Catch Up with NRHA Markel Futurity Sale Graduate Spooks Gotta Spark

Spooks Gotta Spark (Photo by Cam Essick)

(Spooks Gotta Whiz x Dolittle Lena)

Sale: 2015 Futurity Prospect

Consigner: Garth W. Brown, Gainesville, Texas

Purchaser: Gus and Gaynia Revenberg, Oldcastle, Ontario

Even the most magical place on earth couldn’t keep Gaynia Revenberg away from the 2015 NRHA Markel Futurity sales—especially with a prospect like Spooks Gotta Spark available. In previous years, Revenberg spent hours scanning the list of consigned horses, watching preview videos, and discussing prospects. But in 2015, all she wanted was to enjoy a vacation at Disney World with her husband, Gus.

“I was sitting on the balcony at Disney when Shawn Flarida called me and said, ‘There’s a horse here you have to buy,’” Revenberg recalled. “My husband said, ‘Book the flight.’ So, we went to the sale, and Shawn was absolutely correct.”

Since then, Spooks Gotta Spark has held a special place in Revenberg’s heart. “I decided to bring him home so I could ride him myself,” she shared. “I really like this horse, so I asked [NRHA Professional Loris Epis] here in Ontario to show him.”

But as the inaugural Run for a Million in Las Vegas approached, Revenberg knew she couldn’t keep her all-star in Canada much longer. Although she received three inquiries about using her horse in the Million Dollar Invitational, Flarida’s lucrative history with the buckskin stallion made the NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider the obvious choice for Revenberg.

“He didn’t have much time to get him ready, but he did an amazing job,” she said of Flarida’s performance in the Million Dollar Invitational. Spooks Gotta Spark marked a 228, which landed Flarida and the stallion a fourth-place finish and a $65,000 payout.

In February 2020, Bill and Patty Fingland of Rogersville, Mo. purchased the flashy buckskin. With them, he placed in the Top 10 at the 2020 NRHA Open Derby presented by Markel and went on to place 13th in the Level 4 NRBC Open Classic.

It was at the NRBC that Spooks Gotta Spark caught the eye of Kevin Truax and the two bonded instantly. Not long after the team returned from the show, Truax was celebrating the purchase of the most talented reining horse he feels that he has ever owned. “We brought him to our barn the week we bought him. Derek, my daughter, Kiersten, and I each got on him for a bit. He was just so incredible to ride.” Truax said.

As Truax rushed to arrange for Spooks Gotta Sparks’s quickly approaching debut in the breeding barn, Heitland rode the stallion to a Level 2 AQHA Senior Reining World Reserve Co-Championship, and at the 2020 Adequan® NAACs, the talented reiner earned Heitland the NAAC Limited Open title.

Lorenzo Lotti at Foals R Us, in Whitesboro, Texas, made quick accommodations for Spooks Gotta Spark to stand there, and Cam Essick took care of advertisements.

With Spooks Gotta Spark’s future as a sire in the works, Flarida opened up another opportunity for the pair to compete for a million dollars. “Once the next Run For A Million was announced, Shawn worked out a training schedule with Lorenzo. We took Spooks Gotta Spark to Ohio in February and bred with him up there while he was getting in shape.” Truax shared. “In Arizona, we felt good about the qualifier until we found out we were draw number one. I knew it would be tough, so figured we would likely be on the bubble and be nervous all day. After Shawn went, we felt great about qualifying, then realized we may actually win it after abo 70 horses went. To get the high score with all that firepower was unbelievable. Being able to stand in the win picture with all the big names around us was a true dream come true.”

Perhaps Truax’s connection to Spooks Gotta Spark runs even deeper. He said, “My father died last June, so I do feel this has been guided in some way by him.  We have been reining for 40 years, but never at this level. We hope to have one more ride in August to really see what he can do. My goal is to have lots of his babies on the ground for others to enjoy.” 

