A Smoking Run leads to the 2018 NRHA Open Futurity Champion

For Immediate Release – December 1, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Open Futurity Finals featured a field 70 horses deep across the four levels and prime time division. At the end of the night after the last score had been announced, NRHA Million Dollar Rider Jason Vanlandingham, riding A Vintage Smoke for owner Diane Mesmer, secured the title of 2018 NRHA Open Level (L) 4 Futurity Champion [video].

A Vintage Smoke, nominated by Karl Hapcic, is by NRHA Million Dollar Sire A Sparkling Vintage and out of Lady Smoke Peppy. “I had been struggling with  some things this week. I thought my turns went as good as they could be. In the warm up pen, he was really locked in and gave me a ton of confidence,” said Vanlandingham. He went on to add, “I went for it all and ran him through the gate as hard as we could run, and he swallowed that first stop up.” A Vintage Smoke earned $142,500 for his owner and $7,500 for his nominator.

Isnt She Perfect and rider Kole Price took home the L4 Open Reserve Championship. Isnt She Perfect is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz and out of Miss Silver Gun. She is owned by Amy Meadows and nominated by Tamarack Ranch LLC. The owner’s and nominator’s share of the purse was $130,352 and $6,518, respectively.

Winning the L3 Open division, Prime Time Open, and Prime Time Open Reserve Championship was NRHA Million Dollar Rider Mike McEntire aboard two similar named horses. McEntire rode his first draw, Pale Faced Whiz (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Pale Face Dunnit x Ms Maggie Whiz), for owners A4L-Equine to a score of 218 ½ to win the title of Prime Time Open Reserve Champion and a top ten finish in the L3 Open division. Pale Faced Whiz is nominated by Ginger Schmersal.

McEntire’s second draw, Pale Face Whiz, slid to a score of 222 ½ earning the duo the title of Open L3 Champion and Open Prime Time Champion, as well as more than $87,000 in owner and nominator earnings [video]. The sorrel stallion is by Pale Face Dunnit and out of Lady Naskiia Whiz. He is nominated by Everett Wiggins and owned by Everett and Karen Wiggins. “It felt good; the horse has been so good all week. He has stayed real solid,” said McEntire when asked about his run on Pale Face Whiz.

Earning the L3 Open Reserve Championship was Vintage Jewels and NRHA Million Dollar Rider Dell Hendricks. Vintage Jewels, owned by Kristi Clark, is by A Sparkling Vintage and out of Jewels Lil Sparkle and nominated by Todd Vernon.

Riding to the L2 and L1 Open Futurity Championship was Austin Lee Roush and Gunna Stop (NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya x Stop Little Sister) owned by Alexandria Gokey and nominated by Toyon Ranch LLC [video]. “I felt pretty confident. Both of my horses rode good for the whole horse show. I was ready to show today,” said Roush when asked about his run.

Tying for the L2 Open Reserve Champion was Smokin Paleface (Pale Face Dunnit x Lost In Tinseltown) with Brent Naylor, and Mr Royal Hollywood (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Hollywoodstinseltown x Cee Miss Hollywood) with NRHA Million Dollar Rider Cody Sapergia. Smokin Paleface is owned and nominated by Tim Anderson. Mr Royal Hollywood is owned by George and Carol Bell and nominated by George Bell.

Tinker This and Thiago Sobral earned the L1 Open Reserve Championship for owners Mary Beth and Tim Ruckman. Tinker This is by Tinker With Guns and out of Tejons Finally Dunit and nominated by Silver Spurs Equine.

Record-Setting Payout

The 2018 NRHA Open Futurity witnessed the second largest purse in the event’s history with nearly $1.5 million awarded Saturday night. Additionally, there was an 8% increase in horses entered (399) and 14% increase in total entries (1,124).

