With Monday’s classes in the books, the 2021 National Reining Horse Association Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship has passed the halfway point. The Adequan® NAAC titles have grown over the years to be one of the most prestigious awards a reiner can win, with competitors traveling hundreds of miles to compete at the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.
Jose Vazquez Wins NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 & 2 Co-Championship on Rock It Sassy Girl
Jose Vazquez and Rock It Sassy Girl laid down an impressive run in the Adequan® Arena, marking a 220 to tie for the win of the NAAC Novice Horse Levels 1 and 2. They also tied for the win of the ancillary Novice Horse Non Pro Levels 1 and 2, and won Level 3 outright, bringing the day’s earnings to $5,064.
Vazquez also won a saddle from Continental Saddlery, a Montana Silversmiths buckle, product from Dr. Joe Carter, Platinum Performance and Classic Equine, and a gift certificate for Bluebonnet Feed.
“It means a lot to me to win here. I don’t have a lot of opportunities to come here and show. This is probably the second or third time for me to show in the NAAC because I usually just bring Futurity horses,” Vazquez, who will be inducted to NRHA’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday night, explained. “So to come out here and win is great. The competition is people from everywhere, and I knew it wouldn’t be easy.”
Rock It Sassy Girl, a 4-year-old mare, has a pedigree most any reining enthusiast would be proud to have. She’s by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire and former NRHA Futurity Champion Wimpys Little Step, and out of another former Futurity Champion Shining N Sassy.
“I felt bad because I missed the Futurity finals last year on her by just a little bit. I felt bad I didn’t because she is good enough to be there, and it’s one of those things I wish I could have a second chance with,” Vazquez admitted. “We showed today and she was very good. To come to a show like this and win with 100-something horses is awesome. I am really happy with myself and for my family to be here with me.”
Vazquez made sure to mention the people who have helped him. “I thank all of my family, my trainer who has been excellent with all my horses, and my NRHA family,” he said. “I am very happy my whole family is here and I have a trophy to show the kids that grandpa can be ok sometimes.”
Kyla Thurlow and Double Guns Tonite Claim NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 & 2 Co-Championship
Kyla Thurlow and Double Guns Tonite won the NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 title in 2020. The duo returned to the Adequan® Arena to defend their title, marked a 220, and ended as co-champions of the NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Levels 1 and 2!
The pair also finished as co-champions of the ancillary Novice Horse Non Pro Levels 1 and 2, for earnings totaling $4,373. They won prizes including a saddle from Continental Saddlery, a Montana Silversmiths buckle, product from Dr. Joe Carter, Platinum Performance and Classic Equine, and a gift certificate for Bluebonnet Feed. In addition, Thurlow had signed up for the Adequan® 500, so she took home the $500 for both NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro classes!
“This is probably the best she’s shown for me in a long time,” Thurlow shared. “She was super quiet. She turned good and was with me in the circles, and she stopped great. It seems like the NAAC classes here are getting bigger every year, which is great. It means there are a lot more people, and makes you feel even better when you do well.”
Double Guns Tonite is a 5-year-old mare by Top Gun Tonite out of Gunners Dazey. “My favorite thing about her is she’s just like a gelding. She’s big and pretty. She’s sweet and a little sensitive like a mare but doesn’t hold a grudge and she’s just the same every day. She always tries.”
Thurlow also piloted her other entry, Kachina Olena Tag, to a top five finish in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2.
Thurlow rides with NRHA Professionals Mark and Shannon Rafacz. “I thank Mark and Shannon for sure. I Live in Massachusetts and I do a lot of catch riding, and I never have to worry about my horses because they’re always prepped when I get here. That says a lot about their program that someone can just show up, ride, and have the success that I have had,” she said. “Of course, I thank my barn family. We have a big group here and everyone was cheering. Then of course I thank my mom and dad who were cheering from afar.”
Complete results can be found at NRHAFuturity.com.