For breeding information about Spooks Gotta Spark, go to

Platinum Performance® to Sponsor Welcome Party and Non Pro Draw at NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

The Platinum Performance Non Pro Draw Party returns to the NRHA Derby presented by Markel on Wednesday, June 23. (NRHA Staff photo)

National Reining Horse Association Corporate Partner Platinum Performance® has supported the reining industry over 20 years. That support continues in 2021, with a much-anticipated, in-person Welcome Party and Non Pro Draw Party to be held during the NRHA Derby Presented by Markel.

The slow return to normalcy has everyone abuzz with excitement and this event is another step in the right direction. Attendees will enjoy a delicious catered meal, drinks, and all of the nail-biting enthusiasm of the Non Pro Finals Draw and after missing a year due to Covid, the popular Reiners Rope dummy roping will be also held. The Party will be held at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, June 23.

“As long-time partners of NRHA, we are excited to sponsor the Platinum Performance® Welcome Party featuring the Non Pro Finals Draw as well as the Platinum Performance® Virtual Open Draw Party at the 2021 NRHA Derby,” said Lauren Thompson, Equine Marketing Manager. “We look forward to maintaining our commitment to provide superior nutrition and unmatched personal service to the valued NRHA membership.”

The support of Platinum Performance® extends well beyond the Party. The company will also provide the exhibitor bags given to every NRHA Derby competitor. In addition, Platinum Performance® will sponsor a Virtual Open Draw Party Friday, June 25 at 10 a.m. The decision was made to keep the Platinum Performance® Open Draw Party virtual so that trainers could be available to their non pro finalists.

The 2021 NRHA Derby presented by Markel takes place at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City June 19-27. For more information about this premier event, visit

Platinum Performance® believes in the power of nutrition and supplementation and remains committed to providing formulas that produce superior results in the horse. For 25 years, Platinum has continued to research the role of nutrition with regards to wellness and performance and is committed to providing equine veterinarians, horse owners and trainers the nutritional tools they need to benefit from cutting edge equine nutrition. Horse health is the Platinum Performance® mission, and we look forward to helping you find your Platinum. Learn more at

NRHA Futurity Rider Designation Deadline Changed to October 1

2021 NRHA Futurity Rider Designations will be due October 1, the same day as the last payment. This was a change made by the NRHA Board of Directors in an effort to streamline the entering process. In the past, the Rider Designation’s due date of November 1 and subsequent policy that undesignated horses were put at the front of the draw at that time often caused a hardship for an owner and rider who might have simply miscommunicated on who was sending in the designation form.

For most people showing in the Non Pro and Open Futurities, there is no question as to who will show a horse so it’s one less deadline to keep up with. And NRHA Professionals needing extra time to decide whether they or an assistant trainer will show a particular horse, can simply designate a rider by October 1 and then change as necessary with no penalties up to noon two days prior to the first go.  

NRHA Show Secretary Kathy Gould explained, “At the NRHA Events Office we always try to catch what might be an entry oversight when we see an undesignated horse, but it has often been impossible to make contact with the owner of every undesignated entry in the short window as the draw deadline approaches. We want to make sure everyone gets the benefit of being included in the futurity draw if that is their intention!”

She continued, “Having the Rider Designations come to us by October 1 will give us time to verify that undesignated horses are not actually intended to go forward and to find any that were undesignated due to some error. The key is to get the designations in by October 1, then there is no charge for any rider changes that are completed before November 1. However, there is a $50 late fee that will apply if a designation is not received by the October 1 deadline.”

More information and Rider Designation forms as well as Rider Change forms can be found at

2020 Arcese/MS Diamonds IRHA Open Futurity: Midili and GD Pepos Olena Blue Capture the Composite Top Score

Cremona, May 19— The second go round of the €204.000,00-added Arcese/MS Diamonds TX 2020 Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Open Futurity, eligible for horses by stallions nominated in the Italian Reining Horse Breeders Association (IRHBA) incentive program, determined the Open Finalists.