Cool As Ice – Fappani Wins 2018 NRHA Cinch Non Pro Futurity

For Immediate Release – November 30, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The competition in the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Cinch Non Pro Futurity was hot, but Tish Fappani kept her cool despite a three-way runoff for the championship. Fappani claimed her third Level (L) 4 Non Pro Championship tonight aboard Icecube, a red dun stallion by SG Frozen Enterprize and out of Taris Designer Genes, nominated by Andrea Fappani and owned by Andrea and Tish Fappani.

Fappani, who actually prefers to go earlier in the draw, drew up second to last in the second section of the finals tonight. As she entered the arena Samantha Smith riding Neverthoughtiwould and Madison Steed aboard Into The Nite were in a two-way tie with a 222 ½. After the completion of her run, a two-way tie turned into a three-way tie, but Fappani kept her cool in the runoff marking a 223 ½ and clinching the win [video].  “His first run he was really good, he is such a powerful horse, but I had a few bobbles on my end so we tied,” said Fappani “I’ve never had to do a run off at a major aged event.” She went on to add “He [Icecube] went back in there and tried even harder for me.”

Earning the title of 2018 NRHA Cinch Non Pro L4 Reserve Co-Champion and L3 Champion was Samantha Smith and Neverthoughtiwould (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Pale Face Dunnit x Shine Tini) [video]. The cremello gelding is owned by NRHA Million Dollar Owner Lance Griffin and nominated by Ginger Schmersal. When asked about her run Smith said, “Going in the first time I knew there was a pretty big score to beat, but I just wanted to be good. My plan was to show smart because he is a fun horse but to be able to put the hammer down and show him clean and correct and it worked.” Smith gave credit to her trainer, Martin Larcombe and how prepared he had her horse for tonight.

Madison Steed and Into The Nite claimed the Cinch Non Pro L4 Reserve Co-Championship and L2 Championship [video]. Into The Nite, nominated by Turnabout Farms, Inc. and owned by Steed, is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunners Special Nite and out of Chexy Dun It.  “My first run he was awesome. He turned better in there than I think he has in his entire life. We bobbled in the run in on the first one, but he is three and he tried super hard, and I really couldn’t have asked for a better horse,” said Steed when asked about her run.

Wining the Cinch Non Pro L1 and Youth Championship as well as the L2 Reserve Championship was Sam Flarida riding Hollywooddirtysecret [video], a red dun gelding nominated by Patricia Duque and owned by Shawn Flarida. Daniele Whitney and Absolute Gunner slide their way to the Cinch Non Pro L1 Reserve Champion. Absolute Gunner, nominated by Turnabout Farm, Inc, is by NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Gunner and out of Taris Modern Design. Cade McCutcheon and Alpha Brave Hard (nominated by Alpha Quarter Horses, Inc.) clinched the Non Pro Youth Reserve Championship. Alpha Brave Hard is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunners Special Nite and out of Miss Brim Peppy.

The Non Pro Prime Time Championship ended with a two-way tie between Think Im Gunna Shine ridden by Chad Clark [video] and Whata Special Nite ridden by Stoney Russell [video]. Think Im Gunna Shine (Nominated by Rick Sassella) is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya and out of Shiny Wrangler. “It was super fun and I love a horse that will let you show them like that. She is super sweet,” said Clark when talking about his winning run tonight.

Whata Special Nite, owned and shown by Stoney Russell, is by Gunners Special Nite and out of SLJ Sweet N Juicy and was nominated by Lindy Longfellow.  We asked Russell about his run tonight, and this what he had to say: “I came across the middle on my right circle and drug a lead and had an overturn on my spins, but other than that he was there for me. I pushed him, and he never said no. I was very happy with him.”

Big Numbers for 2018 NRHA CINCH Non Pro Futurity
The 2018 NRHA Futurity continues its successful start with impressive and historic numbers. Non Pro entries were up 8% (629) in comparison to last year (582). This year’s edition had the largest purse (level 1 – level 4) in history with $617,166. The second largest was held in 2012 with $605,111. Additionally, the purse for each level was at a record high.