High Listo.

Once again the sport of reining – showcased at its best in Rome – left its mark in the show arena and both on national TV and in national newspapers in Italy.

Images courtesy Dead Or Alive Photography

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