Leading the €138.750,00-added Level (L) 4 composite score with 438.5 (220.5, 218) is Mirko Midili riding GD Peptos Olena Blue (Spat A Blue x Miss Peptos Jacky x Peptos Lil Bingo), owned and bred by Domenico Giannitti. The duo also tied to win the first go round. The talented stallion was trained by Italian professional Stefano Cerrutti who, due to health issues, passed the reins to Midili a few months ago. “He was quiet and focused in the first go round and today he did well even though he was a little more nervous than usual,” said Midili who won the second go round aboard Nicola Sola’s Whizkeywood (Whizkey N Diamonds x Hollywood Footprints) but did not make the Finals on the buckskin stallion by one point. “It’s a shame we had some bad luck with Sola’s horse, but I am thrilled with the fact that I qualified Luga QH’s mare Angel On Fire (Inferno 66 x Lena Dun It) for the finals. Giovanni [Luga] showed her in the qualifying go round of the Non Pro Futurity here, scored a zero, so we decided to show her in the Open and it worked! I am also very proud of my assistant, Thomas Beget, who is leading the Level 1 Open composite score.”

Midili of Italy won his first futurity titles in the 2012 IRHA Futurity where he claimed all the levels riding renowned sire SG Frozen Enterprize owned by Silver Spurs Equine — at the time owned by Marco Franchini — and also tied to win the Italian L4 Open in 2019 aboard Not Black At All (by Not Ruff At All), owned by Luga Quarter Horses.

The €37.500,00-added L3 top highest composite score—a 436 (220.5, 215.5)— went to Syliva Rzepka and Wimpy Walla Whiz, a stallion by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step out of Memorable Walla Whiz (by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz). With the stallion owned by Zsolt Méder of Hungary, Rzepka who describes him as being a mature and solid horse, tied to win the first go round. The German trainer based in Austria has had him in training for the past three years and together they were 2020 NRHA Germany Breeders Futurity finalists.

The €18.750,00-added L2 division was for Alfredo Ciabattoni of Italy who took the lead with a 432.5 composite score (219.5, 213) riding Shine Solano Whiz. The flashy mare by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Shine Chic Shine out of Ms Solano Whiz is owned by Giuseppe Basile. “I am really happy with this result and I want to thank the owner Giuseppe [Basile] for giving me the opportunity to ride this amazing mare. She’s out of one of his broodmares and having a ‘home-made’ horse lead this division going into the finals makes him so proud,” said Ciabattoni. “She is a very sweet mare, still has to mature compared to other horses her age, but I’m sure that next year we’ll see a big difference in her. We had a little bobble in today’s run, but we will try to make up for it in the final.”

In the €9.000,00-added L1, French Thomas Beget, now based in Italy, rode Luga QH’s Shinin Moonstone (Spark N Whiz x AR Lucky Wrangler) to a 428.5 (214.5, 214).

Action in Cremona will continue on Thursday, May 20 with the NRHA European Non Pro Finals starting at 8.30 a.m., followed by the European Futurity Open Finals.

For the online downloadable NRHA European Non Pro Finals Draw click HERE

For the NRHA European Futurity Open Finals Draw click HERE

The 2020 Arcese/MS Diamonds TX IRHA/IRHBA Open Futurity finals will close the event on Saturday, May 22. The event is held behind closed doors. For those that would like to follow the action live, see below:

Livescore and full results:


For further information:

Photos by Bonaga Communication

IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA Futurity Media Contact:
Simona Diale/International Horse Press


Belgium, Germany and Italy Tie to Lead the First Go Round of the Arcese/MS Diamonds TX 2020 IRHA 3-year-old Open Futurity

Cremona, May 17–The first go round of the €204.000,00-added Arcese/MS Diamonds TX 2020 Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Open Futurity, eligible for horses by stallions nominated in the Italian Reining Horse Breeders Association (IRHBA) incentive program, filled the day in Cremona, Italy, where the event is held concurrently with the 2020 NRHA European Futurity and ELEMENTA Italian Reining Championship Finals.

Three riders tie to lead the first go of the €138.750,00-added Level 4 Open: Syliva Rzepka of Germany, Ann Fonck of Belgium, and Mirko Midili of Italy.

Riding Wimpy Walla Whiz, a stallion by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step and out of Memorable Walla Whiz (by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz) owned by Zsolt Méder of Hungary, Rzepka set the bar early in the draw by posting a 220.5. “I got him in training as a 2-year-old and because he was so small, we started training him late so he was pretty green when futurity time came around last year,” said Rzepka about the stallion bred by Christina Riley. “I showed him at the 2020 German Breeders Futurity where we made the finals and I must admit that in a way being able to show him here six months after the scheduled date was good for him because he really matured becoming a solid horse over this period of time.” The German professional based in Austria also claimed the top score in the €37.500,00-added Level (L)3 division.

Mirko Midili of Italy and GD Peptos Olena Blue (Spat A Blue x Miss Peptos Jacky x Peptos Lil Bingo), owned and bred by Domenico Giannitti, rode to the same score. “Originally, Stefano Cerrutti —who trained this stallion—was supposed to show him,” Midili shared. “Due to health issues, he passed the reins on to me a few months ago hoping he would be OK for the Futurity. Unfortunately for him, this did not happen. He’s a beautiful flashy blue-eyed horse, a great stopper, and is always focused and very quiet.”

Joining the 220.5 class was NRHA Million Dollar Rider Ann Fonck aboard Step N Past Ya, owned by CS Ranch Management SA. Bred by Susan Avila, the pretty sorrel mare by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step out of ARC Sail Past Ya (by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya) was shown by Gina Schumacher in the NRHA Non Pro Futurity where she made the finals. This year the mare was flown to Europe so that Schumacher could show her in the Italian Futurity, but due to the multiple changes of dates, two months ago the young German rider asked Fonck if she would take over the reins. “I was thrilled to be able to show her here and I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to the Schumacher family,” said an enthused Fonck. “She’s a super nice horse, I like her a lot, and… she’s a real ‘girly girl’ which makes me like her even more!”

Barbagli and Lil Jo Gunner lead the Level 2 Open

Francesco Barbagli rode Jerzy Szumanski’s Lil Jo Gunner (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Lil Joe Cash x Designed By Gunner) to a 220 which put him in the lead in the €18.750,00-added L2 Open division. “This mare is owned by the Szumanki’s Ultra Quarter Horses, my Polish clients,” explained Barbagli. “She has a huge heart and is infinitely talented. I have been riding her for about a year now and am of course very happy today because I knew she was strong but didn’t imagine we could mark so high. I had shown her in two regional shows before coming here, but this is the first big show since last October. We’re a real team and she’s truly a beautiful mare.”

Fancy Flashes rides Landi to the highest score of the Level 1 Open

Twenty-two-year-old Gabriele Landi and Eyal Carmon’s Fancy Flashes (NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz x Electrical Flash x NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Jacs Electric Spark) closed their run with a 217 which put them on top of the €9.000,00-added L1 leaderboard.

“Though this is a very special moment for me, it comes from the sad situation in Israel right now,” said Landi. “This mare was actually shipped to Italy thanks to a project between Israel’s Eyal Carmon, Barack Gibori, and Kaya Ahissar of KPH Performance Horses and [Italian professional] Gennaro Lendi. Barak Gibori was supposed to show her here but because the airport in Tel Aviv was closed following the present turmoils, he was unable to fly. The team, in accordance with Gennaro, gave me the opportunity to catch ride her here and I am very honored.” Though Landi knew that she was a good horse, he was a little nervous since he’d never shown her. “She is very generous and after the first maneuvers, which she performed impeccably, I felt I could trust her and am thrilled with this result,” he added.

The second go round of the Arcese/MS Diamonds TX Open Futurity will be held on Wednesday, May 19. The Open Finals will close the event on Saturday, May 22.

The 2020 IRHA/IRHBA Futurity is held behind closed doors. For those that would like to follow the action, see below:

Livescore and full results:


For further information:

Photos by Bonaga Communication

IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA Futurity Media Contact:
Simona Diale/International Horse Press